In an attempt to streamline my thoughts and research I'm answering all those questions here.
*Disclaimer: I am not an Aromatherapist or a Doctor. Just a regular gal who wants to keep her family healthy.
Do I use oils?
How do I use them?
I diffuse and use topically (safely and conservatively...keep reading!).
What brand do I use?
I primarily use Plant Therapy. I like their approach to EO use. I trust their practices...they tend to be conservative about EO usage. I appreciate their business integrity. HOWEVER, there are other brands of EOs that are very high quality. I always recommend finding the oil company that you are most comfortable using. Seriously...do your research!
I mentioned above that I use EOs safely and conservatively. Let me explain. In my research I have found the following things repeated over and over by Aromatherapists...you know, the people who go to SCHOOL to learn to use EOs safely and correctly...
...You know what, before I make this list I would like to remind everyone reading to do your own research. Some of these points will contradict what others may say about EOs. The articles are from Plant Therapy's site & blog because they sum up my research very well, and their info is very accessible. Again, this is my research, and I use oils conservatively.
Here we go...
1. I don't use oils on children under age 2. Their little livers are not developed enough to process the EOs. An alternative for children under age 2 is to use hydrosols. Hydrosols are the water remaining after steam distilling the plants used to make EOs. You can read more about them here.
2. I use a select few oils on children ages 2-10. Some EOs are not safe for young children. For more on that, I trust this info. I use the chart below for my kids, and when others ask for recommendations about what to use on their own children. I have this chart printed and taped inside a cabinet in my kitchen for easy access.
*Plant Therapy sells a KidSafe line of EO synergies that I HIGHLY recommend checking out! You can check it out here. And, no I don't get paid by Plant Therapy...I just really like their products and the integrity of their company!
|by: Plant Therapy|
3. I always use a carrier oil when using EOs topically. Essential Oils are not actually oily. They are highly volatile & concentrated oils distilled from plants (ok, that's a super short description!). High quality EOs should evaporate quickly. Carrier oils are vegetable oils derived from the fatty portion of a plant (again, super basic description!), and they have their own therapeutic properties. Carrier oils help carry EOs into your skin. EOs can actually burn your skin and also can cause negative reactions. Carrier oils dilute EOs to safely carry them into your skin and blood stream. You can read more here.
4. I never...EVER...ingest. This is not purity issue; it is a safety issue. I am not a doctor. I don't pretend to be. I don't know enough about the individual constituents of each EO to know about how it will react in my body. Side note: The FDA does not regulate EOs. This is a great article on ingesting that quotes a very reputable Aromatherapist.
5. I use specific EOs only for pregnancy and nursing. This wasn't an issue until about 20 weeks ago. :) This is the chart I use to know what EOs are safe for me and Baby M:
|by: Plant Therapy|
I know I sound like a rep from Plant Therapy. (I'm not!) I know I said "do your research" then only gave you articles and posts from Plant Therapy. Here's the reason: I trust them. These articles and posts are from Aromatherapists who want people to use EOs safely. I have read other articles and books and such on the topic of essential oils and safe usage. The ones I trust say the same thing as the links I have posted.
Hopefully, this post is helpful to someone. These are my opinions; although based on research. I won't pretend to be a Doctor or Aromatherapist. I don''t know nearly as much as I would like to about EOs. I am just one person who did some research to come to her own conclusions about EOs.