Are Essential Oils Allergens?

Posted By Dr. Kim on Jan 30, 2012 in Articles, Essential Oils |

Animal Scents Essential Oil Blends by Young LivingOften people have had what they assumed was an allergic reaction to the Young Living Essential Oils. I would say it could be an allergy if it were a store bought essential oil but there is a different explanation when you are using a YL essential oils.

Animals will also have what appears to be an “allergic” reaction to these essential oils.

My friend Faye Durham, a Young Living distributor shared the following in her online FB group:

In Dr. Stewart’s book entitled, “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple“, he answers the question: “Are Essential Oil Allergens?” Consider the following facts:

1) Allergens are almost always composed of proteins or polypeptides, which are relatively large molecules. There are no proteins or polypeptides in essential oils. In fact, nitrogen containing compounds are virtually non-existent in essential oils except in occasional trace amounts.

2) Allergens are composed of large molecules. There are no large molecules in volatile or aromatic oils, otherwise they would be neither volatile or aromatic.

3) There has never been a documented instance of an anti-body response (i.e. sensitization) to an essential oil. Essential oil antibodies have never been found or detected in anyone. Unless sensitization occurs and antibodies are produced and stored in the body, there can be no allergic reaction. Therefore, we can state unequivocally that essential oils are not and cannot be allergens. Sometimes people do have allergy-like reactions but these are no allergenic in nature. They are detox reactions.

While allergenic reactions from pure therapeutic grade essential oils never happen, this might not be true for perfume, massage, or food grade oils, depending on what synthetic substances and fatty oils are used to alter and dilute them. However, even in cases of reactions to non-therapeutic grade oils, reactions are not likely to be allergens.

To be an allergic reaction, there must be antibodies in the system of the person (or animal) having the reaction. There must be a period of prior sensitization before an allergic reaction can occur. If a person has a reaction to an essential oil the first time they receive it, it cannot be an allergy, because there was no prior exposure whereby sensitization and development of antibodies could have taken place. Such a reaction is nonallergenic.

People (and some animals) can be allergic/sensitive to fatty oils. This is because fatty oils are not distilled. They are cold pressed from the fruit and seed and contain many molecules that would not survive distillation but do come through a pressing. Among these molecules are traces of proteins, amino acids, and polypeptides – all potential allergens.

For massage purposes, essential oils are often added to fatty oils. When this is done, the possibility of an allergic reaction exists. Fatty oils are implicated as potential allergens include walnut, almond, olive, peanut, safflower, and virtually any vegetable oil.

Allergic reactions are also possible to expressed oils (citrus) and aromatic oils obtained by solvents (such as jasmine, onycha, or neroli). These two types of oils are not true essential oils since they are not obtained by distillation. Distilled oils are never allergens. Absolutes, expressed oils, and fatty oils can be allergens, including carrier oils.According to data reported in A Statistical Validation of the Raindrop Technique, the most frequently reported negative results of applying undiluted oils was a burning sensation on the skin, skin rashes, nausea, headaches, and tiredness (in that order).

Among the outcomes of thousands of Raindrops sessions included in the report, no negative experiences more severe than these were reported. Not one case of an allergic reaction was discovered by this study even though an honest effort was made to find and report such reactions if they existed. In all the reports of negative outcomes with undiluted oils in the study, experiences were temporary and interpreted as detox reactions, not allergies.

Given enough time, accompanied by a cleansing regimen, detox reactions to oils will cease and the oils that caused the reaction initially will no longer do so. This is an indication that the cleansing is complete and proof that the reactions was no allergy. When a detox reaction happens, stop using the oils for awhile and reduce their quantity in order to slow down the release of toxins. Focus on cleansing procedures with lots of PURE water, fiber, and fresh foods and, perhaps, some fasting, to flush out the toxins. Gradually, use the oils again and eventually the toxins will be gone and you won’t have unpleasant reactions to the oils any more. Many people have experienced this.

Detox reactions may be unpleasant but they are temporary and beneficial. They are the beginning of healing in a body full of toxins that would have eventually resulted in a serious chronic disease. Source: “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple – God’s Love Manifest in Molecules” by David Stewart, Ph.D, D.N.M.

The above can be true with animals as well.

In ancient times, before mankind learned how to bastardize everything with synthetics and chemicals, essential oils were used extensively for health care. Religious texts and records show they were used to treat virtually every ailment known to man at that time.

“No doubt part of the reason essential oils have been slow to emerge – especially in the United States – is because they were heavily extended and adulterated for commercial use, destroying their therapeutic biochemistry and making them useful only as air-freshening or flavoring compounds. In their pure state, essential oils are some of the most concentrated natural extracts known, exhibiting significant and immediate antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and hormone-balancing effects. In clinical practice, they have been shown to have a profound influence on the central nervous system, helping to reduce or eliminate pain, release muscle tension and provide strong emotional uplift.”

It’s important to learn and know the difference between a healing crisis/detoxification to an allergic reaction/response.

DISCLAIMER: All information contained in Aspenbloom Pet Care is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body or pets and the author, publisher, and contributors accept no responsibility for such use. Anyone or their pets suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with their physician or veterinarian. The ONLY essential oils we use and refer to in ALL our posts and articles are Young Living Essential Oils. The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.