May 13, 2010

The Essentials of Essential Oils

I finally bought myself some Tea Tree, Lavender and Jojoba oils!!  I'm so excited, I have already mixed a few drops of each into a foaming soap dispenser with Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Soap and water.  I'm planning to give the girls a bath with their new baby wash tonight!  (Yay!)  While I was at the health food store picking these oils up, they left me with an informative pamphlet by Wyndmere Naturals.  I thought I'd share some of the good info with you.

What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from the aromatic parts of herbs, flowers, trees and grasses that have been in use for thousands of years.  They are wholly natural substances that have the ability to positively influence the mind and body, affecting mood, emotion and physical well being.

How are Essential Oils Used?
Because essential oils are highly concentrated, they need to be used with care.  Apply them by the drop.  The general rule is to add them to carrier oils, such as sweet almond, jojoba, sesame, canola, hazelnut or grapeseed.  Select essential oils with similar properties and blend together to create your own unique aromas.

Bath: Add no more than 8-10 drops to your bath.  Use less for sensitive skin.  Stir the water briskly to disperse evenly.  Alternatively, add 10-20 drops of oils to 1 ounce carrier oil or unscented natural foam bath oil.  Add the desired amount to your bath.

Massage: Add essential oils of your choice to a carrier oil in the proportion of 10-20 drops of essential oils to 1 ounce of carrier oil.  Use the lesser amount for sensitive skin.

Skin Care: Add 10-20 drops of essential oils to 1 ounce of carrier oil, unscented natural lotion or cream.  Mix well.

Hair Care: Add essential oils to unscented natural shampoos and conditioners.  Use 10-20 drops per ounce.

Freshen Rooms: Essential oils make ideal room freshners.  Place oils in a diffuser, lamp ring or add to a simmering potpourri pot with water.  Replenish as necessary.

Inhalations: Put a few drops on a tissue.  Carry with you or place on your pillow at night.

How Long do Essential Oils Last?
Most essential oils will last approximately one to two years or more if properly stored. To preserve your oils, always store them in a tight container in a cool place. Heat will cause the oils to evaporate and the light will alter them chemically, reducing their effectiveness.  Citrus oils are an exception; they will start to oxidize after a year. They can be preserved longer with refrigeration or adding vitamin E.  There are some oils, such as Patchouli, Vetiver and Sandalwood, that only get better with age.

For external use only.  Call poison control center if ingested.

Do not use directly on skin.  Always dilute in a carrier oil or unscented lotion before using topically.  Test on small patch of skin first.

Keep oils tightly closed and away from children.

Not to be used without seeking medical advice if pregnant, epileptic, or if you have high or low blood pressure.

Keep away from eyes.  Should oil get into the eye, wash with water thoroughly for 15 minutes.

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