How to Chooses a Quality Essential Oil
Always buy your essential oils from a reputable company. The phrase “You get what you pay for” is absolutely true. Cheaper oils tend to have chemicals added to help normalize the smell, to achieve a more consistent smell profile, and to increase profit margins.
When researching where to buy your oils, look for three things:
1. Transparency – Country of origin, extraction method, GCMS profile, lot number… Organic-
2. Always use 100% organic. Look for the USDA certified organic logo
3. Third Party Certification – reputable companies usually have a certification via an independent entity
Essential Oil Safety
No matter how they are extracted plant essences are concentrated so caution must always be used. Here are some general essential oil basics safety rules:
- If you are taking medications, please ask your doctor or research drug interactions with the essential oil/s you have chosen to use.
- Test an essential oil (or blend) on a small patch of skin before using.
- Always dilute an essential oil
How to use an Essential Oil
Essential oils are literally the essence of the plant from which the are extracted. They are a concentrated form of the plants defense against insects, parasites, and predators. This means that essential oils are nature’s own chemical creation. The key word here is chemical. Therefore, all essential oils should be used with intelligence and caution. There are many different ways to use an essential oil.
Inhale – Inhale directly from the bottle or place a couple of drops in your hands and rub them together. Hold your face close to your hands and inhale deeply. Avoid eye contact.
Diffuse – The most efficient way to diffuse and oil is to place 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil (or oil blend) in and electronic diffuser and diffuse periodically throughout the day. Or, place a few drops in a candle diffuser.
Rub – Most essential oils require a dilution to safely use. There is some controversy about this subject, but oils that are generally considered safe to use directly are Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) **Non-oxidized**, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), Rose (Rosa damascena), Sandalwood (Santalum album or Santalum spicatum), Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata or globulus), and Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis).
Common uses for neat application are:
• Acne (spot treatment) – Tea Tree
• Cold sore – sandalwood or geranium
• Minor burn – Lavender or *Roman Chamomile (better if diluted in Aloe Vera gel)
• Minor skin trauma or – Lavender, Tea Tree or Chamomile infection
• Insect bites – Tea Tree
• Migraines (acute) – Lavender or Chamomile to temples. (Peppermint to forehead or temples works well, but you will need to dilute it in a carrier oil)
• Bruises (acute) – Apply immediately Helichrysum italicum and/or German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
• Musculoskeletal trauma (e.g. whip lash: Apply Helichyrsum italicum and/or German Chamomile immediately
• Reflex or acupressure work – depends on goals
• Ear infections (just behind ear and on reflex points associated to the ears on the feet) Lavender, Tea Tree, Rosemary
Mist – Each oil will be different, but as a general guide, see the dilution chart below. Lavender is great to mist on pillows and sheets before bed and is safe for all ages. Mist Eucalyptus Globulus on sore muscles and joints. Be creative!
Soak – You can emulsify an oil in Epsom salt or powdered milk and add to your bath water for a relaxing soak. Fill a glass jar with 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt or powdered milk. Add about 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil and secure lid. Shake vigorously for 1 minute and let stand while you draw the bath water with warm water. Get it the bath and begin adding you salt or milk emulsified essence. Stir water until dissolved. Relax and enjoy!
Always consult your physician before using any essential, especially if you plan on taking internally. That said, the Alliance of International Aromatherapists has issued this guideline for internal use:
AIA Internal Use Statement
AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Please refer to the AIA Safety Guidelines for essential oil use.