Essential Oils have been used for hundreds of years, and are even mentioned many times in the bible. Essential Oils are used for medicine, aroma therapy, perfume, and flavoring in cooking.

Essential Oils are typically made through a distillation process. It takes a lot of plant material to make a small amount of Essential Oil, for instance it takes approximately 3 pounds lavender flowers to make 15 ml of Lavender Essential Oil. Or about 242,000 rose petals to distill about 5 ml of Rose Essential Oil.

The potency of essential oils should never be taken lightly, considering 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil is equivalent to 26-28 cups of Peppermint Tea.

Essential Oils have a long history of effectively treating a number of health conditions, emotional healing and stress. Always be aware that, care should be taken when using essential oils with babies, elderly, or people with certain health conditions, allergies, or taking certain prescription medications. Also be aware that some Essential Oils are actually toxic to our beloved pets.

For best results always use high quality oils. There are many brands with varying grades of quality. We used to look for brands that claimed "Therapeutic Grade" or "Medicinal Grade" but since there are no standards in place for the use of those terms, both terms are now often mis or overused. Always look for the brands that list the Latin names of the plants used, possibly where the plants were obtained, and choose organic if/when available. The better quality oils will have their oils tested to ensure purity - such as the gas chromatography and mass spectrometry tests, or GC/MS - and will provide reports upon request.

Essential Oils are mostly used topically, inhaled, or ingested. Be sure to do your research regarding up ingestion. While many oils are fine for ingestion, it can still vary from brand to brand. Some oils, such as cinnamon can be irritating to mucus membranes so care should be used in inhalation methods. Essential oils are very volatile, and evaporate quickly. They will start evaporating as soon as they land on your hand out of the bottle, so it is best to use a carrier oil. Any food grade oil will work, but some do work better than others. It is a popular opinion that Fractionated Coconut oil is a favorite choice for a carrier oil. It is said that the process of fractionating the coconut oil allows it to be absorbed into the skin better, taking the essential oils with it - enhancing the benefits overall.

Timeout for Massage, Therapeutic/Medical Massage
Lorelei Vaughan, MMT, CIMI

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