Essential oils can be used in three different ways:
Our skin is generally permeable, and in areas with sweat glands and hair follicles the absorption rate is higher (like feet, palms and scalp). Essential and plant oils can be applied with massage, stimulating the circulation; with a hot or cold compress, or diluted in water (bath - warm water will also facilitate indirect inhalation of the oils dispersed in water). With high quality essential and carrier oils, it generally takes 20 to 30 minutes (up to 60 minutes) for the active organic chemicals to permeate the skin and reach the blood stream. The absorption rate of essential oils is approximately 50%. For delicate areas where the skin is thin like face and neck, products will me blended with a lower concentration of essential oils.
Inhaling essential oils is as powerful as applying them topically – however, the absorption time is only a few seconds. The active chemicals of the essential oils will start working immediately. We inhale through the nose, which is directly linked to the limbic system of the brain (emotional brain). Gassy airborne molecules interact with the olfactory system receptors and, almost immediately, the brain. Molecules inhaled through the nose are also carried to the lungs and interact with the respiratory system as well. The absorption rate of essential oils is approximately 40-50%. The limbic system regulates the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and balances hormones. When a smell triggers a memory, the heart rate changes, the breathing adjusts, the levels of stress change causing an ‘emotion’. Inhalation is an extraordinary way to balance our emotional and most importantly psychological well-being.
Caution must be observed if suffering from asthma and with children.
Essential and plant oils can be ingested but this is NOT recommended for essential oils. Some essential oils can be toxic to the liver or kidneys and their chemical composition can be harmfully altered during the gastric processing. The absorption rate of essential oils is close to 100%.
If you a planning to take essential oils orally you should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils, which are obtained from aromatic plants and trees. The aim is to rebalance and maintain physical and psychological well-being, combining essential oils and carrier oils with massage, topical applications or inhalation. In some cases essential oils are taken orally (this is not recommended unless under the direct supervision of a professional aromatherapist). Aromatherapy is a fast growing branch of complementary medicine and its cosmetological applications have challenged and revolutionised the traditional skincare and beauty industry. It encourages the use of other natural products such as plant oils (or carrier oils), hydrosols, dried herbs, plant extracts, sea salts, sugars, grounded kernels, clays and muds.
In plants, essential oils act as plant hormones, regulating their functions and co-ordinating the production of vitamins and enzymes. Essential oils can also perform the same tasks when applied to humans - they can act as neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes and therefore play an active role in balancing our general functions.
Two main streams of aromatherapy live together within the western culture, the ‘French’ school and the ‘English’ school. A third 'current' school of thought, embraced by some American Aromatherapy providers, follows the French stream and promotes the use of essential oils both internally and externally, suggesting a higher dosage of intake with new and controversial application techniques (for instance high doses of neat essential oils applied directly on the spine).
In France, aromatherapy has a distinct medical approach. Some Essential oils are also taken orally with generally safe dosages and are available in some pharmacies as natural remedies. In the UK and in many English speaking countries, aromatherapy focuses on rebalancing both the physical and psychological state, taking into account the energetic and vibrational energy of essential oils. It is a more intuitive and holistic practice which emphasises the importance of external applications such as massage, inhalation and bath. In the US some Aromatherapy providers suggest the use of essential oils as regular preventive supplements, applied undiluted and with higher doses than recommended by other Professional Aromatherapists.
At NATIVE ESSENTIALS we combine both the French and the English approach; we do not encourage the internal use of essential oils and the undiluted application (with a carrier oil or cream) unless under the direct supervision of a qualified professional Aromatherapist. We always recommend safe oils and blends based on individual age, conditions and requirements.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils, which are obtained by processing part of the plant, roots, flowers or leaves (steam distillation is the most common extraction method). Herbalism tends to use the whole plant, fresh or dried. It is common for herbs to be taken orally as fresh, dried, or as tinctures (as teas or capsules or in decoctions like traditional Chinese medicine blends) also knows as extracts. Essential oils are usually applied topically (diluted) or inhaled. Organic Cosmoceuticals use both.
There are roughly 150 plants that produce essential oils with therapeutic qualities compared to thousands of plants that can be used by herbalists. Herbs and essential oils can be very powerful and some of them can even be toxic. At NATIVE ESSENTIALS we do not use any hazardous essential oils. We use a selection of safe plant extracts, essential oils and vegetable oils, which are all individually lab tested.
Here’s an example of how the same plant can be used for aromatherapy and herbalism with differing concentrations, potency and therapeutic effects. A single tea bag of Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) contains approx. 2 grams of dried flowers. To obtain 1 drop (0.05 ml) of high quality chamomile essential oil we need to steam distill at least 50 - 70 gr of fresh flowers, which is roughly equivalent to at least 30 tea bags! A chamomile tea has a very minimal amount of essential oil; it will be soothing for the stomach and relaxing before bedtime. 2-3 drops of Chamomile essential oil in a hot bath or diluted in carrier oil for massage will promote restful sleep and if applied topically, is a very powerful general analgesic.
The information included in this section is for reference only.
Essential oils, carrier oils and herbs can be applied to the skin, for great results, but what is the difference between Essential oils, Carrier oils and Herbs?
Essential oils work at both a physical and emotional level, being rich in extremely active chemical compounds like Phenols, Alcohols, Monoterpenes and Oxides. They have strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and can penetrate quickly and efficiently into the body via the skin. Only essential oils can activate the limbic system of our brain (controls emotions, sleepand mood) by inhalation. We can obtain essential oils from no more than 150 aromatic plants. They are a very concentrated form of botanical extracts and represent the most powerful organic chemical compounds available.
Carrier oils work at a physical level and are a great natural source of Essential Fatty Acids (especially unsaturated fats) and some Vitamins.
Herbs offer a variety of botanicals (medicinal plants, of which there are thousands) and are active at a physical level. They contain different multi-purpose chemical compounds like Saponin, Tannins, Flavonoids, Phenols. Herbs gently help balance the metabolism, are anti-inflammatory, help to stimulate nerves and the circulatory system. In skin care,herbs offer an interesting variety gentle botanicals which are perfect for any skin type and condition. Compared to essential oils, herbal preparations are much less concentrated.
A formulation which includes essential oils, carrier oils and herbs (as extracts) produce a complete and powerful cosmoceutical. Nature at Its Best!
Essential oils and Carrier or Massage oils are fundamentally different and care must be observed especially when using especially Essential oils for the first time. Essential oils MUST always be diluted with a Carrier or Massage oil when they are applied on the skin, while Carrier or Massage oils can be applied as they are, neat on the skin. Thanks to their strong and unique aroma, only Essential oils can be used in burners or diffusers undiluted. Before using any Carrier or Massage oil it is safer to check if any allergy is present in the user (like nuts). Please read carefully the 'Precautions' section of each product profile.
Essential oils can be used in many different ways; as a single oil, as a synergy with other essential oils or blended with carrier oils, cream bases and gels. Some oils are very gentle but others, due to their chemical composition, can be very aggressive and if mis-used can cause more harm than good.
We need to be aware of some general safety guidelines. The below does not cover every safety aspect of safe essential oil use and it is important to consult a professional aromatherapist or doctor about your specific essential oil requirements, if you are in any doubt about their safety.
Native Essentials pre-blended products are perfectly safe if used as directed.
The answer begins with their chemistry.
Essential oils (like Lavender) are volatile organic compounds. Different essential oils have varying therapeutic properties according to their molecular content; the combination and concentration of their chemical constituents (mainly terpenes) will determine their properties. Up to 10,000 chemical compounds of essential oils have been identified and in the unique chemical synergy of the oils lies the key of their unique and multi-purpose therapeutic properties. The extraordinary intricacy of essential oil compounds is the object of research, as to this day their complete structure cannot be replicated in the laboratory, while some constituents can. For instance many commercial products (cleaning agents, soaps, lotions, hair products, insect repellents) with a floral/mildly spicy/citruses scent, contain 'linalool' (C10H18O), which is the synthetic copy of a natural occurring alcohol. Over 200 species of plants have a constituent linalool, mainly lavenders, cinnamons and citruses. If we isolate natural occurring linalool from Lavender essential oil, we will still obtain a natural compound but lose the synergic action of the complete chemical structure and the therapeutic effect will be therefore greatly reduced. This is why at NATIVE ESSENTIALS we use mainly 100% whole products. Essential oils are also extremely powerful anti-oxidants and recently scientists have been focusing on studying the positive effects of energy frequency alteration between the human body and essential oils.
Essential oil molecules are so small that they are able to enter the body very easily. For this reason care must be observed when using essential oils in general and always apply them diluted in a carrier (oil, lotion, gel, water...).
From a functional point of view, we can divide Essential oils into three main groups (although the therapeutic properties of each oil need to be considered case by case and based on the complete chemical composition):
Cold pressed oils (like Almond oil) are carrier oils, and from a chemistry point of view, are lipids. They contain various vitamins (essential oils do not) as well as an incredibly high concentration of essential fatty acids or EFA, called essential as the human body cannot produce them and necessary to promote cellular-tissue-organs regeneration. EFAs are also very important regulators of our metabolism.
Cold pressed oils have much bigger molecules than essential oils, they do not evaporate, have a higher viscosity, a weaker aroma, are emollient and are edible. Some plant oils like Rosehip oil are so rich in nutrients that they can be applied without adding any other oil and achieve very visible results. Blending correctly essential oils with the appropriate plant oils can greatly enhance their synergic therapeutic effects.
Smell is the only one of our five physical senses that is directly linked to the emotional part of our brain, the limbic system. It can influence the body’s physical wellbeing and behaviour within a few seconds. The olfactory system has about 10 million smell receptors and it is more sensitive in discriminating different smells than our sense of taste.
When we inhale pure essential oils, their compound molecules enter the nose and instantly combine with nerve endings, transmitting messages to the limbic system, the emotional part of our brain. These messages can gently alter the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stimulate memory and control more effectively stress. The amygdala is the part of our emotional brain which stores, processes and releases emotions within a few seconds. The only way to stimulate effectively and quickly the amygdala is through the sense of smell. All of our other physical senses are diverted to the thalamus, the conscious ‘switchboard’ of our brain, taking a longer time for processing and affecting our rational behavior. This amazing and very powerful direct effect of the sense of smell on the body and mind can explain why essential oils are such a valuable and unique tool in balancing emotional issues.
The limbic system of our brain has two main 'switches' - the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus regulates many functions and through a combination of electrical and chemical messages, it directs the pituitary gland - the master gland of the body. The amygdala is the 'switch board' of emotions and can be activated within a fraction of a second by the sense of smell. We often refer to the limbic system as the 'emotional part of the brain' as it controls many functions:
Essential oils enter through the olfactory nerves and the bulbs directly to our brain via the hypothalamus and they activate the amygdala within a fraction of a second. The brain not only interprets the essential oils' 'chemical message' by retrieving memories or creating new ones, but also triggers a calming, balancing or stimulating response as a natural reaction to the complex chemical compounds of each oil.Essential oils when used correctly and safely are a gentle and natural alternative to synthetic drugs, which often cause undesirable side-effects, allergic reactions and addictions. They also function as gentle regulators of several hormonal functions and therefore are very useful in naturally treating stress, depression and anxiety when associated with appropriate lifestyle, nutrition and when necessary counselling.
Some essential oils applied in very low dilutions are perfectly safe and wonderfully effective during pregnancy and while breasfteeding. Some plant oils are great emollients that delicately protect the skin.
Frankincense*, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender French (mild Lavender from New Zealand is preferred as low in allergens)*, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Roman Chamomile, Eucalyptus smithii or globulos*, Petitgrain, Rose otto*, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Myrtle, Spearmint, Ginger. Other essential oils can be used only under supervision of a qualified Aromatherapist.
* avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy
For babies (older than 3 months) and toddlers, a low dilution (0.5% to 1%) can be applied using only:
Roman chamomile, Lavender NZ type, Rose, Mandarin, Orange, Tangerine, Myrtle ,Eucalyptus smithii, Frankincense
Other oils can be used from 18 months onwards in very small dilutions like Sweet Marjoram. Please refer to each product 'precautions' section for further details.
Sweet almond is great for preventing stretch marks, and Tamanu is a true nature's gift to protect your breasts while breastfeeding and to help healing surgery scars. Calendula infused oil is delicately soothing for the little ones and very calming.
Many people suffering from cancer turn to Aromatherapy looking for a support both physically and emotionally. Aromatherapy can be beneficial when managing symptoms, controlling side effects of treatment and sustaining emotional balance in cancer patients. However there is not enough research and clinical trials to support any claim that some essential oils can cure cancer.
Safe application of plant oils is particularly important for cancer patients, as some drugs (chemotherapy) and treatments (radiation) can interact negatively with some of their components. Please read carefully our precautions section under each product page and note some important recommendations:
We recommend doing a patch test before using essential oils for the first time on the skin if:
Our immune system in rare cases may react quite aggressively up to 48 hours after the application to highly active substances; patch testing essential oils is a way to use them effectively and safely.
Carrier oils have less contraindications than essential oils; however, as some carrier oils are made from the nuts of the plantS (like Sweet Almond), please read carefully the labels of each product if you have a known nut allergy.
Patch testing is very simple. Mix 5 ml of a carrier oil (avoid nutty oils if you have a known allergy) and 2-3 drops of the essential oil. Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrists or forearm and wait for at least 20 minutes (for an accurate result, it is best to wait for 2 hours).
If you develop redness, itchiness, irritation and/or swelling you need to separate the carrier oil and test it unblended with the essential oil.
Here is a general guideline for dilution levels however a professional aromatherpist may increase or decrease these levels to suit individual requirements. This is a reference chart with safe average dilution indications; please do not increase the quantity or frequency of essential oils without contacting us or agreeing with an expert.
|MUMS TO BE||0-3 MONTHS||3-24 MONTHS||2-4 YEARS||4-12 YEARS||ADULTS||SENIORS|
|DIFFUSER, BURNER||30 to 50 ml of WATER||2-4||0||2-3||2-3||2-3||4-6||2-3|
|PULSE POINTS||EVERY 1 ml OF BASE (OIL, CREAM)||0.5 (half)*||0||0||0||0||1||0.5 (half)-1*|
|BODY MASSAGE||EVERY 5 ml OF BASE (OIL, CREAM)||1||0||0.5 (half)*||0.5 (half)-1*||1-2||2-5||2-3|
|FOOT MASSAGE||EVERY 5 ml OF BASE (OIL, CREAM)||0||0||0||0.5 (half)*||1||2-3||1-2|
|BATH||HOT OR WARM WATER (Full bath tub)||4-5||0||0||0||4-5||7-10||4-5|
|FOOT SOAK||WARM WATER 1-2 Liters||0||0||0||1||2-3||5-6||2-3|
|COMPRESS||HOT OR COLD WATER 0.5 Liter||2||0||0||2||2-3||3-5||2-3|
|FACE CREAM, SERUM, GEL||CREAM, OIL, GEL 50 gr. BASE||3-10||0||2-3||3-5||3-8||3-10||3-8|
|BODY LOTION, GEL||CREAM, GEL 50 gr BASE||5-8||0||1-2||2-4||4-8||5-20||5-15|
|FLORAL WATER||WATER 50 ml BASE||5-8||0||1-2||4-5||5-8||10-20||8-15|
|SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER||SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER 50 ml BASE||3-10||0||0||0||0||5-10||5-10|
All dilutions are in drops. Dilution rates differ depending on which essential oil is chosen.
* Use a toothpick to obtain half a drop
|0.05 ml||1||0.05 ml||1|
|0.5 ml||10||0.5 ml||10|
|1 ml||20||1 ml||20|
|1 teaspoon||5 ml||100||5 ml||100|
|3 teaspoons / 1 table spoon||15ml||300||15ml||300|
Light, Fine = Rice Bran, Evening Primrose, Rosehip, Grapeseed, Sunflower
Medium = Jojoba, Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Macadamia, Sesame, Nigella, Argan
Thick, Heavy = Prickly Pear, Coconut, Olive, Shea butter, Mango butter
Essential oils can be diffused using a candle lit ceramic burner or an electric vaporiser. Diffusion is best to be used, not only when rebalancing emotions, but also when sanitising the air using anti-bacterial essential oils. Various factors will determine the correct dosage of essential oils including the type of device used, the size of the room and the age of the users. As a general rule a maximum of six drops of oils should be used at any time.
If you use a candle lit ceramic burner it is best to mix the oils (it will float) with some water to prevent burning.
Inhalers are very practical sticks ideal for respiratory conditions and to rebalance emotions. Because the quantity of essential oils is not very high, inhalers can be used every 2-3 hours.
Aromatherapy massage is one of the best ways to achieve good health and psychological well-being. Pain, anxiety and stress can be alleviated with a powerful combination of expert hands and high quality oils. The healing power of massage is proven; depriving individuals of human touch creates depression and sadness. Massage induces relaxation of the body and mind. Massage is soothing (relaxes nerves and muscles), stimulating (improves circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system, improves muscle tones) and therapeutic (helps repair joint damage, reduces oedema and lessens inflammation).
Here some useful tips when preparing a blend at home.
Woman size M/L full body massage approx. 30/40 ml of carrier oil + 15/18 drops of essential oil.
Man size L/XL full body massage approx. 40/50 ml of carrier oil + 20/25 drops of essential oil
Six months old baby full body massage 10 ml of carrier oil + 0.5 (half) drop of Essential Oil*
Adult Foot massage 10 ml of carrier oil + 5/6 drops of essential oil
For a quick yet effective application of essential oils for those who are on the go or travelling, you can apply a blend directly to the pulse points (wrists, inner forearm and neck) three times daily.
Adding essential oils to a hot bath is very relaxing, soothing and rebalancing. The oils added to the hot water will evaporate and they will be inhaled while being absorbed through the skin at the same time. You can add single oils or a synergy of essential oils to the hot water; please dilute them in a carrier oil, milk, or salt as essential oils are not water soluble and if undiluted they will float on top of the water.
Making aromatherapy compresses is easy. All you need is a clean cloth, hot or cold water (depending on the type of injury) and essential oils. Compresses are very effective for musculoskeletal pain, bruises and headaches. Soak the cloth in the water mixed with essential oils; squeeze out the excess liquid, apply the compress to the affected area and wrap it with plastic wrap. Keep the compress in place until it cools or warms to body temperature.
A great way to relax and absorb essential oils without oily applications! Add 5-6 drops of essential oils to warm water and soak for 10 to 20 minutes.
A great way to apply essential oils without using carrier oils is with ready made plain and non-fragranced cream, lotions bases or aloe vera gel. The total percentage of essential oil to a cream or lotion depends on the selection of the oils. As a general rule 1 to 2%. If using for the first time please conduct a patch test. The mixed cream should then be stored with the same care as essential oils.
Because essential oils cause irritation to the eyes, they should be added to shampoos with care. It’s an easy way to enhance the effectiveness of your shampoo. Combined with hair mask plant bases like Argan Oil, you can achieve natural and healthy hair at home. Being a topical application, please do a skin patch test if unsure if using for the first time.
Essential oils are living plant material and they do have a life span. Over time they oxidize and gradually they lose their therapeutic qualities. The shelf life depends first and foremost on the chemical stability of the oils, and therefore a higher quality product combined with correct storage will prolong the normal process of deterioration. Generally speaking, essential oils, if properly handled and stored, have a life span of at least two years from the date of distillation.
Cold pressed oils have unsaturated fatty acids and they oxidise too. This process usually takes approximately a year. On average carrier oils will go rancid in one to two years. Massage blends should ideally be used within three months.
All NATIVE ESSENTIALS products have clear indication of the expiry date indicated on the packaging.
To extend the life of essential oils and cold pressed oils, proper storage and handling is very important. Here are a few useful tips:
Botanical products such as essential oils and carrier oils have been used for centuries to support and enhance health and wellbeing.
The details provided here are for information purposes only.
The use of botanical products is not recommended as the exclusive cure of any medical condition or disease and should not substitute any medication without consulting your doctor.
Always read and follow the safety information and safe dosage chart provided for each product. Do not take any oils internally without consulting a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, extracts, tinctures or other concentrated essences onto the skin. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil or a cream for the first time. There is a slight chance that some oils applied to the skin may trigger a reaction; always discontinue use immediately if any sign of irritation occurs. Do not exceed the recommended doses. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, cancer, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, have had recent surgery or have any other medical condition, or you are taking homeopathic remedies or long term medications, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children, babies, pregnant women and elderly people and give them only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses always under the supervision of a qualified Aromatherapist. Keep Essential Oils out of reach of children. The daily use of the same essential oil, synergy or blend should not exceed the duration of 3 months; it is recommended to alternate it with other oils with similar therapeutic properties for the same length of time.
If ingested do not induce vomiting; you may drink milk but please contact your healthcare specialist. Avoid contact with eyes; in case of an accident please flush with abundant water.
Native Essentials is committed to selling only the safest, purest, highest quality botanical products. We guarantee the quality of our products provided they are used within the expiry date indicated on the packaging and the product has been properly stored in a dark, cool place.