Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

What are essential oils? What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils—volatile, or easily evaporating, plant extracts—to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. When used correctly and safely, essential oils can provide numerous health benefits.   

Essential oils are pure essences extracted from plants through methods such as steam distillation, expression, CO2 extraction and solvent extraction.  

They may be used for aromatherapy in a variety of ways, but the most common utilizations are inhalation (through diffusion) and topical (when diluted).   

It is important to note that essential oils are not the same as fragrance or perfume oils. Inhaling a natural essential oil will stimulate the brain to trigger a physical reaction, and when inhaled into the lungs, the natural constituents of essential oils can provide healing benefits. In contrast, products that contain artificial ingredients will NOT provide true aromatherapy benefits! For example, inhaling eucalyptus essential oil can assist many in decreasing congestion; inhaling eucalyptus fragrance oil will not.   

Essential oils can also be blended to create unique and complex aromas. Some blends may work synergistically to be greater in total action and benefit than individual oils.   

No matter what your ailment or concern, there is sure to be an essential oil to help you find relief and aid in healing.

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Safety Information

Essential oils should NOT be inhaled directly.

Always diffuse first.

 

Some oils can cause sensitization or allergic reaction in some individuals. Always do a small patch test when using an oil topically for the first time.  

 

Essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy, and by those with asthma, epilepsy, or other serious health issues unless directed by an accredited practitioner. Also avoid using essential oils before sun exposure, as some oils are highly phototoxic and can cause severe sun damage.

LESS is MORE. When using essential oils, use the smallest amount possible to get the job done, and avoid toxicity and sensitivity.

Not all oils are suitable for aromatherapeutic use. Do your research before using any essential oils. 


Keep all essential oils away from children.
Treat them as you would medicine—they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Essential oils should never be taken internally without instruction from a trained and accredited practitioner.

Essential oils are extremely volatile and flammable. Keep away from heat and flame.

When in doubt, don’t! If you’re not sure about something when it comes to aromatherapy, then you should check with a reliable source first. Never take any chances when it comes to your health.

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Do's and 

Don'ts for

Beginners


Do your research! There are many reputable books, websites and people with a vast amount of credible information on essential oils and aromatherapy, and many provide safety and quality tips you should familiarize yourself with. Some great sources include aromaweb.com, Aromatherapy for Dummies by Kathi Keville, and Reference Guide for Essential Oils compiled by C. and A. Higley.

Don’t
purchase synthetic perfume or fragrance oils thinking they are the same thing as essential oils.

Do be picky about the quality of the oils you purchase and use. Get as much information as you can regarding purity, origins and sources of the essential oils before you purchase them, and make sure you buy from a reputable seller. Chances are, if you’re buying a gallon of rose essential oil for $50, you’re not getting pure oil.

Don’t
be fooled by “pure” and “natural” labels, as these terms are not regulated and do not necessarily describe quality.

Do
keep your oils and blends in dark glass containers (cobalt blue or amber) for long-term storage, and keep them in a cool, dark place.


Essential Oils Blending Basics with Recipes and Dilution Guidelines

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What can essential oils do for me?

  • Kill bacteria, viruses and fungi 
  • Seal and heal wounds 
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Regulate hormones 
  • Tone and moisturize skin 
  • Stimulate the immune system 
  • Repel bugs 
  • Aid in blood circulation and digestion
  • Decrease sinus and lung congestion
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    Why choose essential oils in place of over-the-counter drugs?

  • Less expensive overall 
  • Easy to use, compact to carry 
  • Works with the body, not against it 
  • Gets to the source of the problem, not just the symptoms 
  • Works quickly 
  • Can be used in conjunction with many medications 
  • Leaves the body quickly without residue 
  • Very few –if any—side effects

  • "And ‘tis my faith that every flower / Enjoys the air it breathes." William Wordsworth

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