Basic principles of using Essential Oils in Aromatherapy at home

Aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat medical conditions, to alleviate psychological ailments, for cosmetic purposes, and to reduce stress. The essential oils of aromatherapy have the power to enhance both your physical and mental state.

Essential oils are extracted from living plants and trees. When essential oils are used appropriately, most can be used at home safely, enjoyable, and with beneficial effects.  When trying aromatherapy at home, the following things should be kept in mind:

  • Dilute essential oils before using them in the carrier oil. Only lavender and tea tree oils are the exceptions that do not require to be diluted.
  • Essential oils are flammable, so they should be used with extreme caution around the flames and heat sources. If you use a burner to diffuse the oil, add water in the burner first. The essential oil will enter the air as the water evaporates.
  • Essential oils are for external use only. Some essential oils can be very toxic if ingested or swallowed. On very rare occasions, a qualified aroma therapist may prescribe essential oils by mouth. Even essential oils that have a therapeutic effect when diluted in certain oral treatments (like mouthwash) should not be swallowed.
  • When using essential oils on children it is important to remember that they do have a heightened sense of smell and can also have sensitive skin. Very young babies could actually be over-stimulated if you do not use the appropriate dose. Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.
  • If you want to use essential oils during pregnancy, please seek the advice of a trained, qualified aroma therapist first. They can cause changes in blood pressure and can cause uterine contractions.
  • If you are using essential oils as a part of homeopathic or herbal medicine treatment, get advice from homeopathic or herbal medicine practitioners as well as from an aroma therapist as they have very different activities and their intrinsic value cannot be replaced.
  • Some medical conditions require a doctor's care, and not all medical conditions benefit from aromatherapy. Always check with your doctor first before undertaking aromatherapy for the treatment of any medical condition.
  • If aromatherapy causes an allergic reaction, you should stop using it and strictly avoid its smell.

Following these basic principles will help your experience with aromatherapy to be both enjoyable and beneficial.