Can Essential Oils Be Used For Babies?

You must have noticed how essential oils are being used in so many fields around you, in your day to day life. There are so many varieties of these oils and each of them has peculiar properties which makes them the best for a particular kind of application. We know that these oils can be used as part of aromatherapy, internal consumption, topical application and external uses. We also know that these oils are priced quite high and that we need to invest a lot of time and effort in deciding the oil that we want to purchase for ourselves. If you have a baby at home, you might be tempted to introduce your kid to the goodness of these oils. However, you need to remember that babies have very sensitive skin and they will not be able to bear the grunt/allergies of essential oils when applied directly. When it comes to essential oils and babies, there are two points that you need to remember always. They are:

  1. You should never give essential oils for babies for internal consumption.
  2. You should always dilute essential oils with other oils before using them for your kids.
  3. Essential oils are not recommended for babies 3 months or lower.

On this note, let us look at some basic information regarding applying essential oils on babies:

  1. When you mix essential oils in the water while bathing your kid, never pour the oil directly into the water. Always, mix it with a carrier oil or base oil to form a thin diluted solution and then mix this in the water. Never allow this solution to touch your baby’s face, eyes or nose areas, as it can cause instant irritation and skin rashes for your kid. Coconut, olive, almond, avocado and all other delicate oils prove to be greater carrier oils for essential oils.
  2. Refrain from using essential oils if your kids are prone to bronchitis, respiratory infections or other problems like Asthma. The aroma and characteristics of these oils can aggravate respiratory ailments, doing more harm than good for your kids.
  3. If your kid has accidentally consumed essential oils, do not induce vomiting in him/her. You have to seek medical help immediately. While explaining to your doctor about the problem, you should clearly state the type of essential oil that your kid swallowed, so that it aids the doctor in diagnosing your kid’s condition in a better way.

Some oils that are good for kids aged between 3 and 6 months

  • Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis)
  • German Chamomile (Matricaria rectutita)
  • Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • Blue Yarrow (Archillea millefolium)

Some oils that work on kids aged between 6 months and 2 years

  • Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)
  • Cedar wood (Cedrus Atlantica, Cedrus deodara, Juniperus Virginiana)
  • Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum)
  • Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi)
  • Lemon (Citrus Limon)
  • Palma Rosa (Cymbopogon martini)

Of the many oils that are suitable for kids under 2 years, only a few are mentioned in this list. It is recommended to check with your kid’s paediatrician and then take a calculated decision about your choice of oil.

Beginner’s Guide To Essential Oils

Essential oils are thick concentrates prepared from plant extracts. There is a world of difference between these oils and the other therapeutic or wellness oils that are available in the market today. You must have read a lot on the Internet about the uses of original essential oils and how much it helps in the overall physical and mental wellbeing of a person. Most of us refrain from using essential oils because we are not very clear about the oils that suit us and our requirements. In this article, we look at some important information like things that beginners should know before using essential oils and some of the common types of oils that work great for them.

What should first-time users know about essential oils?

There are many adulterated options of essential oils available in the stores. Never pay a huge sum of money for fake products. You will not get any benefit from these fake oils. First-time and all kinds of users of essential oils should buy the right quality of oils from a reliable supplier to avoid regrets and disappointments later on.

You should buy essential oils that are sold in darkened glass bottles, as this is the right way of packaging them. By storing them in a dark glass bottle, suppliers protect the oils from getting contaminated from the harsh UV rays of the sun.

Check for labels thoroughly and buy only those oils that have their Latin names and common names written against them. This way, you can ensure that you are buying the right oil and investing your money in the right product that is in line with your requirements.

Essential Oils suitable for beginners

Listed below are some of the important essential oils that are apt for beginners.

  • Clove
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
  • Tea-tree
  • Grapefruit
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood

For each of the above mentioned oils, you need to do careful research and find the Latin name of these oils, so that you can dwell deeper and find out how daily application of these oils would fulfil the purpose for which these oils were purchased for.

Beginners can get easily exploited at times. Therefore, develop your subject knowledge in this area. Have a thorough idea on the positive and negative impacts of each of these oils, how they need to be applied, frequency of application and many more. When you don’t spend enough research in the initial stages, you will face lots of disappointments and complications later on.

Choose your suppliers carefully. Have a detailed discussion with an expert like an aroma therapist and gather information about the authorised suppliers of these oils in your locality. Always place your orders with these suppliers and never resort to agents or online shopping sites, as you can get cheated at these places. In rare cases, a doctor may advise you to consume essential oils as part of your treatment. In these cases, you need to be very strict while consuming these oils as you run the risk of suffering from severe ailments even if you consume one additional drop than what was recommended for you.

4 Common Essential Oil Mistakes That Need To Be Avoided

Essential oils are found in every part of the world today. They are used at home to make simple remedies, at salons in wellness treatments, at counselling sessions to bring about mental peace, at aromatherapy centres to create natural perfumes and many more. In a bid to jump into this race of using essential oils, we all tend to make a few mistakes in the beginning, which can lead to serious complications later on. Listed below are some of the common mistakes that we commit when we start using these oils and ways to correct them.

  1. Trying many oils at once

When we go shopping for essential oils, we are carried away by the exotic aromas of these oils and their goodness. We want to proudly exhibit our priced possessions to our friends and we are eager to flaunt to the world about the huge investment that we have made in these oils. While it may all nice and rosy in the beginning with you sinking in the aromas every day, it will not yield any benefits in the long run. If you are starting to use essential oils, start off with just about three common oils and see how your body and mind is reacting towards it. When you introduce yourself to a small number of oils, you can easily understand if your body is allergic to or compatible with any particular oil.

  1. Impulse-shopping of oils

When you go to a shopping mall, you usually end up buying more things than you needed or more than what you planned for initially. You should never this habit repeat when you go out for shopping essential oils. These oils come with a huge price. Therefore, you need to invest in them only after careful research, analysis and price comparison. Never buy any oil because you like the packaging or because your friend recommended you the same. Know what you need exactly, read through the packaging to understand the authenticity and then make the right purchasing decision.

  1. Use of these oils on sensitive body parts

When an essential oil is used for making a face wash, we usually dilute the oil with other carrier oils and then apply on our face. However, most of the times, we accidently rub a little of this oil into our eyes, causing severe irritation and redness. You must always remember that these essential oils are pure plant extracts and should therefore be used carefully on sensitive body parts.  Our first reaction in this case would be to clean our face with ice-cold water, but that will never work. When any of the essential oils go into your eyes, immediately apply a few drops of coconut oil, milk or cream to your eyes for instant relief.

 

  1. Not testing the oils

You have to undertake some tests when you buy essential oils, so that you know that you are putting your money in the right product. Most of the oils have a thin consistency; so, when you apply a drop of these oils on white paper, it shouldn’t leave behind any traces of oily patches or rings.

How To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential oils are used in massive fields today, because of their efficiency and positive results. These oils are very powerful, which is why they are successful in the all the fields that they are used. However, the strength of an essential oil is its weakness as well. If not used properly, the power of these oils is enough to destroy a person’s mental and physical state. To get maximum use from these oils, you need to ensure that you use them in the right way. If you have any doubts, you can consult experts in herbs & plants, beauty treatments and other departments to get a clear idea on how you need to use them safely. Here are some of the basic points that you need to keep in mind when you using these oils:

  1. Always dilute and use

Essential oils contain concentrate plant extracts. Even though some oils are mentioned as safe to be used directly on skin and in other applications, you should always dilute it with vegetable oil complex or coconut oil drops, so that you don’t experience any serious complications due to direct exposure of these oils. You should never apply these oils near your eyes, as it causes a lot of irritation and burning. When you want to apply these oils for kids, consult with your child’s paediatrician accordingly and then proceed as per his advice.

  1. Buy original oils

This is one of the first points that you need to remember when you buy essential oils. If you want to use these oils in the safest manner possible, you should ensure that you buy the right quality of oils. When you buy fake or adulterated oils, you tend to more harm than good for your skin, body or other applications. Always do necessary tests like pouring a drop of this oil on a paper to check for oily patches, checking if the oils are stored in dark-coloured glass bottles, reading through the ingredients to make sure that there are no chemical or synthetic elements are present and having a clear idea about the price of your choice of essential oils. Once you are clear about these factors, you can buy authentic and original essential oils and get ultimate benefits from the same.

  1. Internal consumption

You should never use essential oils for internal purposes unless you are instructed by your doctor to do so. Even in cases where you are asked to consume essential oils, be very strict about the time, frequency and dosage of oils that you need to take on a daily basis. When you consume even one drop more than your prescribed levels, you will suffer from serious ailments like nervous collapse, brain tumours, cancers, etc.

  1. Check packaging

For best results, you need to purchase essential oils that contain the words, “organic” and “wilf-crafted”. In the former method, plants are grown naturally without being exposed to harmful chemicals and in the latter method, plants that grow naturally in the forests are used. These are the most natural varieties of plants and they are not exposed to toxic fertilisers at all.

Can Essential Oils Be Used For Pets?

 

If you love your pet animals and want to pamper them with the best treatments, you can do so by using good-quality and original essential oils. It is recommended to have a word with a medical expert to understand if your pets are allergic to the aroma of any particular oil, before proceeding to applying the same. This way, you can be assured that your pets will be kept safe from the impact of these oils. Yes, essential oils can definitely be used on your pets; however, you should do so, only after taking care of the following points:

Different species react differently to essential oils

If you are an animal-lover and have dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels and a lot more pets in your house, this point is apt for you. You should understand that all these different species may react differently to the same oils. For example, your dogs may love the mild aroma of lavender oil but your cats may act weird when they sniff this oil. Understand the pattern of behaviour of each animal towards these oils and make necessary notes, so that you don’t cause any problems for your pets. Speaking with a veterinary expert about this point will give you lots of clarity in this subject.

Make your pets accustomed to the aroma

You cannot expect your pets to adjust to the strong aroma of essential oils overnight. It is not fair and is not practical, either. Give ample time for your pets to sniff in the smells. You can apply a drop of these oils in your palm and rub them or apply these oils on your dress so that your pets a feel of the smell when they are around you. Cats and dogs have a very strong sense of smell. Therefore, it is important to introduce various smells to them and observe how they react to different aromas.

Application of oils on pets

Pets love it when you apply essential oils topically over them. You can rub oil in your hands and stroke their fur or you can apply few drops of oil in the paws of your pets so that they are able to feel the aroma nicely. You should take enough care in diluting the essential oils well before application, because animals develop rashes when you apply concentrated oils. One drop of essential oil can be mixed with up to 10 drops of normal vegetable oil complex before application. Use the drops sparingly so that your pets get used to it in a phased manner.

Thorough research

When you are applying essential oils on your pets, you need to do thorough research and note down various points like – oils that can and cannot be used, mode of application of each oil, can oils be injected internally, how to give these oils internally – through food or other means, how they react to the oils in different times of the day, impact of application of these oils, how frequently your pet needs to  pampered in a day and other relevant details. This way, you will be able to keep track of the oil consumption and your pet behaviour as well.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are those that are extracted from various parts of a plant or tree. These are pure oils that need to be diluted with other vegetable oils or coconut oil before being used for various applications. Their aroma and other characteristics have helped these oils play a huge role in various applications like beauty treatments, wellness treats, overall physical and emotional well-being, household uses, aroma therapies and various other categories.  When you are using essential oils for any of these uses, you need to be clear about the following basic concepts:

Methods of extraction

There are lots of methods in which essential oils are extracted. Steam distillation is one of the most common and authentic methods of all.  Other methods of extraction are enfleurage, expressed oils, solvent extraction, fractional distillation, carbon dioxide extraction and phytonic process. Most of these methods involve introduction of solvents or other chemicals to the oils, thereby disturbing its originality. Always opt for the ones that are naturally distilled with the help of steam treatments.

Application of essential oils

Essential oils are used in various applications today. While it is tough to mention all the departments in this article, we can list four main categories of application of these oils. These cover almost all the areas where these oils are used. The categories are aroma therapy, topical, internal and external. In the first category, these oils are used mainly for their excellent smells as room fresheners, deodorizers, perfumes and the like. In the second, they are used topically for applying on the skin in its diluted form mostly. In the third and rare category, few essential oils are consumed as part of medical treatments. The fourth category is where these oils are used for various external, household purposes like stain-removing, insect repellent, fabric conditioner and more.

Cost of essential oils

You would have noticed that essential oils (all types) are quite steeply priced. This is because some of the plants that go into making these oils are quite rare and are grown in certain countries only. Oils that are extracted from common plants are also priced in the higher range. This is because of two main factors – a) it requires a large quantity of plants to produce just one ounce of essential oil and b) the distillation and oil extraction procedures are quite complex and requires a great deal of patience for you to see the oil floating on top.

Buying the right kind of oils

With a sea of choices available for you in the market, it can get quite challenging when it comes to choosing the exact oil that is intended for your requirement. You need to have a clear understanding of the common oils, their characteristics, applications and ingredients, so that you can make a qualified judgement on your choice or choices of oils. These oils require a huge investment.  Therefore, never buy them, unless you are absolutely sure as to where and how you will be using them.  Do considerable research and buy oils that are extracted from organic or wild-crafted plants as this way, you can be sure that your oils would not be impacted by toxic fertilisers.

 

5 Essential Oils That You Need To Keep At Home

Essential oils are used for a variety of purposes like aroma therapy, personal care, beauty treatments, wellness treatments for the body and mind and in other day to day applications. Though there are many types of oils used for a wide range of applications, some of the most important ones that we use on a regular basis are listed below:

  1. Lemon oil

Extracted from the Citrus limon plant, this is one oil that serves many purposes. It acts as a natural remedy for wounds, an effective cleaning agent, anti- bacterial agent, good cleansing agent, beauty product, fabric conditioner. The lemon fruits are peeled and cold pressed to extract this oil. Of all the essential oils available, this is the most common because lemons are cultivated all over the world.

  1. Lavender

Lavender oil is extracted by steam distillation of lavender leaves. It is one of the most commonly used oils in any home. Since it is safe to be used for people of all age groups, it has a wider scope than many other oils in this category. Due to its common nature, this is also the oil in which most adulteration occurs. Many additives are added to this oil to make it suitable for clinical, medical, therapeutically and other purposes. So, you need to check the labels carefully before buying these oils.

  1. Eucalyptus

We must have heard about the multiple uses of eucalyptus oil in our day to day lives. It has a soothing aroma which instantly brings about relaxation in one’s mind and body. This plant has its origins in Australia, but is cultivated almost in all the countries, which makes it one of the most common essential oils in our house today. Steam distillation is the process involved in extracting these oils; therefore, you can be sure that the eucalyptus leaves are not subjected to any toxic chemicals or additives.

  1. Clove

If you thought clove oil was helpful only to reduce dental pain, it only means that you have not understood the properties of clove oil fully. When used properly, this oil acts as an effective insect repellent. It works with great efficiency to keep mosquitoes at bay. However, this oil is not recommended for people with very sensitive skin as it causes allergies and rashes, even in its diluted form.

 

 

  1. Oregano

This is one of the most effective oils with respect to antibacterial properties. This oil is extracted from the Origanum Vulgare that is grown in the mountains of Greece. When you have lots of flies, mosquitoes or other insects infesting your kitchen tops, bed rooms and cupboards, all you need to do is spray a few drops of this oil in these places and watch these insects vanish in seconds. You will never face future cases of pest infestations, thanks to the excellent properties of oregano oil.

Though all of these oils are commonly available in the market, they are quite steeply priced when compared to other ordinary vegetable oils. You need to always check on the authenticity of these oils before using them, if you want maximum benefits from them.

5 Most Popular Essential Oils

Essential oils have penetrated into various fields today. In the olden days, these oils were used only for aromatherapy or for treating physical ailments. Today, the scope of these highly effective essential oils has widened so much that we find them being used almost in all our daily tasks. Some of these oils are considered to be safe for new-born babies and pets as well. A few rare oils can also be consumed internally to treat various kinds of disorders. With a wide variety of applications and types of these oils, you have to be aware of some of the most popular oils that we use on a regular basis and their characteristics. Read on to know more about this.

  1. Bergamot

Though this oil has its roots in South East Asia, it is found in plenty in Italy. This oil has a citrus flavour and is extracted as a result of fruit rind pressing. One of the most common applications of this oil is in making perfumes. It is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils available in the market. Extracted from the fruit of the Citrus Bergamia tree, this oil should be diluted before being used anywhere, as it can burn one’s skin if applied directly.

  1. Chamomile

This relaxing essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the Chamomile plant as a result of  steam distillation process. When you look for these oils in the stores, you may come across two types in these – Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. Both of these types have almost similar characteristics. You read the instructions carefully while using these oils as most of these types are prohibited for use by pregnant women.

  1. Jasmine

This oil is considered to be quite expensive because it is extracted from the Jasminum grandiflorum, which is grown only in some parts of China. Jasmine oil is known for its exotic fragrance. Hundreds of thousands of jasmine flowers are subject to solvent extraction method in a phased manner to produce about one ounce of jasmine oil. Due to the rare nature of this plant and the complexity of extraction procedures, this is one of the most expensive oils in the market today.

  1. Lemon

Lemon oil is another popular essential oil that we use for our mental and physical health, aromatherapy, beauty treatments and various household uses. When the fruits of Citrus Limonum tree are peeled through cold expression methodology, lemon oil is extracted.  The most significant feature of this oil is its aroma.

  1. Lavender

This is one of the most common yet one of the most useful essential oils that we use on a daily basis for a variety of purposes. Lavender flowers undergo steam distillation process after which we can extract lavender oil from them. It is one of the most ancient oils and has been used from time immemorial for relaxation of mind, body and soul. One of the major highlights of this oil is that it is suitable for people of all age groups. There have been only rare instances where people have reported allergic reactions due to the use of this oil.

5 Things That You Should Know About Using Essential Oils

Essential oils, which are made from pure extracts of plants and flowers, are widely used in various applications all over the world. These oils are pricier than the other oils in the industry, because it requires a large number of plants to produce just one bottle of essential oil. Some plants are very rare to find and oils extracted from them are priced quite steeply. However, they are worth every penny, because they are believed to have tremendous impact for the treatments and applications that they are intended for. When you use essential oils in your home or anywhere else, you should be aware of the following basic points:

  1. What goes into making these oils?

If you thought just plants or flowers were extracted or distilled to produce essential oils, you are wrong. These oils are made from almost all parts of a tree or plant like the barks, stem, leaves, flowers, root, etc.

  1. How many plants does it require to produce essential oils?

Lots, actually! It requires lots and lots of plants to produce just a single bottle of essential oil, which explains why these oils are steeply priced. For example, one pound of essential oil is made from around 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses. In the case of a common plant like lavender, it takes around 100 pounds of lavender plant to make one pound of this oil, which is still quite huge in number. Most of these oils are concentrated nicely, which is why these oils are mixed with cheaper substitutes like synthetic and sold off as low-cost oil in most of the stores today.

  1. Is dilution necessary for essential oils?

There are three categories of essential oils – neat, sensitive and dilute. Neat oils are those that can be applied on the skin directly without diluting. Oils that are tagged as sensitive should be diluted before being used on sensitive skin. For normal skin, these oils can be applied directly. Oils that are marked as dilute should be mandatorily diluted with other elements like coconut oil, before being applied on the skin. However, experts suggest that all kinds of essential oils (even the neat ones) can be diluted before use. Diluting these oils will not impact their efficiency.

  1. Testing essential oils for authenticity

Since almost all essential oils are priced on the higher side, it is important for you to test the authenticity of these oils before you buy them.  Pure and original essential oils are not sticky or oily in nature. When you pour a drop of this oil on a piece of paper, you should not see any oily rings or patches. The only exceptions to these are those oils that are slightly thicker in consistency.

 

  1. Price

You should look at least about 5 places to know about the prices of essential oils of your choice. Know the various types of oils that are available in the market and their approximate price range. Stay away from vendors who supply essential oils to you at throwaway prices. However common a plat species, it requires detailed extraction and distillation procedures to make these oils. So, they never come cheap.

7 Common Methods of Extracting Essential Oils

Essential oils are produced using extracts of all the parts of plants and trees. These oils have been in production for more than 1000 years now. Oils are produced from some of the rarest plants as well. We usually go to the supermarket, study the package thoroughly and buy the oils of our choice. Have we ever wondered about the process that these ingredients go through to become the aromatic oil that is stored in the dark-coloured glass bottle that we buy? Here is a broad idea about the various methods that are involved in extracting essential oils:

  1. Enfleurage

Believed to be one of the most ancient methods of extracting essential oils, this is a process that involved lot of time and cost. Soft flowers like jasmine were first placed on glass that was coated with chassis fat. The oil from the flowers then drips into this fat. The fat gets processed through alcohol to leave out the residue element, which is the essential oil

  1. Expressed oils

This method is most apt for organically cultivated citrus fruits. These fruits are cold pressed nicely to produce essential oils. This process is simple and doesn’t involve any heat treatment. However, it works best only with citrus fruits.

  1. Distillation through steam

All original oils have to go through rigorous distillation processes. Plants are subjected to steam treatment. Essential oil, which is extracted this way, is again condensed to give out oil and water separately. This liquid known as floral water is used for preparing various aromas. The oil part is collected in dark-coloured glass bottles and sold as essential oils.

  1. Solvent Extraction

This is a method which is used in the perfume industry. Plants are immersed in solvents to become a concrete like material. This is then mixed with alcohol in order to produce essential oils. However, in this method, it is not possible to produce original essential oils. By default, certain chemicals like hexane and acetone are added to this. You can find lots of chemical ingredients in your perfumes; therefore, you cannot avoid the use of chemicals in this process as well.

  1. Fractional distillation and percolation

As the name suggests, fractional distillation is the process which keeps extracting essential oils from plants in various fractions at different levels of boiling. In this method, it is not possible to produce therapeutic oils. Percolation is a process that is similar to distillation; the only difference in both these methods is that, in the former, the instrument is kept upside down.

  1. Super Critical Fluid Extraction

This is one of the recent methods introduced to extract essential oils in a quicker way. Carbon dioxide is introduced at very high pressure into the huge utensil that contains the plant extracts. This solvent will release essential oils quite quickly than some of the traditional methods.

  1. Phytonic process

In this method, non-CFCs (non-chlorofluorocarbons) are introduced to plant extracts to produce essential oils. The oils that are extracted this way are known as phytols. This has still not become popular in all the countries.

In spite of so many methods being available, it is highly recommended to purchase those oils that are extracted through steam distillation.