Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Best Way to Use Essential Oils: Dilute, Breathe In, or Apply 'Neat'?

I went to the Women's Expo at CCBC in Catonsville, MD, this past weekend and had a Young Living vendor table. While there, I talked to a trained Clinical Aromatherapist who really knew her stuff. She knew the chemical components of the oils and how to mix them for the best results. I was really impressed by her - but our discussion brought out the question of the best way to use Essential Oils. Her contention was that only three oils should ever be applied neat (that is: undiluted) to the skin and that they should really never be taken internally. 

Hmmm.... 

Panaway is an oil blend that we use for
muscle pain, headaches or even general
bumps and bruises. In our house,  it is
frequently applied neat, and diluted when 

we want to apply to a larger area. 

That is not what I've learned or how I use them! In fact, our family frequently uses our oils not only neat on the skin but on top of that we take our essential oils internally almost every day! So what is the right answer?

I turned to a more knowledgable person than I am for answer to this and I found her explanation interesting. Here is what Stacy McDonald of The Common Scents Mom had to say:
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There are three models — or schools of thought — in aromatherapy: French, German and English.

The English model advocates diluting a tiny amount of essential oil in a vegetable oil base (usually at a 1-3% concentration), and massaging the body to produce a relaxing effect and relieve stress. They tend to be against using any oils neat (undiluted) or using internally.



The French model prescribes the ingestion of (only) therapeutic-grade essential oils, commonly done by adding several drops of an oil to honey, a piece of bread, or a small amount of vegetable oil, and taking it orally in a capsule. It also relies on the neat (undiluted) topical application of the oils. Even French hospitals use essential oils.


The German model focuses on the inhalation of essential oils, based on the belief that the effect of the oils' aromatic compounds on the brain may directly improve the function of many body systems.

People sometimes hang on to the "school of thought" where they first learned about oils, whether it was from a book or from a friend, and they don't accept other methods. But embracing all three offers the best results, as long as you are using truly therapeutic grade oils.   
Balsam Fir must be harvested in
winter. YL distributors often
join the fun and help out on the farm!
The founder and staff of Young Living travel around the world to make sure that the process of creating the YL essential oils is as pure as possible from "Seed to Seal." In fact, Young Living owns the farms on which the oils are grown and controls the process at every step of the way.

There are four grades of Essential Oils used: 

  • Commercial grade oils are found in things like laundry soap and cleaning products, they are most often almost entirely synthetic; 
  • Perfume grade oils are what you see most often - in perfume, of course!
  • Food grade oils are found in candy and other food products.
  • Therapeutic grade oils can be used safely on the skin, ingested or inhaled, and are studied scientifically all over the world. 
You can go to my Young Living site to learn more about our essential oils or to order.

If you're pregnant or nursing, consider talking to your doctor before using this oil. I am not a doctor and this blog post is for information or entertainment use only. 

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