Are Essential Oils a Scam? ~ Essential Oils for Headaches and More

Young Living Essential Oils

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UPDATE: I am no longer a Young Living Distributor. You can read about my search for the Best Essential Oils Company here.  I ended up choosing this company, Native American Nutritionals. I’ve updated this post and removed the links to my Young Living account.

You can find out why and see all of the heated discussion by starting here.

The other day, I wrote about how I overcame my serious doubts about essential oils (specifically, Young Living’s oils) and my experience using Young Living’s Thieves blend.

I was a complete skeptic about essential oils, thinking they were some kind of scam or “woo woo foo foo” stuff that really did nothing.

As in, “you put it on and it smells good and somehow you convince yourself that it’s really working” kind of thing.

Today, I’m going to share with you some other oils that I’ve been experimenting with and what’s happened with them.

Really, read on.  Some of these things really surprised me….

Essential Oils for Headaches

Peppermint oil is great here too.  Again, I don’t typically get headaches, but when the occasional one strikes, just a drop of peppermint rubbed on my temples has taken the pain away.  Amazing.  My youngest gets headaches sometimes, but his have been diminishing since starting a new therapy and using zeolite.  Regardless, he has found relief with the peppermint as well.

No acetaminophen.  No potential liver damage.


Stomach Aches & Digestion Issues

I typically don’t struggle much with stomach aches, but over the past few months, I have.  For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have adrenal fatigue.  I am currently doing a protocol called Nutritional Balancing that is designed to rebalance minerals and remove heavy metals and toxins from my system. (2014 UPDATE: I am no longer doing Nutritional Balancing, but have moved on and found other things that have helped immensely.)

More on all that later–but when the metals are coming out, I have had some uncomfortable symptoms at times–one of them being an upset stomach.

Aside from my occasional stomach upset, my kids occasionally have a bug or a sour stomach for some reason.

We all know that peppermint tea is supposed to be good for upset stomachs.  Well, peppermint essential oil is like super-charged peppermint tea.  Just a few drops on the tongue followed by a “water chaser” and symptoms are gone.

I’ve also used the peppermint oil when my stomach “just isn’t right.”  You know, when thing aren’t sitting well.  Oh, if only I could only eat right all the time.  I’m getting there, really I am.  But I’m just not perfect yet.  And sometimes I pay for it :-(.

Essential Oils for Growing Pains

My youngest had growing pains regularly until we started Nutritional Balancing.  Now, he really only gets them every once in awhile.  These pains were one of the first things that we tried essential oils on.  I was really skeptical – “So, how on earth is an oil going to help with something painful going on inside of him?”

Well, they did.  We’ve used Peppermint, Wintergreen, and a blend for pain, all of which have helped him.  What a blessing to have your little one, who was in pain a moment ago, say to you, “Mom, I really think it’s working!  I feel better!”

He gets to sleep –and so do I (And having your son smell like a Wintergreen Lifesaver is a nice side bonus :-).)

Essential Oils for Carpal Tunnel / Cubital Tunnel Symptoms

This one really floored me.

I’m a blogger.  That means I type–a lot.

Well, about 2 months ago I started experiencing pain in my right pinky finger.  It hurt to type–a lot.

I’d had carpal tunnel years prior that was cured with B6, but this pain was worse.

I didn’t really want to own up to myself that the pain was there.  What if I couldn’t blog anymore?  What it I needed surgery?  Not pleasant thoughts.

After a few days of the pain and worry, I decided to turn to my Essential Oils Desk Reference Guide for some ideas.  It recommended a blend for pain, which I had in my nifty starter kit.

Again, the skeptic in me thought, “This surely isn’t going to work.”  But I doubtfully rubbed a drop around my knuckle where the pain was–just before bed.

I awoke the next morning completely amazed.

The pain was gone!

No surgery–and I can still blog ;-).

Muscle Pains

Numerous times we’ve had aches and pains that needed some TLC.  Whether from injury or overuse, we’ve tried several oils and blends–Peppermint, Wintergreen, and several blends for pain and Deep Relief roll on.  Each one has worked well.  Depending on the situation, sometimes one oil or blend has worked better than another, but it sure has felt nice to use something natural rather than OTC meds or chemical-filled creams and ointments.

Again, I really don’t mean to just be “putting together a commercial” for my readers.  I have always been the type of person who wants to share the good things I’ve found, and warn about the bad.  In fact, I’ve sometimes toyed with the idea of starting an “Adrienne’s Life”–like Angie’s List.  But I’d probably be sued, right :-).

And I know – you’re probably wondering about the cost of these oils.

There are loads of kinds of essential oils in stores and online.

Some are cheap and some are more pricey.

Let me assure you – I am super frugal.  I’m sure that you’ve figured that out if you’ve been following me for awhile.  If you haven’t, you can see how stingy frugal I am by checking out my posts on:

As you can see, I don’t spend money typically if I don’t think it’s worth it.  And I save wherever I can.

I personally try to choose the best quality that I can, for the best price, and for me that means paying up a bit to make sure that I am not getting lower quality essential oils – especially since I will be putting them on my skin (where they will be absorbed) and using them occasionally internally.

UPDATE: I am no longer a Young Living Distributor. You can read about my search for the Best Essential Oils Company here.  I ended up choosing this company, Native American Nutritionals. You can find out why and see all of the “dicey” discussion by starting here.

Here are my basic thoughts on the cost:

  • Health is priceless
  • I’d rather use natural oils than OTC meds or prescriptions drugs (and they’re not cheap either)
  • Essential oils can be cheaper than going to the doctor or physical therapist (or even surgery!)
  • When you feel good, you have more energy to save money elsewhere

Basically, yes, if you choose quality essential oils you will be paying more than the inexpensive brands, but if you use them only when needed you will likely save in other arenas that will more than make up for it.

Regardless, I am thrilled to have a new natural remedy in my medicine cabinet :).

What are your thoughts on Essential Oils?

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  1. So…I see you have an ad for Doterra on the sidebar…do you now prefer them over young living? Just wondering…still hoping to get some from one of them, but not sure which is best…like the idea of the theives oil from young living…but… thats not my first purchase if I ever do manage to be able to get something from one of those companies. :-))

  2. I love your site> thankyou for your wealth of information WONDERFUL

  3. i have used oils for a couple years now. i am a believer who was raised in a FDA only approved home, so it was a big leap for me. i wanted to share that i use the YL original thieves toothpaste for deodorant. it works great & is aluminum free. thanks for the oily posts!


  5. “I’d rather use natural oils than OTC meds or prescriptions drugs”

    The problem is…the way you are using EOs, and they way these other untrained salespeople are using EOs…is as OTC drugs. Internal use? You are not going to know you are harming your liver until your liver stops working. This is why drugs are tested for side effects before they are sold – because often the side effects are far worse and more hazardous than the benefits. You are not weighing that plus/minus. Essential oils have hazards and side effects and can even prove life threatening if used the wrong way. People kill their cats. People torture their dogs (a dog who can smell footprints being exposed to the concentrated scent of EOs is more than the headache you might get going into a Yankee Candle store for example.) ANYONE who has studied aromatherapy on a professional level knows…the things you have advocated here on your website are the practice of medicine without a license and you are risking peoples health and safety doing so.

    • I appreciate your comment truly. You are very right. But first, a few things:

      1. I have a full disclaimer on my site. I am not a dr., nor a nurse, nor any kind of practitioner. The information on my site is for entertainment purposes only. Readers are to consult w/ their physicians before making any changes to their diet or exercise program. I am not recommending the practice of medicine on my site.

      2. For the very reasons that you mention, I decided to do a whole series on Best Essential Oils, which you might have missed.

      3. I take issues of fatality and overuse of internal essential oils seriously. However, could you please direct me to data on the sort? I found this on It says that any deaths from EOs are extremely rare and that it is typically due to accidental ingestion by infants. I think you will agree that there are tons of fatalities from OTC and prescription meds, or from infections that arose from hospital stays.

      You state that drugs are tested for side effects before they are sold. True, but there are so many deaths from them regardless. Here is a fascinating article about it. It states that “Vioxx alone may have killed 55,000-65,000 patients before being withdrawn by the manufacturer, Merck, in 2004.” I don’t think that speaks well for the testing of pharma drugs.

      What I stated was what I would rather do. I am not telling others what to do. That is a huge difference.

      Thanks for commenting.

  6. Can you recommend a book on nan products? Or a great essential oil book I currently am reading “reference guide for essential oils.” Also a oil recommended for tennis elbow I have tried pan away by YL but no luck. I can’t use peppermint because I’m breast feeding. I’m still trying out different oils!

    • Hi Mandi. NAN has a book on their site that might interest you. Here is the owner’s response to your question.

      Humm if Young Livings Pan Away did not work, they are having some serious issues. The next step would be going with straight Helichrysum and then adding a little lemongrass and peppermint to it. If the Pan Away did not work, the Sports Pro will not do the job either.

      So the best would to use the more expensive Helichrysum but they may want to try out the less expensive oil first. Also what probably will assist is the Defense. It will be slow but over time it will work. I have a couple professional athletes use it and they tell me it cuts their injury recovery time in half.

      Now if none of the above works, I would then still go with the oils but also do a radical diet change and also emotional release. Have a wonderful day,

  7. Why do Yougn Living, do-Terra and NA all base themselves out of Utah? does the owner of NA have something against the other two companies? are you at all disturbed with Gary Young’s claims and his legal troubles?

    • I don’t know why they are in Utah, but both companies are owned by Mormons and Utah is hugely populated by Mormons. I have heard that Utah gives great business discounts as well.

      What do you mean by “something against”?

      Yes, I am concerned about those things.

  8. Now that you are now recommending another brand of oils, is there a similar product to PanAway or the oils to make a similar mix yourself? I have just tried this (won a bottle at a gift fair), and it is helping with my post-surgical knee pain.

    Thanks for your thorough research.

  9. I thought I read somewhere on your blog that you should never ingest any essential oil because it is 50 times more potent…am I correct in that? if you did state that, can you tell me why? I use YL and many of my friends take the cold bomb, the morphine bomb..etc…with great results. one friend and her husband have Lymes and take EO internally and have been retested and the doctor found not trace of Lymes disease!
    If you did state this, would you mind clearing up for me your reasons? I don’t like taking things internally especially if there is concern it is not safe or too potent!
    Thank you!

    • I did not state that. There are others stating no internal usage but I personally (not medical advice) think it is OK within reason. I mentioned internal use in my 7 part “best essential oils series”.

  10. Dawn Clevenger says:

    I just started using essential oils about 4 months ago. I started very slowly because it can really be overwhelming when you start researching them. There are about 10 essential oils that can be used for a headache that I have seen but I am here to tell you that peppermint has worked for my usual weekly headache every single time. I have never had a reason to even try any other essential oil for a headache. And a headache is just one of the zillion things you can use it for. To those of you that are just getting started or are very curious about different oils, I would highly recommend starting with peppermint, lavender and thieves. If we all had a bottle of this in your medicine cabinet, the world would be a much better place. I am amazed daily at the new ways I’m discovering to keep my family healthy. My boys are the only 2 kids in their boy scout troop who aren’t hacking all over with snotty noses, THE ONLY TWO!!! THANK YOU THEIVES!

  11. what would you use for eczema on your eyes by your eyelashes I cant even where I make up anymore?

    • Hmmm…you have to be really careful to not get essential oils in your eyes. Typically eczema is caused by something internal but not always. I can’t medically advise, but this post might help you. Have you worked on diet, etc?

      My son gets eczema from candida as well. I would think for me personally I would try clean diet, probiotics, and maybe a salve w/ geranium, lavender and melaleuca, depending on how close to your eyes it is. Please do not get the oils in your eyes. I hope that helps! Again, please talk to your physician before making any changes to your diet or supplements, etc. :)

  12. Vickie Garza says:


  13. I’m the frugal type too. I was ‘drawn into’ Young Living because I love their lavender oil along with their purification blend. BUT, I reasoned, all their oils came from herbs and such so I went beyond the oils and as you have done, I did the research online (can’t afford the long distance calls either). Now I make my own herb and spice blends for our food, medicinal and for health of our dogs. I’m still learning but am happier and healthier. Yes, I too went through the heavy metal detox. WOW the purge…..and O the healthy feel after! Though I am still in a wheelchair, I am healthier than I have been in a long time. Thanks for the articles and what you do to get the messages out there. :)

    • Thanks for sharing and glad you are doing better. I find it interesting that you like YL’s lavender. I never cared for it but I guess that everyone is different. I kept thinking it would help me sleep but I didn’t like the small.

      So are you using oils still?

      • Something I learned in biology class in High School over 40 years ago, a class exercise showed us that people can have different taste buds and smell different smells just as they see differently or hear differently. The lesson–not all senses are equal in everyone. In my case, my sniffer doesn’t work so well defining smells. So YL Lavender has a very strong smell for me. I actually can’t afford to buy very many EOs though I do have some. Since I grow many of my own herbs or buy at the Farmers’ Market, being thrifty as I am, it doesn’t make sense to buy something just to have to add it to a carrier oil for it to work in some cases. That said, I have found myself blending together both EOs and herbs for my health and my family.
        For sleeping? To shut down the brain so I can sleep, I pray first, then sing a children’s hymn. When my mind wanders, I pull it back to the song and keep doing so until all of a sudden I’m waking up. At my age, I do a midnight wakeup most nights and it bothered me until I learned that before we had artificial lighting, sleeping through the night just didn’t happen. The first sleep was for relaxing after the day, then awake for romping. ;) then back to sleep to get the restful sleep we all need. After learning that, I sleep well knowing I’m doing what my long ago ancestors did. ;)

        • Folks sure do have different senses, however I find it interesting the particularity with which the essential oils and culinary “gurus”, etc. talk about how things smell and taste so I guess there is supposed to be some universality?

          That’s interesting about the sleeping through the night – really? Never heard of that. Where did you hear about that? I love the nights that I sleep all the way through.

          • It was a show on PBS talking about the development of lighting from fire to the current lights we have. I really have found it interesting how many have jumped on the EO bandwagon. Knowing and using different herbs can be so much more interesting. Especially since I started by researching what I normally use in my cooking. So I just began by looking into my spice drawer. :)

  14. I would love any information you have on adrenal fatigue. I was prescribed 3 different meds and feel much worse taking them so have stopped and trying to heal my body naturally. I know your not a doctor but any advise would be a blessing, thank you.