Top Ten Things to Know About Aromatherapy

1) Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and their hydrosols for health and well-being.

2) Essential oils are used in inhalations and skin applications.

3) Essential oils effect the physical body and the mind.

4) Essential oils must be diluted before applying to the skin and are not generally recommended for internal use.

(These are the two most important points to make about using essential oils.)

5) Aromatherapy should never replace care from a medical doctor but could complement and enhance care received.

6) Many are antiviral and antibacterial which make them useful for many conditions of the body as well as being extremely disinfecting on surrounding surfaces and in the air. Many also are insect repellents.

7) Aromatherapy is used by people of all walks of life in a great variety of ways including relieving stress and its many symptoms, for respiratory conditions, as first aid, for aches and pains, for depression, for skin problems and even helping with more.

8) It is important to know that some essential oils: are irritating to the skin; should be avoided in pregnancy; and are toxic or cause sensitization. Some basic knowledgeshould be gained before using an essential oil.

9) Essential oils are mostly produced by steam distillation of plant material. Hydrosols are the water that is left over after distillation. Rose water is a well-known example of a hydrosol. Hydrosols are significant in their use because they do not have to be diluted but have the same uses as their essential oil.

10) Aromatherapy is the use of pure, therapeutic quality essential oils. It is not the use of scented body care and similar products, almost all of which are scented with cheaper synthetic fragrances. Nearly all the fragrances we encounter in perfumes, body & hair products and laundry & cleaning products are synthetic chemicals.


We do not recommend the internal use of any Essential Oils or Absolutes. • Never use essential oils as a substitute for necessary medical care. Always consult a qualified health professional. • Only the finest quality pure essential oils should be used in aromatherapy. • Use less rather than more. • Always keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. • Do not use essential oils on or near the eyes. • Do not apply essential oils neat (undiluted) to the skin or mucus membranes. • When in doubt, test for sensitization or phototoxicity. • If any sort of skin rash develops, discontinue use. Try another oil. 


Carcinogenic: Producing cancer. 

Convulsant: Producing or causing convulsions. 

Hepatoxic: Toxic to liver cells. 

Low level Less than 2% (10 drops per 30 ml diluant) dilution. 

Neurotoxic: Poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue. 

Phototoxic: A harmful effect produced or promoted by exposure to ultra-violet light. Can cause redness or burning of the skin. Increases the reaction of the skin to sunlight or tanning lights. 

Sensitization An immune reaction in response to contact with an allergen. A delayed hypersensitivity escalating with continued use of an oil that can cause areas of the skin (including other than where topically applied) and other parts of the body to react in an adverse way. 

Toxic: Poison.

For further information on using essential oils safely, we recommend the following books:

Schnaubelt, Kurt. Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT, 1998. ISBN: 0-89281-743-7

Sheppard-Hanger, Sylla. The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual. The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Tampa FL, 1995. ISBN: 0-9643141-O-X;

Tisserand, Robert. Essential Oil Safety. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1995. ISBN: 0-443-05260-3;

Watt, Martin. Plant Aromatics. The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Tampa, FL, 1994.




Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to assist the body's natural ability to heal itself. Essential oils are the fragrances extracted from flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, wood or roots of plants. They give a plant or flower its own particular scent. They are not "oily" but are highly volatile, meaning that they readily evaporate. The concentration is such that it takes, for instance, 10 large buckets full of orange blossoms to extract a thimbleful of Neroli essential oil!

All uses of essential oils can benefit mental, physical and spiritual health. Oils can be used in baths, inhalations (with steam or just drops on a tissue), for scenting — or disinfecting — a room (using a diffuser), for massage or just for applying to the skin (after they are diluted into carriers such as sunflower oil, or aloe gel), for repelling insects, for revitalizing sachets or potpourri, in cooking and in first-aid kits for minor cuts and burns. Owing to the intense concentration of essential oils it is recommended that they are NOT taken internally and in one day no more than 15 drops should touch the skin.

All essential oils offered by CHERYL'S HERBS are of the highest therapeutic quality available. This means they are not standardized and are of much higher quality than food grade oils. [The few standardized oils offered are “special interest” oils and are clearly marked.] None are synthetically reproduced.

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