1. EVEN THOUGH AN OIL SAYS IT IS PURE DOES NOT MEAN IT’S GOOD QUALITY
Essential oils can be labelled pure but not be the best quality. Plant products can have very different chemical compositions depending on the conditions or geographical areas that they are grown in. Quality can also be affected by the way the oil is extracted from the plant product. For example Lavender that is grown in the Mediterranean region is typically high in the chemical components linalool and linalyl acetate which gives it the highest therapeutic value. Lavender oil that is grown in other climates may have a very different chemical composition and therefore may not be as beneficial. When buying essential oils, you should buy from a supplier that has done the research to ensure that the oil they are selling is pure and meets the industry standard for chemical constitutes. This information is found through a process called GC-MS analysis (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry). You can research where the plant product is harvested and whether or not the company can explain the main chemical components of the oil to ensure you are getting the most benefit from you oil.
2. JUST BECAUSE ITS NATURAL DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS SAFE
Essential oils are highly potent. It often takes a huge amount of plant product to make a single drop of essential oil. Some essential oils can cause complications with health conditions or may not be safe when used in higher concentrations. It is best to seek advice from a trusted source prior to using oils. Robert Tisserand is the most trusted source in aromatherapy safety. His text ‘Essential Oil Safety’ is a reputable source for information when you question how to use an oil safely. You can also seek advice from a Certified Aromatherapist or other qualified health professional.
3. OILS SHOULD ALWAYS BE DILUTED BEFORE TOPICAL USE
Since essential oils are so potent, you should always dilute them prior to applying them to your skin. It is typically recommended to use no more than a 5% concentration of essential oil. You can dilute your essential oil in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba, safflower oil, etc. You can select the carrier oil based on convenience or the intended goal of the treatment. Some carrier oils can be more beneficial for certain conditions. For example, jojoba is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties so you may choose this if you are looking to use your oil for either oF these purposes. If you choose to use an essential oil without dilution you can risk adverse reactions such as skin sensitivity, over stimulating your nervous system, or developing an allergy to the plant product because of overexposure.
4. YOU SHOULD NEVER INGEST AN ESSENTIAL OIL (UNLESS ADVISED TO DO SO BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL)
Your mucous membranes in your digestive system are delicate and as mentioned, essential oils are potent (can’t say it enough!!) Not to mention that you need to be educated since some plant products are poisonous when consumed but have incredible benefits when diffused in the air or applied topically – for example, Eucalyptus. Some oils are also ‘hot’ oils and can cause burning to the mucous membranes – for example, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger. Another factor to consider is that overuse of essential oils can eventually cause damage to your liver. Your liver filters what goes into your body and overusing essential oils, whether topically without dilution or through ingestion, can cause irreparable damage.
SOME OILS CAN CAUSE PHOTOSENSITIVITY – DON’T WEAR THEM IN THE SUN!
On a summer day an uplifting citrus oil can be just what you need to keep your mood light and joyous all day. Did you know that several citrus oils can make your skin sensitive to the sun (photosensitive)? You may love the uplifting aroma but the risk of sunburn on the area of application is not worth it. Instead, if you are going to be in the sun, wear your citrus scents on aromatherapy jewelery instead of directly on your skin. That way you can keep the pleasant, mood brightening scent with you all day and still enjoy the sun without added risk of sunburn.
ALL THE INFORMATION CAN BE OVERWHELMING BUT DON’T LET IT DETER YOU FROM ENJOYING THE BENEFIT OF THESE AMAZING PRODUCTS…
When used safely, essential oils are incredibly beneficial. Don’t be deterred from using them but make sure that you consult a reputable source for information on how to use them safely. You don’t need to be an expert yourself…instead, find an expert in your area that you can consult with to see what oils work best for you and how to use them safely and affectively. Our clinical aromatherapist is always happy to answer any questions you may have. Book a consult or send us a message.