How to Use CPTG®, Certified-Pure-Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils Safely and Effectively
Tips on getting the most from your aromatherapy experience
|If you have an emergency
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Welcome to the exciting world of essential oils.
Nature's purest plant products — essential oils — have properties that will soothe the senses, invigorate the body and promote physical well-being.
Aromatherapy has been used safely and effectively for much of mankind's recorded history. While there are some groups that would try to raise safety concerns about untrained people — non-professionals — using essential oils, the fact is: as long as you are using CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oils and following some common-sense guidelines, there is no significant cause for concern, in most instances. (See Modern Essentials, 2nd Edition for details on this.)
The following information will help you get the most benefit from the oils — safely and effectively.
You can experience the unique benefits of essential oils in the following ways:
Topical application: Essential oils may be applied topically to sooth and promote wellness of body and spirit. Because the oils are lipid-soluble, they easily penetrate the skin and cell membranes, travelling transdermally throughout the body. Within minutes of application, an oil can disperse to every cell of the body; with some applications, particularly using Vita Flex, the effects can be felt within seconds.
As long as you're using CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oils, many of the oils can be used without dilution (that is: neat). This gives the oils more "punch", since they will penetrate into the tissues more quickly than when diluted. Other oils, however, have constituents that make them "hotter", and these will require dilution, except for application to the bottom of the feet.
Note: Often, these "hot" oils can also be applied neat, as long as they are covered soon after with another, cooler essential oil or a base oil — essentially diluting after the fact. The reason for doing this is that, while a diluted oil will have the same effect as a neat oil, its penetration of the tissues is much slower, and may not seem to give the same benefits as a neat oil. Personally, I prefer to use the oils neat, then cover them with another oil.
Of course, any time you're applying oils on or near sensitive areas of the body, or need to cover a larger area of the body, dilution is recommended with any of the oils.
For those who have concerns about neat applications: Problems that many American-trained aromatherapists find with the neat application of the oils are due to one or more of the following reasons:
- The oils are of an inferior grade, and either lack some of the balancing constituents or are adulterated with synthetic chemicals;
- Toxicities in the person receiving the aromatherapy treatment. The oils are great detoxifiers, and if the body detoxifies too quickly, it can cause discomfort, in a variety of ways;
- Toxic personal care items on the skin, over which the oils were applied. This is a significant concern, since essential oils will drive these toxins deep into the tissues, and may cause a variety of problems. This is why I only use dōTERRA® products for my personal care;
- Failure to drink enough water before and/or after the aromatherapy session. Adequate hydration is critical for clearing toxins, liberated from the tissues by the oils, out of the system.
- The bias of the aromatherapist. Virtually all training in massage therapy and aromatherapy in the English-speaking world is adamant on one point: Using essential oils in anything more than a 3-5% dilution is reckless. And, with the oils that most of them use, that might be a good policy; but, we're talking about CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oils here.
With hundreds of thousands of people receiving AromaTouch™, and possibly millions more using quality oils in neat applications, the safety of using oils in this manner is indisputable. (See Modern Essentials, 2nd Edition for more information on this. For a quick check, see GRAS.)
Massage: The relaxation and soothing effects on the body of an aromatic massage can be a restorative — even transforming — experience. dōTERRA®'s CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oils are designed to work aromaticially and functionally, and provide a well-needed delight to your senses.
To create your own custom massage oil, mix 3-4 drops of essential oil with ½ teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil, or another pure, natural massage oil base for a relaxing, stress-relieving massage. Pamper yourself and get in touch with your senses.
Dietary supplements: All essential oils that are identified as Safe For Consumption can be taken as a dietary supplement, to promote physical well-being. Some oils (e.g.: valerian, lemon, grapefruit, orange, nutmeg, tangerine, etc.) are most effective when taken orally.
Things to remember when using essential oils as dietery supplements:
- Remember to dilute the oils in oil-soluble liquids, such as fractionated coconut oil or some other vegetable oil, olive oil, Agave nectar, whole, raw milk or goat/rice milk prior to ingestion. More or less dilution may be required, depending on how strong the oil is. (See Modern Essentials, 2nd Edition for more information on this.)
- Usually no more than 2-3 drops should be ingested at one time, during any 4-8 hour period.
- Essential oils should not be given as dietary supplements to children under 6 years of age. Parents should exercise caution in administering oils to a child orally, and oils should always be diluted prior to ingestion for children.
Diffusion: Essential oils can be diffused, to enhance the mood and perspective of your home environment or workplace. The dōTERRA® Lotus Diffuser is specially designed to disperse a fine mist of oils that will generally fill a room within a few minutes.
- Improve concentration, alertness and mental clarity,
- Help you relax, relieve tension and clear the mind,
- Help with weight management,
- Reduce airborne bacteria, fungus, mold and unpleasant odors.
I've also found it effective in keeping unwanted visitors — of the insect or rodent varieties — out of the house.
Start by diffusing oils for only 15-30 minutes per day. As you become accustomed to the oils and recognize their effects (and your body has had some time to detoxify), you can increase the time diffused up to 2 hours per day.
Guidelines for safe use
→ Skin testing for sensitivity: dōTERRA® Essential Oils have always been CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade, the purest state for essential oils. They have never contained adulterations that can cause skin irritations or other allergic reactions, as you might find with lesser-quality oils. However, because of their potency, and because skin sensitivity is highly personalized, always skin test an essential oil before applying it topically.
→ Testing for reaction to new oils: Due to certain properties of their specific chemical constituents, certain oils may cause a burning sensation on certain individuals. They are better when diluted. These oils include — but are by no means limited to — cinnamon, clove, and lemongrass. (See Modern Essentials, 2nd Edition for more information on this. For a quick check, see GRAS.)
If you have a concern about skin sensitivity, apply one oil or blend at a time when using them for the first time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow enough time (from 15-30 minutes) for the body to respond before applying a second oil.
Always keep a bottle of fractionated coconut oil, or any other pure vegetable oil (e.g.: olive oil), handy when using essential oils. If an essential oil causes discomfort or skin irritation, it can be used to dilute it, cooling and relieving the area of application.
→ Keep out of reach of children: This is really just common sense. Always keep essential oils out of reach of children. Treat them as you would any product that is used therapeutically. dōTERRA®'s oils come with safety droppers in the cap; but, even one drop of oil can cause problems, if it is ingested "neat" (i.e.: undiluted) or it gets into your child's eyes. Treat the oils with respect, and teach your children to do so, as well.
→ Photosensitivity: Some oils contain chemical constituents that can cause photosensitivity; that is, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation, if applied to skin that is then exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays within 3-4 days. Some of these oils include lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and other citrus-based oils.
→ Using essential oils during pregnancy: Pregnant women should consult with their health care professional before using essential oils. Oils to avoid during pregnancy include wild tansy and those containing constituents with hormone-like activity, such as clary sage, sage, fennel and rosemary.
→ Allergies: People with allergies should test a small amount of oil on a small area of sensitive skin (such as the inside of the arm) before applying the oil to other parts of the body. The bottom of the feet is one of the safest, most effective places to use essential oils. Even people who are otherwise sensitive to the oils will often get by with using them on the feet.
→ Storage of oils: Keep bottles of essential oils closed tightly, and store in a cool location away from light. If stored properly, essential oils maintain their potency and therapeutic properties almost indefinitely. (When Carter opened King Tut's tomb, he found essential oils that were still good.)
→ Oils with menthol: Essential oils rich in menthol (like peppermint) should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 3 years of age.
→ Aviod the eyes and ears: Keep essential oils away from the eye area, and do not put them directly into the ears. Avoid handling contact lenses or rubbing eyes with essential oils on your fingers (it's always best to rinse your hands thoroughly after applying the oils). Oils with high phenol content (i.e.: oregano, cinnamon, thyme, clove, lemongrass, bergamot, and On Guard®) may damage contacts and irritate eyes.
→ Epilepsy and high blood pressure: People with epilepsy or high blood pressure should consult their health care professional before using essential oils. Avoid hyssop, fennel, wild tansy, rosemary and peppermint oils. Consult Modern Essentials, 2nd Edition for more details on this.)
→ Ingesting oils: Before taking essential oils that are Safe for Consumption internally, it is recommended that you dilute them with an oil-soluble liquid, such as almond oil, olive oil or rice milk.
→ Using essential oils in a bath: Adding undiluted essential oils directly to bathwater is not recommended. Oils should be mixed with Epsom salts before adding to a bath.
If you have an emergency
As noted above, you should alway keep a bottle of fractionated coconut oil, or some other natural vegetable oil, close by when using essential oils. If your skin becomes painfully irritated, or if an oil accidentally gets into the eyes, immediate dilution in an oil-based solution is strongly recommeneded. Do not rinse with water. Since oils are not water soluble, doing so can actually drive the oils deeper into the tissues, making the situation worse.
If dilution does not provide relief, discontinue use and contact your health care professional.
If a child or infant swallows an essential oil:
- Administer milk (not a low-fat milk, you need the fat), Agave or other safe, oil-soluble liquid.
- Call your poison-control center or seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Consult your health care professional about any serious disease or injury. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substance for serious health conditions that require professional attention.
Essential oils and internal and environmental toxins
Exercise caution when applying essential oils to skin that has been exposed to cosmetics, personal care products, soaps and cleaners containing synthetic chemicals. Some of them — especially petroleum-based chemicals — can penetrate and remain in skin and fatty tissues for day, or even weeks.
Essential oils may react with these chemicals and cause skin irritation, nausea, headaches or other uncomfortable effects.
Essential oils can also react with toxins built up in the body from chemicals in food, water and the work environment. If you experience a reaction to essential oils, it may be wise to temporarily discontinue their use, and start an internal cleansing program (15 days using the GX Assist® with PB Assist®) before resuming regular use of essential oils. Drinking plenty of purified water is also important.