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What Exactly Is Aromatherapy And Essential Oils Health Essay

Before it can be discussed it is needed to be known what exactly is aromatherapy and essential oils. According to Aroma web (1997-2011) Aromatherapy is described as ‘the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being.’ They also describe the term of essential oils as ‘the pure essence of a plant, have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely.’ The use of essential oils for the benefit of well-being has been used for many years all over the world in ancient civilizations to the present day, following is an account of botanical use and geographical history of both essential oils and aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can be traced back many thousands of years and has been used as integral parts of tradition in most early cultures. ‘The ancient Egyptians first burned incense made from aromatic woods, herbs and spices in honour of their gods.’ (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010) and has been used since in many traditions for religious reasons. At around 2800 BC, papyrus manuscripts show the use of medical herbs and others from 2000 BC, describes ‘fine oils and choice perfumes, and the incense of temples, whereby every god is gladdened,’ (Lawless, 1992). Egyptians used to use their oils for spiritual, medicinal, fragrant and cosmetic use and the men would use them to as large extent as the women, (Aroma Web, 1997-2011). During the search for immortality the Egyptians began the process of mummification of the dead, ‘Frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, cinnamon, cedar wood, juniper berry and spikenard are all known to have been used at some stage to preserve the bodies of their royalty in preparation of the after-life,’ (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010). It is also thought that the Egyptians used the oils for cooking and used specific oils for ailments and to help with the digestive system, the immune system and to help fight infection, they were also believed to massage fragrant oils into their skin after a bath, (Sunspirit Aromatherapy, N.D). One of their preparations known as ‘Kyphi’ was a mixture of sixteen different ingredients which could then be used as incense, perfume, or taken internally as a medicine. It was believed to be antiseptic, balsamic, soothing and an antidote to poison, (Lawless, 1992). According to Quintessence Aromatherapy (1997-2010) the Arab merchants used to transport valuable herbs and spices across the deserts to Assyria, Babylon, China, Greece, Rome and Persia. These valuable herbs and spices where frankincense and myrrh and because of the demand they were as high in value as gems and precious metals.

The Chinese where using essential oils at the same time as the Egyptian’s and their earliest record is the Yellow Emperor’ Book of Internal Medicine which dates from more than 2000 years BC, (Lawless, 1992). However, it is believed that Shen Nung's Herbal book is the oldest surviving book in China, dating back to 2700 BC, it contains information of over 300 plants. Like the Egyptians the Chinese used aromatic herbs and burned aromatic wood and incense to show respect to the gods, (Sunspirit Aromatherapy, N.D). ‘Among the remedies are several aromatics such as opium and ginger which, apart from their therapeutic applications, are known to have been utilised for religious purposes since the earliest times, as in Li-ki and Tcheou-Li ceremonies. Borneo camphor is still used extensively in china today for ritual purposes,’ (Lawless, 1992).

Others throughout history that have used aromatherapy massage and essential oils have been the Indian’s, the Greek’s and the Roman’s. According to Lawless (1997), in the Vedic literature of the Indian’s dating from around 2000 BC it lists over 700 substances including cinnamon, spikenard, ginger, myrrh, coriander and sandalwood. ‘Traditional Indian medicine known as Ayurveda has been practiced for more than 3000 years. One of its main aspects incorporates aromatic massage,’ (Sunspirit, N.D). After this time and the decline of the Egyptians, more of the practices where adopted by other cultures such as the Grecians. ‘The earliest known Greek physician was Asclepius who practiced around 1200 BC combining the use of herbs and surgery with previously unrivalled skill,’ (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010). According to Aroma web (1997-2011), The Greeks recognised the medicinal and aromatic properties and benefits of plants, the ‘Father of Medicine’ Hippocrates, practiced fumigations for the benefits. ‘The Romans learned from the Greeks and became well known for scented baths followed by massage with aromatic oils. The popularity of aromatics led to the establishment of trade routes which allowed the Romans to import "exotic" oils and spices from distant lands such as India and Arabia,’ (Sunspirit Aromatherapy, N.D). During the time of the Romans, Discorides wrote a book called De Materia Medica, it describes the properties of approximately 500 plants, he also studied distillation but focused on the extraction of aromatic floral waters and not essential oils, (Aroma Web, 1997-2011).

Aromatherapy has been used since the ancient times and is still used today passing through still a great many civilisations from 529 AD until today. It was used in the Persian Empire, the Anglo-Saxon times and the medieval times up to modern day, (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010). During the Persian Empire’ reign in the 11th century there came the invention of distillation of essential oils by the coiled cooling pipe. Persian by birth, Avicenna created the coiled pipe which used steam to cool the plant vapour more effectively than pervious distillers that used a straight pipe, (Aroma Web, 1997-2011).

‘The oldest surviving English manuscript of botanical medicine is the Saxon 'Leech Book of Bald', which was written between 900 and 950 by a scribe named Cild under the direction of Bald, who was a friend of King Alfred the Great. ('Leech' is an old English word meaning healer). This early text contains a mixture of herbalism, magic, shamanism and tree lore, and describes 500 plants, their properties, and how they can be used in amulets, baths or taken internally,’ (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010).

From the 12th century right though to the 16th century many other plants where distilled to form essential oils, these included lavender, frankincense, juniper, rose, sage and rosemary. It was thought through the 14th century, during the Black Death that those who worked as perfumers avoided contracting the plague due to their constant contact with natural aromatics, (Aroma Web, 1997-2011). Religious and therapeutic roles became a practice and are still used today in the East, Tibetan temples burn juniper for purification and the West, Roman Catholics burn Frankincense during mass, (Lawless, 1992).

In the 20th century a French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse (1881-1950) began to study the medicinal properties of essential oils, he then had the opportunity to the personally test his theorises when an explosion in his laboratory cause a sever burn to his hand. The only thing nearby was a vessel of pure lavender oil in which he plunged his hand and it immediately reduced the swelling and helped accelerate the healing process. And he was left with no scar. From this he published his book ‘Aromatherapie: Les Huiles Essentielles Hormones Vegetales,’ in 1937, (Quintessence Aromatherapy, 1997-2010).

From the late 20th century to the present day, there is a growing resurrection of the use of more natural products including essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic and aromatic benefit. ‘The use of essential oils never ceased, but the scientific revolution minimized the popularity and use of essential oils in one's everyday life,’ (Aroma Web, 1997-2011). Today's heightened awareness and with the increased availability of aromatherapy information within books and upon the Internet has re-fuelled the use of essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic, fragrant and spiritual use. (Aroma Web, 1997-2011).

Pharmacological:

The pharmacological approach is ‘referring to therapy that relies on drugs,’ (The free dictionary, 2008). It has been known for many centuries that peppermint, dill, caraway and fennel have been capable of relieving gastrointestinal symptoms. ‘The cyclical

monoterpene content of essential oils is believed to exert pharmacological effects, including Modulation of gastrointestinal smooth muscle function. Essential oils are natural antispasmodic agents. Peppermint oil has been used in a variety of formulations to treat symptoms, such as functional dyspepsia, abdominal colic, postoperative abdominal pain, and the troublesome manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome,’ (Holt, Muntyan, Likyer, 1996). According to Holt, Muntyan and Likyer (1996), Ress et al, (1979) preformed a double-blinded crossover trial to study the effects of peppermint oil on the relief of irritable bowel syndrome and were performed in a multi-centre study. ‘These results were confirmed in a further multicenter trial, performed by Dew et al. (1979), where 29 patients from 7 hospital centres entered into a double-blinded crossover study to examine the effects of peppermint oil on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,’ (Holt, Muntyan, Likyer, 1996).

During the study by Dew et al, (1984) the patients received either a peppermint oil or a placebo capsules, during the trial period of two weeks they were required to record the severity of the abdominal symptoms and side effects of the medication on a daily basis. (Holt, Muntyan, Likyer, 1996). During the assessment the patients showed that the symptoms improved significally while taking the peppermint oil capsules compared to the placebo. The patients who received the peppermint oil had much lower scores on the daily symptoms than those receiving the placebo, (Holt, Muntyan, Likyer, 1996). ‘It was concluded by Dew et al. (19b4) that peppermint oil was a potent agent for the relaxation of

gastrointestinal smooth muscle. This latter study confirmed the earlier findings of Rees et al. (1979) and clearly demonstrated the benefit or peppermint oil in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in a multicenter, controlled clinical trial,’ (Holt, Muntyan, Likyer, 1996).

Psychological:

The psychological approach is ‘the science of the mind or of mental states and processes,’ (Dictionary.com, 2011). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine together with A. Snow, L Hovanec, and J Brandt, produced ‘A Controlled Trial of Aromatherapy for Agitation in Nursing Home Patients with Dementia,’ (2004). Snow, Hovanec and Brandt (2004) preformed two controlled trials of aromatherapy to decrease the agitation in persons with dementia with promising results. Its purpose, to determine whether smelling lavender oil would decrease the frequency of agitated behaviours in patients with dementia, (Snow, Hovanec and Brandt, 2004). ‘The study design was within-subjects ABCBA (A _ lavender oil, B _ thyme oil, C _ unscented grapeseed oil): 4 weeks of baseline measurement, 2 weeks for each of the five treatment conditions (10-week total intervention time), and 2 weeks of post intervention measurement. Oil was placed every 3 hours on an absorbent fabric sachet pinned near the collarbone of each participant’s shirt,’ (Snow, Hovanec and Brandt, 2004). This was taking place in a long-term care facility specifically for persons with dementia and the participants where seven agitated residents with advanced dementia. The participant’s agitation was assessed every two days using a modified Cohen-Mansfield agitation inventory, (Snow, Hovanec and Brandt, 2004). The results of this test where not written in numerical data, however, according to Snow, Hovanec and Brandt (2004) neither lavender oil nor a second different smelling oil produced any reductions in agitation. But it is stated that

‘One striking difference between this study and previous controlled studies reporting positive treatment effects (Ballard, et al., 2002; Smallwood et al., 2001) was the mode of administration, suggesting cutaneous application of the essential oil may be necessary to achieve treatment effects. This conclusion contradicts a report that lavender aroma alone was as effective as lavender oil massage in decreasing agitation (Brooker et al., 1997).’ (Snow, Hovanec and Brandt, 2004).

It is also stated that it is dangerous to treat agitation with a weak treatment and that there are other effective treatments available such as pharmacotherapy and behaviour therapy maybe a medium or large treatment effect would be of a better clinical interest, (Snow, Hovanec and Brandt, 2004).

Physiological:

The physiological approach is to be ‘consistent with the normal functioning of an organism,’ (Dictionary, 2011). The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani wrote the journal of ‘A Randomized Comparison of Ginger and Dimenhydrinate in the Treatment of Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy,’ (Pongrojpaw, Somprasit, Chanthasenanont, 2007). The objective of this trial was to study and see if ginger or dimenhydrinate had any effect upon the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. It was a blind study and was held in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Thammasat Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University. ‘170 pregnant women who attended at antenatal clinic Thammasat University Hospital with the symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy were randomly allocated into group A (n = 85) and group B (n = 85). The patients in group A received one capsule of ginger twice daily (one capsule contained 0.5 gm of ginger powder) while the patients in group B received the identical capsule of 50 mg dimenhydrinate twice daily. The visual analogue nausea scores (VANS) and vomiting times were evaluated at day 0-7 of the treatment,’ (Pongrojpaw, Somprasit, Chanthasenanont, 2007). The initial result of the study showed an improvement in nausea and vomiting symptoms, as the patients were asked to grade the severity of the symptoms as a baseline on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no nausea and 10 being as bad as it can be. The patients then had to mark down twice daily upon the scale how bad the nausea was and an average was calculated for each day and the frequency of vomiting was also recorded, this was the same for both groups. The results where as follows;

‘the mean of nausea score in day 1-7 of the treatment were decreased in both groups. The daily mean nausea scores between both groups were not statistically different (p > 0.05 ). The frequency of vomiting times in day 1-7 of the treatment was decreased in both groups. The daily mean vomiting times in the dimenhydrinate group in day 1-2 of the treatment were less than the ginger group with statistical significance (p < 0.05). After day 3-7 post treatment, the daily mean vomiting times in both groups were not statistically different (p > 0.05),’ (Pongrojpaw, Somprasit, Chanthasenanont, 2007).

However, there were a few side effects while taking these capsules, some of which were drowsiness, heartburn, palpitations and mouth dryness. This clinical trial might however not be valid as the authors found that ginger was as effective as dimenhydrinate in the treatment although during days 1-2 vomiting was greater in the ginger group but were similar after day’s 3-7 post-treatment. Also according to the research of Pongrojpaw, Somprasit and Chanthasenanont (2007), the safety of ginger during pregnancy had an adverse effect according to the source Vutyavanich T et al (2001), where are the study of Portnoi G et al (2003) confirmed that ginger was safe. Therefore, Pongrojpaw, Somprasit and Chanthasenanont (2007), suggest that ginger can be used as a choice for the treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and still be safe.

‘Most people either use essential oils for their therapeutic effect or for the fragrance alone but it is also interesting to take note of the chemistry, of which the oils are made up from,’ (Esoteric Oils, 2011).

Essential oils like everything else are made up of chemical compounds which have hydrogen, carbon and oxygen molecules as their building blocks, (Lawless, 1992). Most oils are made up of 100 different components but this number can rise up and beyond the thousands depending on the oil, (Esoteric Oils, 2011). These are split up into two categories: hydrocarbon and oxygenated compounds, the hydrocarbons are made up exclusively of terpenes (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes), whereas the oxygenated compounds are mainly esters, alderhydes, keytones, alcohols, phenols and oxides: acids, lactones, sulphur and nitrogen compounds are sometimes present (Lawless, 1992).

Terpenes:

The most common terpene hydrocarbons include limonene (Antiviral, found in 90 per cent of citrus oils) and pinene (antiseptic, found in high proportions in pine and turpentine oils), Lawless (1992). Terpenes compounds are split into two kind’s monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Monoterpene compounds are found in almost all essential oils and they contain a structure of 10 carbon atoms and at least one double bond, these oils are highly volatile and react in air and with heat, this is why citrus oils do not last well, (Esoteric oils, 2011). Terpenes are stimulants, soothers of skin irritation and have anti-viral attributes, some of these are found in the following oils, lemon grass, black pepper, nutmeg, bergamot and angelica, (All 4 Natural Health, 2007-2010). ‘Although some quarters may simply state that these components have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial therapeutic properties while some can be analgesic or stimulating with a tonic effect, it could be seen as a very broad generalization, since this large group of chemicals vary greatly,’ (Esoteric oils, 2011). Sesquiterpenes however consist of 15 carbon atoms and have complex pharmacological actions and have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties and is often found in chamomile and rose (Esoteric, 2011). ‘Some sesquiterpenes, such as chamazulene and farnesol (both found in chamomile), have been the object of great interest recently due to their outstanding anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties,’ (Lawless, 1992).

Esters:

Esters are probably the most widespread group found in essential oils and impart the benefits of calming, sedative, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Esters are formed from alcohols and acids, esters in essential oils are normally fragrant and tend to be fruity; the most well known esters are linalyl acetate, found in lavender, clary-sage and petitgrain, (Esoteric oils, 2011) and other is geranyl acetate which is found in marjoram, (Lawless, 1992). Other esters are bornyl acetate, eugenyl acetate, and lavendulyl acetate, (Lawless, 1992).

Aldehydes:

Aldehydes have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, sedative yet uplifting qualities and are usually found in citrus like fragranced oils such as Melissa, lemongrass, citronella (Esoteric oils, 2011), eucalyptus (All 4 Natural Health, 2007-2010) and lemon verbena (Lawless, 1992). ‘These properties are best used in aromatherapy when the essential oil is used in low dilutions - around 1%, Should oils high in this component be used, it could cause skin irritation and sensitivity as for instance lemongrass oil, so these as used in moderation during treatment in case of skin irritation. Aldehydes are also unstable and will easily oxidize in the presence of oxygen and even low heat.’ (Esoteric oils, 2011).

Ketones:

Some of the most toxic constituents are ketones and need to be used with care during pregnancy, but they are useful for easing mucus, tissue regeneration, wound healing, stretch marks and adhesions, (Esoteric oils, 2011). Oils containing ketones include hyssop, eucalyptus, rosemary (Esoteric, 2011), sage, camphor (All 4 natural health, 2007-2010) mugwort, tansy, wormwood, penny-royal and buchu (Lawless, 1992). However not all ketones are dangerous, there are non-toxic ketones and these can include jasmine found in jasmine, and fenchone in fennel oil, (Lawless, 1992).

Alcohols:

Alcohols are found in many different oils such as rose, rosewood, peppermint, myrtle, patchouli, ginger, sandalwood (All 4 Natural health, 2007-2011), lavender, geranium, juniper, tea-tree, carrot seed (Esoteric, 2010) and palmarosa (Lawless, 1992). ‘One of the most useful groups of compounds, tending to have good antiseptic and antiviral properties with an uplifting quality; they are also generally non-toxic,’ (Lawless, 1992).

Phenols:

Phenols that are found in essential oils normally have a carbon side chain, and they have great antiseptic, disinfectant qualities (Esoteric oils, 2011), as well as bactericidal and strong stimulating effects, but they can be skin irritants (Lawless, 1992). Essential oils containing phenols should be used in low concentrations and only for a short time during a treatment due to their toxicity level, if used over a long time it can be harmful as the liver is required to work hard to excrete the toxins from the body (Esoteric oils, 2011). Some common phenol oils are clove, thyme, oregano and savory (Lawless, 1992).

Oxides:

The main effects of oxides are that of expectorant, (cineol or eucalyptol) is the main constituent of eucalyptus oil and it is also found in a range of other oils such as rosemary, bay laurel, tea tree and cajeput. There are other oxides and these usually include linalol oxide found in hyssop, ascaridol, bisabolol oxide and bisabilone oxide (Lawless, 1992).

Different brands of oils and different varieties of the plant that the oils are extracted from can have different effects upon a treatment. For example eucalyptus can come in different brands such as; eucalyptus dives, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus polybactea and eucalyptus radiata. According to the Wellness directory of Minnesota (2003), Eucalyptus dives is high in phellandrene and low in eucalyptol and due to this it is more antiseptic than the other eucalyptus oils and is excellent for skin or topical applications but has to be avoided as direct inhalation. Eucalyptus globulus on the other hand contains a higher percentage of eucalyptol and is a key ingredient of mouth rinses, it has a strong odour and is traditionally used to expel mucus but it is not to be used on children and those with asthma.

‘Eucalyptus Polybactea: Well suited for topical application or diffusing. This species is highest in the antiseptic compound eucalyptol (about 80 percent) and has one of the strongest antiseptic actions among the eucalyptus oils. Avoid direct inhalation,’ (Wellness directory of Minnesota, 2003).

The last is eucalyptus radiata which is the most versatile of them all and is suitable for topical use, diffusing and direct inhalation. It is gentle and non-irritating, and has been studied extensively, (Wellness directory of Minnesota, 2003).

‘When blended oils are working harmoniously together, then the combination is called a ‘synergy’ (Lawless, 1992). Generally most oils from the same botanical family blend well together and also those with the same chemical constituents, along with floral fragrances together, wood fragrances, and citrus fragrances (Lawless, 1992). Essential oils can be blended together to be used for different things such as emotional synergies, physical synergies, skincare synergies, especially for woman, pregnancies, baby care, and household use, (Natures gifts aromatherapy products, N.D). Knowing the exact chemical compounds of each oil, is not needed when making up synergies as it is a matter of getting to know the characters of the oils and trusting intuition, (Lawless, 1992). Some essential oils will enhance almost any blend and can be found in the most commonly used in perfumes, these are generally rose, jasmine, oak moss and lavender (Lawless, 1992). ‘Essential Oils must always be diluted in a Carrier Oil before they are applied to the skin,’ (eHow, 1999-2011).

‘Frankincense's main use is as smouldering incense. It is valued worldwide for use in churches and temples. As far as aroma is concerned, Boswellia sacra with its citrus smell seems to be preferred in the Middle East, but in churches and synagogues in Europe and in the U.S., other pine-like smelling frankincense resin species are often preferred. rankincense is traditionally burned on hot coal or charcoal, but it can also be heated so as to evaporate without burning,’ (Plants as medicine, 2010). The quality of an essential oil can be affected by many different things; this can be shown in the journey through the life cycle of one specific oil; for example frankincense. ‘There has been much confusion over the exact identity of this tree - for the simple reason that the substance known as Frankincense has been obtained from several different species of Boswellia trees,’ (Sacred Earth, K Morgenstern, 2006). There are many different types and species of frankincense trees, each produces a slightly different type of resin after they reach about 8 years old. The differences in soil and climate create diversity in the resin, even within the same species of plant, (Essential oil world, 2011). The tree or shrub is small with pinnate leaves and white or pale pink flowers, (Lawless, 1996). Frankincense essential oil is taken from the resin, not the bark or the branches of the tree, the collection of frankincense properly, is a slow and carefully process that must be followed exactly, (Essential oil world, 2011).

To harvest Frankincense resin it is done with a small axe and can only take place twice a year, once in spring (March- May) and then again in autumn (September- October) and it takes about two weeks. A week before the harvest begins the bark needs to be cut to allow the resin to ooze out; once it hits the oxygen it crystallizes and hardens. It takes one week for the resin to harden enough to be cut off and another week to come back and collect the crystal resin, (Essential oil world, 2011). Excessive harvesting could reduce the number of flowers and the size and vialility of the trees seeds, while livestock feed on the leaves and branches during times of drought, (Sacred earth, K Morgenstern, 2006). The human made cuts on the plant can cut down the production of frankincense as the tree each time loses some of its sap, another human probles is the improper cutting where the tree is cut too deeply, (Plants as Medicine, 2010). ‘The frankincense tree's ability to grow in harsh and unforgiving environments is considered extremely unusual. They sometimes grow directly out of solid rock,‘ (Essential oil World, 2011).

The extraction of the oil from the resin in frankincense is through the process of steam distillation, approx. 3-10 per cent oil to 60-70 per cent resin, (Lawless, 1996). This is usually preformed in Europe from the imported gum (Natural health crafters, N.D). This is a process that involves the isolation of the volatile and water-insoluble parts or the plant. To do this water is heated over a fire and the steam passes through the crushed resin taking with it the essential oils, this then passes down a coil of pipe surrounded by cold water to condense the water and oils which is then separated in a different tank due to the oils floating upon the surface of the floral waters, (Lawless, 1996).

However this is just one method of extraction and the following diagram depicts the others:

(Figure 1.. Lawless, 1996)

‘Adulteration is many of the components are added as synthetics, in particular α-pinene. The quality of the oils varies according to both source and method of extraction,’ (Natural Health Crafters, N.D). This would also be known as diluting of the oils as other components are added after extraction. However alot of perfumes and oils now are created and are almost entirely synthetically produced, in the pharmacological industry they are called nature identical. However, the nature identical and the natural oils are totally different in character, (Lawless, 1996). Most of the nature identical oils are said to only be around 96 per cent pure and that remaining 4 per cent is what really defines the fragrance, in the real essential oils this is what gives the oils their therapeutic elements, (Lawless, 1996).

For a safe effective treatment all safety precautions should be taken, all new oils should be checked for specific safety data, due to toxicity levels, phototoxicity, dermal irritation and sensitization, (Lawless, 1996). Also things such as high and low blood pressure should be check with a client, the same with pregnancy and due to these certain oils should be avoided as and when necessary. Age should also be taken into consideration only certain oils can be used for the very young clients, for example, babies aged 0-12 months should only be using 1 drop of either; lavender, rose, chamomile or mandarin (Lawless, 1996). Contraindications should also be noted when working with oils, for example those with epilepsy should avoid using oils such as Camphor, Hyssop, Lavandin, Rosemary, Sage and Peppermint (Culpeper, N.D). Also clary sage should not be used while consuming alcohol and hops should not be used for anyone suffering from depression, (Lawless, 1996). Due to their phototoxicity levels these oils should not be used if the client is going to be spending some time on the sun bed or under a strong sun, Bergamot, Citronella, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Orange, Tangerine and Lime (Culpeper, N.D). Those clients with sensitive skin should take care with: Cassia, Citronella, Clove, Fennel, Lemon, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Pine, and Thyme, it would recommend to perform a skin patch test with any oil on those with very sensitive skin, (Culpeper, N.D).

Quality of the oils is essential for the preservation of the therapeutic characteristics, so storage would be important, Keep oils in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and heat. Oils should be kept in dark, glass bottles as they would eat into plastic ones. Oils should always be kept out of the reach of children and treated as medicine. Some oils such as rose will solidify if the temperature drops below room temperature, if this happens rubbing the bottle until it warms shall liquefy the condense, it is never advisable to place oils into the microwave, (Culpeper, N.D).

Reference List:

Figure 1: A chart showing the different ways in which aromatic material can be prepared.

Lawless, J (1992) The Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils: The complete guild to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, Herbalism, health & Well-being. 2nd ed. Great Britain, Thornsons. Page 35.

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