1. What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from the different parts of plants such as flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots and other parts to enhance psychological, emotional and physical well-being. These extracted natural oils are a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing aroma compounds called Essential Oils.
There is some research evidence that Aromatherapy can help improve general well-being, but medical evidence has yet to show that it can prevent or cure disease.
2. How long has Aromatherapy been around?
Aromatherapy has been around for centuries. It is a form of ancient practice that our ancestors used prior to the discovery of modern medicine. It was used for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes. Today, even in the presence of modern solutions, Aromatherapy is gaining momentum as a natural, complementary method of healing. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain and anxiety reduction, mood and short term memory enhancement, relaxation, skin and hair treatment, increased concentration, and many more.
3. What are the benefits of Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are extremely concentrated and potent. They produce strong aromas that, when inhaled, are believed to stimulate brain function, elevate the mood, trigger emotional response, reduce pain and anxiety, enhance energy and short-term memory, relaxation, prevent hair loss, reduce eczema-induced itching and many other beneficial effects.
Two basic mechanisms are used to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system (which supports emotions, behavior, motivation) through the sense of smell. The other is the direct pharmacological effects of the Essential Oils, as they are absorbed through the skin, promoting whole-body healing. In short, if there is an emotional or physical condition, there is an oil to treat it. Please view our product descriptions for detailed benefits of each Essential Oil.
4. How are Essential Oils made?
Essential Oils are extracted by various methods:
Distillation by using steam, expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping and cold pressing.
Distillation is the most common method used. This method involves steaming the raw plant material, resulting in the evaporation of the basic element of water and oil. The oil vapor is passed through a coil and cooled to return to liquid form. This oil carries the same fragrance as the original plant. The oil is then separated from the water and filtered into its pure Essential Oil form.
Most citrus oils such as lemon and sweet orange are expressed or cold pressed from the peel. This process is cheaper than distillation, resulting in the lower cost of citrus Essential Oils.
5. What are the common methods of Essential Oil use?
Essential Oils can be utilized through many different applications. The method of application has an impact on their healing capabilities.
The most common application is aerial diffusion, where a few drops of the oil are placed in a diffuser to be dispersed into the environment, filling a room or area with the natural fragrance. The simplest methods of diffusion are:
- Placing a few drops of Essential Oils on a tissue. As movement occurs around the room, the aroma is released.
- Using a tea light candle diffuser to gently warm a few drops of Essential Oils, promoting diffusion into a room.
- Adding a few drops of Essential Oils to the water in an electric diffuser.
Most Essential Oils are too concentrated to apply directly to the skin. They can cause irritation, harmful reactions, rashes or burns. Therefore, they are normally diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or almond oil before applying to the skin. Care must be taken to dilute the oils to a safe level. Each Essential Oil is known for specific benefits. Depending on which affect you desire you can select a particular oil and apply topically using massage.
Another popular and easy method is the vapor or steam inhalation technique. Placing a few drops of Essential Oils in a bowl of boiled water causes the oils to evaporate from the heat. The steam can then be inhaled. This method can be made more effective by using a towel around your head to preserve the aroma from escaping while you inhale it.
Lotions are created by diluting a few drops of Essential Oils in an unscented lotion base, or by adding to cocoa or shea butters. This is an extremely effective and easy method for daily application, especially for children and the elderly.
You can create a compress at home by adding a few drops of your preferred Essential Oil to a bowl of warm water, dipping a clean washcloth into the blend and wringing out. Apply the washcloth to areas of the body that need pain relief, such as muscles, joints, forehead, or stomach.
Water Immersion (Baths)
Adding a few drops of your favorite Essential Oil or blend to a tub of warm bathwater and mixing it well to dilute to a safe concentration, can be a divine experience at the end of a long day. Immerse yourself into this aromatic bath to promote healing.
6. What does "Therapeutic Grade" mean?
Undiluted Essential Oils suitable for aromatherapy are termed 'therapeutic grade', but there are no established and agreed standards for this category.
7. How are Essential Oils different from perfumes?
Essential Oils are extracted from plant components. The word "essential" means the oil contains the "essence" of the plant's fragrance it was derived from. However, perfumes and fragrance oils are chemically and synthetically produced to mimic the plant's fragrance, making them less desirable than Essential Oils.
8. Can I apply Essential Oils directly to my skin?
Most Essential Oils are too concentrated to apply directly to the skin. They can cause irritation, harmful reactions, rashes or burns. Therefore, they are normally diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or almond oil before applying to the skin. Care must be taken to dilute the oils to a safe level.
9. Are Essential Oils safe?
The potential danger of an Essential Oil is sometimes relative to its level or grade of purity, and sometimes related to the toxicity of specific chemical components of the oil.
Many Essential Oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality. These Essential Oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted form.
Some Essential Oils, including many of the citrus oils, are photosensitizers, which means they increase the skin's vulnerability to sunlight.
Essential Oils can be aggressive toward rubbers and plastics, so care must be taken when using around basic kitchen and home products.
The use of essential oils in pregnancy is not recommended due to inadequate publications to demonstrate evidence of safety. Essential Oils can cause irritation and nausea for pregnant women.
Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals, especially to cats.
Last but not least, Essential Oils are extremely flammable and should be handled with care around high temperature appliances, candles, etc.
10. What type of bottles are used?
The type of bottle differs based on the size and type of products you select. See our Product Packaging page for details on bottles and containers.
11. How should Essential Oils be stored?
Essential Oils are best kept in the original product packaging (glass or plastic bottles) in which they are delivered. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.