Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and should always be diluted before applying to skin. It is important to be aware of the chemistry and the quality of the oils being used. Use only high quality oils from reputable sources. Store oils in a cool, dark place. Dosage is another important factor in aromatherapy. Too much of certain oils can irritate skin or cause other side effects. Essential oils are always applied to the skin in combination with vegetable and nuts oils, gels, lotions, butters, salts or other herbal ingredients. Always lower the dosage for children, elderly, pregnant women or anyone with serious health conditions.
There are differing opinions regarding the use of essential oils during pregnancy, labor and delivery. AIA recommends that schools of aromatherapy include an educational component regarding the appropriate and safe uses of essential oils during pregnancy including patho-physiology, risks and benefits. This will include, but is not limited to, emmenagogue and abortifacient essential oils.
Including a safety-based educational component relating to pregnancy will prepare the qualified aromatherapy practitioner to determine safe oils for each trimester, appropriate dilution and a variety of uses of essential oils to complement routine maternity care. Aromatherapy practitioners will avoid using any essential oil when safety issues are uncertain.
AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Please refer to the AIA Safety Guidelines for essential oil use.
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