Monday, September 8, 2014

FAQs About Essential Oils

I know when I first started using essential oils I had a lot of questions. In this post I hope to answer many of the basic questions you might have in regards to essential oils.

How are oils used?
There are 3 ways that oils can be used...

  Topically: oils can be applied on areas of concern for both localized and systemic effects. One of the best
   places to put oils is on the bottoms of the feet.

  Aromatically: oils can be used aromatically to impact mood and emotions, open airways,  and help reduce
  pathogens and allergens in the air. This can be done by inhaling a few drops in the palm or by using a

  Internally: oils can be used internally using a capsule (you can add a few drops of carrier oil if desired) or
  added to water,milk/milk substitute or a little honey. It is very important to use high quality oils if 
  taking internally!

What does "neat" mean?
Undiluted essential oils are called neat. Many oils can be applied to the skin without a carrier oil. Some oils are better used with a carrier oil. Good carrier oils are coconut, jojoba, olive or almond oils. Oil blends combining several carrier oils are also available (like Young Living V-6).

How much oil do I use?
Oils are very powerful, so more is not always better. Typically 1 to 3 drops is all that is needed in an application. It is better to use a little and repeat, then to use large amounts.

How many drops come in each bottle?
A 15 ml bottle contains approximately 250 drops while a 5 ml bottle contains approximately 90 drops.

Can oils be mixed?
Single oils can be layered on the skin. Be careful not to mix oil blends- these have already been appropriately mixed and you don't want to change their chemical properties.

How do you store oils?
Oils should be stored in a cool and dark place to preserve their quality. A kitchen cabinet or drawer will work just fine.

Why is it so difficult to find pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils?
Producing the purest of oils can be very costly due to the fact that it requires several hundred or sometimes even several thousand pounds of plant materials to extract 1 pound of pure essential oil. The majority of oils produced in the world today are used for the perfume industry, so these oils are being bought for the sole purpose of their aromatic qualities. For this reason most oils are mass produced to generate large volumes at a faster rate. Although these oils may smell similar and cost way less, they will lack most, if not all, of the chemical properties necessary to produce therapeutic results.

How do you know whether an essential oil is pure and safe?
Oils need to undergo testing to ensure that the proper constituents are present in the right amounts and that there is nothing present that shouldn't be there, like fillers or pesticides. All oils should be tested using a gas chromatograph (GC) and a mass spectrometer (MS). Just because a bottle says 100% pure doesn't mean that it is. Most essential oils on the market today are synthetically produced. If the bottle says "do not take internally," that is a good indicator that it is not a good quality oil. Do your research! Using high quality, pure and safe oils is very important!

What are some of the health benefits that pure essential oils provide?

  1. They fight unfriendly microbes in the body without destroying the friendly ones
  2. They balance bodily functions
  3. They are antioxidants that purify our systems
  4. They help clear out negative emotional baggage
  5. They raise our bodily frequencies restoring it to its normal, healthy level
  6. They can help with spiritual awareness and healing

Other precautions when using oils:
  • Use glass water bottles or pitchers if adding essential oils to water. Oils can break down plastic, so plastic water bottles should be avoided.
  • Don't handle contact lenses right after handling oils for the same reason!
  • Avoid getting oils in your eyes. However, if this happens, add a few drops of oil, not water.
  • If applying oils and they burn or sting, dilute with a carrier oil, not water. This is especially important with children who are more sensitive.

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