Aroma-therapeutic Questions & Answers
What are Essential
Essential Oils are the pure essence of the
plants from which they are derived, for the most part through the process of
steam distillation. Unlike mineral oils, which simply sit on top of the skin's
surface, essential oils are made up of very small molecules. These molecules
are lipid soluble and many of the chemical constituents of these molecules are
able to enter through the skin's surface to the muscle tissue providing opportunity
for antiviral, antibiotic, antispasmodic, analgesic, and other therapeutic and
pain relieving benefits.
How are Essential
Essential oils may be applied topically,
on the skin in a carrier lotion or oil (by massage, rubbing a small amount onto
an area that hurts or needs attention in some way, or as a warm compress). A
few essential oils may be applied to the skin without dilution, or "neat".
Neat applications must be used with caution and knowledge, as essential oils
are very complex and concentrated, and not all oils are appropriate or safe
to use in this manner.
Therapeutic benefits may also be obtained from the inhalation of essential
oils. This can be done by simply smelling your essential oil or synergy blend
right out of the bottle, or by dropping some onto a cotton ball or tissue and
carrying it around in your pocket. We now have wonderful Inhalers that are easy take along wherever you go (some come pre-filled with a synergy blend, others are "fill-your-own").
You can also invest in a small electric device
called a nebulizing diffuser, which will disperse your essential oils into the
air. As you breathe in the finely dispersed molecules of essential oils, they
react with specific nerve receptors. Transmission of the chemical information
contained in the aroma is sent through the olfactory system directly to the
limbic system, a part of the brain which stores responses to memory, pleasure,
and emotions. In addition to memory recall, odors trigger the limbic system
to trigger the other systems of the body which release hormones and neurochemicals.
Some essential oils and synergy blends may
also be used by adding 6 to 10 drops to a warm bath, or by mixing a few drops
with an all-vegetable lotion or "carrier" oil such as Olive or Sweet
Almond oil (6 to 10 drops of essential oil or synergy per 1 ounce of carrier
oil or lotion).
When you use essential oils you may be very
target-specific to your situation or condition. If you have muscle or joint
pain, physical stress, or a skin condition, you would want to use a topical
(lotion or bath) method of application. If you have respiratory or allergy symptoms,
or "mental fog" you would use the inhalation (diffuser, tissue, breathe
from bottle) method of delivering the essential oils into your system. For pain
or inflammation, topically applying a lotion (safely diluted) containing essential
oils could be a wonderful option to taking a pill which would travel through
the complete digestive process as it tries to address the pain in only one part
of your body!
Essential Oils therapeutic? Why are some products more expensive when compared
Be sure that the aroma-therapeutic products
you use contain therapeutic quality essential oils. These high-grade essential
oils have been distilled with the greatest of care to extract the most possible
number of chemical constituents from the plant. They are laboratory tested with
gas chromatography, certified to be free from impurities and to contain specific
levels of chemical properties which will allow the expected therapeutic benefits
to be realized. Because of the extra care in the growing, harvesting, distillation
process, special testing, and handling after bottling, these essential oils
are more expensive when compared to those grown and distilled for the fragrance
and flavoring industries. Do not expect therapeutic benefits from a synthetic
fragrance oil, or an essential oil that has not been distilled for use
in the therapeutic market.
Some essential oils are much more expensive
than others, which is why one product may be priced higher than another of similar
quality. For instance, it takes only 200 pounds of Lavendula officinales to
produce one pound of pure lavender oil, but it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals
to produce one pound of rose oil!
I am so sensitive
to "smells" -- how can I use Essential Oils?
Some people are hesitant to use products
with any fragrance because they have environmental allergies, or they have had
bad reactions of various kinds to scented products in the past. Most cosmetics
contain fragrance oils that are manufactured in a lab, or use synthetic
fixatives or extenders to enhance the product and add to the shelf life. An
allergy to these types of scents is nearly always due to those synthetic additives.
Most people will not have this problem with our products, as the only scented
ingredients are the pure essences of the plants themselves. Essential oils
are "natural" to the body's chemistry.
How should I choose
which products to use?
Our products are made with the finest, premium, therapeutic quality pure essential
oils. Each product is formulated toward a certain type of "relief".
As you read through the list of essential oils and their properties, you will
see that many overlap in their abilities to help us toward wellness. So, just
because a lotion may say "...headache?" you may find that it also
will help your backache! And don't forget, we're all different. What may provide
amazing results for one person, may not work in quite the same way for someone
else. We invite you to try several products, and then try using them for different
purposes. All products are clearly labeled, listing the essential oils used
within that formulation, the traditional benefits of the blended oils, as well
as any safety concerns. You will never need to wonder if there are any "hidden"
How much (or how
often) should I use these products?
It would be highly unusual for therapeutic quality, pure essential oils to
accumulate in the body as do synthetic chemicals or drugs. They are metabolized
and eliminated through the skin and organs. They are excreted in the urine,
feces, perspiration, and our breath. Therefore, when used as recommended,
there is no residual or accumulative effect or "addiction" factor.
To test this elimination factor, rub a fresh-cut garlic clove on the sole of
your foot. Within 30 minutes you will have garlic breath!
You may use any given lotion several times
a day to help relieve pain, inflammation, muscle distress, achieve analgesic
benefits, and so forth. Contrary to many other types of remedies, most people
find that over a period of time they will need to use our products less and
less often. This is because the essential oils will help your body system to
come back to balance, rather than just masking the original symptoms and causing
other side-effect symptoms of distress.
In general, we recommend that you use any
particular O'Malley & Potter "Feel-Good" product for only about
a two-week period, then change to a different "Feel-Good" product.
By alternating the wide variety of different products, your body will be encouraged
to enhance it's own self-healing (balancing) mechanisms, and promote a more
naturally occurring form of wellness.