Safe Use of Aromatherapy Products
ESSENTIAL OILS are an incredible thing and are becoming more popular every day. They can be used in a myriad of ways. Topically on the body, in a diffuser, with steam inhalation, in household cleaning products, etc. I find myself reaching for my oils and my product daily and am proud of that. But, one thing you have to know is they are potent! Essential oils are super concentrated properties of the plant they represent and it takes a lot of plant to make essential oil. Using them neat (meaning without diluting them) is not always such a good thing. I don't take them internally, mostly because I have been advised not to, but also because its not necessarily the best pathway into your system. The gut destroys a lot in its path of digestion.
Did you ever notice, when something smells really, really good, say your favorite perfume and that you stop smelling it after just a short time of applying it? This does not mean that there is no scent left on you. It means that your body knows its not a threat and your olfactory system via your brain made a decision that the smell is not a threat. Ever notice a bad smell and how it lingers and doesn't go away until you either move out of its range or perhaps use a room spray? It's your system telling you something is wrong and to get away from it, that it cant be good for you.
There are oils for all sorts of problems. But they can also cause problems if used in the wrong way. Take citrus oils Lime, Grapefruit, Bitter Orange, Bergamot & Lemon as well as Angelica & Rue. If you use any of these on your skin, you should think twice about going out into the sun with them on for a 24 hour period, unless of course you are a fan of rash and redness! They are photo-toxic. Not fun. But do notice that Sweet Orange essential oil is not on the list above. What I am telling you, is if you do not have the knowledge of essential oils to use them safely, you should be consulting someone who does have that knowledge.
A blog I follow called Wellness Mama states:
"In most cases, essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the time, essential oils should only be used undiluted under the care and guidance of a trained medical or aromatherapy practitioner. Due to the small molecular size of essential oils, they can penetrate the skin easily and enter the bloodstream."
Chemical composition is another thing to think about. Certain oils are irritants. Think: Cinnamon, Clove, Thyme & Nutmeg. You really need to know what you are doing when using essential oils. I know, I know, they smell great, it fun to use oils that smell so darn good! Used in the correct manner and with guidance from someone who has the knowledge, you can have blends made specifically for you, for anything that you might possibly need them for. Not only do I sell all these everyday products on my site but I can also consult and make a essential oil brew specifically for you. Don't be afraid to ask!
Another huge topic is using essential oils with children & while pregnant. My next post will cover this topic so please keep posted!
For now, here are a number of methods in how to use essential oils. These are my favorites...
Take a bath. These include, small foot or hand baths, full bath or a sitz. Using 6-8 drops total per adult, always using a carrier to disperse into the water, I like to use salts. With a full body bath, AVOID irritating oils such as peppermint, spice, & citrus oils (these again, be wary of summer months especially and citrus oils phototoxicity). A bath is incredible for stress and tension, insomnia issues, & respiratory complaints. Water and heat increases absorption of essential oils.
Inhalation Inahlation can be had in different ways, with a diffuser, steam inhalation (my favorite, see below), room sprays, tissue, humidifier, potpourri pots, even aroma spheres and worn in jewelry. I've been known to put some citrus oil on a cotton ball and put it in my vacuum!
Massage Ahh, massage, I can help you here too and make all sorts of blends for massage oil applications. A 3% dilution in a vegetable, nut or seed oils carriers or in an unscented lotion. A slightly higher dilution can be used for certain circumstances needing special attention.
Old school steam inhalation– 1-3 drops in a bowl of hot water, place a towel over your head & keep eyes closed. Breathe deeply through the nose for about 2 minutes. This is best for respiratory issues where a blend is made specifically for the issue at hand. An excellent way to get the oils into the system.
Compresses – Using hot, cold and/or alternating the temperatures. these are great for local treatments for muscle and joint aches & pains, injury, headaches & menstrual pain. You can even have a whole body wrap to encourage the release of toxins as well as for relaxation and stress release.