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Be A Safe Oil-Bularyo! 4 Things To Remember About Essential Oils, Says Aromatherapist
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  • You see essential oils now everywhere nowadays — from a friend who keeps on posting how beneficial these oils are for their children; hospitals diffusing oils in the emergency room; that wonderful aroma when you pass by some stalls in the malls. It's no wonder sales for essential oils have skyrocketed in the past years.

    According to Reuters, the essential oil global business is anticipated to reach $14.6 billion by 2026 from $7.03 billion of last year. In the Philippines alone, the market is growing fast that big direct-selling brands have already launched their local offices.

    As a certified aromatherapist, this is good news. More and more people are acknowledging the potency of essential oils. Year after year, new researches have come out to validate the therapeutic action of essential oils.

    For example, eucalyptus oil with its high chemical component 1,8 cineole has high antimicrobial properties as well as offering respiratory support. Lavender is known to have great potential in addressing anxiety. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, especially in topical applications. Scientific researches show essential oils have transcended from quackery as they were considered before.

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    Essential oils uses

    I can relate to many mothers out there who have become "oil-bularyos." We have been barraged with so many sickness and diseases and trying out more natural approaches in dealing with these minor ailments is very appealing. But while essential oils are amazing products of nature that can support many of our minor issues, we need to understand that like everything else under the sun, it needs to be used with the proper knowledge.

    Inaccurate use of these products may harm someone else, most especially young kids. Not because it is all-natural, it is safe to use on all occasions and in any way we like. Here are some guidelines you may want to look into when using essential oils.

    Essential oils are complementary therapies

    It should not be used to cure serious conditions. The FDA does not regulate essential oils as they do for pharmaceuticals and most essential oils have not been clinically studied to produce defined therapeutic actions.

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    If your child has a fever or cough that goes on for days, please bring them to the doctor so that they can be properly diagnosed. If you are severely burned, please do not self-medicate by just applying lavender essential oil and refusing to go to the doctor.

    Essential oils help the body nudge towards homeostasis (or the perfect balance of your body), but it will not help with adverse medical emergencies.

    Know the proper dilution of essential oils especially with young children

    Essential oils are potent substances that can cause allergic and contact dermatitis when not used properly. It should always be used with fatty oils such as almond oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil with the proper dilution.

    Start with the lowest possible dilution and see how it works from there. A good guideline for children above 2 years old with no skin sensitivity or immune problems is 1% or two drops of essential oils (whether this is a single oil or total of an essential oil blend) per 10mL of carrier oil.

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    For healthy adults (not pregnant, breastfeeding or elderly), roller topical blends can start at 3% dilution or 6 drops in every 10ml. (You can find an online calculator here to compute the blends.) Use the oils sparingly and only when needed, especially when used topically.

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    The rule of moderation apply to essential oils

    As I mentioned earlier, just because it is natural, we can already use it anytime. Remember that everything is processed by our internal organs, especially our liver and our kidney. If we use essential oils too much and in high dilutions especially when not necessary, we risk overloading our internal organs.Avoid neat applications as much as possible.

    Neat or undiluted application on the skin should be avoided

    Essential oils are highly volatile substances consist of chemical components such as limonene (as found in citrus oils), citral (lemongrass), cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), and linalyl acetate (lavender), among others. Some of these chemical constituents are highly irritating to the skin and needs to be applied at very low dilutions.

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    Essential oils are wonderful products of nature, and I truly believe that they can help support our bodies in achieving vital health.

    Reading about essential oils made you think of virgin coconut oil? Read about its benefits and more here.

    Balot Del Rosario is the author of the book, Lost but Found and the mom-of-two behind the blog Chronicles of The Happy APAS Mama (www.callmebalot.com).

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