Essential oils are distilled from plant leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, barks and resins, or are expressed from the rinds of citrus fruits. It generally takes at least 50 pounds of plant material to make one pound of essential oil (for example, a pound of rosemary oil requires sixty-six pounds of herb), but the ratio is sometimes astonishing – it takes 2,300 pounds of rose flowers to make a single pound of oil. Essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. There are instances when experienced aromatherapy users and practitioners make exceptions to this precaution. Lavender and tea tree are listed by a large number of aromatherapy sources as being oils that can be used undiluted. Essential oils are usually lipophilic (literally: “oil-loving”) compounds that usually are not miscible with water. Instead, they can be diluted in solvents like pure 100% ethanol ,polyethylene glycol, or oils.
Possibly the most important thing to remember is that anyone, no matter who they are, trying to sell you essential oils, is trying to make a profit. That’s okay, as long as you get what you pay for. The problem is that some unscrupulous vendors will try to sell you substances that are not truly pure essential oils. The labeling may tell you what you’re actually dealing with. If it says “natural identical oil,” then it clearly is not the actual essential oil you are looking for. When the label tells you it is “fragrance oil,” or “perfume oil,” you can be sure that it is not one single essential oil. It is at best a mixture and at worst a chemical concoction.
Essential Oils Tips
1. Put a few drops of essential oil on a used fabric softener sheet or rag and throw it in the clothes dryer to make sheets, towels, and clothing smell wonderful.
2. Don’t use undiluted oils on your skin.
3. Skin test oils before using. Dilute a small amount and apply to the skin on your inner arm.
4. Keep oils away from eyes and mucous membranes.
5. Add 7-10 drops of essential oil to bath water directly or blend with 1 teaspoon of vegetable.
6. Massage helps the skin to absorb essential oils.
7. Add 7 – 10 drops of essential oil to bath water directly or blend with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, bath crystals, milk, honey, etc..
8. Wax candles can be bought ready-impregnated with essential oils and are a delightful way of scenting a room. Or
9. Essential oils are extracts from different parts of the plants such as herbs, flowers, leaves, resin, bark, fruit rinds and roots.
10. Do not use essential oils in pregnancy and stop using them in case they cause redness, burning, itching or skin irritation.
11. Add 3 drops of appropriate essential oil to 1 t. of water, mix and gargle.
12. Lavender and Tea tree oils can be applied directly to cuts, scrapes, or scratches for pain relief and healing properties.
13. Use a sitz bath with just enough water to cover lower body and add 5 drops of essential oil.
14. Avoid applying Essential Oils immediately after perspiring or using a sauna.
15. Put a dab of essential oils on cotton balls and scatter around the house in inconspicuous locations like airing cupboards, drawers, etc..
Essential oils can be purchased at many health food stores and through on-line distributors. Due to the growing interest in aromatherapy, products that are prepackaged and infused with essential oils can be found at most national chain stores.