How NOT To Use Essential Oils

Despite the growth in use of essential oils the number of trained Aromatherapists is still quite low in comparison to practitioners of modalities like yoga and massage.  So instead of another how-to post on Aromatherapy, I thought it would be more appropriate to tell people what not to do, and encourage good decisions about the safe use of essential oils.

# 1 Not to do:  Get all your Aromatherapy information from the internet.
Yes I appreciate the irony of using the internet to tell you this, but I’m serious.  Please please get yourself at least 1-2 good Aromatherapy reference books.  When it comes to essential oils and Aromatherapy the amount of blatantly false information circulating on the web is staggering.  The content ranges from ridiculous claims to dangerous advice.  You need to have the ability to check what you come across against facts.  The best books are those written by established aromatherapy authors.  I recommend Valerie Worwood, Robert Tisserand, Patricia Davis, Gabriel Mojay, Kurt Schnaubelt, and Salvatore Battaglia.

#2 Not to do:  Assume that since essential oils are natural they must be harmless.
 Essential oils are powerful resources that should be handled with care and respect.  When used properly essential oils have virtually no side effects but proper usage does require some effort.  People operating under the assumption that essential oils are natural and therefore harmless will fail to put in that effort.  You can avoid most problems by doing two things: check for contraindications and dilute.  If you don’t know what those two things are then consider picking up one of my EO book suggestions.

#3 Not to do:  Use essential oils on children that you’ve never used yourself.
This is kind of a combo of #1 and #2 but it’s important enough to have it’s own paragraph. There is a short list of essential oils that are considered gentle enough for children.  The Chamomiles, Lavender and Mandarin.  Despite being very gentle these oils should still be diluted when being used on children.  If you don’t have much experience with essential oils please be wise and try them yourself before using them on your children.  It’s important to understand how an oil can effect one physically, mentally and emotionally.  This understanding allows you to make an informed choice as a parent or caregiver. Products for children should be highly diluted using only 1/2 to 1/4 of the standard dilution for a healthy adult.

Pretty much everything you shouldn’t do when it comes to Aromatherapy falls under these Not to dos.  If I’ve missed anything please add it to the comments below.


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