Your complete guide to aromatherapy and essential oils

Our Wellbeing Expert, Sam Sargent, shares simple aromatherapy tips and why it's important to use essential oils responsibly.

While Aromatherapy is not a new concept, it is certainly one of the most effective ways to treating the physical, mental and spiritual body. Here's how to use it to your benefit.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is nothing new, dating back thousands of years. It is a true holistic approach to healing in that it uses oils extracted from plants and flowers to treat the physical, mental and spiritual body. When inhaled, essential oils stimulate receptors in the nose which relay messages to the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions. When applied to the skin in a carrier oil or hydrosol, essential oils can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are absorbed into the bloodstream, due to their small molecules size.

Why is it important to choose organic essential oils?

Organic farmers support our natural environment by increasing the fertility and biological activity of the soil, enhancing the wellbeing of the planet. Furthermore, they do not endorse or use genetically modified seeds, pesticides and/or herbicides. This combination results in a plant that has a stronger immune system, more vitality, and higher vibration of beneficial properties, which undoubtedly yields an essential oil of higher quality, that can help to support the complexion of your skin and emotional balance, far greater than essential oils that have been extracted from crops that are conventionally grown with pesticides and other known poisons. When creating my own aromatherapy range, Be genki, it was simply a matter of common sense. We wouldn't dream of choosing an oil that has been grown in a manner whereby the farmers are required to wear safety air-tight suits whilst spraying the land with highly toxic pesticides.

Essential oil safety

Whilst it is wonderful to see the popularity of essential oils increasing throughout the world, with this comes a responsibility to those who sell, recommend and use essential oils. It is NOT recommend to apply 100% pure essential oils or blends directly to the skin if you haven’t consulted a reputable aroma-therapist. Whilst it is acceptable for certain essential oils to be applied to the skin with favorable results, I strongly recommend that you do not experiment with this as negative skin reactions, irritation and phototoxicity can occur. There is a huge range of beautiful organic skin and body care products, with the essential oil percentage at a safe level, so that you can enjoy the skin care properties of essential oils in a supportive and harmonious manner. Furthermore, I would NOT recommend ingesting (swallowing) essential oils or blends without professional advice from an aroma therapist. Again, whilst certain essential oils can have favorable results when ingested one drop at a time it is not a practice that I’d recommend experimenting with whatsoever. Certain essential oils can be extremely toxic. For example, please don't ever ingest eucalyptus essential oil. Whilst koalas can happily metabolise the 1,8-cineole found in eucalypts oil, humans can not, and if ingested eucalyptus oil can cause significant damage to the liver, and in some cases, death.

Can I use essential oil whilst pregnant?

There are mixed opinions when it comes to aromatherapy and pregnancy. Some people err on the side of caution and recommend that all essential oils are avoided. This is certainly an overcautious approach, as there are certain essential oils that can be very beneficial throughout pregnancy, helping to alleviate some of the discomforts during pregnancy. However, there are certain oils that you should most certainly avoid as they can either cause a disturbance in hormone levels, malformation of the foetus, or worse case scenario, abortion. When it comes to pregnancy, it is always best to follow your own inner guide and do what you feel is best for you. If in doubt, consult your health care practitioner or a reputable aroma-therapist. If you are pregnant or planning on it, then I’d highly recommend reading The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy, by Francesca Naish & Janette Roberts, which provides extensive details about the essential oils to use, avoid, and use with caution. Francesca is one of Australia's most trusted and respected practitioners for natural fertility management and pregnancy.

If you’re looking for a high quality organic, cruelty free aromatherapy range, I’m naturally biased towards Be genki as all the guess work is taken out for you, so that aromatherapy can be experienced with ease and peace of mind. Surprisingly simple. Remarkably effective.

Do you have any wellbeing tips to share? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

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