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My rendition from Aromatherapy course
METHODS OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS.
Essential oils (E.Os) can be used in several different ways to prevent illness and to treat various ailments.
The best and most effective way to treat with essential oils is by massage. Neat oils must be diluted in carrier oil before being applied to the skin or they will cause irritation. The carrier oil can be any kind of vegetable oil:
e.g. almond, grape seed, Jojoba, are some of the best. Smooth strokes warm the skin and aid the penetration of essential oils.
The oils enter the body through the pores that secrete sweat and sebum then diffuse into blood capillaries and intercellular fluid and travel around the body in blood and lymph. Total absorption time takes from 10 to 100 minutes depending on the essential oil used. Essential oils should be left on the skin for as long as possible e.g. no baths. For 6 to 8 hours.
Another effective way of treating with essential oils is to add about 10 drops to a warm bath they will penetrate the skin and are also carried in the steam.
Windows and doors need to be shut so you can inhale the therapeutic vapours.
(If the CEOs are mixed with an egg cup of Skimmed milk in the bath this aids absorption.)
N.B. never use more than 3 different oils.
As a vapour (inhalation)
Obviously the vapours of essential oils are inhaled whilst sitting in a bath to which no more than 10 drops of essential oils have been added to an egg cup of skimmed or semi skimmed milk and leting the bath water run into this and overflow into the bath (This will stop the oil skinning the sides leaving a greasy band on the bath sides) A more direct method of inhalation is to add three drops into a bowl of hot water, with a towel both enclosing your head and the bowl. (never more than 3 different oils.) Or being massaged in a warm room with doors and windows closed
Some Essential oils can also be taken internally and should only be done so under the strictest supervision of a trained aromatherapist.
Properties and Chemistry
Pure E.Os are obtained from fruits, petals, leaves, roots and the bark of aromatic plants.
There are various methods used to extract the oils, these can be expensive processes due mainly to the large quantity of the plants that are needed to produce a very small amount of oil extracted.
Due to this, many of the oils are now manufactured synthetically.
Chemically the oils are a compound of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen.
The hydrocarbons are almost entirely composed of a substance called Terepenes which are anti bacterial and anti fungal, the oxygenated component contains alcohol’s and phenols the later having antiseptic qualities.
Acids oxides sulphur and nitrogen compounds also occur in certain oils.
Properties of Essential Oils
They are: -
living tissue e.g. lavender which stimulate the production of white cells.
the body and have a curative action that is not seen with drug therapy
as they (drug therapy), leave a residue of toxins in the tissues.
Properties Top note Middle note Base note
Volatility High Less Low
Evaporation rate 1-14 min 15-60 min 61-100 min
Remains in carrier 24 hrs 2-3 days 1 week
Absorption rate Quick Moderate Slow
Aroma Sharp Flowery Woody (heavy)
Effect Highly stimulating Effects the organs Relaxing
Obtained from Citrus flowers, fruit Flowers and Herbs Wood resins
Synthetic oils are a Compound of hydrogen oxygen and carbon (Choc)
Copyright Mr T Ashmore 1989 ©
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