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Aromatherapy FAQs

1. What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

2. What are essential oils?
Essential oils, or aromatherapy oils, are the fragrant essence of a plant. These highly concentrated liquid oils are the foundation of aromatherapy, which is based on the idea that the aromatic oil from a plant has healing properties.

3. How are essential oils used in aromatherapy?
Essential oils are extracted one of two ways – either by steam distillation or expression, or pressing. Distillation is the most prominent method used to extract aromatherapy oils, however. This technique involves steaming the plant matter until it breaks down. The byproduct of this breakdown phase is the plant’s fragrant oil, which is cooled, separated from the water and finally filtered into its pure essential oil.

4. Are essential oils the same as perfume?
Essential oils should not be confused with perfumes or other fragrance oils. Essential oils are natural to the plant, whereas fragrance oils are chemically produced to mimic certain aromatic scents for perfumes, colognes, candles, etc.

5. Can essential oils be applied directly to my skin?
It is not generally recommended. In their pure form, essential oils are highly concentrated and can burn your skin, or some oils will even pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is suggested that you mix them with a base or carrier oil which decreases the possibility of skin irritation.
6. Can I use essential oils internally?
It is not recommended to use essential oils internally. Given their concentration levels, essential oils can be toxic if swallowed.

7. What is the best way to apply essential oils?
How you apply essential, or aromatherapy, oils has an impact on their healing capabilities. You will experience better results if you use small amounts of the oils diluted in water or with a carrier oil or massage lotion. Check out our application page for more detailed methods.

8. Can I use essential oils if I'm pregnant?
Yes, but do so with caution. We recommend avoiding the use of essential oils during the first trimester, and then light use (no more than 1% dilution) through term.Oils like geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, mandarin, neroli, tangerine, and ylang ylang are considered safe oils to use during pregnancy.

9. How should I store my aromatherapy oils?
Essential oils are best kept in dark glass bottles with screw tops. They should be kept in a cool, dry space, preferably out of the direct sunlight.

10. How do I know which essential oils do what, specifically, for the body?
Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects on their own. For instance, lavender is a widely known calming agent, whereas peppermint is a mood lifter. Other oils are blended to achieve a desired physiological or psychological effect. Blending ylang ylang with grapefruit relieves stress, for example. Each oil has its own special benefit. See some of the more common blends here