DO: Learn to compare apples to apples when shopping for oils. Anise, Lavender, Bay, Cedarwood, and Eucalyptus are examples of the common names of plants used to create essential oils. There, however, are different varieties of each of these plants. To differential these varieties, the botanical name (also referred to as the Latin name) is used to tell them apart. For instance, two different oils are referred to as "Bay essential oil," yet they come from two different plants. The properties and aroma of each oil do differ as does the general cost between the two. It, therefore, is important to pay attention to the botanical name. In the case of Bay, the common botanical names for the two oils used in this example are Pimenta racemosa and Laurus nobilis. For more information, read AromaWeb's Guide to The Importance of Using Botanical Names With Essential Oils.
Beginning to use essential oils is the start of an incredible aromatic journey. I created AromaWeb over 20 years ago because essential oils played a highly beneficial role in my life and I was (and still am!) eager to share insight into the safe and effective use of essential oils. Below are several important aromatherapy tips for beginners and those that are new to using essential oils.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Household Tips and Life Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I'm super-organized. And I LOVE to clean! I even enjoy doing laundry (but not ironing). I’m also a lifelong dog owner -- so I often share my favorite tips for living with dogs inside your home (like smart home design choices and dog-friendly cleaning & decorating ideas). Career-wise, I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). Prior to that, I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about instead. For example, I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. When I’m not cleaning, organizing, decorating, or fixing something… you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).
Most oils can be toxic to humans as well. A report of three cases documented gynecomastia in prepubertal boys who were exposed to topical lavender and tea tree oils. The Aromatherapy Trade Council of the UK issued a rebuttal. The Australian Tea Tree Association, a group that promotes the interests of Australian tea tree oil producers, exporters and manufacturers issued a letter that questioned the study and called on the New England Journal of Medicine for a retraction. Another article published by a different research group also documented three cases of gynecomastia in prepubertal boys who were exposed to topical lavender oil.
There is no good medical evidence that aromatherapy can prevent or cure any disease. For cancer patients, aromatherapy has been found to lower anxiety and depression symptoms. In 2015, the Australian Government's Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; aromatherapy was one of 17 therapies evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found.
In the era of modern medicine, the naming of this treatment first appeared in print in 1937 in a French book on the subject: Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales by René-Maurice Gattefossé [fr], a chemist. An English version was published in 1993. In 1910, Gattefossé burned a hand very badly and later claimed he treated it effectively with lavender oil.
Simple smells such as lavender, chamomile, and rosewater may help keep you calm. You can breathe in or rub diluted versions of these oils on your skin. Scientists think they work by sending chemical messages to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion. Although these scents alone won’t take all your stress away, the aroma may help you relax.
Hey Natalie, I personally don’t like the multiple level marketing tactics of the big companies. I know many of the reps are genuine, but I also think there’s a lot of misinformation and disregard for safety promoted by many of the representatives selling oils for these companies because they are motivated by selling more and more (commissions, higher rank–reaching diamond level, etc. ). I’m not saying this is everyone, but I’ve seen this behavior demonstrated often by the model of selling. Plus, many of their claims are pure marketing gimmick (they have good oils, but their marketing that “their oils are the only pure oils” is nonsense). Because their reps receive a large commission on sales, the oils are far more expensive than they need to be (based on my research). I have nothing against these companies, but the practices I’ve witnessed over the years is enough to keep me away.
DO: Purchasing oils from reputable mail-order companies may result in obtaining higher quality oils at less expense than purchasing oils from a generic local health food establishment. Again, there is a wide variance in the quality of oils from company to company and store to store. Although AromaWeb does not make an endorsement of any establishment, the Global Aromatherapy Business Directory lists a variety of companies that sell essential oils and aromatherapy products.
Essential oils are available online, in health food stores, and in some regular supermarkets. It’s important to buy from a reputable producer since the oils aren’t regulated by the FDA. This ensures you’re buying a quality product that is 100 percent natural. It shouldn’t contain any additives or synthetic ingredients. Check out these essential oils available on Amazon.