Important Essential Oil InformationDownload as PDF: Important Essential Oil Information
The mis-use of any substance can lead to injury, and essential oils are no exception. Essential oils are powerful in scent and action and must be treated with respect for aromatherapy and other uses. We provide information on each of our pure essential oil product pages for your interest only, and it should be taken as free information for basic guidance about a product from a supplier in Canada, and not as advice from a certified health professional familiar in the practice of aromatherapy. Whether you are making handmade natural soap with pure essential oils, or making handcrafted skin care lotions and creams made by hand with pure essential oils, or using pure lavender essential oil for its antibacterial or stress relief properties, or whether you are simply enjoying the soothing and stimulating qualities of aromatherapy or aromatherapy massage, it should be noted that most references (including the one you are currently reading) are overly cautious regarding the use of essential oils to reduce the potential for adverse reactions to any or all essential oils, even amongst the most sensitive individuals, and of course to avoid lawsuits. For these reasons, we must also state that the use of essential oils and aromatherapy is in no way a replacement for a visit to a certified health professional, and that we do not advocate the use of essential oils and aromatherapy for any specific purpose. Instead, we encourage you to inform yourself about essential oils and explore the wonderful world of natural aromatherapy, and to discover for yourself which essential oils benefit you.
The following list includes basic guidelines to promote safety in the use of essential oils:
- Keep all essential oil bottles out of the reach of children and animals.
- Do not use on children or animals.
- Do not apply to the body undiluted.
- Do not take internally.
- Do not use if pregnant: consult with a certified health professional with knowledge of essential oils.
- Do not use a particular essential oil if you've had a previous adverse reaction to it.
Essential oils are easily absorbed and metabolized by the body, but the actual amount of essential oil that is asorbed in the body depends on the route of entry: Inhalation offers 100% absorption, but of a very small amount. Application to the skin can result in 5-70% absorption (more with covered skin, less with uncovered skin). Essential oils taken internally obviously result in the greatest percentage absorption and the potential for the greatest amount of total absorption.
Recommended dilution rate for application to the skin, such as for massage, is 3% essential oil in a suitable base oil such as Avocado or Sweet Almond oil. We do not recommend using mineral oil (baby oil) since this is a petroleum product, has no nutritive value for the skin, and can block your skin's ability to breathe. Some essential oils are much more potent than others, and dilution rates can be much higher (eg. 1% or less) for such oils.
Most North American references indicate that taking essential oils internally is not advised (and even forbidden) even though in France this is common practice. Although we list various suggested uses with each oil's description for your interest, we suggest that before using any of these oils, you educate yourself by checking out a few of the many great references available either online, or at your local library.
|These aromatherapy books give a lot of information about the history behind the use of essential oils, their recent rediscovery, and how they may benefit you. These links will open in a new window.
All citrus oils have the potential to be phototoxic, meaning that they can discolour the skin when the oil has been used on the skin prior to exposure to the sun.
There are many benefits to using essential oils, but the most important thing is that you enjoy the scent and its effect on you. If you don't like the scent of an oil, or it brings up negative memories or emotions, you won't receive any benefit from using it. We suggest you try a few oils that you can easily decide you will like (such as Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon Eucalyptus, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf), and add a couple that you may not be familiar with (such as Litsea Cubeba, Palmarosa, or Coriander). We have dedicated some quality time to put together several different variety packs of pure essential oils to help get you started (and keep you going) with aromatherapy, and to save you some bother with trying to sort out which ones work well together, and of course to provide excellent product value and save you some money, whether you are buying them for personal use or as a gift for a loved one to enjoy. Most oils are too strong to enjoy by smelling the bottles directly, so try them at first by putting a drop on paper towel and wafting the air with it in front of you, or by diluting them in a base oil such as sweet almond, grapeseed, or avocado oil.
One of our favourite uses is to put one drop of a calming essential oil on a sheet of paper towel and place it inside our pillow case for a truly good night's rest.