Staying Safe with Aromatherapy

The use of aromatherapy for cosmetic, culinary, practical and medicinal uses has been recorded for centuries.  Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks are just a few who recorded, sometimes in significant detail, their use of aromatherapy; some as early as 350BC.   Today we are far more sceptical and questioning about every aspect of our lives including alternative options such as aromatherapy.

It is correct to question the use of pure essential oils.  This is an unregulated industry in the UK and there are, as always, unscrupulous people who will say and do whatever it will take to make money.  In addition technology is clouding the issue with vast amounts of data written about aromatherapy available on the internet and some of it is conflicting and bordering on dangerous.  Do not underestimate the strength of pure essential oils and carefully research an oil before use.

Fundamental Precautions to Consider

Never put pure essential oils on the skin.

Store in a safe place away from children. Where there is a risk use a child proof cap on each bottle.

Do not use pure essential oils if you are in the first 4 months of pregnancy and to be safe do not use during pregnancy at all.

Never use pure essential oils on children unless under the advice of a qualified practitioner.

Do not underestimate the power of a pure essential oil.  Regardless of how sceptical you are, every oil if pure, will have some level of effect on you.

 Always purchase oils from a reputable source.  Beware the label 100% pure oil could mean any oil.  Some 100% pure essential oils sold through ‘cheaper’ channels may have been diluted.

Many factors determine the quality, purity and strength of pure essential oils.  It is possible to purchase cheaper varieties but their properties will be less effective but great if you just want the aroma.

Always investigate a pure essential oil before using it and if in doubt seek advice from a qualified practitioner.  There may be no warnings on a bottle however that does not mean there are no potential hazards associated with that oil.

Mixing certain pure essential oils creates a synergistic blend and increases the total properties and combined strength of those oils. 

Do not ingest any pure essential oil as a form of medicine.  Some oils can be used internally but only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Pure essential oils are used by manufacturers in food production.  The way products are created stored and used is identified at different grades and levels and governed by strict UK guidelines. Although an essential oil is top grade and pure it can not be recommend for use in food preparation without the appropriate accreditation and licenses.

Most people use pure essential oils for their aroma however if you are going to use them in your own toiletries and massage blends then investigate their properties first and always test the finished product before use.

There is some advice on the internet that suggests a level of 1 drop of pure essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil e.g. 50 drops of pure essential oil to 50 ml carrier oil.  This is exceptionally strong and not advisable especially if using top quality oils.  Start off with no more than 15 drops of pure essential oil in your 50ml of carrier oil and test on your skin before use.  It is advisable to use no more than 30 drops of pure essential oil to 50ml of carrier oil.

All oils are flammable so care should be take when using an oil burner or spraying liberally where fire is a risk. An electronic diffuser is a safer form of atomising oils.