We live in an age of information. Information is readily accessible and at your fingertips. And it’s all true, right? It would be nice if it was, but, we know there is just as much misinformation as there is information. When it comes to the practice of Aromatherapy, education is vital to helping and not harming the body. It takes a lengthy education in the field of Aromatherapy to understand that information does not an education make.
Aromatherapy revolves around essential oils. Essential oils are pretty much everywhere you look nowadays; drugstores, chain retailers, grocery stores, even gas stations! It is a rapidly growing industry. It doesn’t take much to make a bottle look good with a promise of bliss in every drop. Marketing for aromatherapy products is a fairly easy task. The name of the industry alone is a magnet to the soul! Doesn’t everyone want to escape to “Zen” while stuck in their “zone”? You’d be hard pressed to find a person...
Oxidation is the process of the breaking-down of molecular structure. All essential oils oxidize. Some oxidize faster than others (see Reason #2) Shelf Life). There are three things that cause e.o.s to oxidize; heat, air, and light. Therefore, the best case scenario for storing them is in a cool, dark place in with tightly-sealed, dark glass containers.
Essential oils sitting on a store shelf are exposed to heat and light which are only going to degrade their properties faster than in ideal conditions. If those pretty little bottles sitting exposed on a shelf have no documentation of when or where they were produced, you should understand that the properties have been waning away the whole time they have been there and you will have no idea what is in it, short of doing your own testing.
What do you know about safety issues concerning individual essential oils? The many benefits are published far and wide. My experience is the safety considerations are not as widely broadcast. The information is available can be confusing or vague. Though the benefits of an oil may generally outnumber the safety concerns, they in no way outweigh the concerns. Such concerns can include initiating an asthma attack, cause severe burns, and even have a direct affect on a pregnancy. Do you know about sensitization due to over-use? What constitutes over-use?
The average person is not aware that serious safety concerns exist. After all, essential oils are so wonderful, so healing, so beneficial, right? It would be so nice to be able indulge yourself in a blend and not have to think about details. Life is so full of details! Can’t we just pick up a bottle of great smelling stuff and not have to think about it? But, alas…safety first!
Each and every essential oil is unique. Each and every essential oil belongs to a different chemical family. Each chemical family has common properties which includes a shelf life.
In the early years of my relationship with essential oils, I had no clue of this. I thought they "lived" forever - until the bottle was empty - at least! Why did I think this? One, I didn't know any better. Two, the bottles did not contain any expiration date. So, logical assumption, there is none. Wrong!
I am here to tell you essential oils have a shelf-life. Some last only two years from the date they are produced. I could name several well-known essential oil companies that still do not give you essential information on their products. Finding contact information to ask someone a question is just as evasive. So, if a manufacturer does not tell you either when it was produced or when it expires, how can you know there is any value OR harm in that beautiful l...
Reasons Why Buying Essential Oils “Just Anywhere” Can Be Problematic
Reason #1) Chemotypes;
Chemotype is the title given to plants that, though having the same genus and species, have very different chemical properties. For example, you could have three or more Thyme plants, each grown in a different region/ climate of France, each with a different holistic value. Why does this matter? Well, if you want Thyme for clearing lung congestion you may not get it. A bigger problem is not knowing it and spending good money for something that is not going to do what you bought it to do.
If we consider the variations among genus and species of plants, let alone the chemotypes of each, it would be easy to see that picking the right essential oil can be overwhelming. Take Eucalyptus for instance, which one (Globulus, Radiata, Citriodora, Smithii, or Dives) is the best for breaking up thick, persistent mucus and which one is better for fungal infections? Buying remedies online or of...