OTC’s vs. Natural Remedies Using Essential Oils

beth October 4, 2012

Image by rnoel1

 What Are Essential Oils?

Plants contain complex and powerful substances known as essential oils. These are aromatic liquids derived from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. These distinctive components defend plants from insects, harsh environmental conditions, and disease. They are also vital for a plant to grow, live, evolve, and adapt to its surroundings. Referred to as the essence of the plant, pure essential oils not only protect the plant, but also determine its aroma.

Essential oils have been used throughout time, dating back to 4500 BC. From perfumes and aromatherapy to cooking and medicinal purposes, essential oils have been used in everyday life for centuries. In modern days, research shows that pure essential oils can provide similar benefits to humans and animals that they give to plants.

Why Quality is SO Important

Many oils, touted as essential oils, are derived with harsh chemicals, diluted, or copied and produced in a lab. Cheap copies bring cheap results and have the potential to be toxic. With that said, it is imperative to take great care in choosing high-quality essential oils.

Note: We, the MAM team, have done extensive research into how essential oils are grown, produced, and tested in order to ensure purity and safety.  Quality *is* very important.  Towards the end of this month, you”ll see the results of that research.  There is quite a controversy over essential oil selection and which company or companies are the “best.”  To help you make your decision, we”ll break down all the confusing information for you.  Look for that in a few weeks!

Image by David Jackmanson

How Are Essential Oils Used?

There are three basic ways to use essential oils: inhalation, topical application, and internal consumption.

OTCs vs. Essential Oils

For me, one of the most appealing aspects of using EO’s is the fact that I know exactly what I am putting on and/or in my body. I don’t need to worry about side effects, warning labels, overdosing or recalls. Pick up any OTC med you have and online casino read the ingredients list. One, I bet you can’t pronounce half (if any) of the ingredients listed. Secondly, if it’s something that’s colored and flavored it most likely contains high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring, which we all know should be avoided whenever possible.

Another thing to keep in mind about OTCs, aside from their dangerous side effects, is that they’re only meant to mask your symptoms – not get rid of them. For example, if you have cough and you take a cough suppressant, you’re doing exactly that….suppressing it. It’s not healing you; it’s merely giving you the ability to keep functioning long enough to make it through the day. With essential oils, not only do you get relief from your symptoms, but you also heal your body at the same time!

So what’s a person to do? Luckily there are hundreds of essential oils & essential oil blends out there that can easily be used in place of most any OTC on the market. Below are some of my favorite essential oils along with the OTC medications they can replace.

Image by richard_north

Clove can be used to address oral pain, and is helpful for tooth aches as well as teething babies.

Can Replace: Pain relief drugs and gels.


Lavender is known for its calming properties.  It may also help to reduce fevers, relieve burns, and aid sleep.

Can Replace: Sleep medications, anti-pyretics (fever reducers), burn ointment, general pain relievers.


Wintergreen is known to help reduce muscle pain as well as relieve headaches.  Note: pregnant and nursing women should not use this.  Use with caution as it is potent.

Can Replace: Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-headache medicines, migraine medicines.


Rosemary (pictured above) is excellent for colds and breathing.  It can help those with colds to breathe better and may be beneficial for some asthma sufferers.  It is also an excellent addition to a no “poo blend to clarify hair and increase shine.

Can Replace: Shampoo, vapor-rub products, cold medicines.


Lemon taken internally is a good source of d-limonene, a powerful antioxidant, and is believed to boost the body’s natural defenses. I personally love putting this oil in my water!

Can Replace: Pain relief medications, upset stomach medications, diarrhea medications, nausea medications.


What OTCs would you most like to replace? Are you currently using essential oils, and if so, how?


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  1. Wonderful, inspiring information, Tina! Great job!


  2. This is why I love being a YL consultant! Such great products that WORK!


  3. I just purchased the YL Progessence Plus blend, and there’s a warning on the label that says it contains “a chemical known to the state of CA to cause cancer.” Are there any YL reps out there who can tell me what that chemical might be? Is it still safe to use?


    • Great question Leah!
      PPS is contains progesterone that is BIOLOGIALLY identical to the progesterone that your body makes, your body does not react to this the same way it does a sythetic hormone. Synthetic hormones ARE linked to cancer, California has not updated this law since 1979 (at that point, there was no such thing as bio identical hormones) so now that there are, the law is very outdated. My friend just got a belt and shared a photo on facebook because that same warning was on the inside of her belt!!! I have gotten LIGHT BULBS that have had the same warning. California needs to update the law.

      Why is there a statement about causing cancer on the package? This is an outdated
      statement which is required by law, in California. Proposition 65 is placed on anything
      brought into the state of California that contains hormones. Unfortunately, the law does not
      differentiate between synthetic and natural hormones.
      Young Living has a Progessence cream, which also carries the required Prop 65 statement
      on the tube. This is because synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate (which is found in so
      many products made for women) along with the synthetics in the various birth control pills,
      have all been shown to cause cancer. Research has proven that natural human
      progesterone does not.

      Here is Young Living’s official statement about the Warning on the label:
      ―There is no cancer causing agents in Progessence PlusR. This statement is due to an
      outdated California law that actually refers to the cancer known to be caused by the
      synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA as in the drug Provera) which has been
      shown in a number of studies to cause breast cancer. But MPA is not the human P4 or bioidentical
      progesterone made from natural yam products that we used in Progessence PlusR
      – the generic chemical names are just similar. But the law is poorly written and mistakenly
      refers to any hormone as cancer causing when no naturally occurring human hormone has
      been associated with any cancer ever (not even estradiol – CEE has but no human 17-betaestradiol).
      Human progesterone (even the compounded version like in Progessence PlusR)
      actually reduces breast and ovarian cancer risk (and reduces a lot of other risks such as
      CAD, stroke, DVT, etc). This can all be verified by searching on PubMed. If you live in
      California please lobby for the change of this law. Thank you for the great question.‖


    • doTERRA offers a women’s line of supplements that are amazing! One is called Phytoestrogen. You might want to look into that. There’s no warning labels on it.


      • There is no warning on phytoestrogen because it is an estrogen product, not a progesterone product. California hasn’t updated this law since it has been discovered that Wild Yam (used to create Progessence Plus) contains a plant progesterone biologically identical to the progesterone the human body makes. That california cancer law was also on a package of light bulbs I just ordered and on the inside of my belt.


  4. Great info! I am looking to get some essential oils soon and am trying to figure out all that I will need and want. I love that you wrote what they can replace, that is so helpful! Do you have a blog or somewhere that you write about different oils?


  5. This is a fantastic resource! I also use Young LIving oils and highly recommend them. Thanks for sharing this information in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners!


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  7. I am a doTerra consultant. They have the purity and potency that I trust for my family. Always choose an oil that is free of contaminants which could include pesticides, weeds, synthetics, to name a few. Otherwise the oils that are meant to heal can actually cause more harm.
    We have gone inhaler free since using oils. We never really did use OTC’s anyway, but we really love using oils. They are easier to use and more potent than herbal teas.


  8. I was so bummed I missed the webinar. My husband had an away football game. I totally enjoyed the game, but was sad I had to miss the webinar.


  9. Great post Tina! We love our essential oils!


  10. I love using essential oils and I’m a big fan of all the ones you mentioned. I think I go through Lavender the most quickly because it’s so versatile. I also love doTERRA’s On Guard blend, especially this time of year. If you’re on Pinterest, I have a whole board devoted to essential oils:


    • A really noddy guide to nuiittron like this is absolutely useless unless you tell people in a similar noddy way how to prepare the raw ingredients. And for people with depression for whom getting out of bed can be really difficult, getting to shop for and prepare food is almost impossible.


  11. I realize the original post created a bit of controversy among essential oil users as there are many people on here that choose to use another company over Young Living. That is fine as that is your choice.
    But for me and my family I look at it like this: any avid garndener or organic food eater knows….the best food comes from that which you have grown yourself. Young Living grows it’s own plants on their very own farms. 7 farms on 5 continents. They are the only essential oil company in the world to do what they do. When I am using essential oils internally as supplements for my health, it is very important for me to know the source. Essential oil companies that do not have their own farms contract their crops thru independent farmers, GMO and authenticity testing are often not present when that product is presented for purchase. For me personally, I need to know how pure, how authentic and how riguorous the testing was that was done for products that I am putting in or on my children. Their safety comes first. I can step onto ANY of the YL farms and watch the process from seed to seal. That for me….means EVERYTHING. I don’t have respect for a company that has wrongfully taken confidential information and propietary formulations from a previous employer for their own personal gain.
    But again,, to each their own. My intention was not upset anyone but doing a post about Young Living. It’s what I personally choose to use (for the reasons listed above) so when I came time to write this, that is obviously the company I was going to refer to in my post. I did countless hours of research when I first became interested in eo’s to ensure that I was making the best, most informed decision for me and my family and I suggest every else to do the same!


  12. I am very interested in the essential oils. This may sound stupid, but I am not sure how to use them.


  13. […] OTC’s Vs. Natural Remedies Using Essential Oils […]


  14. […] OTCs VS. Natural Remedies Using Essential Oils […]


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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