Essential oils: precautions to take when starting out in aromatherapy

The use of essential oils is now widespread in society. For “bobology” or for more complex health problems, essential oils, well used, can provide answers. If you’re just starting out, here are some beginner tips.

The first distillation of essential oils dates back to the Persians in the 10th century. Although this practice may have been used for a long time before that date. Information on the distillation of essential oils was published in the 16th century in Germany. In the 19th century, French doctors recognized the potential of essential oils in treating disease. The term “aromatherapy” was coined by a French perfumer and chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, in a book he wrote on the subject which was published in 1937. He had previously discovered the healing potential of lavender in the treatment of burns. This book deals with the use of essential oils in the treatment of diseases.

How are essential oils used

There are many ways to use essential oils:

– As a compress of cold or hot water to be applied to the body

– Sour form of mixture with several drops of oil in a carrier oil and applied in massage

– As a spray in your bedroom.

– A few drops of pure oils on your sheets and pillowcases.

– with a diffuser in your bedroom.

– A few drops of essential oil diluted in a hot bath.

– Avoid ingesting essential oils directly. Dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, such as olive or coconut oil.

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How does an aromatherapy treatment work?

Aromatherapy works through smell and skin absorption using products such as these:

– diffusers
– aromatic vaporizers
– inhalers
– bath salts
– body oils, creams or lotions, for massage or topical application
– hot and cold compresses
– clay masks
You can use them alone or in combination with others.

There are nearly a hundred types of essential oils. In general, people use the most popular oils. Essential oils are available online, in health food stores, and in some regular supermarkets. It is important to buy from a reputable producer, as the oils are not regulated. You are thus guaranteed to buy a quality product, 100% natural. It should not contain additives or synthetic ingredients.

Each essential oil has a set of unique properties, uses, and healing effects. Combining essential oils to create a synergistic blend provides even more benefits.

Health benefits of aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has many benefits. It is said:

– manage pain
– improve the quality of sleep
– reduce stress, restlessness and anxiety
– soothe painful joints
– treat headaches and migraines
– reduce the side effects of chemotherapy
– reduce the fatigue and stress of work
– fight against bacteria, viruses or fungi
– improve digestion
– boost immunity

Scientific evidence for aromatherapy is considered limited in some areas. Research to support the use of aromatherapy in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and heart disease is lacking. In contrast, there is now a large body of serious scientific literature that demonstrates its effectiveness in certain areas.

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Aromatherapy can treat many conditions, including:

– asthma
– insomnia
– tired
– depression
– inflammation
– peripheral neuropathy
– questions about menstruation
– alopecia
– erectile dysfunction
– arthritis
– symptoms of menopause

The most popular aromatherapy oils

The most popular essential oils are:

– clary sage

– cypress

– eucalyptus

– fennel

– geranium

– ginger

– helichrysum

– lavender

– lemon

– lemongrass

– tangerine

– neroli

– patchouli

– pepper mint

– Roman chamomile

– pink

– rosemary

– tea tree

– vetiver

– ylang ylang

You can use essential oils in many ways. For example, you can add them to body lotions or carrier oils and then apply them topically. Try enhancing a face toner, shampoo or conditioner with essential oils. You can also incorporate them into a liquid soap, toothpaste or mouthwash. You can also diffuse or vaporize the oils in a room or pour them into a bath.

Beware of possible side effects

Most essential oils are safe to use. But there are some precautions to take when using them, as well as side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are taking prescription medications.
Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin. Always use a carrier oil to dilute oils. Remember to do a skin test before using essential oils. As citrus essential oils can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, these oils should be avoided if you are exposed to the sun.

Children and pregnant or nursing women should use essential oils with caution and under the supervision of a physician. You should avoid certain oils and never swallow essential oils.

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Side effects of using essential oils can include the following:
– Rashes
– asthma attacks
– headache
– allergic reactions
– skin irritation
– nausea

As you explore the uses of essential oils, pay attention to how different oils and methods of use affect you.
Remember that aromatherapy is a complementary therapy. It is not meant to replace a doctor-approved treatment plan.


Ali B, et al. (2015). Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. DOI: 10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.05.007

Aromatherapy. (2018). therapy-directory.org.uk/articles/aromatherapy.html

Komori T, et al. (1995). Effects of citrus fragrance on immune function and depressive states [Abstract]. DOI: 10.1159/000096889

Louis M, et al. (2002). Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being [Abstract]. DOI: 10.1177/104990910201900607


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