Aromatherapy
 

AKA: essential oil therapy, refers to a range of traditional, alternative or complementary therapies that use essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds.
 

Essential oils have been used for nearly 6,000 years, with the aim of improving a person’s health or mood.

Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin. They must always be diluted with a carrier oil. Usually, a few drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil is the concentration. Most common carrier oils are sweet almond oil or olive oil.

To do an allergy test:

  • Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil at twice the concentration you plan to use

  • Rub the mixture into an area the size of a quarter on the inside of the forearm
     

If there is no allergic response within 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.

A maximum concentration of 5 percent is generally considered safe for adults.
 

Ingesting, or swallowing, essential oils is not recommended. Taken by mouth, the oils can damage the liver or kidneys. They can also lead to interactions with other drugs, and they can undergo unexpected changes while in the gut.