For many years medical doctors in France have used the Aromatagram to identify which essential oils will work best against each patient’s particular infection. The doctor uses Petri dishes to try various oils on a patient’s primary infection. The ones that work best in vitro (fighting the infection in the laboratory incubator) are then used in vivo (in therapy with the patient).
Yet in most essential oils users simply pick up a reference book that gives a long list of conditions that each oil is supposed to be good for. The Essential oils Manufacturer therapy for each malady on the list appears to be just as effective as every other. But they’re not. Then, when we try them, we wonder why a particular oil doesn’t work for us and we lose faith in these amazing aromatic gifts from nature. This casual approach to medical aromatherapy gives our whole industry a black eye.
For example in the network marketing “desk references” you see certain well-known and expensive oils like frankincense highly praised for their effectiveness against frightening diseases like cancer, yet in the French medical literature, frankincense is mentioned for many important uses, but cancer has a question mark next to it.
It’s easy to understand why enterprising network marketing companies like and Young Living would want all their distributors to invest in a large collection of oils and reference books claiming a long list of miraculous cures for virtually everything. I’ve attended opportunity meetings for these companies where fantastic claims were made and verified with story after story. From my experience many of these stories had to be fabricated. But the fact is, according to verifiable science, they don’t all work as well as those books and distributors claim for everything on the list.
A simple solution is to return to the French medical reference books and use some of their research to rank the oils by effectiveness. For example, in some French texts you’ll find a series of plus signs indicating the effectiveness of a particular oil or blend of oils. Four or five plus signs (++++) indicates an exceptionally effective oil for a particular use. Three crosses is an excellent oil, but two or fewer crosses indicates only good to modest value. You’ll also find these signs indicating how effective a particular essential oil treatment is for various conditions and various methods of use.
It’s fascinating to make a list of the medical conditions where essential oils are most beneficial. For example you’ll hear network marketers praise oils for common, well-known diseases like diabetes where only two plus signs in the French literature. You’re better off focusing on much more effective and predictable uses of essential oils with as many as five plus signs. They’re exceptional for flu, shingles, insect bites, and first and second degree burns.
When we overpromise and under-deliver on the effectiveness of essential oils, we become an embarrassment to those who practice predictable alternative medicine.
Here’s my suggestion for those who are looking for real value from your essential oils, and I promise that you will truly find remarkable therapeutic value. Look to the top dozen best-selling oils. Learn all you can about them. Order them and use them to see how effective they are in your life. Because of your particular set of health conditions, you may not need oils for joint pain, but may need more oils for infection. You may find them more effective for reducing stress or calming gastric discomfort.
Study the success stories showing the most popular uses for the oils. If you see a lot of stories about headaches but few stories about diabetes and cancer, you can guess which uses are most dependable.
Here are my top dozen, most affordable single oils, the ones with a lot of plus signs in the French medical literature. I use these all the time: 1. tea tree, 2. lavender, 3. peppermint, 4. spearmint, 5. geranium, 6. basil, 7. oregano, 8. thyme, 9. lemon, 10. eucalyptus radiata, 11. frankincense, and 12. fir. I also have my favorite blends for the following uses: 1. respiratory, 2. calming and relaxation, 3. infection, 4. digestion, 5. pain, 6. foot massage, and 7. exercise recovery, and 8. general massage.
These oils always work for me, I don’t have to guess what they will do. I can depend on them, and I don’t try to invent fantastic, popular-sounding ways to use them just so I can sell more. There are many more oils that will become your favorites as you try them, but get the fundamental ones first and learn to use them.