Are Herbs Better Than Essential Oils?
By Kayla Howard
Herbal tinctures, pills, syrups and more are widely used, and quite easily available. In fact, I’d venture to guess that most people I know have tried an herbal remedy at one time or another.
The use of herbs and natural remedies is so fascinating to me that I’ve actually done two different Family Herbalist courses and a four day intensive essential oils class. I blame it on my mid-wife….she handed me my first herbal book by Shonda Parker when I was expecting my first baby.
For years I used herbal concoctions with hit and miss results. Sometimes they worked beautifully, and other times it seemed like I might as well be taking capsules full of water. I would scratch my head in frustration…
Then I learned something that connected the dots for me.
There is more to plants and herbs that what you can see. In fact, what you can smell is a potent healing portion of herbs as well. Plants in general are made up of large and small molecules. The larger molecules are those that end up in herbal tinctures, pills and syrups. However the “lifeblood” of the plant is the volatile lipid, or essential oil. These molecules are very, very small which enables them to preform in ways that herbs cannot–and vice versa!
So I ask again; Are herbs better than essential oils? Or are essential oils preferable to herbs?
The answer is that both are equally important because they cannot really be compared. They actually serve the body differently. Since adding essential oils to my health cabinet, I’ve discovered the healing power of the whole plant.
I will give you a practical example from my experience. Let’s say my family has a cold. I have several options, (plant wise–we are not getting into homeopathy, vitamins, etc..) that I could use to relieve these symptoms. Mostly likely I would start with my Thieves essential oils blend which appears to be fabulous for killing viruses. If after a day or two I don’t see any improvement, then I know it’s time for the other plant molecules, also known as echinacea, goldenseal or a blend of some kind. (NOTE: My favorite herbals right now are Rhea’s Herbals, I particaully love the Echinacea/Goldenseal/Myrrh blend!!)
See how that works?
In fact, I’ve had faster recovery from colds by using both oils and herbs together because they seem to work synergistically.
If you’ve felt frustration with your results using either herbs or essential oils standing alone, it might be time to use the whole plant and complete the big picture! For me, that meant adding essential oils–something I’m so thankful for everyday.