Category Archives: Aromatherapy

Enfleurage Pomade

rose enfluerage

This is simplified version of ‘enfleurage’ a beautiful age old technique of extracting essential oil from delicate flowers. Historically this method originated in 18th century France, by perfumers who were looking at different ways to capture the scent of flowers. Similar methods of extracting scent from fat and oils were also popular in antiquity, in ancient Egypt and the Near East.

Certain delicate flowers such as roses, tuberose, orange blossom, violets, lilacs and jasmine continue to release perfume after picking.  Fat has excellent absorption properties, therefore when they come in to contact with a fragrant flower, they readily absorbs the perfume that is released. Traditionally, the fat used in enfleurage comes from animals, and later this is combined with alcohol to further distill the fragrance. I am going to omit the alcohol process, and use coconut oil instead of animal fat. The fat containing the flower scent and oils is called an ‘enfleurage pomade’ this is what I will be making.

You will need:

2 glass dishes, one to fit on top of the other.

Fat – enough to cover about 2cm of one of the glass dishes. I use coconut oil.

Fragrant flowers – enough to lay on top of the fat.

The process:

+ Gently melt the coconut oil in a pot, but do not heat up. Pour the oil in to the glass dish and let it cool. Once cooled, score the fat in to a diamond pattern to help the fragrance of the flower absorb the fat.

+ Before adding the flower on to the fat, remove any foliage or stems from the flower. Place the flower face down on to the fat, making sure you cover it entirely with the floral matter. Gently press down. Place the second glass dish on top, and seal with tape or cling film, making sure it is completely covered, so no scent can escape.

+ Leave in a cool dark place for 24 to 48 hours.  Now remove the blooms and replace with fresh ones. Repeat this process 3 or more times. The scent is stronger the more times you repeat this process.

+ You now have an elegant enfleurage pomade!

+ You can whip the scented ‘pomade’ up and put in to glass jars and use as required. Makes a wonderful balm for the skin and hair, or use as a base for making other beautifully scented products.

Mitti Attar

Mitti Attar is the Indian equivalent to ‘petrichor’ – the scent of the first rain. The term ‘Mitti’ means earth and ‘attar’ is the staple perfume of the Middle East and South East Asia which is usually a herbal or floral blend of concentrated oils in a base of sandalwood (Santalum album) oil. Mitti attar is the essential oil extracted from dry clay earth.

I first came across the term Mitti Attar a few years ago and asked my parents to bring some back from their annual trip to India, which they did. I received two different types, one in a lighter sandalwood oil and one in a darker sandalwood oil. Both smelt amazing, however I preferred the light oil version as the earthy rain smell was more distinct. Mitti attar is mainly made in Uttar Pradesh, in the city of Kannauj, known as the ‘perfume and essential oil capital of India.’

The process of attar making is centuries old. Archaeologists have excavated clay distillation pots dating back to the ancient Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley. These same process’s now capture the scent of rain. The method includes removing clay from topsoil and then baking it in a kiln. The baked clay is then immersed in water and goes through the traditional extraction method of hydro distillation, a process which extracts natural oils into water. The finished essence is usually blended with Sandalwood oil. The result is a captivatingly soothing and grounding aroma that is deeply connected to the earth. It really does smell like the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. It is said to have the therapeutic properties of healing and calming.

With the Mitti attar I received from my parents, and also finding a good supplier of the essence, I’ve been busy creating perfumes for the last few months, and these will be available in my shop very soon!

 

mitti attar

 

The black cumin seed or “Nigella Sativa” ancient cures

An article By Veronica Parkes

Said to Cure Everything but Death, These Seeds are an Ancient Miracle Cure

The black cumin seed or “Nigella Sativa” has been revered as a miracle cure for a vast amount of illnesses and ailments throughout the ages and across many cultures. The plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and has been used as medicine predominantly by Muslim cultures. However, the plant dates back past the rise of Islam and was used by other non-Muslim cultures.

The earliest written record of the plant being used as a medical treatment dates back to the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament where Isaiah talks of harvesting the plant and its curative properties. It was used by Asian herbalists and Romans alike as a food additive; black cumin seeds were even found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The seeds were also discussed by the famous Greek physician Dioscorides who used them to cure head and toothaches. However, the medical properties of the seeds didn’t gain prominence until the rise of Islam.

 

The Nigella Sativa plant, flower and seeds. (Public Domain)

The Variety of Uses for Black Cumin Seeds

“Habbat ul Sawda” as the seeds are known in Arabic, were mentioned by Muhammed in the Quran and he is believed to have said, “in the black seed is healing for every disease but death.” In Arabo-Islamic culture the seeds are prescribed as a medicine for various ailments including: fever, asthma, chronic headaches, diabetes, digestion issues, back pain, infections, and rheumatism.

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Folio from an Arabic manuscript of Dioscorides, De Materica Medica, 1229. (Public Domain)

It was in the 7th century that the seed gained its massive popularity in this culture and there it remained as a popular family medicine. It has also been used as a food preservative since the height of its popularity.  While most people used the oil for the health benefits listed below, the oil is also taken as part of beauty routines. Over the span of a few months one can see that hair and nails become stronger and when used externally it can help to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

The seed is believed to have 100 healthy components and is a significant source of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Its oil is often what is used as a medicine, but the seed has a peppery taste and is common in making curries, pastries, and Mediterranean cheeses. The seeds possess anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties and they can be used to regulate the immune system, reduce pain, kill microorganisms, reduce inflammation, inhibit spasmodic activity, and open the air passages in the lungs. They are also said to protect the liver, kidneys, stomach, and digestive system. They aid in peristalsis and rid the intestines of worms. The seeds also help with many diseases, especially those involving inflammation – such as cystic fibrosis, allergies, and cancer.
Studies Support More Amazing Properties of the Black Cumin Seed

The efficacy of the black cumin seed oil is mostly attributed to its quinone constituents and essential oils components. Quinone promotes healthy oral health and helps manage oral diseases. It has also been linked to enhanced learning and improved memory in elderly patients when taken as a daily supplement, as shown in a recent study.

 

Many studies have been completed in recent years backing the unbelievable claims of the medicinal properties of the black cumin seed. Based on animal models, the seed was proven to induce a strong anti-inflammatory response leading to the belief that it is helpful in inflammation based diseases. In vitro studies performed in Jordan and the United States have determined that the oil has anti-leukemic properties. It has also been proven that the seed has cardio-protective, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, and immune-modulatory properties.

The first major study of the seed in relation to cancer prevention was performed in the United States by the Cancer Immuno-Biology Laboratory in Southern California. They found that a healthy immune system will detect and destroy cancer cells. As such, the black cumin seed has been found to stimulate neutrophil activity; it is this activity that creates short-lived immune cells that are normally found in bone marrow but mobilize when there is infection in the body. This means the seeds help improve the immune system and aid in cancer prevention.

The black cumin seed has also been shown to have a synergistic effect, so, when it is combined with aerobic training, it can aid in weight loss. It can also aid in male and female infertility, breast pain, lead poisoning, and corneal injuries. Moreover, in research published in 2016, the black cumin seed was found to modulate and enhance the normal activity of the cells and pathways that keep blood sugar and insulin properly balanced. These substances also help manage the process through which glucose is converted to fat. Again, proving that it aids in maintaining a healthy weight, but also that it helps in regulating diabetes.

Black cumin seed and oil are said to be very healthy and help with many health issues. (Public Domain)

Questioning the Claims and Dosage

However, the miracle cure-all seed has, understandably, not been taken seriously in some scientific circles in recent years due to its claim to cure everything stated above; in short, it seems too good to be true. But it is important to keep in mind when proponents of the seed say that it “cures” these ailments and illnesses it should be critically analyzed – ancient cultures emphasized the seed’s ability to restore normalcy, not cure.

Mansur ibn Ilyas: Anatomy of the human body.

Mansur ibn Ilyas: Anatomy of the human body. (Public Domain)

Mansur ibn Ilyas: Anatomy of the human body. (Public Domain) The black cumin seed and oil have properties which are said to help in many medical ailments all-over the body.

Similarly, the scientific community has expressed concern over the safe levels of consumption of the seed oil. However, studies suggest that therapeutic doses of black cumin oil and quinone have low toxicity and a wide margin of safety when used as a daily supplement, typically 1 tablespoon in oil form or as high as 1250 mg in capsule form per day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**N.B. All content and information in this article is for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be a substitute for the advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment by a qualified medical practitioner.**
Resources:

Clark, I. (2017) Black Cumin: The Ancient Weight Loss Seed Celebrated by Cultures Around the World. Available at: http://www.activationproducts.com/blog/black-cumin-the-ancient-weight-loss-seed-celebrated-by-cultures-around-the-world/

My Central Health (2016) It Heals Everything Except Death! This Ancient Remedy “Cures All Diseases” HIV, AIDS, Diabetes, Cancer, Stroke, STDs, Arthritis & More… Available at: http://mycentralhealth.com/heals-everything-except-death-ancient-remedy-cures-diseases-hiv-aids-diabetes-cancer-stroke-stds-arthritis/#

Naiman, I. (2014) Black Cumin Seed. Available at: http://www.kitchendoctor.com/herbs/black_cumin.php

Thomas, J.P. (2017) Black Cumin Seed Oil: Ancient Seed is Cure for Many Modern Diseases. Available at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/black-cumin-seed-oil-ancient-seed-is-cure-for-many-modern-diseases

Source

Amazing Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

Article from www.organicfacts.net

The health benefits of orange essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, tonic, sedative and cholagogue substance.
Uses of Orange Essential Oil
The essential oil of orange has a wide variety of domestic, industrial and medicinal uses. Domestically, it is used to add orange flavour to beverages, desserts and sweetmeats. Industrially, it is used in soaps, body lotions, creams, anti-aging and wrinkle-lifting applications, concentrates for soft beverages, room fresheners, sprays, deodorants, biscuits, chocolates, confectionery and bakery items.

Orange Essential Oil- Composition and Extraction Process
This essential oil is obtained from the peels of orange by cold compression. Although most of you know the common name of oranges, perhaps you don’t know the botanical name, Citrus Sinensis. The liquid that comes in packets inside orange-flavoured soft drink concentrates is sometimes composed of this oil. The main components of this oil are Alpha Pinene, Citronellal, Geranial, Sabinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Linalool and Neral.
I am sure we are all familiar with its commercial and industrial uses, now let’s explore some of the medicinal benefits that it has for those who consume it regularly.

Health Benefits of Orange Essential Oil
There are many health benefits of orange essential oil which include:
Antispasmodic: Spasms can result in many irritating or serious problems including continuous coughing, convulsions, muscle cramps and extreme diarrhoea. To avoid these effects, spasms must be treated early or prevented entirely. This can be done with the help of orange essential oil, which relaxes muscular and nervous spasms.

Sedative: When you need to cool down after a hard day at the office or are suffering from inflammation of any kind, you should reach for a natural sedative that helps you to relax. The artificial sedatives or drugs available on the market are mostly tranquilizers based on narcotics and other synthetic forms. These, in the long run, do immense damage to the heart and various internal organs. It is a much better choice to use a natural one like orange essential oil. It alleviates anxiety, anger, depression and certain bodily inflammations.

Aphrodisiac: Orange essential oil has mild aphrodisiac properties. Systematic and regular use can cure problems such as frigidity, erectile problems, impotence, loss of interest in sex and decreased libido.

Anti-inflammatory: Orange essential oil provides quick and effective relief from inflammation, whether internal or external. Regardless of the reason, whether it is excessive intake of spices, fever, infections, side effect of antibiotics, gas, ingestion of toxic substances, or narcotics, orange essential oil can reduce the irritation and knee pain.

Cholagogue: It promotes secretions from all appropriate glands including the exocrine and endocrine. Therefore, it is frequently used to promote menstruation, lactation, digestive juices, bile, hormones and enzymes.

Antiseptic: Wherever there is a cut or abrasion, there is always the chance of the wound becoming septic due to a bacterial infection. This is even more likely when the wound has occurred from an iron object because there remains a chance of it becoming infected by tetanus germs. Essential Oil of orange can help people avoid both septic, fungal infections and tetanus as they inhibit microbial growth and disinfect the wounds.

Antidepressant: The very smell of orange essential oil reminds you of happy moments and brings pleasant thoughts to mind. That is why this oil is so frequently used in aromatherapy. It creates a happy, relaxed feeling and works as a mood lifter, perfect for people who suffer from depression or chronic anxiety. Research suggests that natural essential oil of orange helps to reduce pulse rate and salivary cortisol due to child anxiety state.

Diuretic: First, orange essential oil helps your body gets rid of excess gas and excess toxins. It promotes urination, which eliminates toxins like uric acid, bile, excess salts, pollutants and excess water within the urine. Urination increases appetite and promotes digestion. It contributes towards losing fats, which makes it good for the heart as well.

Tonic: The relation of a tonic to the body is quite similar to overhauling and servicing a vehicle. A tonic tones up every system that functions throughout the body, keeps the metabolic system in proper shape, contributes to strength, and boosts immunity.

Carminative: Being a carminative means being an agent that helps in the removal of excess gas from the intestines. Gas, which forms in the intestines and pushes upwards, can be very troublesome. Gas, since it is light, moves upwards and pushes against the internal organs, creating chest pains, indigestion and discomfort.
It can also cause a rise in blood pressure, negatively affect heart health and cause acute stomach aches. Essential oil of orange can help with many of these problems, since it relaxes the abdominal and anal muscles, thereby letting the gas escape. Furthermore, it does not let additional gas form.

Alzheimer’s disease: Study suggests that aromatherapy using orange essential oil may aid in improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.

Insecticide: Research suggests that orange essential oil is effective against larvae and pupae of housefly, and may help in elimination of houseflies.

Other Benefits
It serves as a detoxifier, boosts immunity, treats constipation and dyspepsia and is very good for maintaining healthy, smooth and glamorous skin. It also helps to cure acne and dermatitis.
A Few Words of Caution
Orange essential oil displays photo-toxicity. It tastes bitter and if ingested in large quantities, it may result in vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Blending: Being a citrus oil, it blends well with other citrus essential oils. Other than those citrus oils, orange essential oil also blends well with essential oils of Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Ginger, Black Pepper, Sandal Wood and Vetiver.
How to make orange oil?
Unlike what some people expect, making orange essential oil actually requires you to use the peels, not the fruit itself. Peel the oranges and allow the peels to dry. Grind the peels up and bring some grain alcohol up to a warm temperature on the stove. Then, pour the grain alcohol over the ground up orange peels. Shake the mixture and then allow it to sit for 2-3 days, then strain the mixture. Voila! Orange essential oil!
Where to buy orange oil?
You can buy orange essential oil from the majority of natural health and whole food stores where other essential oils are found. However, it is unlikely that you’ll find orange essential oil in any major chain stores in the west. Orange oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy applications, so herbalists and aromatherapists are also good places to purchase orange essential oil. Fortunately, it’s not very expensive and highly effective!
What is orange essential oil good for?
Orange essential oil has many applications that can improve your overall health, such as helping you get better sleep, reducing the occurrence of muscle spasms, increasing your sex drive, protecting the immune system, detoxifying the body, and preventing the onset of certain degenerative cognitive diseases. The high content of antioxidants and organic compounds makes this oil highly versatile and useful for boosting health.
How to use orange essential oil?
You can use orange essential oil in a number of different ways. Some people choose to freshen their clothes and add some orange essential oil to their laundry; other people use it in diffusers to give the entire room an energetic boost. You can use it topically to improve the appearance of the skin in the case of acne or eczema or put it in boiling water and inhale the steam.
What is orange oil?
Orange oil is the essential oil of oranges, which bears the scientific name Citrus sinensis. These are extremely common fruit but the oil itself isn’t as widely known. Differing from orange juice, orange essential oil can be extracted from the peels of oranges through a process involving grain alcohol. The resultant orange oil can be used for many different health issues, ranging from acne to chronic stress.

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/orange-essential-oil.html

Aromatherapy: What you need to know

By Christian Nordqvist

Aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy, refers to a range of traditional, alternative or complementary therapies that use essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds.

Essential oils have been used for nearly 6,000 years, with the aim of improving a person’s health or mood.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as “the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing.”

In 1997, the International Standards Organization (ISO) defined an essential oil as a “product obtained from vegetable raw material, either by distillation with water or steam, or from the epicarp of citrus fruits by a mechanical process, or by dry distillation.”

A range of essential oils have been found to have various degrees of antimicrobial activity and are believed to have antiviral, nematicidal, antifungal, insecticidal, and antioxidant properties. Aromatherapy applications include massage, topical applications, and inhalation. 

However, users should be aware that “natural” products are also chemicals, and they can be hazardous if used in the wrong way. It is important to follow the advice of a trained professional when using essential oils.

Contents of this article:

Using aromatherapy
What is aromatherapy good for?
What do different essential oils do?
Risks of aromatherapy

Using aromatherapy
[essential oils]
A range of essential oils may help boost health and wellbeing.

Aromatherapy is normally used through inhalation or as a topical application.

Inhalation: the oils evaporate into the air using a diffuser container, spray, or oil droplets, or breathed in, for example, in a steam bath.

Apart from providing a pleasant smell, aromatherapy oils can provide respiratory disinfection, decongestant, and psychological benefits.

Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell, including the nose and the brain.

Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body.

As the molecules reach the brain, they affect limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the body.

Topical applications: massage oils, and bath and skin care products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively.

Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin. They must always be diluted with a carrier oil. Usually, a few drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil is the concentration. Most common carrier oils are sweet almond oil or olive oil.
Always do an allergy test before trying a new essential oil.

To do an allergy test:

Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil at twice the concentration you plan to use
Rub the mixture into an area the size of a quarter on the inside of the forearm

If there is no allergic response within 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.

Some people report developing allergies to essential oils after using them many times before. If a new allergic response appears, the individual should stop using it immediately and avoid its smell.

To achieve a 0.5 to 1 percent dilution, use 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier. For a 5 percent dilution, add 30 drops to one ounce of carrier.

A maximum concentration of 5 percent is generally considered safe for adults.

Ingesting, or swallowing, essential oils is not recommended. Taken by mouth, the oils can damage the liver or kidneys.

They can also lead to interactions with other drugs, and they can undergo unexpected changes while in the gut.
What is aromatherapy good for?

Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy. It does not provide a cure for diseases, rashes or illnesses, but it can support conventional treatment of various conditions.
[vapor bath with essential oil]
A eucalyptus vapor bath may relieve symptoms of a cold or flu.

It has been shown to reduce:

Nausea
Pain and body aches
Anxiety, agitation, stress, and depression
Fatigue and insomnia
Muscular aches
Headaches
Circulatory problems
Menstrual problems
Menopausal problems
Alopecia, or hair loss

Some types of psoriasis may find relief with aromatherapy, but a healthcare professional should advise about use and application.

Digestive problems may benefit from peppermint oil, but it should not be ingested.

Tooth ache and mouth sores can be relieved by clove oil, but this, too, should only be applied topically and not swallowed.

Supporters claim that these and a wide range of other complaints respond well to aromatherapy, but not all of the uses are supported by scientific evidence.
What do different essential oils do?

Different oils have different uses and effects.

Basil essential oil is used to sharpen concentration and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. It may relieve headaches and migraines. It should be avoided during pregnancy.
Bergamot essential oil is said to be useful for the urinary tract and digestive tract. When combined with eucalyptus oil it may help relieve skin problems, including those caused by stress and chicken pox.
[rosemary essential oil]
Rosemary essential oil may benefit the nervous and circulatory systems.
Black pepper essential oil is commonly used for stimulating the circulation, muscular aches and pains, and bruises. Combined with ginger essential oil, it is used to reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility.
Chamomile essential oil can treat eczema
Citronella essential oil is a relative of lemongrass and acts as an insect repellent
Clove essential oil is a topical analgesic, or painkiller, that is commonly used for toothache. It is also used as an antispasmodic antiemetic, for preventing vomiting and nausea, and as a carminative, preventing gas in the gut. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties.
Eucalyptus essential oil can help relieve the airways during a cold or flu. It is often combined with peppermint. Many people are allergic to eucalyptus, so care should be taken.
Geranium essential oil can be used for skin problems, to reduce stress, and as a mosquito repellant.
Jasmine essential oil has been described as an aphrodisiac. While scientific evidence is lacking, research has shown that the odor of jasmine increases beta waves, which are linked to alertness. As a stimulant, it might increase penile blood flow.
Lavender essential oil is used as an antiseptic for minor cuts and burns and to enhance relaxation and sleep. It is said to relieve headache and migraine symptoms.
Lemon essential oil is said to improve mood, and to help relieve the symptoms of stress and depression.
Rosemary essential oil may promote hair growth, boost memory, prevent muscle spasms, and support the circulatory and nervous systems.
Sandalwood essential oil is believed by some to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Tea tree essential oil is said to have antimicrobial, antiseptic, and disinfectant qualities. It is commonly used in shampoos and skin care products, to treat acne, burns, and bites. It features in mouth rinses but it should never be swallowed, as it is toxic.
Thyme essential oil is said to help reduce fatigue, nervousness, and stress.
Yarrow essential oil is used to treat symptoms of cold and flu, and to help reduce joint inflammation.

Oil for a massage will be mixed with a “carrier oil” that dilutes the oil and provides lubrication.
What to expect during a visit to an aromatherapist

The aromatherapist should take a thorough medical history, and a lifestyle, diet, and current health history.

Aromatherapy involves a holistic approach, so it aims to treat the whole person. Treatments will be suited to the individual’s physical and mental needs. Based on these needs, the aromatherapist may recommend a single oil or a blend.

Depending on patient needs and preferences, the practitioner may recommend a single oil or a blend.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), aromatherapy products do not need FDA approval as long as there is no claim that they treat a specific disease.

An aromatherapist is not the same as a massage therapist, although a massage therapist may use aromatherapy oils.
Cautions and risks

Each essential oil has its own chemical makeup and reason for use, so it is important to speak with a trained aromatherapist, nurse, doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist or pharmacist before applying or using an oil for healing purposes.

A trained professional can recommend and teach how to use each product, giving proper instructions on application or dilution.

Consumers should also be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not monitor aromatherapy products, so it can be difficult to know whether or not a product is pure or if it is contaminated or synthetic.

Some beauty and household products, such as lotions, make-up, and candles contain products that may appear to be essential oils, but they are really synthetic fragrances.

Like medications, essential oils must be treated with respect. It is important to seek professional advice and to follow instructions carefully.
Risks of using essential oils

Since essential oils cause reactions in the body, not all the oils will benefit everyone. Chemical compounds in essential oils can produce adverse effects when combined with medications. They may reduce the effectiveness of conventional drugs, or they may exacerbate health conditions in the individual.

A person with high blood pressure, for example, should avoid stimulants, such as rosemary. Some compounds, such as fennel, aniseed, and sage act similarly to estrogen, so a person with an estrogen-dependent breast or ovarian tumor should avoid these.

Concentrated products may be poisonous before dilution and should be handled with care. A maximum concentration of 5 percent is recommended.

Some oils produce toxins which can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system, especially if taken internally. Swallowing essential oils can be hazardous, and fatal in some cases.

Individuals with any of the following conditions should be extra careful when using aromatherapy:

An allergy, or allergies
Hay fever, a type of allergy
Asthma
Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis

People with the following conditions must be extremely cautious:

Epilepsy
Hypertension, or high blood pressure

If the oil is to be mixed with a carrier, the individual should tell the aromatherapist or massage therapist about any nut allergies, because carrier oils are often obtained from nuts and seeds.

Aromatherapy can have side effects, but these are normally mild and do not last long.

They include:

Nausea
Headaches
Some allergic reactions

Use of aromatherapy by pregnant or nursing mothers has not been proven safe by research, so it is not recommended.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, aromatherapy may pose a risk to the developing fetus. Women who are breastfeeding should avoid peppermint essential oil, as it may be expressed in breast milk.

Essential oils derived from citrus may make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light, increasing the risk of sunburn.

Some oils may affect the function of conventional medicines, so people who are using medications of any type should first check with a qualified pharmacist or doctor.

Finally, when storing essential oils, it is important to be aware that light, heat, and oxygen can affect the integrity of the oil. Products should come from a respected and trustworthy source, to be sure of the quality. Following instructions carefully reduces the risk of compromising the user’s health.

In parts of Western Europe aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine as an antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial therapy. In the United States and Canada, this is less so. In France, some essential oils are regulated as prescription drugs, and they can only be administered or prescribed by a doctor.

Aromatherapy can help alleviate some conditions, but it should be used correctly, under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The NAHA can advise on aromatherapists in your area, and some are members of a professional association, but until now there are no licensing boards for aromatherapists in the U.S.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review

“Nowadays, use of alternative and complementary therapies with mainstream medicine has
gained the momentum. Aromatherapy is one of the complementary therapies which use
essential oils as the major therapeutic agents to treat several diseases. The essential or
volatile oils are extracted from the flowers, barks, stem, leaves, roots, fruits and other parts
of the plant by various methods. It came into existence after the scientists deciphered the
antiseptic and skin permeability properties of essential oils.”

Read the rest of the paper here