There is so much to know about essential oils, whether youâ€™re using them for household cleaning or health, that the wealth of information can be intimidating to a beginner. Iâ€™ve been practicing aromatherapy for years now and Iâ€™m still surprised by new facts or interesting properties of essential oils.
This constant discovery is part of what makes aromatherapy so fun, and I recommend throwing yourself into research and experimentation. However it is handy to have something concise to refer to, so I have compiled a list of a few things to know about essential oils to get you started:
Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic extracts from plants, and have been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes since ancient times.
They differ from the type of oils you may be familiar with, like olive or sunflower oil. Essential oils are also not the same as fragrance oils: fragrance oils are usually synthetic.
- They may be natural, but essential oils can still be harmful if used improperly.
- Do not ingest them and do not use them undiluted on the skin.
- If you wish to use essential oils on the skin, you should always dilute them with a carrier oil or base oil first.
- You may want to start off by using an essential oils burner.
- Be particularly careful using essential oils around children.
- Keep out of their reach, and consult a professional before using any essential oils on a child.
- When used responsibly, essential oils have remarkable properties.
- They can relax, they can revive, and can be anti fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, antispasmodic to name but a few properties.
Not all essential oils are created equal. Buy yours from a trusted supplier to ensure purity and top quality. Do bear in mind however that price doesnâ€™t always correlate with quality, so shop smartly and donâ€™t simply go for the most expensive (or cheapest) product.
Store them properly- pure essential oils can last up to ten years if stored away from sunlight and heat. Keep them in dark glass bottles (they should come in appropriate bottles if bought from a reputable supplier, but if you make your own aromatherapy blends be sure to buy suitable containers)
Buy an aromatherapy starter box if youâ€™re unsure which oils to buy. And if you want to know more about essential oils, the internet is a great place to start. I also highly recommend London herbalist Baldwins for its top quality aromatherapy products and its helpful selection of aromatherapy books.