Essential oils are concentrated liquids that are of plant origin. They can be derived from peels of fruit, seeds, bark, leafs or resin. They are usually obtained by applying technique of steam distillation. Because of the volatile nature of the chemical constituents present, it is also referred as volatile oil.
They have tendency to evaporate quickly and thus fills the area with its fragrance. Right utilization of essential oils can impart remarkable effects on skin, hair or mental health.
Essential oils are categorized according to 3 primary aroma notes that is top, middle and base note. They are also distinguished according to primary aroma. Generally grouping of essential oil is done into 8 aroma families:
When it comes to using essential oils there are various precautions one should take to avoid the negative outcome. The use of essential oil varies from person to person. For some may find lemon oil of use and others may utilize eucalyptus oil. So basically it is the need of person that should be given preference.
In this article, I am going to put forth ways to use essential oils emphasizing on safety and precautionary measures.
Ways to use Essential oils
a) Inhalation: Inhalation is considered as most common way of using essential oil. In this one inhale the essential oils through the nose. Scientists believe that essential oils hold power to send chemical message to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion. This signal responds by bringing comfort and increase of positive energy. So next time if you feel anxiety and depression, try inhaling lavender or chamomile oil. It will surely make you feel calm.
b) Dry evaporation: This method is somewhat similar to inhalation method. In this all one need is a dry material which could be a cotton ball or fabric. Put some drops of your favorite essential oil and bring it near your nose. Inhale the fragrance or let it travel naturally. This can be beneficial as one can keep the fabric or cotton ball in it. This can work as a long lasting method.
c) Diffuser: Diffuser is a device that is again help in dispersing or diffusion of essential oils in the air. There are varieties of diffuser available in market like ceramic diffuser, candle diffuser, electric diffuser or ultrasonic diffuser. Diffusers turn out to be really helpful in big rooms or area so that proper dispersion of fragrance takes place.
d) Topical application: Topical application of essential oils is also a very common approach but you would love it if you learnt to use it wisely. Topical application of oil involves use of oil on different body parts. But yes you need to be careful if it is a first time exposure (essential oils can have negative impact too). In the later section of the article, I am going to tell you about safety precautions if you are a newbie. It can be incorporated in your skin cream, can be utilized in aromatherapy massage.
e) Internal application: If you did not know it then let me tell you, essential oils can be used internally too. But hold on you just cannot intake any essential oils! There are some essential oils that are recommended for internal uptake and that too in permissible quantity. You can add 2-3 drops of selective essential oil in your glass of water and that can keep you hydrated all day long. Essential oils can also be consumed by cooking your meal in it. The unique flavor of oils reaches into your favorite foods.
After jotting different methods of exploiting essential oils like aromatically, topically and internally, I would like to shift our focus onto safety and precautions related with essential oils. That is actually the most important segment of this article because you know; A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
General safety guidelines to use essential oils:
- Essential oils are very potent in nature as they are highly concentrated liquids. You have to keep it in head that a little goes a long way!In case of essential oils, less is more. It is our human tendency that we end up adding another drop thinking it would help more. But it is a big NO in case of volatile oils.
- As I already mentioned they are highly concentrated liquids it is important to dilute them before applying it topically. Okay, now the question is what should be used for diluting it. To the rescue we have carrier oils or vegetable oils in queue that should be mixed with essential oils.
- Essential oils are natural oils of plant origin; they can cause allergic reactions in case of sensitive people. It is so very important to have patch test before applying them to skin. Patch test will support to get prior knowledge of skin irritation.
- Though inhalation of oil is related with alleviating feeling of anxiety and depression, it is not advisable to directly and extensively inhale essential oils for longer than 15-20 minutes.
- It is always important to keep essential oils away from reach of children.
- Internal application of oil should be done only if it is advised by a practitioner who is qualified to prescribe essential oils in this way.
- Essential oils have diverse chemical compounds and some of they are carcinogenic (cancer causing) in nature, so handling of essential oil should be done with utmost care.
- Pregnant women, nursing women should use essential oil only after consultation with their doctor.
- Essential oils are flammable in nature so their storage should be done in a way that they are not in close proximity with flames or any similar fire hazard
- Before purchasing essential oils one should carefully examine the manufacturing details along with expiry date. Expired essential oils are not suitable to use and should be discarded.
- Citrus family oils like lemon, bergamot are photo-sensitizing in nature as they cause reaction when come in contact with UV exposure. One should avoid going out in sun radiation with citrus oils on skin.
I’m pretty sure this article would have given a complete information on Essential Oils & Carrier Oils. For any other question, query please comment below and let’s discuss more on it. Would be happy to interact more with you on Essential Oils, Carrier Oils & Aromatherapy Oils.