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Using Essential Oils




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Using Essential Oils

Guidelines for Essential Oils  ( see also the Aromatherapy Solutions page )

* Essential oils are very concentrated. Their safe use requires they be treated with care and respect. The user should be knowledgeable about their properties and actions before any use. Most personal applications require drops rather than ounces.

* Keep oils out of reach of children and away from pets. Please do not ingest by mouth. Because of the potency of certain essential oils, proceed carefully and with guidance from a trained aromatherapist if any of the following situations exist: pregnancy, high blood pressure, epilepsy, open wounds, diabetes, rashes, neurological disorders, or if taking prescription medications or homeopathic remedies.

* Undiluted pure essential oils are never applied directly to the skin. For application to the skin, dilute in a pure vegetable carrier oil, such as almond, grapeseed or jojoba. For full-body and foot baths, dilute the oils in water. Special care is advised when using essential oils which heighten skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light. These oils include angelica, verbena and citrus oils such as bergamot, bitter orange, lemon and lime. Avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays for a minimum of four hours following application of photosensitive essential oils.

* Check this site for specific precautions about each essential oil. Essential oils have different levels of potency. The more potent the oil, the smaller the quantity used. Sage, fennel, hyssop and wintergreen are relatively more potent than most oils; rose, lavender and chamomile are relatively mild. Most essential oils are safe and nontoxic when proper dilution recommendations are followed. When in doubt, seek guidance from a professional aromatherapist or medical professional.

* Essential oils are not intended for use in the treatment of specific medical conditions. For treatment of health ailments, please seek diagnosis and recommendations from a licensed medical practitioner.

* Essential oils are very concentrated, so it's important to handle them with care. Please read these cautions carefully:

* Always read and follow all label warnings and cautions.

* Keep oils tightly closed and out of the reach of children.
Never consume undiluted oils. Cook only with those oils approved for food use.

* Don't use undiluted oils on your skin. (Dilute with vegetable oils.)
Skin test oils before using. Dilute a small amount and apply to the skin on your inner arm. Do not use if redness or irritation occurs.

* Keep oils away from eyes and mucous membranes.
If redness, burning, itching, or irritation occur, stop using oil immediately.

* Avoid use of these oils during pregnancy: bitter almond, basil, clary sage, clove bud, hyssop, sweet fennel, juniper berry, marjoram, myrrh, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, thyme and wintergreen.

* These oils can be especially irritating to the skin: allspice, bitter almond, basil, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, clove bud, sweet fennel, fir needle, lemon, lemongrass, melissa, peppermint, tea tree, wintergreen.

* Angelica and all citrus oils make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light. Do not go out into the sun with these oils on your skin.

* Sweet fennel, hyssop, sage, and rosemary should not be used by anyone with epilepsy.

* People with high blood pressure should avoid hyssop, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

 Basil:
Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
Use: Relieves headaches, chest infections, digestive problems, antispasmodic, sore, overworked muscles. Helpful for mental fatigue and stress. Invigorates body, spirit, helps refresh the mind allowing concentration.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Lavender, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Black Pepper
Source: flowering herb, leaves
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: soothing, energizing, toning, illuminating
Aroma type: spicy, camphore-like undertone
Warning: Do not use Basil during pregnancy, can be a skin irritant.
Safety Information: use recommended dilution or less

 Benzoin:
Botanical name: Styax benzoin, S. tonkinensis (Family, Styacaceae)
Use: For aromatherapy, only solid benzoin tears or tincture of the resin dissolved in alcohol. Soothes, stimulates, comforts, warms, used for respiratory ailments, expectorant. Improves digestion and digestive disorders.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Neroli, Lavender, Chamomile, Rosewood, Rose, Ylang Ylang
Source: sap from the benzoin tree
Production method: melted by heat, extracted by alcohol
Aromatherapy benefits: warming, soothing, calming
Aroma type: vanilla-like
Warning: Do not use if it has been dissolved with solvents.
Safety Information: Only benzoin solid or resin dissolved in alcohol should be used.

 Bergamot:
Botanical name: Citrus bergamia, Citrus aurantium
Use: Antiseptic properties. Makes it useful for urinary tract infections, acne and skin problems, cystitis, arthritis, respiratory ailments, cold sores and other herpes related ailments.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Neroli, Orange, Rosemary
Source: rinds of the fruit
Production method: pressing or expression
Aromatherapy benefits: Refreshes, uplifts
Aroma type: Lovely light lemon, orange citrus aroma.
Warning: Do not apply to the skin before going out into the sun for it can increase the susceptibility of the skin to severe burning.
Safety Information: photo toxic

 Black Pepper:
Botanical name: piper nigrum
Use: A good warming oil for winter. It should be used very infrequently as it is an extremely powerful oil. Used in very small amounts it is an antispasmodic, which, when rubbed over the abdomen can alleviate bowel cramps and griping pains. Excellent oil for muscular pain, fatigue and stiffness. Fights infection.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Ylang Ylang, Basil
Source: peppercorn
Production method: steam distilled
Aromatherapy benefits: stimulating, invigorating
Aroma type: spicy, sensual
Warning: use in very small quantities, this oil can cause liver damage with overuse, and is also a skin irritant.
Safety Information: avoid over use on the skin

 Cedarwood:
Botanical name: cedrus deodora
Use: It is a powerful antiseptic, used in urinary tract, respiratory, and bronchial infections. Good on skin conditions such as acne because of its astringent action. It works both as a stimulant and tonic as well as reducing stress and tension.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Geranium, Lavender, Vetiver, Elemi, Sandalwood, Rosewood
Source: heartwood and seed-bearing cones
Production method: distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: calming, stabilizing
Aroma type: sweet, balsamic
Warning: do not use during pregnancy
Safety Information: can stimulate menstrual flow.

 Chamomile (Roman):
Botanical name:chamaemulum nobile
Use: There are several varieties of this oil, though they do overlap somewhat in their properties, Maroc being the least potent. The greatest uses are anti-inflammatory, sedative, soothing and calming. A good antidepressant. It is excellent in skin disorders as it reduces the associated redness and pain. It is one of only a few oils which can be used directly on the skin, or on children.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Neroli, Rosewood, Lavender, Clary Sage, Jasmine
Source: flower
Production method: distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: calming, soothing, relaxing, nourishing
Aroma type: sweet, warm, fresh
Warning: none noted
Safety Information: Mild enough for infants and children

 Clary Sage:
Botanical name: salvia sciarea
Use: Excellent oil for the treatment of anyone with stress and tension. It is a powerful muscle relaxant which induces a euphoric state. Valuable in the treatment of asthma as it relaxes spasms in the bronchial tubes. Good for all kinds of cramps and muscle tension, which makes it invaluable for use in stopping uterine contractions in menstrual cramps. Good for greasy hair or dandruff. Good for depression, inflammation, rejuvenates skin cells.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Chamomile, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Benzoin
Source: flowers, leaves
Production method: distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: warming, relaxing, calming, euphoric
Aroma type: sweet, spicy, balsamic undertones
Warning: avoid during pregnancy and during consumption of alcohol
Safety Information: clary sage may cause drowsiness

 Coriander:
Botanical name: coriandrum sativum
Use: relieves pain and muscle spasm, particularly with arthritis sufferers. Stimulates appetite and helps with digestion. Fights bacteria and fungi, boosts circulation, stimulates the heart and nervous system. Arouses sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Lemon, Helichrysum, Marjoram
Source: seeds
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: sweet, woody,
Aroma type: relaxing, clarifying
Warning: avoid during pregnancy
Safety Information:

 Cypress:
Botanical name: cypressus sempervirens
Use: It is an astringent, especially useful in cases of excess fluid, heavy menstruation, edema, and excessive sweating. A good oil to use on hydrated skin, or oily skin conditions. A tonic on the circulatory system. Helps to regulate the menstrual cycle
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Lemon, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Peppermint, Lavender
Source: needles, twigs, cones
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, refreshing, astringent
Aroma type: sharp, smoky, warm, woody
Warning: none noted
Safety Information: good for stopping bleeding, repels insects

 Eucalyptus:
Botanical name: eucalyptus globulus
Use: Best know as a decongestant for colds. Powerful antibacterial and antiviral. Good for use in rheumatism pain. Promotes cell regeneration and regulates the oiliness of the skin. Increases circulation and helps stabilize blood sugar.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Lavender, Juniper, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Thyme
Source: leaves
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: clearing, refreshing, penetrating
Aroma type: camphoric
Warning: may irritate sensitive skin
Safety Information: "test" on small area of skin (inside of elbow)

 Fennel:
Botanical name: foeniculum vulgare dulce
Use: reduces inflammation, relieves muscle spasm. Fights infection, clears excess mucus, valuable in cellulite treatment, balances female hormones, eases PMS, eliminates toxins
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Juniper, Lavender, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile
Source: seeds
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: carminative, balancing, detoxing
Aroma type: sweet, zesty, sharp, spicy
Warning: Can trigger epileptic seizures in people with seizure disorders
Safety Information: Consult with your health care provider before use.

 Frankincense:
Botanical name: boswellia carteri
Use: Calms coughs and helps the respiratory tract. It clears decongestion or helping with bronchial conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Particularly useful on mature skin because of its rejuvenating properties. It has a calming and relaxing effect.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Myrrh, Pine, Juniper, Lemon, Cedarwood
Source: resin
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: meditative, relaxing
Aroma type: warm, woody, sweet, spicy
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Geranium:
Botanical name: pelargonium ordorantisimum
Use: One of the true balancing oils. It is an antidepressant and antiseptic. Good for skin care. It works as a great hormone balancer in all hormone related conditions which makes it useful in menstrual disorders. Relieves pain, fights infection, stops cuts from bleeding. Tightens and tones tissue. Diminishes depression, lowers blood sugar levels. Reduces fluid retention
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Neroli, Rosewood, Fennel, Vetiver, Frankincense, Rose
Source: entire plant
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: balancing, calming, harmonizing
Aroma type: sweet, rosy, minty
Warning: Can lower your blood sugar level
Safety Information: Avoid if you are hypoglycemic

 Ginger:
Botanical name: zingiber officinale
Use: Good in preparations for muscular fatigue, rheumatism and arthritis. Helpful for conditions like diarrhea and catarrh... Can irritate the skin...
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Rosewood, Coriander, Benzoin, Ylang Ylang, Rose
Source: root
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: warms, sharpens, aphrodisiac
Aroma type: sharp, peppery, spicy, pungent
Warning: may be irritating to sensitive skin
Safety Information: "test" patch this oil on the skin (inside of elbow)

 Jasmine:
Botanical name: jasmine officinalis
Use: A relaxing and antidepressant oil, which gives rise to it's status as an aphrodisiac. A wonderful oil for the skin especially dry skin conditions. Calms nerves, reduces inflammation, fights infection, clears mucus, softens skin.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Ylang Ylang, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Source: flower
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, soothing, confidence building
Aroma type: sweet, floral, warm
Warning: Avoid during pregnancy
Safety Information: stimulates menstruation

 Juniper:
Botanical name: juniper communis
Use: An antiseptic, diuretic and fights infection. Excellent for its detoxification properties. In small quantities it can help alleviate urine retention, though in large quantities the opposite is true. Excellent oil for urinary tract infections. A good oil for skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, though the condition may appear to get worse before it gets better, as is the case with most forms of natural healing.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Marjoram, Chamomile, Helichrysum
Source: berries
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, stimulating, relaxing
Aroma type: spicy, peppery, pine-like
Warning: avoid during pregnancy. activates the kidneys
Safety Information: consult your healthcare provider with kidney problems.

 Lavender:
Botanical name: lavandula officinalis
Use: stimulates new cell growth, lifts depression, calms nerves, fights infection, reduces inflammation, and eases congestion. Relieves pain and muscle spasm. Lowers blood pressure.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Geranium, Bergamot, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Rosewood
Source: flowers, stalks
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: stimulates, relaxes, calms, soothes
Aroma type: sweet, floral, herbaceous
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Lemon:
Botanical name: citrus limon
Use: fights infection, cools fever, stops bleeding, tightens and tones tissue, softens and soothes skin. Promotes bowel movements and increases urination. Lowers both blood sugar and blood pressure. Stimulates immunity.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Juniper, Pine, Myrrh
Source: fresh peels
Production method: cold expression
Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, stimulating, uplifting
Aroma type: light, sharp, tart, tangy
Warning: May be irritating to sensitive skin. May also promote photosensitivity
Safety Information: Avoid being in the sun when using this oil.

 Marjoram:
Botanical name: origanum marjorana
Use: Relieves pain and muscle spasms, fights infection, lowers blood pressure. Improves digestion, stimulates menstruation, calms nerves, promotes elimination, decreases sexual desire. Great for migraines, arthritis, PMS.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Ylang Ylang, Fennel, Chamomile, Rose, Cypress
Source: flowers, stalks
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: warming, fortifying, sedating
Aroma type: woody, peppery, camphor, nutty
Warning: may cause drowsiness. Stimulates menstruation
Safety Information: Not for long term use. Avoid during pregnancy. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when using this oil.

 Myrrh:
Botanical name: commiphora myrrha
Use: reduces inflammation, fights bacterial and fungal infection. Encourages new cell growth and wound healing. Helps with digestion, gas, expels mucus, strengthens the lungs, and maintains healthy gums.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Frankincense, Clary Sage, Benzoin, Bergamot
Source: resin
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits:
Aroma type: sweet, smoky, musky, spicy
Warning: stimulates menstrual flow
Safety Information: Avoid during pregnancy

 Neroli:
Botanical name: citrus aurantium (bitter)
Use: calms nerves, lifts depression, increases sexual desire. Fights infection, reduces inflammation, relieves muscle spasms. Softens, soothes skin, stimulates new cell growth, helps digestion and gas.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Sandalwood, Rose, Jasmine, Benzoin, Vetiver
Source: flowers
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, dispels fear, renewal
Aroma type: sweet, citrus, spicy, bitter
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Orange:
Botanical name: citrus sinensis (sweet)
Use: stimulates lymphatic circulation, improves immunity, fights infection, reduces inflammation, relieves muscle spasm, eases digestive disorders. Cools fever and warms chills, calms nerves, diminishes depression.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Cypress, Geranium, Fennel, Coriander, Patchouli
Source: Either whole orange, or peel
Production method: Either cold expressing, or steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, radiance, uplifting
Aroma type: sweet, or bitter, citrus
Warning: may irritate skin, promote photosensitivity
Safety Information: Avoid going in the sun while using this oil

 Palmarosa:
Botanical name: cymbopogon martini
Use: fights infection, cools fever, improves digestion, circulation, cell growth, healing of wounds.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Orange, Clary Sage, Coriander, Vetiver
Source: grass
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: serenity, refreshes, clarifies
Aroma type: sweet, floral
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Patchouli:
Botanical name: pogostemom cablin
Use: stimulates new cell growth, tightens tissues, speeds healing of sores, wounds, reducing body odor, cools fever, and repels insects. Calms nerves, lifts depression, reduces inflammation, fights infection, stimulates sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Chamomile, Lavender, Helichrysum, Geranium, Clary Sage
Source: leaves
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: pervasive, calming, enhancing
Aroma type: sweet, spicy, musty, earthy
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Peppermint:
Botanical name: mentha piperita
Use: relieves pain, muscle spasms, reduces inflammation, fights infection, clears congestion, opens sinuses. Regulates oiliness in skin, helps in digestion, stimulates the brain, promotes nerve health, cools fever.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum
Source: plant
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: cooling, refreshing, clearing
Aroma type: menthol
Warning: Should not be taken in conjunction with homeopathic remedies. Avoid if pregnant OR nursing.
Safety Information: May irritate sensitive skin, stimulates menstrual flow. Stops the flow of mother's milk

 Pine:
Botanical name: Pinus sylvestri
Use: fights infection, relieves muscle and joint pain, relieves congestion, clears mucous, increases urination. Increases blood pressure, and stimulates the adrenal glands and circulatory system. Repels insects. Antiseptic.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Bergamot
Source: needles, twigs, cones
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, stimulating, invigorating
Aroma type: balsamic
Warning: may cause irritation to sensitive skin. Increases blood pressure
Safety Information: Do not use if you have high blood pressure

 Rose:
Botanical name: rosa damascena
Use: fights infection, reduces inflammation, relieves muscle spasms. Increases urination, bowel movement, regulates menstruation. Calms nerves, decreases depression, stimulates sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Jasmine, Fennel, Vetiver, Geranium, Clary Sage
Source: flowers
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, soothing, sensual
Aroma type: sweet, floral
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Rosemary:
Botanical name: rosamarinus officinalis
Use: stimulates the adrenal glands, circulatory system, liver, gallbladder, promotes nerve health, improves the functioning of the heart and nervous system. Tones and tightens the skin, regulates oil secretion, fights infection, joint pain, muscle spasms, and eases digestive orders.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Lavender, Geranium, Lemon, Sandalwood
Source: plant, flowers
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: stimulating, clarifying, invigorating
Aroma type: pungent, pine, woody, camphoric
Warning: May trigger epileptic seizures in prone individuals, may irritate sensitive skin
Safety Information: Avoid if you have high blood pressure

 Rosewood:
Botanical name: aniba rosaeodora
Use: relieves pain, fights infection, diminishes depression, stimulates the brain, clears the head, improves immunity, helps skin disorders, stimulates sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Middle
Blends well with: Ylang Ylang, Ginger, Coriander, Rose, Geranium
Source: tree
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: calming, soothing, clearing
Aroma type: soft, sweet, spicy, floral
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Sandalwood:
Botanical name: santalum album
Use: fights infection, especially in the urinary tract, relieves muscle spasm, softens and soothes all skin types, moisturizes, stimulates new cell growth, clears mucous, congestion, calms nerves, stimulates sexual desires. Sandalwood is the oil from the first pressing. This oil is known as "Liquid Gold" and is the third oil referred to in the Wise Men's sacred offerings.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Rosewood, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Neroli, Benzoin, Jasmine
Source: tree
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, warming, grounding
Aroma type: sweet, woody, warm
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Tea Tree:
Botanical name: melaleuca alternifolia
Use: fights infection, and fungi, soothes skin disorders, heals wounds. Releases mucous, relieves respiratory congestion. Increases immunity. Kills insects. Excellent for foot, nail fungus, athlete's foot.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Eucalyptus, Ginger, Thyme, Rosemary, Cypress, Coriander
Source: tree leaf
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: antiseptic, strengthening
Aroma type: camphoric, spicy, pungent
Warning: may be irritating to sensitive skin

 Thyme:
Botanical name: thymus vulgaris
Use: fights infection, improves immunity, eases pain of arthritis, eases muscle pain, improves digestion, relieves urinary tract infection and respiratory ailments. Improves circulation, elevates blood pressure. Overcomes emotional fatigue, nervousness, and stress, regulates oiliness of skin, regulates skin disorders.
Perfume Note: Top
Blends well with: Ginger, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Vetiver
Source: leaves, flowers
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: antiseptic, refreshing, strengthening
Aroma type: intense, warm, spicy
Warning: Avoid during pregnancy, if you have hyperthyroidism, or high blood pressure
Safety Information: can irritate or sensitize skin and mucous membranes, stimulates menstrual flow.

 Vetiver:
Botanical name: vetiveria zizannoides
Use: stimulates circulation, improves immunity, fights infection, relieves muscle spasms, calms nerves and stimulates sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Coriander, Marjoram, Juniper, Clary Sage
Source: root
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: harmonizing, relaxing
Aroma type: earthy, woody, musty
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

 Ylang Ylang:
Botanical name: canangium odoratum
Use: calms nerves, lifts depression, fights infection, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, stimulates sexual desire.
Perfume Note: Base
Blends well with: Rose, Geranium, Clary Sage, Lavender, Elemi, Orange
Source: flowers
Production method: steam distillation
Aromatherapy benefits: enticing, soothing, sensual
Aroma type: fresh, floral, sweet, seductive
Warning: none noted
Safety Information:

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