Allergies are nothing to sneeze at.  In fact, 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children are said to have allergies in the United States and those numbers are rising.  Reasons for the rise in allergies are cited as we are too clean (overuse of hand sanitizers and too many antibiotics), climate changes (seasonally allergies lasting longer or developing) and how genes are being expressed in developing babies (What is the mom eating during her pregnancy?).  Along with all of this, I have been reading about essential oils and whether or not one can be allergic to them.  Well, this has proven to be a little controversial.

First of all, the definition of what is an allergy is, according to Cambridge Dictionary, is a condition that causes illness when someone eats certain foods or touches or breathes in certain substances. But it gets a little murky after that. According to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, essential oils contain a large number of small molecules (called haptens) that can bind to proteins found in the body. Apparently, people will argue that essential oils do not contain large molecules like proteins and amino acids and therefore cannot trigger an allergic response.  While this statement is true, it does not go on to explain that essential oils do contain a large number of small molecules (called haptens) that can bind to proteins present in the body. Upon binding, these complexes (called haptenated proteins) will initiate an immune system response and cause allergic reactions. 

Another way certain essential oils can cause an allergic reaction is if they are old. Spoiled or oxidized essential oils have a risk of triggering an allergic reaction.  It has been suggested not to keep an oil more than 3 years.  The dark-colored bottled help keep it safe, as well as keeping it out of direct sunlight and heat. ACHS President Dorene Petersen even suggests keeping your citrus oils in the refrigerator and added that their shelf life is anywhere from 9 to 12 months. However, the good news is, oils such as patchouli P. cablin, sandalwood S. album, and vetiver C. zizanioides, improve with age.

I think the most important thing to remember is top quality essential oils do not contain synthetic ingredients or other contaminants. This reduces the chances of adverse reactions. Products such as ZAQ 100% Pure Essential Oils are made with only pure ingredients and designed to help you center and reach your goals. There are oils out there that have been adulterated.  These are the oils to truly watch out for.  They may contain fragrances or food grade oils. True therapeutic grade essential oils are grown and harvested in a proper way and time, distilled corrected at minimum temperatures and pressures and very importantly, bottled without any ingredients removed or added.  

Most importantly, if you think you are having a sensitivity issue, stop using it and try something else.  There are so many wonderful, quality oils to choose from at ZAQ. I don't think you will be disappointed.  Right now, ZAQ Peppermint is my favorite; especially in my Tour while I'm running errands!

Kris Bitar

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