What is an essential oil? It is highly concentrated oil derived from an herb or plant. Because it is highly concentrated it is recommended that you do not take these internally.
The biggest mistake you can make in using essential oils is not doing your research on these.
- Oil and water do not mix, don’t ever dilute essential oil with water for massage.
- Using too much, only use in moderation
- Don’t diffuse around pets – tea tree is toxic to dogs and pennyroyal is toxic to dogs and cats
- Pay attention to quality and purity, cheaper is not always better
There are many different types of oils out there: you have your essential oils, extracts, carrier oils, and cooking oils.
There are some oils that you can take internally that have really great benefits, such as cumin seed, oregano, olive leaf extract, and grapefruit. Grapefruit can be considered an essential oil, but that’s why you need to buy Pure Grapefruit oil and not the one labeled “Essential”. Not all oils are made equally. However, it is extremely important to know how much you can take internally, when to take it, and for how long including purity of the oil and potency.
Babies, children, and breastfeeding or pregnant women should NEVER take essential oils internally.
What is the difference between essential oils and extracts? During extraction, plant parts may be cold pressed, macerated or soaked in a liquid (usually alcohol) in order to extract beneficial nutrients, minerals, and/or oils from the plant. Extracts (also known as tinctures) are typically safe to take internally and usually come with directions on how to do so. Essential oils are volatile oils from herbs that are derived from distillation of the plant or herb. It takes quite a lot to obtain a little amount of this oil which is why they are typically more expensive than the latter. These volatile oils are what is released when you steep tea, which is why you should always steep your tea covered to get the most out of it. Extracts and tinctures are commonly used medicinally while essential oils are more therapeutic for aromatheraphy and massage.
What is a carrier oil? Your carrier oils are oils you would mix with your essential oil before placing on the body. Great carrier oils include almond, grapeseed, and olive. General rule of thumb for adults is 6 drops of oil to 1-2 ounces of carrier oil for massage purposes.
What is a cooking oil? These are oils that you cook with. It’s important to know with what oil to cook with depending on the amount of heat the oil is being subjected to. For instance, you should only cook with olive oil on the stove and don’t cook it so hot it starts to smoke. This turns the oil into a carcinogen. Olive oil is not meant to be heated at temps higher than 350 degrees. On the other hand- avocado, coconut, and grapeseed oil can be cooked at higher temps because they are more resistant so these should be used when roasting or baking. Sunflower seed oil should only be used as a salad dressing base and never cooked. Never use almond oil for cooking as it is not meant for consumption. Organic, extra virgin, cold pressed oils in dark glass bottles are the best to buy as they have not been exposed to light which can taint the oil. Also make sure when you buy an oil, it originates from one country and not multiple. Never buy vegetable or canola oil as these are not good oils and are high in bad fats.
Click Here for safety guidelines for all ages in diluting essential oils. Lea Harris, who is a certified clinical aromatherapist, has great information on her site about the use of essential oils.
Dr. Axe is offering on his website training videos on the 3 Biggest Essential Oil Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them). I highly recommend watching these. Click Here to access the videos.