Oils with standardized content of components (marked FCC, for Food Chemicals Codex) are required[by whom?] to contain a specified amount of certain aroma chemicals that normally occur in the oil. There is no law that the chemicals cannot be added in synthetic form to meet the criteria established by the FCC for that oil. For instance, "lemongrass essential oil must contain 75% aldehyde to meet the FCC profile for that oil, but that aldehyde can come from a chemical refinery instead of from lemongrass."  To say that FCC oils are "food grade" makes them seem natural when they are not necessarily so.
A pilot study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy helped to reduce anxiety and depression scales in postpartum women. Women between zero and 18 months postpartum were divided into either a treatment group that inhaled a blend of rose and lavender oils or a control group that didn’t receive any type of aromatherapy. After four weeks, the women using aromatherapy had significant improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms compared to those in the control group. (12)
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.
Hi Kristin, I have just bought myself Lemon & Lavender EO and enjoying using them as much as possible in my daily life – with the participation of hubby and the kids. I thank my lucky stars for leading me to your site. Now, I’ve got better sources of info : Plant Therapy & ‘Learning About EOs’. I’ve been so confused with the conflicting infos in the many books & sites out there that I become suspicious of EO sites, especially those linked to MLM. Thank you for sharing. 😀
There are three different categories of oils: top notes, middle notes and base notes. Generally, top notes are more stimulating, uplifting and refreshing and base notes are more sedating and relaxing, though this is not always the case. Whilst not always strictly accurate, another good general guide to this is that citrus oils (Lemon, Lime etc) can often be top notes, uplifting and stimulating, whereas floral oils (Lavender, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Rose etc) are more middle to base notes and more relaxing.
Aromatically – this may be the most well know way to use essential oils. Through a diffuser you’re able to fill the air with the essence of that essential oil allowing it to get into your lungs and therefore you’re blood stream. Be sure to look at your diffuser to get the correct water to oil ratio. Even if you don’t have a diffuser you could simply take a few drops from the bottle into the palm of your hands. Cup your hands around your mouth and nose and take deep breaths in of the oil.
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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)
And a 2014 study involving 82 participants evaluated the effectiveness of aromatherapy for elderly people with chronic pain and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers found that after four weeks of treatment with essential oils, there was a significant reduction in negative emotions, including feelings of anxiety, stress and depression, among the intervention group. (13)
Because a little bit of oil goes a very long way, a starter set of oils lasts months (if not longer) in our house. It’s a good thing the shelf life of oils is around 1-2 years. One of my favorite sets that includes seven basic oils and seven synergy blends is the “14 Essential Oil Set” from Plant Therapy. This set contains the majority of oils needed to make most of my homemade products, along with therapeutic synergies (blends of individual oils).
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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.
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.
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.
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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.