WHAT ARE THE THERAPEUTIC COMPONENTS OF AROMATHERAPY?
Every oil is unique because they are all derived from various parts of different plants through certain methods. This also means that you cannot simply generalize their healing properties.
The therapeutic components that each oil contains is based on their individual chemical make-up. Some oils produce a calming effect, others can relieve pain and asthmatic symptoms, others can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and wrinkles, and others can sooth sore muscles and joints. The benefits of these oils goes on and on!
There are a plethora of reference materials that explain the characteristics, therapeutic properties, and safety precautions for each oil.
It is not only important to conduct your own research before implementing the use of essential oils, but to make sure the oils that you are using have not been adulterated by synthetic materials and preservatives. These elements reduce the healing components of the oils by changing their chemical make-up. This can be avoided by purchasing oils from trusted companies and distilleries (the local grocery store should not be your "go to" for buying essential oils).
ARE ESSENTIAL OILS SAFE TO USE?
While essential oils promote a cleaner and healthier lifestyle, there are certain precautions that should be taken into account when using them:
Certain oils, mostly citrus, are photosensitive, meaning if they are applied on your skin when you go out into the sun, your skin will be highly susceptible to burning.
Not all oils are safe to use with children, the elderly, persons with specific medical conditions, and during pregnancy. Always check the descriptions and safety guidelines for every oil before using them.
When applying oils directly on your skin, always watch for signs of redness, and always dilute with a carrier oil (a fatty oil - olive or coconut oil - with molecules much larger than essential oils. They slow down the rate at which your skin absorbs the essential oil). Carrier oils also contain therapeutic properties that work with essential oils in and on your body.
Always dilute oils on children at a ratio greater than an adult because their skin is more permeable and absorbs the oils more quickly.
Always test a small amount of a new oil with the use of a carrier oil on your skin first to determine any potential side effects. If an allergic reaction should occur, wash the area with soap and water.
Some oils can be ingested while others cannot.
While oils have wonderful healing properties, they should never be used in place of a licensed medical doctor, especially in serious and/or life threatening conditions.
Always research an oil before you apply it to yourself or others!