Essential Oils

Issue 01-11-2001

The Safe Application of Essential Oils

Essential oils should be treated as medicines and used accordingly. There are proper and improper uses for different oils. Some are caustic and should only be used when diluted with a pure vegetable oil. Others may be used neat which means undiluted in topical and other forms of applications. Some oils should never be used by pregnant women, whereas other oils are safe even in pregnancy. It is important when applying essential oils medicinally that proper procedures be followed for their safe and effective use.

This article explains the safe application of essential oils for a maximum medicinal benefit.

Introduction: Before you start using essential oils, follow these recommendations from the Essential Oils Desk Reference:

"Always skin test an essential oil before using it. Each person's body is different, so apply oils to a small area first. Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow enough time (3 to 5 minutes) for the body to respond before applying a second oil."

"Exercise caution when applying essential oils to skin that has been exposed to cosmetics, personal care products, soaps, and cleansers containing synthetic chemicals. Some of the synthetic chemicals- especially petroleum based chemicals - can penetrate and remain in the skin and fatty tissues for days or even weeks after use. Essential oils may react with such chemicals and cause skin irritation, nausea, headaches, or other uncomfortable effects."

"Essential oils can also react with toxins built up in the body from chemicals that have come from food, water, and the work environment.

If you experience a reaction to an essential oil, it may be wise to temporarily discontinue its use and start an internal cleansing program before resuming a regular use of that essential oil again."

Application of Essential Oils: As has been mentioned, caution should be exercised in the use of essential oils. Some oils should be diluted with a quality carrier oil for topical application on certain parts of the body. Among the excellent carrier oils available are cold-pressed grapeseed, olive, wheat germ, jojoba, and sweet almond oils.

Many medicinal recommendations for applying the oils will include rubbing the oil on the bottom of the feet. This may seem odd unless you know that the pores on the bottom of the feet are generally larger and more readily facilitate the absorption of the essential oils into the body proper.

In addition to direct topical application, essential oils may also be used to enhance the effects of massage, acupuncture, acupressure, hot packs, cold packs, compresses, baths, and showers.

The layering of essential oils, which means the application of different oils one at a time to the same area of the body, may also be recommended for certain treatments. Essential oils may be absorbed through the mucous membrane of the nose through the inhalation of oils that have been diffused into the air.

This method of absorption provides the greatest advantage for conditions which relate to energy and feelings of well being and peace.

For systemic conditions, such as candida, a vaginal implant is one of the best ways to absorb the recommended essential oil into the body. Enemas and rectal implants are the most efficient ways to deliver essential oils to the urinary tract, the reproductive organs, and the lungs.

All essential oils that are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) or certified as Food Additives by the FDA may be safely used as food supplements. In fact, some oils like valerian, lemon, grapefruit, orange and tangerine are more effective when taken orally.

Caution should be used when ingesting certain oils as food supplements. Some oils, if taken orally in sizable amounts, can be harmful. As a general rule, dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of honey or vegetable oil, or in 4 ounces of a beverage like soy milk or rice milk.

No more than 2 or 3 drops at one time should be ingested in this manner. A drop or two of certain selected oils mixed in this way and taken by mouth, can assist the immune system in fighting such ailments as intestinal flu or stomach anthrax.

Always follow the directions that accompany the oils when using them orally.

Children under the age of 6 years should not be given essential oils as a dietary supplement.

All of these methods of essential oil usage are treated in depth in the Essential Oils Desk Reference. Another highly recommended reference for the proper use of essential oils is The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood.

Smells Emit Protective Antioxidants

Am Chemical Society,8/02 Thanks to

Aroma Therapy

LINK to site from the UK, an overview

Inhalation Aromatherapy During Radition

J Clin Oncol, 6/03

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