Best Way to Select Essential Oils for Aromatherapy

Essential oils are derived from aromatic plants. They are highly volatile substances, with varying degrees of evaporation. How and where the plant is picked is vital to the pure energy and therapeutic properties of the pure essential oil. Many manufactures adulterate the oils, mixing plant species or supplementing with synthetic material, so impairing the holistic balance of the oil. It is therefore imperative that when purchasing oils the species, source, history and a full listing of benefits are known. Organically grown plants are not contaminated by chemical pesticides, which are difficult to remove in the distillation process. When selecting essential oils, these are the general points for you to consider:

  • Know the difference between a pure essential oil, a blended aromatic type and one of synthetic origin. Pure aroma oils are normally packaged in small, darkened-glass bottles as ultraviolet light destroys their fine, delicate fragrance. Look for the species and history of the oil, as well as the supplier’s accreditation.

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  • All oil packaging should carry the date of manufacture and the life span of the oil, with cautions and warnings clearly marked.
  • Always seek professional advice before using essential oils; remember that in their undiluted form they may be toxic and may cause nasty side effects. A qualified aromatherapist will be registered and will be able to provide you with recognised, certified qualifications.
  • Essential oils should be diluted in a vegetable-based carrier oil for massage (two to three drops in 10ml of such base oils as almond, grape-seed or jojoba will give a one per cent blend).
  • When pregnant or nursing, many precautions are needed, and the use of essential oils is not recommended unless they have been selected by a qualified practitioner.
  • Warm, aromatic baths taken by candlelight are an effective and healthy way in which to remove the trauma and stress of everyday life. Many companies, including E’spa, preblend essential oils with a natural dispersant so that the oils diffuse into the water, giving softness to the skin, and balance and harmony to the mind, without leaving an oily residue around the bath.
  • Diffusing oils in burners, aroma stones and light-bulb rings can change the energy in a room, ridding it of unpleasant odours and sterilising a sick room.
  • Only in an emergency situation, such as when treating an insect sting or bite, may lavender or tea-tree oil be used in an undiluted form on the skin as all oils are dermacaustic in varying degrees.
  • The natural components of aromatic oils are compatible with the intricate and delicate balance of our bodies, making their advantages over conventional medicine considerable. But more is not necessarily better, and bear in mind that oils remain in the body for anything from one hour to several weeks after application. So the most important factor to remember when using oils is that too much and only a little knowledge can be dangerous.

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  • Before using essential oils, always check with your doctor if you are taking drugs, are post­operative or are under medical supervision. Store oils in a cool, dark place and keep them out of the reach of children.


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