28 December 2017

Essential Oil FAQ

Essential oils can improve your life, benefit your health, and provide an enchanting fragrance that everyone in your home can enjoy-- but they can also be confusing. If you have never dabbled in essential oils before, trying to find accurate information that is suitable for newbies can be downright disheartening.

In an effort to try and provide a solution, below, the most common questions about essential oils have been collated-- and they’ve been answered, too. Hopefully, this guide should help you feel comfortable with essential oil use even as a novice, and allow you to experience the benefits that these oils can offer.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extremely concentrated essences of herbs, flowers, and other flora. The fact they are so concentrated makes them extremely potent and helps to unleash beneficial attributes.

What are essential oils used for?

Almost anything! Essential oils are used as aides for cleaning, health, skincare, and even mental health conditions.

Are essential oils effective?

That very much depends on what you are using them for. For health, essential oils should be viewed as a complementary therapy that can enhance -- but not replace -- standard treatment. For use around the home in cleaning products, many users do report that essential oils are effective, but this is difficult to clinically verify.

How are essential oils used?

Essential oils can be used in a variety of different ways:

  • Diffusing is by far the most common method, with companies like AromaTech offering a range of electronic diffusing options that can be used at home. Diffusing heats oils until they create mist, which is then inhaled as it disperses into the air. 

  • Essential oils can also be burned in an oil burner, though be warned that this requires constant attention due to the lit flame. 

  • Essential oils can also be used topically on the skin. 

Are essential oils safe?

You do need to take sensible precautions when using essential oils:

  • These oils are potent. You only need to use around 5 drops per 100ml of carrier oil or water to experience their effects.

  • Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin; they should always be diluted in a carrier oil. 

  • Do not, under any circumstances, consume essential oils. There are some recipes online that suggest eating or drinking essential oils, but this is a very bad idea unless the oil is 100 percent verified as safe for human consumption. 

How should essential oils be stored?

Good essential oils will usually be sold in dark, usually brown, glass bottles to prevent sun exposure. If they are not sold in these bottles, transfer the contents of the bottle to a light-proof container as soon as possible. The bottles should then be stored in a cool, dry place.

How can I know I’m buying good quality oils?

Price is your best guide; the cheaper an oil is, the more you should question its quality. This is particularly true for expensive essential oils such as Roman chamomile; if the price is vastly lower than other suppliers, the oil has likely been cut with a carrier oil, which will reduce its efficacy.

Can I use essential oils with my children?

Always check with a medical professional prior to using essential oils on, or around, children.

Hopefully the above will help you to feel more comfortable using essential oils in future-- good luck!

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