A few years ago I created a document that provided 101 uses for the essential oils of lavender, lemon and peppermint (www.feelingfabulous.net) and now I want to share tips for safe and effective use of essential oils.
From the calming aroma of lavender to the invigorating scent of peppermint, essential oils can stimulate our senses, influence our mood, and even heal our hurts. For thousands of years, essential oils have been used in a countless way for health and well-being. The leaves, petals and other plant components naturally contain hundreds of beneficial chemicals that help attract pollinators, protect the plant from harm such as pests or bacteria and provide healing and nourishment to the plant. Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from plants that harness these diverse chemicals. If you want to get started using essential oils, here are some tips:
- FIND AN EXPERT. Many health food stores have essential oil selections that they’ve researched extensively before bringing them into the store and they usually have at least one person on staff with in-depth knowledge about the products they sell.
- DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. A company’s literature and website can tell you a lot about the quality of its products, but don’t rely on them as your sole source of information. Watch out for companies that aren’t transparent about how they source their oils, or make outrageous claims that don’t measure up to an independent investigation.
- LOOK FOR BOTANICAL NAMES. All essential oil products should include the Latin names of the botanicals as different species of plants can have different effects. Did you know that there are over 30 species of lavender alone and over 400 varieties? Stay away from products that don’t list this important information on the label.
- BUY ORGANIC. Certified organic oils must meet stringent requirements regarding the use of fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals and additives. A company that obtains certification has already met these numerous and rigorous specifications, making it a good bet that quality is important to them.
- BE CAUTIOUS OF TERMINOLOGY. Words like “pure” and “therapeutic grade’ are not regulated in any way, anyone can use them. Ask yourself how the company backs up the words it uses to describe its products. If you’re not satisfied, look elsewhere.
- PAY FOR QUALITY. In the case of essential oils, price really can predict quality or a lack of quality. Stay away from essential oils that are cheaper than reputable brands. Cheap oils can indicate poor quality or dilution of the key ingredients that render these oils ineffective.
- START SMALL. It’s best to start with one or two well-known essential oils that are easy to use. Try lavender for relaxation, lemon to give energy or eucalyptus as a decongestant.
- DIFFUSE THEM. Diffusing an essential oil spreads the health promoting properties through the air. This can be as simple as putting a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and then placing the cotton ball nearby. Of course, a wide variety of diffusers is available for purchase. You can contact me and I will help you find one that meets your specific needs. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- STORE ESSENTIAL OILS CORRECTLY. Essential oils should come in dark-colored bottles to protect the contents from light and should be stored in a dark, cool place. Do not store plastic eyedroppers in an essential oil bottle as the concentrated oils can dissolve the plastic.
- Most essential oils are incredibly safe, but only when used properly. Pets and children can be sensitive to certain aromas, so do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Let these tips be your guide to the safe and effective use of essential oils. Have fun and experiment with aromas that suit your needs and smell preferences. Allow the essence of this beautiful, healing gift to invade the essence of your being and surround you with goodness, energy, wellbeing and the feeling of Bliss.
Wishing you peace, wellness & tranquility!
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
Host of Blissful Living Show