Essential Oils: Your Questions Answered

What is the age limit for children? What is the suitable essential oil(EO) for baby or infant massage oil?

  • Safety: Always use the principle of less is best when using aromatherapy with children. What this means is to use lesser drops of essential oils and the general guideline is half the quantity used by a healthy adult.  The reduced quantity used is also applicable to the elderly and sick(infirmed) adults.
  • For babies, use unscented cold pressed sweet almond oil initially. This will assist baby’s acceptance to massage (touch therapy), skin hydration, growth and personality. Introduce essential oils slowly in low dilutions.  1 drop in 10ml of carrier oils for babies over 6 months. Infants benefit from massage as its build bond between the mother & child.
  • Safe essential oils for baby/infant massage oil are Lavender and Sweet Orange. Avoid direct sunlight when using citrus oils for at least 4 hours due to citrus oils being photosensitivity and will increase its UV sensitivity to potentially cause burns on skin.
  • Do not use Peppermint, Eucalyptus or Tea tree EO for infants under the age of 30 months. Children’s respiratory systems are not fully developed and may react to oils like getting seizures or other side effects from toxicology allergies.
  • Another gentle method is by diffusing an empty room 1 hour before children enter.

     

Are Peaceful or De-stress blends EO suitable for use by cancer patients? 

  • Safety: Always use the principle of less is best when using aromatherapy with the elderly and sick adults. What this means is to use lesser drops of essential oils and the general guideline is half the quantity used by a healthy adult.
  • Another gentle method is by diffusing an empty room 1 hour before the patient enters.
  • Do a patch test (on inner arm) to observe for any reactions before use.
  • For chronic cancer types, please ask their doctors advice before use.
  • Peaceful and De-stress blends do not contain hazardous essential oils and the formulations are gentle, will help those who have sleeping problems or anxiety to be calm and stay positive.
  • Frankincense is also recommended for cancer patients but to use in the gentle dosage.

Is it safe to put a few drops of EO directly on to the pillow or bed sheet to help relax and sleep?

Most essential oils are clear in colour but there are some with stronger colour pigments like Orange and Mandarin which may stain your linen. For example, Peaceful blend contains Orange and it might give a yellow stain. We recommend to drop on cotton balls or tissue and place them next to the pillow.

 

You mentioned that EO has therapeutic benefits , yet at the same time, also said that there is no such thing as therapeutic grade. I am quite confused on this, can you explain more on this?

  • Therapeutic Benefit or effect or action, is what a user gets from the use of 100% PURE & NATURAL essential oils.  100% pure & natural essential oils are oils that have not been manipulated and have their unique therapeutic benefits and are able to perform various purposes as indicated in their natural chemical constituents, which are proven scientifically.
  • Examples of therapeutic benefits are antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, calmative, digestive, relaxant, nervine, analgesic, cytophylactic etc.
  • What these medical terms mean in simple language is that they support healing and improvements on some conditions, such as: reducing fever, pain relief, circulation, depression, etc.
  • However, some companies tend to use the term Therapeutic Grade as a “certification standard” to claim their products are better and to this we say there is no such independent or government body that provides such certification.
  • All 100% pure & natural essential oils are therapeutic and have benefits by nature. It is best to read the labels properly for best use in Aromatherapy.


If I have
accidentally applied pure EO on my skin directly, can I simply wash it away using soap or water?

  • No. You cannot wash pure essential oils from your skin by just using soap and water.  Essential Oils are not water soluble. Apply any cold press vegetable oil you can find (eg. Coconut/ soya/ almond) over the skin area affected.  Use a kitchen towel to absorb the carrier oils and continue repeating the process several times.  This method will assist to dilute the effect of essential oils on skin.
  •  If carrier oils are not available, use lotions or creams.
          

Fragrance oil is easily found in the market and cheaper. How to differentiate between fragrance oil and EO? And any harm of using fragrance oil in the long term?

  • Pure essentials oils are sourced directly from different parts of plants mostly through steam or water distillation containing odour molecules and have many therapeutic benefits for the mind, spirit and body.  Price range will depend on the plant material availability, weather conditions (good crop year), market demands. This means the market prices change from time to time.
  • Fragrance oils are synthetic made chemical scents manufactured by man, like perfume. It may smell good but have no benefits. The price range is usually fixed at one price for any type.
  • Many people are allergic to fragrance oils. One way to determine whether natural or synthetic is when you inhale the oil, if you start feeling sick, dizzy or nauseous then they may be synthetic. Stop using them.
  • Read the label, pure essentials oils have botanical names which identify the correct plant species and if you have some Aromatherapy knowledge you will be able to identify them better.
  • You may want to avoid using fragrance oils as they release toxic chemicals and mutated vapours that are harmful to human health. Long term use will result in skin irritation, respiratory distress and headaches.


How to use EO safely?

Essential Oils can be safely used to enhance well-being and as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Most people do not have an adverse effect on essential oils.  However, inappropriate use does increase risk.   Keep the following in mind when using essential oils:

  • Do not use undiluted essential oils directly on skin.  Use the recommended dosages given earlier.
  • Do not take essential oils internally.
  • Do not stop taking treatments recommended by your medical practitioner.  Essential oils are not a substitute for medical attention.
  • Essential oils may not suit everybody, so make sure to do a patch test behind ear, and start with using low dilutions (principle of less is best).
  • Keep and store essential oils away from children and pets.
  • Make sure you close the caps tight after use and store your oils in a cool dark place. Away from direct sunlight.
  • Do buy essential oils from a reputable brand and a reliable source, such as a pharmacy.

     

Is the effect of EO effect instant for people who have long term sleeping problems ?

It may take longer for those with chronic insomnia to experience immediate results, but that is not to say that the therapeutic benefits of these oils are not working on them. Most users can feel the difference after diffusing Peaceful blend for 2-3 nights, and continue to enjoy the benefits nightly.

 

 

  

Can I just drop 1-2 drops of Peaceful blend EO on to my pillow sheet or bed sheet instead of using a diffuser or mixing it with carrier oil?

Yes. We recommend to drop on cotton balls or tissue and place them next to the pillow.


Can I put EO in the car? Can it be replaced with car perfume?

  • Yes. We recommend using a mini diffuser when in the car. If you just open a bottle of essential oil and leave it exposed, you will lose the aroma and cause the oil to oxidise.
  • Alternatively, drop the oil to tissue when in the car. 
  • Always close the cap on the essential oil bottle when not in use.

     

“Less is best when it comes to EO”. What are the risks or long term effects if users accidentally used too much EO each time for a long period of time?

  • Bad cases of overdosed usage of essential oils may result in allergies such as bad respiratory issues and/or skin problems and tearing eyes, weeping sores, blisters, etc. 
  • When having these symptoms, stop using all essential oils.
  • Visit an aromatherapy practitioner for advice. (or doctor of naturopathy & homeopathy)


What happens if I accidentally use expired EO?

  • There are no life-threatening issues with using expired dated oils. The expiry dates are re-testing dates stipulated by legal requirements on label. Some essential oils last forever like sandalwood, vetiver, cypress, basically bark oils. Citrus oils tend to have shorter lifespan due to their tendency to oxidise quicker.
  • One way to determine if your oils are bad is by checking for any off-smell, discolouration or cloudy. Particularly for citrus oils, check for a change in texture such as being too thick or sticky to pour.  Throw away these oils.

     


Is EO good for eczema or sensitive skin?

  • There is a big difference in the conditions of eczema versus sensitive skin.
  • Do a patch test on the inner arm to check for reactions. If yes, this means it is not suitable for your use. We recommend fragrance free base oil like almond sweet or coconut. You can also use natural fragrance-free lotion or cream. You do a patch test by mixing a small amount of essential oil with some carrier oil and use it on the inner arm, observe for 24 hours for any reactions such as redness, irritated or itchy skin and rashes.
  • Gentle essential oils recommended for sensitive skin are lavender, chamomile, frankincense. Use them in gentle dilution similar to those for kids and the informed.
  • Essential oils may not be suitable for those with very bad eczema condition.


If I accidentally spilled the EO on my skin, besides using lotion or cream to dilute it, is it possible to use micellar water or make-up remover to remove it? 

Check whether the micellar water or make up remover contains solubiliser that can disperse oil in water.

 

Any suggestions of EO to be used for dry skin?

Using a carrier oil with good hydration properties is best for dry skin condition. Essential oil on its own is not hydrating but you can add your favourite oil into a good base oil. For best hydration use coconut oil, sweet almond or jojoba oil.


How can the smell of EO last longer?

You need to choose the types that are medium to base notes as their aroma is more lingering when compared to oils with top notes. This is the same principle when blending to use balanced notes of top, medium and base (down) to create a lingering scent of aroma.

 

Is it safe to consume food after applying EO(after adding to carrier oil) on my hand?

YES, the dosage is low and the carrier oils are usually vegetable oils, so they are safe.


Can I smear Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to my pulse points and  then put 1 to 2 drops EO? I just want to use it as perfume.

  • No, you cannot mix Vaseline and essential oils.  Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is petroleum based oil and is not a natural product and should be avoided for use with essential oils.
  • Note: Essential oils are plant based and are a natural product. These two don’t mix.
  • If you want to make a natural perfume, use Jojoba with your favourite selection of essential oils. Jojoba oil is a natural wax that has the closest properties to your natural skin oil.
  • Alternatively, if you like a balm texture, you can use natural bees wax and add the essential oil.

Some brands of pure botanical EO smell stronger & last longer than other brands. Why is it so?

  • Generally the aroma of 100% pure & natural essential oils do not linger too long due to its natural nature. I would be careful and question the purity of any essential oils that smell strong and last long as it may be that these oils are manipulated.
  • There are many species for each known essential oil, and they are also cultivated in various parts of the world. As such, the types and their origin determine the different strengths in the oils. The harder the species is obtained, the higher the cost of production, affecting the cost of the final oil product.
  • Basically, the cost factor also determines which types are being branded.

     

    Natural Elements Aromatherapy is available at CARiNG Pharmacy and CARiNG e-Store.


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