I have been recently asked which "school" of aromatherapy we adhere to at Josiah's Oils. I thought I would write a little on the topic to clear things up a bit. The idea has been popular that "British" practices are quite conservative with regard to essential oils usage. That "thinking" would cause one to use skin patch testing and use dilution with a carrier oil before topical uses of essential oils. While (according to this idea) French aromatherapists on the other hand would advocate liberal internal uses of essential oils even without a medical consultation and neat (or undiluted) skin applications. (Yes, many who know me know I am saying "yikes" to that!)
Now it is true I have seen both fear spreading and overreaching in on-line essential oils claims - which kind of summarizes these stereotypes. Some are so fearful that using essential oils becomes an anxiety filled experience, which is not good. At the end of the day, safe and practical aromatherapy is somewhere in the middle of the two approaches.
Each and every person is different. Each and every essential oil is made up of different and unique constituents. There is no possible way to make broad statements about all essential oils in all situations. For example, I would never say, "do not take essential oils internally." But I would say, "never take Wintergreen Essential Oil internally." Why, most resources advise it is toxic taken internally in small doses. Thus, I can say with confidence: Don't take any toxic oils internally and get all of your essential oils usage advice from an experienced professional.
A similar black and while issue arose with eucalyptus oil. Many claim it is completely unsafe for children under 6. However, there are too many variables to make a broad statement like that. How old is the child? Is it diluted? If so to what ratio? Where is it being applied? Is it being diffused? What type of diffuser and how much EO? How long are you diffusing? I hope you are getting the picture! Again, the help of an experienced professional is key.
In conclusion, for all of the charts and memes on social media about using "essential oils" little are helpful because the issue is far too complicated for that. Aromatherapy is much more of a personal experience.
Ninette Jackson, C.C.M.A.
Sharon Cross, R.N.
8 Meadow Lane, Lancaster, PA