When it comes to the use of essential oils there are a few schools of thought. So let us take a look at two of them. The English and French schools of thought.
According to the english way no essential oil should be taken internally. Some say it is because their quality of essential oils are inferior and that is their basis for saying so. The french school have no problem with internal use af essential oils. You don’t have to look far to find various formulations for essential oil blends to take internally or capsule forms. I will say they have more of a clinical approach.
So where does it leave you if you are new to essential oils or have a limited knowledge of how they work, never mind if the store bought option is really of a good enough quality to take internally.
The fact is that we ingest essential oils on a daily basis in our cool drinks and various other items. To say they are taboo is obviously not the whole truth, but we must take into consideration that professionals are used by food and drinks companies when it comes to blends and quantities.
Don’t use essential oils internally just because someone told you to. Many people have started to add lemon oil to their water and they consume that daily. The question is why? One drop of lemon oil is equal to a football size lemon. Does anyone consume that much on a daily basis? So please, don’t leave common sense behind when it comes to essential oils. Essential oils are drying and irritating to the mucus membranes (mouth, throat and all the way down to your stomach), so adding them to water every day is a no no. If you really want to take them everyday place them in a capsule with an emulsifier like herbs or baobab powder. You still need to know why you are doing it. Plus you must know what is the best fir for the concern you want to address. As a rule it is not a good idea to use them for extended periods of time.
Injuries with essential oils happen due to improper use! Most problems are seen when oils are improperly used over a long period of time.
Four things to keep in mind when using essential oils:
- Dilution before topical application:
- It is important to dilute:
- to prevent injury as it can burn your skin or cause skin irritation.
- in order to spread it over your face or body.
- so you don’t wast this precious resource.
- since even gentle essential oils like lavender, frankincense or tea tree can cause sensitisation when you are older.
- It is important to dilute:
- Dilution before adding to bath water as the essential oils do not dissolve in the water. It floats on the water and it can burn your skin.
- Dilute in shampoo, bath oil or bubble bath first and the add it to your bath water
- Take care if you decide to ingest:
- Essential oils have no nutrients.
- You must know what you are doing as you can burn your lips or mouth when you drink it with water. Ulcers in your stomach can form and it can cause gallbladder, mucus or organ damage. Look for signs like migraines, dizziness and fatigue.
- It must be used for a specific purpose and not every day with the help of someone who knows what they are doing.
- Inhalation is the fasted way to get it into your bloodstream and brain.
Visit aromatherapyunited.org for a database of adverse reactions people get through the improper use of essential oils.
Problematic species to keep in mind:
Clove, lemon verbana, cinnamon, thyme are irritant oils especially if they are used too much (even if diluted). Even if you diffuse them they irritate the mucus i.e the eyes.
Essential Oils are not always the go to answer! A peppermint/chamomile tea may be a better solution than peppermint/chamomile oil. The oils are highly concentrated and may simply be overkill.
Ninety nine percent of adverse reactions or sensitisation happens, because people are not educated about essential oil safety. Someone recommends them to you for the use of a headache for example and because you don’t know much about them you can end up hurting yourself.
Do not underestimate the power of a single drop of essential oil, even for inhalation!