“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. 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. 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. Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals, with cats being particularly prone.
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I get so nervous with all the ingestion suggestions from new “reps” for the most popular MLM EO companies. A doctor and a naturopath have both cautioned me against ingesting EOs of any brand. There can be potentially devastating side effects. I’ve used EOs for twenty years, and I love what they do for my mood and health! This is great information you’ve shared. Thanks!
Internally – you can also start using them internally by ingesting them. Young Living came out with its own Vitality brand that is approved by the FDA to ingest. This allows you to get the maximum benefit of the oil and fastest absorption rate. I’ve even used them in cooking, like oregano or black pepper oil for my pasta sauce or lemon oil for my Lemon Raspberry Protein Muffins.
Aromatherapy, today, is described by the Federation of Holistic Therapists as the 'systematic use of plant essential oils for therapeutic purposes.’ Essential oils, that are extracted from aromatic plants, have properties which can trigger healing effects in the body. As a complementary therapy, aromatherapy is used to help people restore their health and wellbeing, naturally encouraging the body to heal itself. If you visit an aromatherapist the main treatment will usually comprise of a full body massage, using essential oils diluted in a vegetable base oil. There are also various safe and effective self-care techniques that you can use at home. So, how do you get started?
Massages are shown to be very therapeutic and lots of doctors actually recommend massages. Massage usually works on all big muscle groups within the body. It is extremely important to remember that if giving (or getting) a massage, the strokes should always go towards the heart. If not, you are not going to receive the full advantages of the massage.
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.