Essentials of Essential Oils

1. Essential oils aren’t oils at all.  Since they do not contain fatty acids, essential oils aren’t actually oils at all. Instead, they are highly concentrated organic elements with potent medicinal qualities.

2. Fragrance oils are not essential oils. Even if its says natural on the bottle. It is not an essential oil if it contains the words fragrance, or perfume.

3. Essential oils are highly concentrated. One hundred pounds of lavender produce a single pound of lavender essential oil.

4. Pregnant? Skip oils for the first trimester. Some oils stimulate blood flow to the uterus.

5. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children. Although many essential oils are great for everyone in the family, some are not safe for children and are toxic if swallowed. Essential oils, like medicine, should be used with adult supervision.

6. Conduct a patch test before using an unfamiliar essential oil. To prevent any skin irritation, always test a new essential oil on a small patch of skin. Combine a single drop of the essential oil with 1/2 teaspoon of a carrier oil of your choice. Rub this on the small patch on the inside of your upper arm. Wait a few hours to make sure there is not irritation.

7. If you are allergic to a plant, you are allergic to its essential oil. 

8. Watch out for adulteration. To check that your essential oil is pure, place a single drop on a piece of paper. The essential oil should evaporate within an hour, and it should not leave a ring of oil behind. This works for all oils except myrrh and patchouli , and absolutes such as jasmine, rose and vanilla.

9. Heat and sunlight destroy essential oils over time. Keep your oils someplace dark and cool as heat and light cause the essential oils to deteriorate over time.

10. Essential oils generally retain potency for five years or longer. When stored properly, essential oils retain potency for five to then years on average. Citrus oils are the exception, they retain full potency for a maximum of two years.

11. Dark-colored glass bottles are best. This prevents any long term exposure to light.

12. Save by starting small. As you learn about the benefits of essential oils you may find it hard to not want a large collection right away, which is quite an investment. However single oils can be very beneficial, cost effective and versatile. Lavender, peppermint, rosemary, orange and tea tree and amazing and versatile essential oils to start with.

13. Because they are natural, essential oils cannot be patented. 

14. Opinions concerning the recommended use of essential oils vary. Start with things you are comfortable with. Try one thing at a time, and do your own research. Since each person is different, different oils may be better for you then someone else. If you are not finding benefits with one kind of essential oil; you may find those benefits in a similar, but different, essential oil.

15. Apply essential oils as soon as symptoms arise or an injury occurs. If there is not improvement within a few hours, try a different essential oil as every person is unique.














Press, A. (2015). Essential Oils Natural Remedies. In A. Press, The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healthing (p. 454). Berkeley: Althea Press.


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