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What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is a holistic approach to help balance your mind and body with the use of essential oils, assisting your body’s own healing process and also enhance the well being of your mind.

These oils are extracted directly from aromatic plant material; the leaves, flowers, roots, bark and resin, and are generally extracted using steam distillation or alcohol solvent extraction. The resulting concentrated extract (essential oil), has the unique properties of the plant that then helps in healing, calming, pain management amongst other ailments. Each essential oil has a distinctive aroma and is made up of many individual chemical components that work in synergy to provide many therapeutic properties to enhance a person’s well being. Certified aromatherapists use essential oils for specific conditions and complementary therapies.

Aromatherapy is not an alternative to being diagnosed by a doctor, but helps support your mind and body in the healing process.

When it comes to the quality of essential oils, it is imperative to purchase them from a reputable supplier. Since these wonderful oils are not regulated, you can commonly purchase them from everywhere. Many essential oils have the terms “therapeutic grade”, “food grade”, and “medical grade” associated with them. These terms are not regulated, and are solely used for marketing purposes, and therefore have little meaning to them. Essential oil bottles should be labeled correctly, both with their common name and their botanical name (derived from the plant it was extracted from), growing method and the extraction method. Many oils can also be adulterated, therefore most suppliers should be able to provide you with a certificate of analysis. This would also allow you to know the shelf life of each oil. 

Essential oils are highly concentrated and should avoid being used by itself on your skin. When you make blends with them, it is important to remember to dilute them properly. A little bit of essential oil goes a really long way.

An essential oil is a powerful substance. A wonderful example would be a drop of rose essential oil. Did you know that it took approximately four dozen roses to make one drop of rose essential oil? That’s a lot of plant material, and can make you understand it’s concentration. I always recommend that you dilute your essential oil in a carrier oil or butter, before you apply it to your skin. This is a safe way to approach using essential oils, and can help avoid skin irritations, sensitivity and allergic reactions.

I believe in safety first! Although most people will never experience a negative reaction to essential oils, it could happen. There is no way to guarantee 100% safety and no risk when using essential oils, but by using them safely you can reduce the risk of this happening. Some essential oils should only be used at a low percentage dilution, whilst others can be used at a higher percentage dilution. This would be a topic on its own, as safety is a vast and important subject to understand. Having said that, let’s say you want to make a blended product for a friend or family member; be sure to use the correct percentage of dilution rate, keeping in mind if they are pregnant, their age, if pets are around, children and babies and what you are using it for. It sure is a lot of fun to be able to make products safely!

Overall, there is so much to know about these wonderful oils. Obtaining some knowledge and using them safely will help you find so many ways to help support you.