Health authorities issue alarming warning about essential oils

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

The public have been issued a stern warning not to ingest essential oils - a practice often spruiked as a natural remedy by those in aromatherapy.

Queensland Health shared the reminder to its Facebook on Tuesday, but triggered a diverse range of reactions from more than 2000 social media users.

While many thought it was ridiculous the organisation should need to point out something so obvious, others argued in favour of benefits ingesting oils could have.

“Essential oils are not safe to consume and can result in poisoning if ingested, especially for young children,” the post read.

“Only use medicines as directed by a medical professional and always check product guidelines before use.”

Queensland Health has warned the public not to ingest essential oils. Source: File/Getty Images

One claimed they had ingested “essential oils regularly” and for years had experienced nothing but positive effects, saying they were “perfectly healthy”.

Another said they had an adverse reaction to essential oils after being recommended them by an “unqualified wellness advocate”.

Someone claiming to have a Diploma in Aromatherapy said they considered it irresponsible when others in her field told people it was okay to ingest essential oils.

“I will not support the businesses selling these way over priced products. It’s just pyramid selling,” they wrote in a comment.

Many were quick to assume the public announcement followed increased hospital admissions from people ingesting essential oils.

Others were infuriated at the “blanket statement” made by the government organisation, asking those in charge to “become more educated” on the topic.

“You need to become more educated on natural therapies. I am ashamed that you would make a blanket statement like this. It tells me that you are not committed to best care for those in your care,” the comment read.

Several more expressed how they “never thought I would see a warning like this”, posing the question: “Who would ingest essential oils and why?”.

The government warning followed the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) issuing advice last month telling people it was not safe to drink essential oils.

“Sometimes we are asked if it is OK to drink essential oils. Our advice: usually not a good idea!,” the post to Facebook on July 25 read.

“Essential oils are highly concentrated, which means many of them are poisonous even in small doses, especially for children. For example, a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil can be poisonous.

“As a general rule, use any medicine only as directed by an appropriate health professional.”

Queensland Health has been contacted for clarification on what prompted the post and for more details on what it hoped to achieve.

Yahoo News Australia has also contacted the Therapeutic Goods Administration for a comment on their warning.

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