Whilst this can seem confusing, the best advice for oil selection is to test which scents you like the smell of, because the ones your body needs tend to show themselves as the ones you like! This can change daily depending on your healing needs at the time. On our website, you can read a description of the scent and learn more about the properties of the oils and their therapeutic effects. Check out the ‘Safety Notes’ before you use them and check with your GP if you are pregnant or have more serious conditions such as epilepsy or blood pressure problems.
The thing to check is that the essential oil is good quality and pure, and not a synthetic fragrance: this is where most people get confused. Essential oils are extracted from a single botanical source by distillation or expression; they are pure plant extract. This is what gives them their powerful therapeutic benefits – it is no good using synthetic fragrance oils.
“An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Some important information that you should know about an essential oil is the botanical name, chemotype (if applicable), origin of plant (this can drastically change the chemical constituents percentages) and extraction method.” (source)
There is an immense amount of studies exploring the concerns that essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin when used in undiluted form.[26][27] Therefore, they are normally diluted with a carrier oil for topical application, such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Phototoxic reactions may occur with citrus peel oils such as lemon or lime.[28] Also, many essential oils have chemical components that are sensitisers (meaning that they will, after a number of uses, cause reactions on the skin, and more so in the rest of the body). Chemical composition of essential oils could be affected by herbicides if the original plants are cultivated versus wild-harvested.[29][30] Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals, with cats being particularly prone.[31]
Aromatherapy is a pseudoscience based on the usage of aromatic materials, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds, with claims for improving psychological or physical well-being.[1] It is offered as a complementary therapy or as a form of alternative medicine, the first meaning alongside standard treatments,[2] the second instead of conventional, evidence-based treatments.[3]
Shown to the right is a bottle with a rubber dropper top. It's okay to use a bottle with dropper top to store essential oils that are blended with carrier oils at very low dilution for a few months or less. However, do not store pure, undiluted essential oils in bottles with rubber dropper tops. The rubber will turn to mush and ruin the oil. It's okay if the bottle has a plastic orifice reducer (euro dropper) insert inside the bottle as the material can withstand essential oils.
There are two ways that essential oils can enter the body to create an effect: they can either be absorbed through the skin or inhaled through the nose. Through the skin, the molecules enter through the hair follicles, sweat glands and fat molecules on the skin, entering your lymphatic and blood systems to get circulated around your body, going to the places they are needed most. Inhaling an essential oil gets the essential oil molecules into your body via your olfactory system (sense of smell) and limbic system (the emotional part of your brain) – going to the brain and your respiratory system. Once in the body, they work their way to where they are needed and where they can begin to trigger healing: in a similar way to how taking a pain-relieving tablet works.
Having discussed the many ways we can get the oils into your system, how do we know which oils to use? Firstly, it is important to think about your objectives for using essential oils. Are you hoping to become more relaxed? Are you wanting to sleep better? Do you feel like you need reviving with a boost to your immune system? Are you wanting to detox? Do you have congestion following a cold? Are you in need of an antiseptic? Do you need uplifting? Are your hormones in need of balancing? There are different essential oils for all of these different things; some of them working on several ailments at once.
Hey Karen, There’s so much information on essential oils and much of it comes from MLM companies looking to sell lots of oils (much like Avon). These companies work on a commission basis and encourage reps to push information that’s not always safe or studied. I think much of the information on ingesting oils comes from these companies and sellers. I wouldn’t advise ingesting oils unless under the care of a natural doctor that knows what they are doing. One of the best sources for all-things essential oil safety is this independent site run by a certified aromatherapist: http://www.learningabouteos.com/. Plant Therapy also provides great information on their blog. Hope that helps :).
Frankincense also demonstrates anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects when tested in lab studies and on animals — specifically, helping to fight the cells of specific types of cancer. (7c) A 2012 study showed that a chemical compound found in frankincense called AKBA may kill cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy. (7d)
Thieves is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. It is one of the more popular essential oils and is commonly used for immune support. Thieves is your go-to for an invigoratingly clean and spicy scent that smells more like fall baking than harsh cleaning formulas – great to use in homemade cleaning products!

The intervention group inhaled lavender oil for 15 days and researchers found that they showed significantly significant differences in their sleep quality compared to the control group that received no form of therapy. Researchers pointed out that lavender oil is a non-invasive, inexpensive and easily applicable intervention for hospital patients who are having trouble sleeping and experiencing anxiety. (21)

There are also quite a few studies that have found essential oils to be helpful for hair growth. One such study, conducted in 2015, evaluated the efficacy of rosemary oil on patients with androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern baldness. Patients were randomly assigned to rosemary oil or minoxidil (a medication commonly used for hair loss) for a six-month treatment period. Researchers found that both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the six-month endpoint. They also indicated that scalp itching was more frequent in the minoxidil group. (17)
Thank you SO much for the great info. I am currently in nursing school but am so interested in learning about more holistic alternatives and have been wanting to experiment with essential oils for quite some time but have always felt overwhelmed with where to begin! So I think I will start with one of the kits from plant therapy (the one that comes with 7 I think) and this might be a silly question, can I use any diffuser with essential oils or does it have to be a certain one? And also, do you have to use a carrier oil with the diffuser or just put the essential oil in ? Thanks in advance for your guidance !
Adding essential oils to your bath is an amazing way to take a relaxing time-out during your busy day. Buy a box of simple Epsom salts as the base for your essential oils. If you just drop the oils into the water, they will not dissolve as nicely as they do when first mixed into the salts, who then dissolve beautifully. Please don’t combine any other chemically produced soaps or products into this mix in an effort to fully enjoy all the benefits of the essential oil and Epsom salts alone.
Young children and the elderly may be more sensitive to essential oils. So you may need to dilute them more. And you should totally avoid some oils, like birch and wintergreen. In even small amounts, those may cause serious problems in kids 6 or younger because they contain a chemical called methyl salicylate. Don’t use essential oils on a baby unless your pediatrician says it’s OK.
The intervention group inhaled lavender oil for 15 days and researchers found that they showed significantly significant differences in their sleep quality compared to the control group that received no form of therapy. Researchers pointed out that lavender oil is a non-invasive, inexpensive and easily applicable intervention for hospital patients who are having trouble sleeping and experiencing anxiety. (21)
Whilst many people think that the ‘massage’ element is the main event when they go for an Aromatherapy treatment, it is actually more about choosing the best essential oils and allowing them to work their magic. It is the power of the essential oils that is key: the massage therapy simply creates an environment that allows the oils to work at their best, with the help of trained professionals. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t use essential oils at home; you can - the art is just in selecting the most appropriate oils and using them safely to create the desired effects.
The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function. 
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