The Beauty and Power of Essential Oils – Part 1 – Respect For Our Bodies
Sometimes, it is easy to think that all we need to do as we travel the road to natural health and wellness is to buy and use “natural products” and to believe someone else has ensured that these products are what they say and they are safe for us to use. What is really means is that we have to take a much more active role in our health and wellbeing than ever. The Aromatherapy industry has grown in leaps and bounds and essential oils are now available almost anywhere. That is both the good and the bad news. At this time there is very little regulation on the quality of aromatherapy products worldwide. Consequently, claims can be untruthful and that can be scary. This is not a comforting thought since we choose to use essential oils to improve our wellbeing.
The subtitle of this article is “Respect” and respecting both the power and beauty of essential oils and aromatherapy means that we view our bodies as the temples that they are.
RESPECT FOR ESSENTIAL OILS EQUALS RESPECT FOR OUR BODIES
Staying safe – more is not necessarily better!
- When referring to essential oils as powerful I am talking about how concentrated they are. I recommend using as little as possible to provide you the support and relief you desire. Remember, the act of using essential oils means we are attempting to reduce synthetic chemicals and eliminate toxic substances from our bodies and replace them with natural substances. While it may be impossible to avoid all synthetic chemicals in our lives we do need to remember that essential oils are still chemicals, albeit natural, and they can be very strong.
Remember that we are all unique!
- Consequently we all react differently. What works for one will not necessary be good for another. We can see this in how differently we react to the aroma of an essential oil; in how the oils impact our emotion and energy; in how some of us have sensitivities or allergic reactions; and, even how our immune systems differ. One size does not fit us all…. nor does one oil or oil blend.
- Essential oils can react with other medications we are taking. They can either suppress or potentiate the affect and in either case that could spell trouble.
- Being pregnant or breastfeeding puts you in a special category, which requires avoiding certain oils during those times.
- Aromatherapy for babies and young children is also very specific. I recommend sticking to hydrosols for babies (hydrosols are byproducts of the plant distillation process and therefore have similar properties to essential oils but are much less concentrated). For children under 12 years of age there are special dilution guidelines and recommended substitutions for some oils.
Stick to Quality products – You generally get what you pay for!
- As mentioned above, regulation is minimal, so buy from reputable sources. At a minimum this information should be provided: the Latin plant name, extraction method, is the oil organic, are instructions and contraindications listed.
This can be overwhelming, and I didn’t write this to scare you but I did want to get your attention and I hope I did. Treat your body with respect and choose to educate yourself and/or seek the advice of a certified aromatherapist or trained clinical practitioner. It would be a real shame that in the name of natural health and wellbeing we revert to substandard products that may have been diluted, or adulterated and end up hurting ourselves in the process.
Stay tuned for my next blog: Part 2 on the Beauty and Power of Essential Oils. It will focus on Respect for the Environment and the Growers and what this means for us as we continue to reap the benefits of essential oil aromatherapy.