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Aromatherapy 101

aromatherapy-101

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Our Favorite Aromatherapy Blends
  2. What is an Essential Oil?
  3. History of Aromatherapy
  4. Herbal Oils vs. Essentail Oils
  5. How Essential Oils Work
  6. Putting Oils in the Context of the Plant
  7. How Essential Oils are Used
  8. Conversions and Dilution
  9. Application Methods (Inhalation, Topical, Ingestion)
  10. Beginners Guide to Aromatherapy
  11. 5 Steps to Getting Started with Aromatherapy

Although the use of essential oils isn’t new, it’s definitely gained steam (so to speak!) in recent years. More and more people are using essential oils in place of artificial fragrances in the home and on their bodies, for culinary purposes, and for health and healing. The more we use essential oils, the more we fall in love, and it’s hard to remember a time when aromatherapy was an unfamiliar term.

Everyone has to start somewhere, though – few of us were born into families who already used aromatherapy regularly. If you are just starting out and find yourself a bit lost in the jargon, recipes, and excitement, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Let’s take a little bit of time here and catch you up to speed.

Our Favorite Aromatherapy Blends

eoc-free_600x150

I’m not sure about you, but my wife and I utilize aromatherapy all day long. It enhances our mood, health and virtually every aspect of our lives! We have a steam diffuser in nearly every room in our home, and once we gave all those toxic plug-ins and aerosols the boot, we started to notice some pretty cool changes in our health and the health of our children.

These are our favorite blends:

At this point, may be asking, “How can these aromatherapy blends make a difference in my life?”

Well, it’s all about the healing power of essential oils

What is an Essential Oil?

“And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2)

I can think of no other substance on earth that epitomizes this Bible verse than essential oils.

The very first questions a newbie should ask – what is aromatherapy, and what is an essential oil? You might associate aromatherapy with massage therapists and thick massage oil. Or perhaps you picture heavy patchouli incense and a Volkswagen van. Or the base, middle, and high notes of a perfumery’s concoctions.

All of these can be accurate associations with aromatherapy – while at the same time, each of them may or may not be using essential oils.

The term essential oil doesn’t refer to how much we need it (though many of us argue that they are pretty vital parts of our daily lives!). In fact, the original scientific term for these oils is volatile oil, which paints a much better picture of what we’re referring to.

The volatile oil – or essential oil – of a plant is the part that releases quickly from the plant and into the air. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the naming rationale:

Essential oil, highly volatile substance isolated by a physical process from an odoriferous plant of a single botanical species…Such oils were called essential because they were thought to represent the very essence of odour and flavour. (1)

The essential oil is why you smell a rose when you lean down and sniff the blooms. It releases as you walk through the garden and shake up the plants. How many plants can you identify by their scent alone? The scientists who had the privilege of naming this chemical component could think of plenty, as well, and thus believed the oils to be “essential” to the plant as much as it was volatile (quickly released).

We now know that essential oils are more prevalent in some plants than others, and can be found in roots, stems, leaves, and blossoms alike. They aren’t necessarily an essential part of the plant – in fact, we don’t always know the function the volatile oil serves, and it can very from plant to plant. But we do know that essential oils are complex, with broad therapeutic actions that vary based on their composition.

Ultimately, the essential oil of a plant is a component of the plant itself, filled with vast amounts of molecules specific to that plant’s needs and uses. This is important to remember, because chemical composition (phytochemistry, the chemistry of plants) tells us how we can best use a substance.

History of Aromatherapy

More recently, essential oils have been used under the guise of the aromatherapy profession, although we have records of people using them as far as thousands of years ago. Did they have essential oils like we know them today? Of course not! Modern distillation procedures are relatively new in relation to the Earth timetable. However, Nicander (b.c. 183ā€”135), a Greek poet and physician for example, “Spoke of the extraction of perfumes from plants by what we should now call a process of distillation” and we have other ancient accounts of crude methods to extract the precious oil from plants. (3)

The term aromatherapy is relatively new in our history, coined by a French chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in the 1930s. His work ultimately led to the modern understanding of essential oils as therapeutic for health and healing benefits. (2)

This shift toward isolating and emphasizing the use of essential oils as a separate and concentrated compound with the goal of therapeutic results has shaped what we know about essential oils today. It gave us the vials of pure essential oils, separate from the other compounds they shared space with in the larger composition of a plant. But it wasn’t the first time essential oils were recognized for their healing abilities.

Because essential oils are part of herbs – the aromatic compound that hits your nose right away – they can be part of herbal preparations. The practice of using herbs as medicine dates back to the beginning of human history, and since we have always had noses, the fragrant component of those herbs did not go unnoticed.

Most civilizations utilized fragrant herbs for medicine and rituals, and oil extractions were commonly used to separate the fragrance and medicinal benefits from the bulkier material of the rest of the plant. Many of the oils used in this way were rich in essential oils that we continue to use to this day – myrrh, cinnamon, frankincense, cassia – prized for their fragrances and traded vigorously throughout the ancient world and into the development of the Western world we know today. (4)

The “spices” were burned, infused into carrier oils, and even crudely distilled into something similar to what we know as hydrosols – distilled oil that remains in the water from the process. What do each of the uses have in common? Maximizing access to the fragrance – the essential oil!

Today, thanks to pioneers such as Gattefosse, we really do have essential oil extraction down to a science, and we’re learning more all the time.

Herbal Oils vs. Essential Oils

There is no doubt that the ancients realized the fragrance was something more than just pleasant. Such was the confidence in the therapeutic power of aromas that, at one point, the entire prevailing theory of disease centered around bad and good smells! (5)

So when we talk about essential oils being used from ancient times – for example, in the Bible, when fragrant offerings were commanded and incense was to be burned – it’s true in that the essential oils were present and utilizing the fragrance was the intended result.

Where ancient and modern use differs, however, is that we are now able to isolate the essential oil – not simply include it, but use it exclusively. An herbal oil is herbal matter infused with an oil such as olive, so that it contains the essential oil alongside many other compounds from the plant. There are fewer compounds, obviously, since the plant matter is strained away and discarded, but there are still many, creating a highly usable oil infused with a range of medicinal properties.

The essential oils as we know them, on the other hand, take the small amount of volatile oil from part of a plant and concentrate it so that it’s the only component of the plant remaining. This is usually accomplished using steam distillation to release the droplets and then catch them. Because it’s an “extraction” of a very small facet of a plant, it takes large volumes of each plant to create even a 5ml bottle of essential oil.

It comes down to this: for herbed oils, the oil is now medicinally varied and stronger than it was before, but the herbal matter is dispersed throughout the carrier and is no longer as concentrated as it was in the small volume of a leaf, stem, or seed.

For essential oils, the oil is concentrated and specific in use, condensed from large amounts of herbal matter that have been isolated for a single component, therefore compressed into much, much smaller volumes of oil.

To break it down further, the herbal oil can contain the essential oil but not vice versa.

How Essential Oils Work

Let’s put this into practical terms. Cinnamon, for example, is a delicious spice. The cinnamon that you sprinkle onto toast is essentially ground-up bark and is the culmination of a combination of many chemical components – yes, including essential oils.

In cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon, the oils are dispersed amongst the other components, giving you a wide range of substances to stir into tea or add to Christmas pie.

Now, to make cinnamon essential oil, that same bark would be placed through a distillation process, releasing and separating the essential oil. Great amounts of bark would be used in the process, and little vials of essential oil would be the result. Same bark, same plant. But would you shake your cinnamon essential oil bottle all over your morning toast, just like you did with the powder?

Putting Oils in Context of the Plant

When the essential oil component – whatever is left after processing, packaging, and then your cooking methods – is part of the whole product, it is in such small and dispersed amounts that it’s only a small contribution to the whole. You’re enjoying powdered cinnamon for the combination of molecules that create texture, flavor, and varied benefits.

When you use an essential oil, you should use it for the very specific benefits that those specific molecules can provide. In the case of cinnamon bark, it’s pretty potent as an antibacterial, moreso than a dessert seasoning. (6)

And while it still does taste great and could be used with proper care in a culinary setting (we’ll get to that in a minute), it’s also a dermal irritant. In other words, it could really hurt your skin or the tender lining of your mouth and throat if you were to use it just like cinnamon sticks or powder.

To throw another wrench in the works, the essential oil gathered from the bark won’t have the same components as that of the essential oil taken from leaves. And it will vary between varieties of the same plant species, growing methods, seasons, and even the way it’s harvested. These are volatile oils, remember? They are pretty delicate in their composition and will adapt based on their conditions and use to the plant.

Pretty powerful stuff! The progress that we have made since Aromatherapie was first written allows us to choose essential oils for specific uses based on what we know of their composition. Rather than burning whatever smells good and hoping it chases away disease, we can combine the art and science of aromatherapy to be intentional and effective in our use.

How Essential Oils are Used

The term aromatherapy was coined to combine aroma and therapy, indicating therapeutic benefits using fragrance. This is still the heart of aromatherapy, but essential oil use has expanded in many ways and toward many uses. The main categories of use are (7):

  • Inhalation
  • Topical
  • Internal

Inhalation

Not only is inhalation the oldest form of essential oil use, it is also arguably the safest. Oils diffused throughout a room are relatively safe for most people in most cases due to the high level of dilution. More direct effects can be obtained by breathing in a steam directly or inhaling right from the bottle, or from a few drops on a cloth. This carries the volatile oil directly into your respiratory system and mucous membranes, dispersed throughout the steam or air molecules.

Topical

Topical use is a step further than traditional inhalation-based aromatherapy, though still familiar in the context of massage therapy, which often utilizes fragrant oils for massage applications.

Instead of the broad dispersion through air droplets that inhalation provides, topical use is much more direct. But at the same time, the oil is absorbed through the barrier layers of skin, while inhalation moves quickly through the thinner mucous membranes. Knowing your oil and the goal you have in mind can help you determine which application is more appropriate.

In theory and in professional practice, some essential oils can be used on the skin undiluted. However, the safest application is via dilution. Carrier oils like olive, coconut, jojoba and avocado oils usually have benefits of their own, and you can easily combine a couple of drops in a teaspoon to dilute the oils and bypass potential irritation.

Internal

Finally, and most controversially, some oils are safe for ingestion. The most basic form of ingestion is in culinary use. Revisiting cinnamon, you could use cinnamon essential oil in a cake batter, but you’d only need one drop for the whole batch vs. a tsp or more of the bark powder.

Another common internal preparation is to combine it into a drink. Do remember that oil and water do not mix, so simply adding a drop to water will leave that drop undiluted. Some oils are irritants and all oils are very strong, so it’s best to be safe and dilute it into some honey or coconut oil first.

Many aromatherapists believe oils are never to be ingested, and most will suggest only trained professionals utilize internal methods. Again, it’s better to be safe, and for someone just starting out, this is excellent advice to consider.

Conversions and Dilution

Dropper sizes vary and volume varies based on oil, so advanced techniques would include more specific measuring techniques. Most bottles that I’ve seen contain either 5 ml or 15 ml of oil, which would be 100 drops or 300 drops, respectively. For you math enthusiasts out there, this is how the conversions all pan out:

  • 1/8 oz. = 3.75 ml
  • 1/4 oz. = 7.5 ml
  • 1/2 oz. = 15 ml.
  • 1 oz. = 30 ml
  • 4 oz. = 120 ml
  • 8 oz. = 237 ml
  • 16 oz. = 473 ml

Since most droppers will give you about 20 drops of essential oil, the final conversation typically looks like this:

  • 1/8 oz. = 75 drops
  • 1/4 oz. = 150 drops
  • 1/2 oz. = 300 drops
  • 1 oz. = 600 drops

Using these conversions:

  • 1% dilution: 6 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (1% of 600 drops is 6)
  • 2% dilution: 12 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (2% of 600 drops is 12)
  • 3% dilution: 18 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (3% of 600 drops is 18)

If working with tablespoons are more comfortable for you, 1 oz. = 2 tablespoons. So, there are 300 drops of EO in a tablespoon.

  • 1% dilution: 3 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (1% of 300 drops is 3)
  • 2% dilution: 6 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (2% of 300 drops is 6)
  • 3% dilution: 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (3% of 300 drops is 9)

Application Methods

Within the major types of essential oil use, there are many ways to actually apply them. These suggestions and guidelines can get you rolling, but once you are familiar with your oils and their safe use, you can really start to think outside of the box.

Inhalation

For inhaled oils, you only need a small amount to create a big impact. Diffusers will use a bit more, but direct inhalation is up close and personal and only requires a couple of drops. Here are some of the methods you might use to inhale essential oils.

  • Diffusion – Good for blends intended to affect the entire room. Place as few as 2-3 and as many as 6-10 total drops in the diffuser or in a pot of simmering water and let it disperse throughout the room. The benefits should be lasting after the diffusion has ended; there is no need to run it continuously.Ideally for oils that are energizing, antimicrobial, promoting memory and focus, relaxing. Ex: citrus, lavender, rosemary.
  • Personal inhalation – Good for portable, direct inhalation for specific benefits to an individual. Fewer drops are needed due to the close proximity of use. Place 1-2 drops of a single oil or a pre-prepared blend of oils on the inhaler, then hold it close to the nose and breathe in periodically. Inhalers can be a piece of porous jewelry, a piece of cloth or handkerchief, or inhalers made of a wick of sorts placed in a glass tube. Ideally for personal benefit such as clear breathing, focus, anxiety, headaches, and stress relief. Ex: eucalyptus, bergamot, peppermint.
  • Steam inhalation – Technically also personal inhalation, “tenting” is more intensive and not very portable. When the oils need to be inhaled in greater concentration and affect the respiratory system more directly, 2-3 drops of a single oil or pre-prepared blend can be placed in a bowl of boiling water – usually warmed in and poured from a tea kettle. Place a towel over your head and drape it over the bowl (forming a tent, of sorts), close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Ideally for clearing the nasal passages and respiratory system. Ex: eucalyptus, citrus, tea tree.
  • Sprays – Aromatic sprays have benefits of both inhalation and, in the case of antimicrobial oils, surface cleaning benefits. Combine 10-20 drops of a combination of oils to Ā½ oz alcohol or witch hazel, then add Ā½ oz distilled water and shake to combine. Spritz in the air, on linens, or on clothes as desired. Ideally for air freshening, cleaning, antimicrobial purposes, body sprays, and even topical anti-inflammatory benefits and healing. Ex: tea tree, lemon, thyme.

Topical Application

Essential oils placed directly on the skin are able to sink in through the pores and then move through the body, creating both topical benefits as well as systemic. While some oils are okay undiluted (neat), most are not. The smart way to apply oils topically is to first dilute them. Carrier oils are non-volatile oils and are not irritants, so essential oils can be blended into them first and then the mixture applied.

Popular carrier oils include: coconut, olive, almond, jojoba, avocado, apricot, and sunflower. Most carrier oils have benefits of their own that can be explored to create even more beneficial blends.

Topical application can be direct in a small area such as for scar healing or broader such as for a massage oil. The important variables here are dilution rates.

  • .05% dilution – Strong oils, application on children, and oils that you are testing for sensitization. The heavy dilution allows for greater distribution throughout the application and less per dose. Ideal for irritating oils, children, and those who are highly sensitive. Ex: cinnamon, eucalyptus, peppermint.
  • 1% dilution – Even adults who tolerate oils well will still find some oils too strong for normal applications. A 1% dilution rate protects your skin while still enjoying the benefit of the more powerful essential oils or use on sensitive areas of the skin .Ideal for facial applications, dermal irritants, treatment of delicate skin. Ex: clove and cinnamon oils, tea tree for acne, melissa.
  • 2-3% dilution – This is the most common dilution range, suitable for massage oils, healing treatments, lotions and creams, and cosmetic applications. It is enough to gain significant benefits of the essential oil without risking sensitization. Unless the oil is particularly potent or you have sensitive skin, this is likely to be the dilution you’ll use. Ideal for most applications – lotions, creams, salves, balms. Ex: ylang ylang, helichrysum, chamomile.
  • 5%+ dilution – Higher concentrations should be used with care. You might find a high proportion of a bath salt is appropriate, for example, because it will be further dispersed into the tub. Or, extremely safe oils can be used in small amounts on small areas of the skin – for example, as a strong acne treatment. Know your oil’s safety profile and choose high concentrations with caution. Ideal for specific situations based on either extreme safety and high potency in a targeted area OR further dilution beyond the initial formula. Ex: lavender, sweet orange, tea tree.

Ingestion

Typically reserved for culinary oils or for use by trained aromatherapy professionals, ingestion is used when the medicinal profile of an oil is required. Dilution remains important, as does education before use. Some of the more common ways ingestion is used are highlighted here.

  • Excellent for digestive oils or simply to enjoy the flavorful concentration, 1-2 drops can be mixed thoroughly into a lipid or syrup portion of the recipe and then added to the rest of the batch. Ideal for oils that benefit digestive wellness, essential oils of culinary herbs, and oils of culinary spices. Ex: dill, sweet orange, cinnamon.
  • Dispersing an oil into a glass of water is the quickest way to ingest it, but do not miss the importance of both dosage and dilution. One drop is more than sufficient, and remember that oil and water do not mix! Without diluting it into honey or oil first, the drop is likely to make direct contact with sensitive internal organs. Ideal for quick and simple use, especially for digestive wellness. Ex: chamomile, ginger, lavender.
  • A truly medicinal application, encapsulated oils are used to get the oil directly to the stomach, or – in the case of enteric-coated capsules – to the intestines. This is used when the oil is to be consumed regularly and when the individual struggles with the taste of it in other forms. Dilute the essential oil into a carrier before making the capsules, or purchase encapsulated oil blends already made. Ideal for professional guidance, digestive health, and oils that need to make it directly to the intestines. Ex: peppermint, lavender, lemon.

Beginners Guide to Aromatherapy

So now that you know what an essential oil is to a plant, how to differentiate between an herbal oil and an essential oil, how the ancients used oils and how that has evolved over time to the modern science of aromatherapy – are you hooked yet?!

Aromatherapy is absolutely incredible. Plants are literally throwing these substances at us (really! Pay attention the next time you walk past a lavender shrub). And then chemists can isolate those substances, analyze their very molecules, and know exactly what compounds will benefit us in specific ways. And THEN we can combine them based on benefit and scent to create beautiful, fragrant combinations that also have an effect on our health? If you aren’t hooked yet, you will be once you get started.

5 Steps to Getting Started with Aromatherapy

  1. The best place to begin with essential oils is with familiar scents. Lavender is both a familiar scent and a versatile and safe essential oil. The citrus oils are also easy to use on their own or in blends. Choose a few, and then learn all you can about them.
  2. Next, locate a source and make your purchase. Remember that it takes large amounts of plant matter to make small amounts of oil, so a cheap bottle of a precious oil is not likely to be high quality. You want real essential oils – nothing synthetic – and always a pure therapeutic grade, especially if you are going to learn to safely ingest them.
  3. Once you have a few oils ready to go, start by diffusing them on their own, and then in combinations of a couple of drops of two or three of them at a time. You can buy a diffuser, or you can simply simmer a pot of water on the stove and add your drops there.
  4. When you are familiar and comfortable with the scents, you will start to learn what blends you like. As you learn more about their effects, you can begin to create blends for specific reasons, like energizing your sluggish afternoon or clearing the air after a virus passed through the house.
  5. From there, you can begin to experiment with diluted topical applications, like a soothing peppermint rub or a calming massage.

The important thing is to always be learning – never stop learning! The more we learn and grow, the better we can utilize these precious, truly essential substances.

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Resources:

  1. http://www.britannica.com/topic/essential-oil
  2. https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/what-is-aromatherapy
  3. http://www.britannica.com/topic/spice-trade
  4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/j
  5. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/techniques/miasmatheory.aspx
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25369660
  7. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy


This post currently has 25 comments.

  1. Maggie
    August 29, 2016

    Thanks for all the work you do to provide this info for us! What are the ratios of the oils you use when making the blends listed above? I would like to mix up the immunity blend. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      August 30, 2016

      Ah, good question.

      I don’t have a ratio!

      It changes a little every time – just depends on what smells / feels best at the time. The important thing is that you have a good list to springboard off of. šŸ™‚

        Reply
  2. Susan
    April 30, 2016

    Dr Z,
    I have just been diagnosed with pre-leukemia after being anemic for many yrs. What oils would work best to help my blood counts to go up? I’m still making platelets.
    How do I use them and how much do I use?

      Reply
    • Customer Support
      November 28, 2016

      My apologies, but Dr. Z is legally prohibited from giving medical advice over email. He has, however, created a special Facebook group that can help as we have hundreds of members that are actively engaged in sharing testimonies of how they have overcome similar illnesses as yours. You can be part of it by joining his essential oil’s club here –> http://essentialoilsclub.info

        Reply
  3. Sharon
    March 3, 2016

    My 89 yr old mom has had asthma all her life and now has COPD from inhaler use these many years. She’s sensitive to eucalyptus. Will you suggest a diffuser mix that might help her lung condition? She’s becoming more and more fragile in her breathing. Thanks

      Reply
  4. Amber B
    February 27, 2016

    Dr. Z,
    This information is awesome. Being an organic and non gmo mom. It’s sometimes difficult to find truly pure EO’s. I’m looking for The Melrose blend. I know what it is made up of, but I’d like to go the simple route. Would you suggest as to where I can purchase it?

    Thanks so much.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 28, 2016

      Hey Amber, you’re welcome!!

      If you are inquiring about essential oil brand recommendations please note that the information published on my website is for educational purposes only, and I do not sell supplements & essential oils. To ensure that I can continue to provide unbiased, evidence-based material I must remain “brand neutral,” and I cannot recommend specific companies to purchase products from. I trust that you understand. šŸ™‚

      With that said, there are several quality, therapeutic grade brands out there. Here’s what I do:

      1) Ask the company that you’re interested in for a report of their sourcing and quality standards. (indigenously sourced, sustainable, organic, non-gmo, etc..)
      2) Check online for some positive and negative reports – be careful to not let MLM propaganda get in the way of truth. (EVERYONE’s brand is the best, right? 3) Especially, when they’re selling something).
      4) Contact the company and see if their grade is safe for internal use.
      5) Try a couple, and test for yourself.
      6) Lemon, lavender and peppermint are common and relatively inexpensive and you should get a good gauge to see if this brand is for you or not.
      7)Remember, many of these companies get their oils from the same supplier. They just private label them.

        Reply
  5. Lori in NY
    February 27, 2016

    I’m loving this informative article! I’m just beginning to learn more about EOs and found a great brand to use. Just wanted to let you know I found a typo though. I noticed that where you stated “3% of 600 drops is 9” – it should read “3% of 600 drops is 18”. šŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 27, 2016

      Hi Lori,

      Thanks for the heads up. You’re correct, there was a typo that I just corrected. Should be:

      If working with tablespoons are more comfortable for you, 1 oz. = 2 tablespoons. So, there are 300 drops of EO in a tablespoon.
      1% dilution: 3 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (1% of 300 drops is 3)
      2% dilution: 6 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (2% of 300 drops is 6)
      3% dilution: 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (3% of 300 drops is 9)

        Reply
  6. LoRNA
    January 30, 2016

    Dr.Z..thanks for all the invaluable information. Where can we purchase the best source of essential oils? don’t see this anywhere on your site.
    Thank you,
    God bless
    Lorna

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      January 31, 2016

      Hi LoRNA,

      To ensure that I can continue to provide unbiased, evidence-based material I must remain “brand neutral,” and I cannot recommend specific companies to purchase products from. I trust that you understand. šŸ™‚

      With that said, there are several quality, therapeutic grade brands out there. Here’s what I do:

      1) Ask the company that you’re interested in for a report of their sourcing and quality standards. (indigenously sourced, sustainable, organic, non-gmo, etc..)
      2) Check online for some positive and negative reports – be careful to not let MLM propaganda get in the way of truth. (EVERYONE’s brand is the best, right? Especially, when they’re selling something).
      3) Contact the company and see if their grade is safe for internal use.
      4) Try a couple, and test for yourself.
      5) Lemon, lavender and peppermint are common and relatively inexpensive and you should get a good gauge to see if this brand is for you or not.
      6)Remember, many of these companies get their oils from the same supplier. They just private label them.

        Reply
  7. Marie
    January 30, 2016

    So grateful for all the information I have learned from you and the Heal Your Gut Seminar. I have a wide range of EOs and am excited to learn how to incorporate the use of Probiotics to better my families gut health. Do you have any suggestions on which one is best to start with?

      Reply
  8. Linda PylicanL
    January 30, 2016

    Hello Dr Z, Just wanted to see if you had a typo in here. Shouldn’t this be NOW instead of NOT?? From above: Where ancient and modern use differs, however, is that we are not able to isolate the essential oil – not simply include it, but use it exclusively. An herbal oil is herbal matter infused with an oil such as olive, so that it contains the essential oil alongside many other compounds from the plant.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      January 31, 2016

      Yes, good catch! Thank you so much!!! Just updated it…

        Reply
  9. Linda
    December 7, 2015

    In your list of “Favorite Blends”, do you use equal drops of each oil? Or do you have a scientific way you figure how much of each to use according to what you are trying to accomplish?

      Reply
  10. Kelcey
    December 6, 2015

    Any specific recipes for the blends mentioned in this article?

      Reply
  11. Wendy Jaroslawski
    December 5, 2015

    I disagree with using a heat method to diffuse the oil in the air. Heat tends to change the molecular structure of the oil.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      December 5, 2015

      Hi Wendy,

      For “cold-pressed” oils, you may have a point, but I haven’t seen anything conclusive out there describing how burning oils in a burner diminishes their therapeutic effect. Oxidation changes the chemical structure, so does age, sunlight and air…

        Reply

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