Essential oils are used therapeutically to promote the health of the mind, soul, and body. It is vital to understand what essential oils are, how to store them, and how to use the oils safely.
What are Essential Oils?
An essential oil is the distilled or expressed product of a mix of volatile organic compounds originating from a single plant source. The location (e.g. root, flower, leaf, bark, etc.) of these volatile compounds vary from plant to plant. The word “essential” is used to reflect very essence of the plant. An essential oil are made up of many individual chemical components, possessing specific and unique characteristics that make up its molecular structure. These components work synergistically, providing a wide range of healing actions.
Essential oils are produced by plant species for their survival. They are produced (depending on the plant) to attract pollinators, deter competing vegetation growth, as defense against insects and animals, and as antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial agents against a wide range of organisms.
Storing Essential Oils
The integrity and life of the essential oil in part is greatly dependent on the manner in which it is stored. Exposure to heat, sun, moisture, and oxygen can degrade the quality of essential oils and can cause spoilage.
Essential Oil Safety
The main safety concerns of using essential oils are skin irritation, sensitizations, breathing difficulties, and oral toxicity.
Symptoms of Toxicity
Symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, agitation, liver or kidney damage, cardiac arrest, coughing, urinary disturbances, stomach upset, epilepsy, convulsions, chronic liver conditions, and death. Many of these symptoms occur with oral use, which is strongly discouraged.
Methods of Use
The method of choice (e.g. inhalation or dermal: diluted in a carrier lotion or oil, bath, compress, etc.) is determined by what you hope to accomplish, potential contraindications, safety concerns, and the method you most enjoy using. Dilution of essential oils to carrier: 1% for children and elderly, 2% topical lotions and oils, and 4% for concentrated massage.
Conducting a Skin Patch Test
Test Undiluted Blends
Test Diluted Blends in Carrier Base
The attached file contains a list of essential oils that should be use with care. This is by no means a complete list.
I am a complementary and alternative health care practitioner, a certified Iridologist through the International Iridology Practitioner's Association (IIPA), an aromatherapist, and an herbalist. I received my training through the American College of Healthcare Sciences, University of New Mexico Continuing Education, the Southern Institute of Natural Health, Grand Medicine, International Institute of Iridology, and Tree of Light.
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