GLOSS Issue 2 ( July / August 2017 ) - Page 61

HE A LT H & W E L L N E S S Aromatherapy Essential Oils: Seven Things You Should Know A romatherapy uses essential oils to treat medical conditions, to alleviate psychological ailments, for cosmetic purposes, and to reduce stress. The essential oils of aromatherapy have the power to enhance both your physical and mental state. Essential oils are extracted from living plants and trees. Most oils can be used at home safely, enjoyably, and with beneficial effects. Keep the following seven things in mind if you want to try aromatherapy at home. Essential oils should never be applied directly without diluting them. Only lavender and tea tree oil are exceptions to this rule. Essential oils are flammable, so use extreme caution around flames and heat sources. If you use a burner to diffuse the oil, put water in the burner first. The essential oil will enter the air as the water evaporates. Essential oils are for external use only. On very rare occasions, a qualified aromatherapist may prescribe essential oils by mouth. Some essential oils can be very toxic if swallowed. Essential oils that have a therapeutic effect when diluted in certain oral treatments, like mouthwash, should not be swallowed. Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. If you want to use essential oils during pregnancy, on babies, or with young children, please seek the advice of a trained, qualified aromatherapist first. If you are using essential oils as part of homoeopathic or herbal medicine treatment, get advice from homoeopathic or herbal medicine practitioners as well as from an aromatherapist. Some medical conditions require a doctor’s care, and not all medical conditions benefit from aromatherapy. Always check with your doctor first before undertaking aromatherapy for the treatment of any medical condition. 5161