*I received this book to review from Celebrate Lit. All opinions expressed are my own.
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In all of my years of writing book reviews, I don’t think I have actually gotten a book that I so strongly disagreed with that I had to stop reading it. The sad thing is that I really wanted to like this book. Many of you know that I sell essential oils and that one of my passions is sharing about how God created these oils to help us and support our bodies. So when I saw the title of this book I thought for sure it would line up with what I wanted to share with the world!
The first problem I really had was at the very beginning of the book. I prefer to recommend books that are non-company specific (I do not share about a brand or specifics here on the blog). Nowhere in the “about” section told me this would be anything less. However, the foreward and much of the beginning of the book felt like a tribute to a specific company and founder of said company. This was automatically a huge turn-off for a book that purported to be about understanding “God’s” provision for us. But I plugged on, because I figured I could probably recommend the rest.
Unfortunately, there were two HUGE ways I disagreed with this book (outside of those beginning thoughts).
One of the things this particular company likes to promote is that essential oils were used in the Bible. This is something I actually disagree with, for various reasons. I just don’t believe essential oils existed back then. Her argument is that distilleries existed during that time period. However, Dr Eric Zielinski, a renowned essential oil expert, believes that while museums have “three-thousand-year-old terra-cotta distillation appartuses on display (essential for creating alcoholic beverages)…the likelihood that anyone could have extracted essential oils from plants is slim to none.” (Healing Power of Essential Oils, page 15). The aromatic usage of plants is not disputed but they would have been applied through poultices, salves, and tinctures during that time period.
Ms Seacrest goes on to use many un-Biblical examples and analogies to explain why she believes we should be using essential oils. Examples like: “Imagine standing before Heaven’s gatekeeper and being told, ‘You know, you were not due here for another twenty years. Your mansion may not be ready yet. Just a minute, I’d better go check.'” (referring to the fact that essential oils can improve our quality of life) There is zero Biblical basis to even use this analogy (even though I completely understand what she is saying). The Bible is clear that our times are in the hands of the Lord. Acts 17:25 and 1 Timothy 6:13 both state that HE gives us life. James 4:14-15 clearly tells us that our life is a vapour (it has nothing to do with how healthy we treat our bodies) that only lives for a short time and then will vanish away. We can only say, “If the Lord will, we shall live…” The above example (and others she used in the book) could lead people to believe that they have a part in deciding how long they live. The lives of those around us have proved over and over that sometimes really unhealthy people live for a really long time and really healthy people often die young, simply because our lives are in the hands of the Lord.
When it comes to actual usage of essential oils, I also found her recommendations to be dramatic and, maybe even unsafe. My biggest thing is the safe use of essential oils. Most who use essential oils have heard that one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. Who drinks 28 cups of tea a day? Some things, to me, are just common sense. If you’re sick or suffer from chronic digestive issues, okay, maybe I could see being a little more free with our use. But for everyday issues I tend to err on the side of caution.
One recommendation she makes near the front of the book is to put 10 drops of Lavender oil in the bathtub and soak in it. Honestly, I’ve never had to use 10 drops of anything in the bathtub to create an amazing experience. I don’t think I’ve even used 5 drops of anything! Plus, most safety recommendations are to add the oils to something (like coconut oil or epsom salts) because the oils will not mix with the water and will essentially float on the surface of the water. The second problem with recommending 10 drops of Lavender is that there is no disclaimer that this is probably the only oil you could actually do that with and get away with it. Water is a driver, so if you were to add peppermint or something else to the water you could actually burn your skin stepping into 10 drops of peppermint. It would be very unpleasant and could have serious side effects. I don’t even want to think about what cinnamon oil would do!
I’ve also read studies that lavender oil may lower blood pressure (it is a calming oil) so even using this amount with lavender could have serious side effects. 7 drops of oil is the most I have seen recommended and that was for a detox bath (that included other ingredients to make the oils emulsify in your bath better – see: https://naturallivingfamily.com/essential-oils-for-detox-bath/ )
The part that really made me cringe, though, was when she talked about the anointing oil in the Bible. First, the author takes a quote from a science professor, David Stewart, that says, “The word ‘precious’ was never applied to olive oil alone, but always indicated the use of essential oils such as cassia, hyssop, and frankincense.” (page 56) and makes it sound like this is proof that the anointing oil was just essential oils. Which is not what he says. She never tells us what the recipe actually was for the anointing oil and implies more than once throughout this section that it was essential oils, which is not true.
The quote above merely states that “precious oils” does not refer to olive oil alone. This is because they were infused oils, which are vastly different from essential oils. The problem with implying different is that Ms Seacrest goes on to talk about the anointing of Aaron and his sons and how the oil ran down into his beard and through his clothes. If we understand her meaning to be that it was essential oils, then we will go on to read this part:
“Aaron and his sons were all anointed and set apart for the service of the Lord, through the anointing of oil in a most dramatic way. I believe the fragrance created an atmosphere absolutely thick with joy on that day. Remember, God is extravagant! So when you use your oils, choose to be extravagant with yourself. God is watching as you breathe in the life-giving fragrances.” (Page 62).
as saying that we should be extravagant with our essential oil. It could be taken, that one should pour a bottle of essential oil over ourselves so the oil runs down our faces into our clothes!
The fact is, anointing oil was made up of pure forms of the plant being infused in approximately 1 gallon of olive oil (Exodus 30:22-25), something completely different from essential oils. The equivalent would be approximately 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil (presumably olive).
See: https://feastingonjoy.com/diy-holy-anointing-oil/ and https://naturallivingfamily.com/12-healing-oils-of-the-bible/ and https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+30%3A22-33&version=LEB;CEB
There are so many references in this book that I disagree with on a Biblical and Physical level that I can’t even list them all. In the interest of disclosure, I did only read 1/3 of the book, but the fact that there is literally nothing I could recommend in that 1/3 is what led me to put the book down. I just can’t recommend something that goes against Biblical teaching and could potentially harm someone with the oil recommendations.
**Disclaimer: I am not an essential oil expert or a doctor but I respect the recommendations of those who are. I also respect the oils and their potency and as such, believe certain safety guidelines should be followed.
About the Book
Book: Essential Oils
Author: Terri Secrest
Genre: Christian Non-fiction, Alternative Therapies
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Have you ever wondered why the wise men brought frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus? As a curious and highly enthusiastic child, health and wellness coach Teri Secrest asked everyone she knew and met, but no one could tell her. She grew up thinking it was just a nice little story…but never stopped wondering.
This thirst for knowledge sparked Teri’s twenty-three-year quest to learn about essential oils. It has taken her to the far corners of the world—from Croatia and France to Oman, Israel, and beyond.
Teri has written this book to share the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. She hopes you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite oils and you feel this rich, biblical history come alive in your spirit. Teri wants you to see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.
Essential Oils: God’s Extravagant Provision for Your Health offers practical how-to’s that you can use immediately, including the use of oils for romance, balancing hormones, cooking, cleaning, pets, children, and fragrance, as well as health concerns such as stress, negative emotions, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and anxiety. You will find practical guidance to regain and maintain health naturally.
As you gain this understanding, Teri believes you will change the next generation as you discover the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Teri Secrest is a health and wellness expert whose passion is to teach simple and proven methods for vibrant health to people around the world. That passion is rooted in her early experiences of learning about whole foods and herbs in her family’s organic garden and her mother’s passion for good food as the owner of a French cooking school. These early lessons guided Teri to a healthy path for herself and her own family, yet it was her first astonishing experience with essential oils as a young mother that ignited her lifelong passion for learning, practicing, and teaching people to take hold of God’s extravagant provision for their health.
Teri has traveled around the world to learn from leading experts about the beneficial uses of essential oils, research the promises and properties of each essential oil, and develop a deep working knowledge of their applications for daily health and wellness.
Teri loves to share the simple, practical principles that will help you live in vibrant health through her international keynote speeches, training programs, and best-selling books. She is a sought-after speaker who delivers her message of vibrant health with such enthusiasm, humor, and joy that she has gained the nickname “Ambassador of Joy” around the world. Connect with Teri at http://terisecrest.com
More from Teri
My purpose in writing this book is to inspire you with the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. My hope is that you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite essential oils and that this rich biblical history comes alive in your spirit. I also hope you will see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.
As you gain this understanding, I believe you will change the next generation, as you will know the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.
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A Diva’s Heart, November 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 7
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 7
Moments, November 8
Quiet Workings, November 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 9
Emily Yager, November 9
Artistic Nobody, November 10
For Him and My Family, November 10
empowermoms, November 11
Stories By Gina , November 11
Vicky Sluiter, November 12
Jacquelyn Lynn, November 12
For the Love of Literature, November 13
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 13
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14
Splashes of Joy, November 14
Texas Book-aholic, November 15
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 15
janicesbookreviews, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 16
Betti Mace, November 17
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 17
A Reader’s Brain, November 18
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18
Inklings and notions, November 19
Livin’ Lit, November 19
To celebrate her tour, Teri is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of her book and $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
lso respect the oils and their potency and as such, believe certain safety guidelines should be followed.