Cumin oil, which is safe to use in your food, can cause blisters if you put it on your skin.  Citrus oils that are safe in your food may be bad for your skin, especially if you go out into the sun. And the opposite is true, too. Eucalyptus or sage oil may soothe you if you rub it on your skin or breathe it in. But swallowing them could can cause a serious complication, like a seizure.

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.


Evidence for the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating medical conditions is poor, with a particular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology.[19][20] A number of systematic reviews have studied the clinical effectiveness of aromatherapy in respect to pain management in labor,[21] the treatment of post-operative nausea and vomiting,[6] managing challenging behaviors in people who have dementia,[22] and symptom relief in cancer.[23] However, some studies have come to the conclusion that while it does improve the patient's mood, there is no conclusive evidence on how it works with pain management.[24] Studies have been inconclusive because of the fact that no straightforward evidence exists. All of these reviews report a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of aromatherapy.[17]

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.[15] 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.[citation needed]
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.

Evidence for the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating medical conditions is poor, with a particular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology.[19][20] A number of systematic reviews have studied the clinical effectiveness of aromatherapy in respect to pain management in labor,[21] the treatment of post-operative nausea and vomiting,[6] managing challenging behaviors in people who have dementia,[22] and symptom relief in cancer.[23] However, some studies have come to the conclusion that while it does improve the patient's mood, there is no conclusive evidence on how it works with pain management.[24] Studies have been inconclusive because of the fact that no straightforward evidence exists. All of these reviews report a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of aromatherapy.[17]

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]
What is an essential oil? Typically created through the process of distillation — which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming — they are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. In fact, sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. (1) They also are simply called aromatherapy oils.
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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.
There are many oils that may be applied topically or used aromatically to reduce body aches and pains. One study that displays this essential oil benefit evaluated the efficacy of these oils on neck pain. For the study, the experimental group received a cream that was composed of marjoram, black pepper, lavender and peppermint oils, and the control group used an unscented cream. The creams were applied for 4 weeks, directly to the painful area after bathing. Researchers found that the experimental group had improved pain tolerance in the neck and showed significant improvement in the 10 motion areas that were measured. (15)
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.

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.[4] 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.[5][6]
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