Having a guide to essential oils to refer to can be very helpful. It can help us navigate through all the information currently available on the web. These wonderful gifts of nature are very concentrated and need to be used with care and respect. There is so much information about essential oils available on the web today. Some of it is great, some of it less so. Sometimes the wealth of information can be overwhelming, and sometimes you just don’t know what to do with conflicting information. So if you are not ready to take formal training this Guide to Essential Oils might be helpful.
When starting out with essential oils one can get caught up in the excitement of smelling the wonderful aromas and considering all the different ways they can be used. But the safety aspect is often forgotten. Just because essential oils are extracted from nature, does not necessarily make them safe to use. In addition, essential oils are so concentrated (for instance it takes approximately 50lbs of eucalyptus leaves to produce 1lb of the essential oil; 150lbs of the flowering tops of lavender to produce 1lb of essential oil of lavender and two to three thousand pounds of rose petals to produce 1lb of essential oil of rose) that a very little goes a long way.
So understanding the safety issues surrounding the use of essential oils is really important. I would be happy to email you the Free e-book, Essential Oils, Application Methods, Safety Considerations and Uses around the House if you sign up for the Newsletter. You will get a good overview of the safety issues around the use of essential oils. You will also find information here on how to use the oils. To round it off there are some recipes and ideas for how to use the oils around the house.
We are faced with a myriad of essential oils to choose from, so how do we which oils will be the best ones to start with? Of course ,you could start with my Aromatherapy 101 course, I always love welcoming new students, but I do know that this is not for everyone. In Aromatherapy 101 I cover 30 different essential oils, but if you are just starting out on your own and creating your own kit, this might be too many. Here is some information on three oils that will help to get you started.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
This is a very gentle oil and can even be used on small infants, in the appropriate dosage of course. This oils is calming and soothing and can be used for many conditions that require these properties. It has a sweet aroma with a slightly fruity undertone. I do have a mini-profile on Chamomile in the Article Archives, and it is one of the oils I mention in the Aromatic Body Scrub Blog.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Lavender is one of the most versatile oils available, and if they could only have one essential oil, many would choose Lavender. There are only 3 essential oils that can be used on small children and babies. Like Roman Chamomile, Lavender is one of them as is Mandarin. Lavender is a good example as to why it is so important to know the Latin name of the essential oil you are buying. The Lavender I am talking about is Lavendula angustifolia, however also available on the marked are Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) and Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia). While there are some similarities between the three oils they are not the same, and you would never want to use Lavandin or Spike Lavender on a small child. I have a mini-profile on each of these oils, Lavender, Lavandin and Spike Lavender, as well as a blog post on Lavender vs Lavandin vs Spike Lavender. Lavender is also featured in my blog on Aromatic Foot Massage.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Citrus oils are wonderfully uplifting and cheering. Bergamot has a sweet aroma with a citrus floral note that is really quite beautiful. Its reviving, refreshing, calming, soothing and uplifting qualities make it a lovely addition to a blend. We do however need to be cautious around using many citrus oils, and bergamot in particular, because of the presence of the lactone bergaptene in this cold pressed oil, it does have strong phototoxic properties. This caution applies to any oil that is applied topically to the skin and then exposed to UV rays or sunlight. As this caution only applies to the topical application, there is not the same concern when bergamot is used in inhalation. There is a version of Bergamot available on the market Bergamot FCF, in which the bergaptene has been removed. Bergamot FCF is safe to apply topically, but its aroma is not quite the same are regular Bergamot. I also have a mini-profile on Bergamot and I have highlighted it in blog post Bergamot – Sunshine in a bottle.
I hope you find this both interesting and helpful.