Q & AQuestions & Answers
I have listed some common questions & answers I am often asked about Aromatherapy and Essential oils. If you have a specific question please feel free to email me, I would be happy to help, just click the Contact Us link.
What is Aromatherapy?
The broad definition defined by Jan Kusmirek (medical herbalist, clinical Aromatherapist, Author) is: “The use of pure essential oils to seek to influence, to change or modify, mind, body or spirit; psychology or mood”. This statement may encompass the use of essential oils in perfumery, cosmetics, medicine both orthodox and alternative, psychotherapy, aromacology or science.
Essential Oils are often used by:
• Medical Practitioners
• Nurses & Midwives
• Counsellors & Psychologists
• Massage Therapists
• Medical Herbalists
• Natural Therapists
• Beauty Therapists
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils for healing has existed for some 5000 years, however the popularity of Aromatherapy has only emerged in the past 25-30 years. The reason for the resurgence in traditional therapies are many. I believe that his is because Aromatherapy works on a holistic level, addressing the Body, Mind & Soul.
The popularity of aromatherapy will continue to increase as more and more proof emerges of its real clinical value.
What are Essential Oils?
When we peel an orange, walk through a rose garden or rub a sprig of rosemary between our fingers, we inhale the scent of that plant. What exactly is it that we can smell? Generally speaking, it is the essential oil which gives a plant its specific scent. Essential oils are complex mixtures of individual chemical constituents, the precise nature and proportions of which determine its therapeutic and fragrant properties.
Essential oils occur widely in the plant kingdom, not only in flowers, leaves and fruit but also in the root stems and in other parts of green plants.
Can I use Essential Oils on my skin?
Yes, essential oils have many benefits for the skin.
Essential oils should always be diluted when using on the skin, in either a carrier oil or unscented body lotion. I recommend a dilution of around 2-3%. For example: to a 50ml bottle of base oil, add 25 drops of essential oil – this gives a 2.5% dilution.
Skin reactions can occur with essential oils in the form of:
If you have sensitive skin I would lessen the dilution and beware of which oils you use, some people have sensitivity citrus oils. I recommend you always patch test first to see if any irritations occur. Please refer to the Cautions page on our website for a list of oils not to use on the skin.
Can I use Essential Oils on Babies?
Yes, however there is conflicting information on new borns. To be safe I would suggest after 3 months and always DILUTED. Never apply essential oils neat onto babies or children.
You can add to a bath, carrier oil or oil diffuser. Safe oils for babies are: Lavender for sleep & calm, Chamomile is a gentle oil and very soothing, Eucalyptus for respiratory congestion.
• For babies 0-12 months use one drop of Lavender, Chamomile & Neroli to 10ml of carrier oil. This is equivalent to 0.5% dilution.
• For infants 1-5 years use 2-3 drops of the safe essential oils, those that are non toxic and non-irritant to 10ml of carrier oil.
• For children 6-12 years use half the recommended dosage for adults.
Can I use Essential Oils when Pregnant?
There is often concern that some essential oils may not be safe to use during pregnancy, yet some essential oils can be extremely beneficial. If there is a history of miscarriage then I would suggest no essential oils used, apart from Lavender, particularly in the first and second trimester. Using certain essential oils in a small percentage dilution is safe and therapeutic.
The following oils should be avoided during pregnancy:
• Aniseed, Basil, Birch, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Juniper, Sweet Marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage & Thyme.
Can I Ingest Essential Oils?
This is an area of much controversy. The French medical practitioners often use essential oils internally, in much the same way a doctor would prescribe antibiotics. However Internal use of aromatherapy is not very clear, as essential oils are extremely active agents having some demonstrable effects on the different organs of the body, they must be administered under medical supervision only.
How to know if Essential Oils are pure?
When purchasing Essential Oils information should be available if requested for oils in question:
• Botanical name
• Part of plant used
• Country of origin
• Method of extraction
• Quality specification
This is a lot of information to try and add to a bottle, however, if you would like to check if oils are authentic and genuine then contacting the supplier/retailer requesting authentication should be asked.
How to use Essential Oils?
Essential oils have many uses and applying them correctly is one of the most important things if the full benefit of their properties is to be obtained. One of the benefits of Aromatherapy is the ease with which it can be administered and the fact that the essential oils can be administered in so many different ways.
I have listed ways to use your oils on our website page “Methods of Use”
Can Essential Oils cause Heart Palpitations?
Care should always be taken with any pre-existing medical conditions and I recommend you seek advice from your medical practitioner or a Qualified Aromatherapist. (Please be aware also if you see “Aromatherapy Massage” this does not always mean the practitioner is a qualified Aromatherapist!).
Some essential oils may however increase heart palpitations, but this would only occur in toxic oils (see list of cautions).
I have treated clients over the years who suffer from heart palpitations, using Neroli, Lavender, May Chang, Rose & Ylang Ylang.
Can Essential Oils help with weight loss?
Essential oils can certainly change your mood and help with cravings. Bear in mind this alone will not make you lose weight, a healthy eating plan and some light exercise in conjunction with essential oils will all assist in weight loss.
Some oils used in weight loss by inhalation are Peppermint, Fennel, Grapefruit & Lemon Myrtle. For water retention I recommend lymphatic drainage massage.