Aromatherapy Oils

Or essential oils.

Called essential because the essential part of the plant is used.

These oils undiluted melt plastic and mark furniture.  What do they do to our bodies?

I am a fully qualified aromatherapist and err on the side of caution with essential oils.

I used to work as a voluntary aromatherapist at a Marie Curie Day Centre.  With vulnerable patients only half the recommended dilution of oils is advised.  But even this dilution – one drop of essential oil to 10 mls of carrier oil was too much for some cancer patients and they would react with coughing, vomiting and feeling unwell.  Their reaction did depend on the individual patient and their illness.

But I do wonder at the liberal way that aromatherapy oils are used today in everything – detergents, soaps, shower gels, shampoos, cosmetics and perfume.

Are they really good for us?

Only two essential oils were safe to use directly on the skin, but now even that is not recommended.  This is because of the changing state of growing conditions that can make an essential oil much stronger that only the distiller of the oil would be aware of.  Sometimes the oil cannot be sold because the growing conditions have altered the complicated chemical structure which may affect their beneficial effects.

Herbs on the other hand, while containing all the same properties as essential oils have a gentler action in the body because the whole leaf or flower is used not just the concentrated oil.

I do use essential oils but mainly lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus in very dilute amounts.

The essential oil of Rosemary widely used in many products can induce menstrual flow.  It is a stimulating oil.

So I would be very wary of using this oil for some if that patient is on medication.

The essential oils in soap products gives me migraine headaches if ylang ylang has been used.  It is highly likely that ylang ylang is used in products because it is one of the most widely used essential oils in the food and manufacturing industry.  I suspect many other people suffering from migraines do not realise that the cause could be an essential oil.

The keeping and storing of the oils are important and they should always be kept in a cool dark place.  They only keep for one year, sometimes two, depending on the oil.

It makes it a very expensive business to keep oils to apply aromatherapy massages. I tend to book the massage with the patient and get them to purchase the oils from me that I suggest in tiny 5 ml bottles.  They get to keep the oils or I keep them for their next treatment.

Now I notice that aromatherapy oils have been prepared for various massages – Sport, therapeutic, relaxing, stimulating.  This should mean that the therapist would need to consult their detailed consultation before using the blend of oils and that the blend will not suit all types.

However it must be noted that while Tea Tree is now labelled as toxic in Australia no-one has died from ingesting undiluted oil.  A child was admitted to hospital after swallowing 10 mls of undiluted Tea Tree oil and although ill, did not die but recovered to full health.

I love my aromatherapy oils and I love being an Aromatherapist but these oils need to be treated with the greatest respect and should not be used in any form by anyone unless the therapist is a fully qualified Aromatherapist.

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