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 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)
“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)
Some Essential Oils work best when they’re massaged directly onto the skin. For example, you can ease headache pain by rubbing one drop of neat Lavender Essential Oil onto your temples. Always use a base oil (like olive oil, safflower oil, or any other vegetable oil), and add a couple drops to that before applying to your skin. The only exceptions are Lavender and Tea Tree oil, which can be applied undiluted, if desired.
Essential oils may help to reduce toxicity by promoting the detoxification of your home and body. These days, we are all inhaling and ingesting a number of chemicals and environmental toxins that can be dangerous for our health. Some work as mild diuretics, thereby increasing urine production and improving detoxification. And some oils aid digestion and promote the detoxification of toxins that buildup in the body. (18)
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.
While some advocate the ingestion of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, licensed aromatherapy professionals do not recommend self-prescription due to the highly toxic nature of some essential oils. Some very common oils like eucalyptus are extremely toxic when taken internally. Doses as low as 2 mL have been reported to cause clinically significant symptoms and severe poisoning can occur after ingestion of as little as 4 mL. A few reported cases of toxic reactions like liver damage and seizures have occurred after ingestion of sage, hyssop, thuja and cedar oils. Accidental ingestion may happen when oils are not kept out of reach of children. As with any bioactive substance, an essential oil that may be safe for the general public could still pose hazards for pregnant and lactating women.
Tea Tree essential oil, also known as Melaleuca or Melaleuca Alternifolia oil, is one of the most widely used and extensively researched essential oils, making it a must-have for every home. Because the benefits of Tea Tree oil include cleansing properties and a refreshing scent, this versatile oil can be used for everything from home cleaning solutions to skin care. Keep a bottle of Tea Tree in your house to make homemade household cleaners, air fresheners, and linen spritzers. You can also find a world of uses for Tea Tree in your personal care and beauty routine. Incorporate this moisturizing yet cleansing oil into skin care applications and hair treatments for a spa-quality upgrade! You can use Frankincense to help heal Sunburn (dilute it with coconut oil), apply to cold sores or any infection as it helps kill the virus.
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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.
Another researched essential oils benefit is their role in aiding and improving digestion. Some oils help to relieve upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach spasms and even conditions of the gastrointestinal system, such as IBS. Oils can also aid your digestion by helping to stimulate digestive enzymes that make it easier to break down and absorb the nutrients, fats and protein that you need.
Attempt to keep your breath relaxed as you inhale. Notice if it gets caught in the body or if it flows in and out with ease. A deep breath isn’t a sniff. If you practice slow, deep breaths, your body will send signals to your mind that it needs to relax – and your entire body will follow. Your body and mind aren’t separate things, and sometimes tricking the body to relax first, is going go put the mind in a position to achieve relaxation as well.
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.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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.
Also, you would want the oils to be pressed out at lower temperatures since that saves the good properties of the plants. These sort of essential oils are more expensive too. You should really just dig deeper and see what works for you money wise. Obviously, doTERRA and Young Living essential oils are known for the high quality but they’re expensive. Although, some essential oils are cheaper than the others, so definitely look into that!
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)
Used the right way, they can help you feel better with few side effects. For example, you may feel less nauseated from chemotherapy cancer treatment if you breathe in ginger vapors. You may be able to fight certain bacterial or fungal infections, including the dangerous MRSA bacteria, with tea tree oil. In one study, tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in easing symptoms of a fungal foot infection.
You can use essential oils in any number of ways. For example, add them to body lotions or carrier oils, and then apply them topically. Try enhancing a facial toner, shampoo, or conditioner with essential oils. Or incorporate them into liquid soap, toothpaste, or mouthwash. You can also diffuse or spritz the oils throughout a room or pour them into a bath.