Aromatherapy: Tips & Advice

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans already used aromatherapy appreciating its capabilties that go beyond making the air smell good. Essential oils used in aromatherapy have powerful positive effects. However, they also can do harm if not used correctly. Here is what you need to know when it comes to aromatherapy and essential oils.

1. Be careful with Fire and Heat Sources

Essential oils are flameable, so be careful if you use a traditional oil burner with candles or tea lights. If the oil burner runs out of water it also can get very hot. An excellent alternative are nebulizers and diffusers that use ultrasound instead of heat to enrich the air with the essential oils' microparticles.

2. Never Apply Essential Oils Directly in an Undiluted Form

Essential oils are gained by means of extraction or steam distillation and are powerful substances. For massages and application to the skin essential oils should always be dilluted. Aromatherapist is a certifiable profession, if you are not sure how to dillute an essential oil or how to use it for a massage you should ask an aromatherapist.

3. Essential Oils are for External Use Only

Albeit they do have healing powers, essential oils should NEVER be ingested or taken oraly. Neither should they be put on your lips or wounds. You could do more damage than good.

4. Keep Essential Oils out of the Reach of Children

You should keep essential oils out of the reach of children, best even out of sight. Additionally, if you keep them locked up in a cupboard or other dark place this will also ensure that the sunlight doesn't damage the essential oils. Explain to your kids that they should never eat or drink chemicals, household cleaners or medication and that even plants and their parts can be dangerous. Especially small children tend to explore the world with their mouths so keep the good smelling essential oils out of their reach.

5. Buyer Beware

Essential oils are high quality products, at least they should be, and quality has it's price. There are a lot of cheap "essential oils" out there, but they might be dilluted, have chemicals or reagents added or even be completly synthetic. If you want to experience the full range of benefitial effects essential oils can have on you, you should buy high quality oils from someone you trust. Either from an aromatherapy shop or a certified aromatherapist.

6. Use the Right Oil for the Right Occasion

Different essential oils are used to achieve different results. Read literature about what oil is used in order to get a specific result (relaxation, revitalization, stress reduction, etc.). There are mixtures out there made of essential oils that complement each other to achieve the desired effect. Also, you can ask a certified aromatherapist or take part in an aromatherapy seminar.

7. Less is more

Essential oils are contain active ingredients in high concentrations. It is not necessary to use them in big quantities; small concentratios - usually just a few drops - already have the desired effect. Using too much of an essential oil can lead to a smell that is too intense and thus results unpleasant.
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Aromatherapy: Tips & Advice