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Aromatherapy Quality and Safety Control

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“Essential oils that are used in aromatherapy are not always easy to find.” (“Aromatherapy: How Scents Can Heal Us — Grateful Earth”) The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate essential oils so you, the consumer, will have to carefully read the ingredients of any oil you purchase to make sure that it is in its purest form.

“To get the most benefit from aromatherapy, oils in their purest form should be used.” (“Aromatherapy: Essential Wisdom”)

Finding the Best Essential Oils

Try to avoid synthetic oils. Essential oils are the only way to get therapeutic benefit from aromatherapy. They will not be cheap, nor should many kinds of oils be priced the same as the process of distilling them is varied. (“Introduction to Aromatherapy – BigGoals.com”)

Light exposure decreases the ability of an essential oil to work, so only buy oils that are sold in dark bottles. The term “oil” is often a misnomer as many of them are not at all oily. (“Introduction to Aromatherapy – BigGoals.com”)

To evaluate how distilled an oil is try dropping it on a piece of paper to see if it dissolves quickly and does not leave an oil spot. (“Aromatherapy: Essential Wisdom”)

If you have a health store in your area shop, there instead of a perfume store. (“Statement of Rights”) It is more likely that they will have essential oils for sale.

Safety when using Essential Oils

Essential oils are immensely powerful when they are not diluted. To make them safe you should dilute them with carrier oil. Ask at your local health store which carrier oils they have available as there are many from which to choose. (“Statement of Rights”)

Follow the instructions carefully when making any essential oil compound. If a recipe says one drop, use only one drop. (“Introduction – s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com”) Anyone who has a nut allergy should also avoid carrier oils derived from nuts.

Oils should be stored out of children’s reach. “If accidental ingestion occurs, you should contact poison control immediately.” (“Statement of Rights”) Pregnant women should consult their physician before partaking in any kind of aromatherapy.

If you plan to use aromatherapy on infants or the elderly, it is recommended that you use lesser amounts of oil in your recipe. (“Aromatherapy: Essential Wisdom”) Check with your physician to ensure that it is safe to use on a particular age group.

Some oils can be toxic if ingested even in lesser amounts. In general, unless specified for oral use, essential oils should not be ingested.

Essential oils stored in a cool dry place, and tightly capped will last six to twelve months. It is important to keep as little oxygen in contact with the oils as possible, so you will want to store them in full bottles, stepping down the bottle size as needed. (“Aromatherapy: How Scents Can Heal Us — Grateful Earth”)

Essential oils should never be put on your skin in their undiluted form. They can irritate your skin quickly and cause a chain reaction that will make you sensitive to that oil for a lifetime.

Persons with asthma, epilepsy, or other serious health conditions should contact their physician before using aromatherapy.

To avoid an allergic reaction, place a small amount of diluted oil on a patch of your skin. Cover the spot with a band aid and wait a full day to see if irritation occurs. This can avoid a potentially large allergic reaction to essential oils. Essential oils should be kept away from open flame or fire hazards as they are all flammable. Never use any sort of oil near your eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly after managing essential oils to avoid contact with eyes or mouth. (“Introduction to Aromatherapy – BigGoals.com”)

Best Wishes, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist

See Tomorrow: “Hazardous Essential Oils”

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