A common ingredient in natural products, essential oils are used commonly through inhalation or by topical application of diluted oil. Because these oils are so readily available to the public, many people incorrectly assume that no particular knowledge or training is needed to use them.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids extracted from plant material-bark, berries, flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, or twigs-that are produced in several different ways.

The most common is steam distillation, in which pressurized steam is passed through plant material, causing oils to evaporate out. The resulting mixture of oil and steam is condensed back into a liquid, and the oil is skimmed off.

Know What You're Getting

The method of production is just one factor affecting the quality and price of these botanical extracts. Others include the rarity of the plant, how and where it was grown, how many plants are needed to produce the oil, and the quality standards of the manufacturer.

If you intend to use essential oils, it is vitally important to think of them like any other healing tool: get proper training in their use, thoroughly research contraindications and interactions. Like anything else that can be applied to the body, essential oils can potentially cause harm. Remember, "natural" does not automatically mean a product is gentle or safe.

When these oils are applied neat, some people will have an immediate or delayed reaction, which can range from burning, irritation, or swelling to very major and serious health consequences. Other people will be unaffected-at first. Since the oil seems safe, they continue to use it. Over time, this causes the skin to become sensitized to that essential oil and the plant it comes from, with a longer-term, cumulative effect. When that happens, not only will the client be unable to use that oil again, they may not be able to use other products or foods that are related to it.

Correct use of essential oils for topical application always requires dilution, usually at a strength of 6-15 drops of essential oil per ounce of whatever product it is being added to.

With the right knowledge and precautions, you can safely use essential oils. Take classes, pick up some books that discuss each essential oil differences and its properties, and spend time researching the benefits and contraindications of the plants involved. You will soon be enjoying the sweet smell of successful aromatherapy.

Author's Bio: 

I'm just your average hygienist with a passion for excellence. I do what I do best, which is to help my patients achieve healthy smiles and provide & educate them with oral health care solutions and lifelong cosmetic procedures. This article written with the help of dedicated server company.