I grew up in a public school, but none of my children ever attended one. I had lipbalm, hairspray, aerosol deodorant, make-up, and the latest flavored lipgloss all in my locker. What American teenage girl doesnt? As parents ourselves, we started off with a private school then later transitioned into home education. Is it really my place to speak out against the policies of a public school? For the sake of the freedom of our American children, I’d say so. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to see the over-reaching arm of the government agencies(and yes, the public school system is a government agency). Now a school in Alabama has banned essential oils from their property, not even the nurse can hold it in the office for the student to come use.
Edward Burch (at ABC3340) reports,
“Jefferson County schools will not allow school nurses to administer them. Students cannot even keep them in lockers. “
The middle school students mother claims that essential oils have helped her son with ADD and allergies, but the school nurse responded with this,
“At the Jefferson County Board of Education, Karen Orton, school nurse supervisor offered this statement.
“The state does not recognize essential oils and that we will not be responsible as school nurses to administer those”.
Now, I’m not sure how she is interpreting what the state does or doesn’t “recognize”, but the FDA has plenty to say about essential oils.
I’m also not sure how much a pediatrician stays abreast of the most modern information about essential oils, but the article offers this statement from a doctor from Alabama,
“In an interview with ABC 33/40 in May, Dr. Bill Hardwick, a pediatrician with Children’s of Alabama said unlike today’s medicine, these oils lack research and clinical trials. “
I am scratching my head here, because the phrase, “unlike today’s medicine, these oils lack research and clinical trials” makes me cringe a bit. First of all, today’s modern medicines are often given to patients after very limited research and clinical trials. Furthermore, essential oils most certainly have had research and clinical trials, it’s just that many doctors don’t know or don’t care to inform us.
The FDA requires the first phase of a clinical trial to have 20-80 people testing the drug. Then in phase 2, the range is between 3 dozen to 800 people. In phase 3, it ranges from several hundred to 3,000 people. Then they have 60 days to file it for review.
The FDA classifies essential oils in their food category as “Generally recognized as SAFE”. But the school nurse supervisor at Jefferson County Board of Education, Karen Orton, says the state doesn’t recognize essential oils. Can anyone please explain how the FDA recognizes essential oils as SAFE, but Alabama state doesn’t?
Dr. Bill Hardwick says,
“The question always is, ‘what is the safety information and the quality of the product?’ So, safety-wise there is very little information about widespread use of these products.”
Maybe the Doctor should do a little more research before making a statement like this.
One of the problems that essential oil enthusiasts face every day is that much of western medical practice refuses to accept aromatherapy and herbalism as a viable contribution to our overall wellness.
I have wondered if these ignorant critics even know that the U.S. National Library of Medicine lists Aromatherapy and Essentials Oils as a Complimentary practice to traditional medicine? Do these average doctors even read that the National Cancer Institute has conducted research and clinical trials to improve the quality of life for their patients? Want to read more about what the United States National Library of Medicine has in its database for research and clinical trials, using essential oils, in a WIDE array of illnesses and diseases?
Journalist Edward Burch rightly reports,
“The problem that schools have with these oils, they’re not regulated by the FDA and aren’t prescribed by physicians.”
It’s correct that the FDA does not *regulate* essential oils and that’s because essential oils are a natural essence from plant life and therefore classified as GRAS, Generally Recognized as Safe”. Also true, is that physicians don’t prescribe them and that’s because they don’t need to prescribe them. They’re available at most health food stores, online markets, and other wholesale membership companies at retail or wholesale cost.
We don’t need a doctor to prescribe them, just like how we don’t need a physician to prescribe oregano leaf to put in our spaghetti sauce. Using the argument about a doctor not prescribing them as a defense against a middle school child having a bottle of lavender in his school locker is absurd, to say the least! Does the student need a doctor to prescribe deodorant or bubblegum before he can bring it to school?
However, I will agree that having an entire bottle is not necessary at school, especially when you don’t know if another student could be allergic. Some people do experience allergies from using undiluted essential oils and even some that are diluted can be disastrous. Some people are dangerously allergic to peppermint and undiluted oregano essential oil can actually burn the skin.
Therefore, I do take caution when using essential oils. It pays to do your research to make sure you’re using a product correctly and safely.
As for the mother and student who wishes to use essential oils in school, I would recommend making a lotion or salve with the essential oil instead of sending the whole bottle. Unless the school is also going to ban homemade lipbalms, hand lotion, and perfumes as well.
Read more about essential oils:
*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here.
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