Essential OilsEssential oils – the very essence of Nature itself. They are complex substances, often referred to as the life force of plants, having hundreds of constituent parts. Each essential oil has its own therapeutic properties which can be used to promote well being and balance in the body, mind and spirit. These oils form the building blocks for aromatherapy and they may be used singly or in conjunction with other oils.
Essential oils can be used in a number of ways including in massage, baths, steam inhalation, compresses and vaporising. Because of their concentration and potency, we recommend that before embarking on aromatherapy at home a basic understanding should be sought. For more information on uses for essential oils and the cautions which should always be followed, please see below.
Cautions in using essential oilsThere are several important points to note when using essential oils –please take time to read this section carefully.
Children - Always keep out of the reach of children. Children under 2 years of age should not be treated with essential oils. Do not use Peppermint or Eucalyptus on children under 3 years of age.
Pregnancy - During pregnancy and for breast feeding mothers, we do not recommend the use of essential oils without professional advice.
Sunshine - The following oils should not be used on the skin prior to exposure to sunshine or a sunbed: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin and Orange.
Sensitive Skin - The following oils may cause irritation to sensitive skins: Basil, Bergamot, Fennel, Ginger, Juniper, Lemon Grass, Lime, Orange, Peppermint, Pine, Tea Tree and Thyme.
Epilepsy - If you suffer from epilepsy, do not use the following oils: Eucalyptus, Fennel, Rosemary and Thyme
High Blood Pressure - The following oils must not be used by anyone suffering high blood pressure: Eucalyptus and Rosemary.
Eyes - Avoid contact with eyes
Always dilute your essential oil in a carrier before application to the skin. Essential oils should not be taken internally without professional advice.
As with all natural products, essential oils have a shelf life. Once opened, for most essential oils we recommend that they be used within 12 months. The citrus oils should be used within 3-6 months of opening. To prolong the life of your essential oils, store in a cool dark area away from direct sunlight
How to use essential oils
MassageMassage with essential oils is deeply relaxing, helping to improve your wellbeing. Combining the properties of the oils with the therapeutic benefits of touch, this is probably the most effective way to use oils. For Massage, always dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil before use. Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to 5ml (1 teaspoon) of carrier oil.
BathsBathing is one of the easiest and pleasurable ways of using essential oils. Add 4-6 drops of essential oils to a warm bath. Immerse yourself and soak for at least 10 minutes, relaxing and breathing deeply. The heat of the water will help aid the absorption of the essential oils through the skin. At the same time inhaling the vapour enables the oils to enter the blood stream through the lungs. For children and people with sensitive skins, add the essential oils to 5-10ml of a carrier oil or some milk. Shake well and then add to the bath. This will help the oils disperse in the bath.
Steam InhalationFill a large bowl with hot water and add 2-3 drops of essential oil. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl allowing the water vapour to carry the oil to your nose. Remain like this for several minutes. Alternatively, add 2-3 drops of essential oils to a handkerchief, hold it to use nose and inhale.
CompressesTo a bowl of warm water add 2-5 drops of essential oil. Next, immerse a piece of cotton or lint in the water, allowing it to absorb the liquid for a few minutes and then apply as required.
VaporisingFill the top of a vaporiser with a few tablespoons of warm water and add a few drops of chosen oil to create and aromatic ambience. When using oil burners, do not leave unattended of allow to burn dry.
Carrier OilsCarrier Oils are a means for essential oils to be absorbed through the skin in a safe way. They are completely natural and are usuallyused as a base for massage. These oilscan be used neat on the skin and each has its own benefits. Always dilute your essential oils beforeapplication to the skin.