Essential oils, IV drips and oat milk: Oh my!

This semester we’ve talked a lot about health, with topics ranging from what to eat when literally nothing looks good to the great sport of racquetball. But health and wellness, two of the topics under the wide umbrella of lifestyle, are comprised of more than just eating well and working out. In light of this, I’m going to utilize my momentary grasp on your attention span to dive into the hippy-dippiest health trends of 2019. Before we begin, please understand that I am the farthest thing from a healthcare professional – my snarky comments are no substitute for medical advice.

Oat milk: it’s milk made of oats! Truth be told, I’d never heard of oat milk before doing research for this article, because I like cow milk just fine, thank you very much. Apparently, oat milk has relatively the same consistency as real milk, is rich in nutrients and often takes to heat better than other forms of dairy-free milk. The biggest producer of oat milk is Oatly, a Swedish-based company whose product has taken the U.S. by storm, but Quaker, now owned by PepsiCo, plans to begin selling its own oat milk within the year. They want to get in the game with their own twist on what is currently the world’s best-selling milky alternative. You might be wondering what happened to everyone’s favorite milk substitute, almond milk, and how it was suddenly toppled from its dairy-free throne. As is turns out, the production of almond milk is quite costly to the environment at large. Regional watersheds are often crippled whenever almond growers move in, since fifteen gallons of water are required to produce just sixteen almonds. That means that over one hundred gallons of water go into the production of just a quarter gallon of milk. Yikes!

The next big trend makes me queasy, probably because I pass out every time I get blood drawn. It seems that well-off, cosmopolitan individuals are integrating IV drips into their wellness routine. You heard me: there are people out there who are paying to get stabbed in the arm and pumped with fluids. Originally marketed as a fastacting hangover cure, mineralinfused IV drips are now being used as a means by which one can brighten their complexion and boost immunity.

While there are no observed drawbacks to the practice (besides getting stabbed), medical professionals claim that there is no significant benefit, perhaps aside from being better hydrated. If you ask me, I’d recommend drinking water to get your hydration kick, as opposed to this costly and mildly painful practice. You know them and you love them: they’re essential oils! Using the oils of plants to provide remedy to pain and illness is an ancient practice that is back in full-swing, now being marketed as a catch-all cure for the common cold and oily skin. You can dilute essential oils with water and pump them into the air, wipe them on your face or mix them in your morning coffee – just a few of their many common uses. Some of the most popular oils are lavender, lemongrass, bergamot and tea tree oil (all of which smell delicious, in my opinion). But beware: many individuals have reported rashes and swelling due to overuse of essential oils. So before you go slathering that sweet orange oil all over your aching body, be sure to test it on a smaller area, like your wrist. Be smart and be safe. While it seems like these popular health trends pose no significant risk to the average individual, it cannot be said that any of them will give you the ability to shoot laser beams out of your eyes or smell colors. Neither will they necessarily give you an edge over your cow-milk loving, pill-popping roommate. A lot can be said for these practices, however, because a huge component of wellness is feeling good about yourself.

If shooting up minerals and downing oatmilk makes you feel healthy and happy, then you can absolutely go for it. Actualize your dream of bathing in a cocktail of essential oils. The only thing holding you back is the fear of being called basic (and maybe a nut allergy). What are you waiting for?

Ruth Holloway (’21) serves as a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Anchor alongside the brilliant Claire Buck. She is studying political science and history and in her spare time enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and finding good music for her radio show at WTHS. Ruth has applied to eleven graduate programs with the aspiration of becoming a professor of political science. If that doesn't work out, she will probably go off the grid and raise sled dogs in the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness.

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