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).
“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)
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.[37] A few reported cases of toxic reactions like liver damage and seizures have occurred after ingestion of sage, hyssop, thuja and cedar oils.[38] 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.[citation needed]

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)
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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).
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.
The thing to check is that the essential oil is good quality and pure, and not a synthetic fragrance: this is where most people get confused. Essential oils are extracted from a single botanical source by distillation or expression; they are pure plant extract. This is what gives them their powerful therapeutic benefits – it is no good using synthetic fragrance oils.
Beginning to use essential oils is the start of an incredible aromatic journey. I created AromaWeb over 20 years ago because essential oils played a highly beneficial role in my life and I was (and still am!) eager to share insight into the safe and effective use of essential oils. Below are several important aromatherapy tips for beginners and those that are new to using essential oils.
For that sweet smelling blend to take with you throughout the day. On a cotton bud or tissue add the following oils then simply pop into your handbag. Renew this once a week, after a while this wonderful aroma will permeate the whole bag – no renewal required! Hint: Sometimes leather bags come with a leather tag attached, use this to put your oils on.
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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)
Most oils can be toxic to humans as well.[32] A report of three cases documented gynecomastia in prepubertal boys who were exposed to topical lavender and tea tree oils.[33] The Aromatherapy Trade Council of the UK issued a rebuttal.[34] 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.[35] Another article published by a different research group also documented three cases of gynecomastia in prepubertal boys who were exposed to topical lavender oil.[36]
Whilst many people think that the ‘massage’ element is the main event when they go for an Aromatherapy treatment, it is actually more about choosing the best essential oils and allowing them to work their magic. It is the power of the essential oils that is key: the massage therapy simply creates an environment that allows the oils to work at their best, with the help of trained professionals. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t use essential oils at home; you can - the art is just in selecting the most appropriate oils and using them safely to create the desired effects.
Before we talk about where I buy my essential oils, I think it’s important to discuss two terms often used in the buying controversy: “therapeutic grade” and “certified pure therapeutic grade”. It’s important to note that there is no agency that regulates these terms, rather they are made up by the essential oil industry. Don’t let these terms fool you or effect your buying.
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]
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