Especially if skin sensitivity is a concern, definitely ALWAYS dilute your essential oil with a common neutral carrier oil (also called base oils) before application. Carrier oils are typically cold-pressed oils and do not evaporate like essential oils do, but they can go rancid where essential oils will not. Your choice of carrier oil will depend a bit on preference of smell, texture, and sensitivities to avoid allergic reactions. Popular choices for carrier oils are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil or grape seed oil.
Analysis using gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) establishes the quality of essential oils. These techniques are able to measure the levels of components to a few parts per billion. This does not make it possible to determine whether each component is natural or whether a poor oil has been 'improved' by the addition of synthetic aromachemicals, but the latter is often signaled by the minor impurities present. For example, linalool made in plants will be accompanied by a small amount of hydro-linalool, whilst synthetic linalool has traces of dihydro-linalool.
Essential oils extracted from plants (literally taking the “essence” of the scent and flavor of the plant or herb) have been used for medicinal and wellness purposes for centuries. Sometimes the benefits come from rubbing the oils into the skin but they can also be added to warm baths or misters to inhale for aromatherapy benefits. Depending on the oil, they can be used to ease headaches or muscle pain, help with emotional issues like anxiety and stress. Some oils (such as peppermint, lavender, and lemon) have more than one purpose and can be blended, so we checked out kits that cover the basics. When choosing, make sure these collections include any personal favorites. We also looked for oils that are naturally derived rather than having gone through a chemical process. This ensures they are purer and less diluted, with authentic aromas to create a pleasing scent to ease your aches and pains — or, just to make bath time into a spa ritual.
Aromatherapists, people who specialize in the practice of aromatherapy, utilize blends of supposedly therapeutic essential oils that can be used as topical application, massage, inhalation or water immersion. There is no good medical evidence that aromatherapy can either prevent, treat, or cure any disease. Placebo-controlled trials are difficult to design, as the point of aromatherapy is the smell of the products. There is disputed evidence that it may be effective in combating postoperative nausea and vomiting.
DO: Read as much as you can about aromatherapy. It is very easy to get started with aromatherapy, but there are safety issues that you need to be aware of. AromaWeb offers safety tips and information to help you on your way, but you are wise to read even further on the important subject of essential oil safety. Visit the Book Shelf for categorized essential oil book reviews.
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Topically – this is the most popular way to use it. (and what I do most of the time) Place on your head (around the crown), behind ears, wrists or on the vita flex points. You can dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (any natural vegetable oil is fine too, such as grape seed, olive, avocado or jojoba) to reduce the strength or smell of the oil if it’s too much.
The use of essential oils for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs. Oils were used for aesthetic pleasure and in the beauty industry. It was a luxury item and a means of payment. It was believed the essential oils increased the shelf life of wine and improved the taste of food.