Dr Salleh bin Omar, senior family physician from Raffles Medical, says: “If there are comprehensive studies and trials done to prove that a particular essential oil is effective and safe, it can be used as medicine. For example, thymol, an essential oil found in thyme, is commonly used as an antiseptic gargle for sore throats.”
But for Ana Ow, founder of health and wellness portal One Drop Nirvana, essential oils are a lifestyle choice. The mother of two started using them three years ago when her son Keyaan, then two years old, fell sick frequently. After a month of oiling, Ana says Keyaan’s health grew more robust and he stopped falling ill.
Now, Ana only uses therapeuticgrade essential oils from US brand Young Living as a substitute for medicines. “My family and I are completely drug-free. I use essential oils to build up our immunity; when we succumb to the occasional cough, flu, fever or stomach ache, we usually recover within a day or two.” She points out that oils should be of top quality so they’re safe to use.