Aromatherapy Tips

Introductory Guide to Hydrosols


Fresh, expertly produced hydrosols offer numerous benefits for skin care, emotional well-being, spiritual applications and so much more. When used correctly, they can be gentler to use than essential oils and are often recommended by clinical aromatherapists for children and pets when essential oils are too potent for use.

A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after steam-distilling or hydro-distilling botanical material such as lavender. The plant material used in the distillation process imparts the hydrosol with the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant. Learn more by reading AromaWeb's Introduction to Hydrosols.

Hydrosols offer countless benefits and can be used in an endless number of ways. See AromaWeb's Hydrosol Uses guide to learn more and read about many of the ways that you can incorporate hydrosols into your lifestyle.

View profiles for 38 Hydrosols and learn much more about hydrosols including general safety and shelf life info by visiting AromaWeb's Hydrosol Directory.

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What is Phototoxicity and How Does It Apply to Using Essential Oils?


Photosensitization and phototoxicity occur when phototoxic essential oil constituents (natural chemicals found in particular essential oils), particularly furocoumarins (FCs), react when exposed to ultraviolet light. Inflammation, blistering and reddening/burning of the skin are common.

Learn more and view a list of phototoxic essential oils by reading AromaWeb's Guide to Phototoxicity and Essential Oils.

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Sustainability Risks and Conservation of Essential Oil Bearing Plants

Conservation and Sustainability of Essential Oil Bearing Plants

It takes a HUGE amount of plant material to produce essential oils. For example, it takes all of the petals from 30-50 roses to produce a single drop of Rose Otto Essential Oil. [Source: Andrea Butje, The Heart of Aromatherapy (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2017), 6.]

We cannot assume that the essential oils that we have easy and reasonably affordable access to today will be available to us indefinitely if we do not each play our part in responsible usage, conservation and sustainability efforts.

It is so important for us all to do our best to use essential oils sensibly and spend time learning about which essential oil bearing plants are endangered or are at-risk.

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300 Shareable Essential Oil Images Available on AromaWeb

Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Images

Looking for essential oil information to share with your friends, colleagues and your social media audience? Visit AromaWeb's expanded Shareable Images area to choose from over 300 free, eye-catching images that can be used to share links to helpful essential oil articles, guides, recipes and oil profiles

View Shareable Images on AromaWeb

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Amazon and Bookstores are Flooded With Misleading Books About Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Buying Reputable Essential Oil Books

It's common for book publishers to automatically send me books or offer to send me books in the hopes that I'll include a review within AromaWeb's Book Review area.

For example, a publicist for a book publisher recently sent me a particular "essential oil" book. It took me all of five minutes to spot glaring errors and see that there was no reference to the author's educational background or length of experience in working with essential oils. I didn't even need to get beyond page 3 to see that she made mistaken claims about what the term therapeutic grade means. The author went on to make the broad claim that essential oils are directly evaluated by the FDA before they are allowed to go to market. That's just not true.

There are many more problematic books about essential oils on the market then there are reliable books. I don't bother including reviews of problematic books within AromaWeb's Book Review area because I want AromaWeb to feature only books that offer valuable information to readers and students.

The situation with the market being flooded with misleading and unhelpful essential oil books is getting worse. The increasing ability and ease for individuals to self publish has so many advantages, but the drawback is it also makes it easy for unqualified individuals to spread inaccurate information.

Even for books that go through a more traditional publishing process, it's clear that not all publishers do much to doublecheck the accuracy of an author's submitted work.

A problem with relying on books written by inexperienced authors is that the information can be untrue, misleading or unsafe. You are also much more likely to get ineffective results or miss out on important information that can make your use of essential oils much more rewarding and beneficial in your lifestyle.

Relying on the number of Amazon book reviews or overall rating for a book can also be misleading. The problematic book that I mentioned in my example above had over 70 reviews on Amazon, with most of those consisting of five-star ratings.

How to Buy Reliable Books About Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Above, I highlight the growing problem with misleading books flooding the market. However, I also want to emphasize and reassure you that there are a lot of extraordinarily helpful, invaluable essential oil books written by authors and educators that have extensive knowledge and experience working with essential oils. I would not be where I am today in my essential oil journey without access to these remarkable resources.

I wrote a guide for AromaWeb entitled What to Look for When Shopping for Essential Oil Books. If you haven't already, I encourage you to read it. Within it, I share a lot of helpful tips for selecting books.

How to Find and Purchase Reputable Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Books

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Aromatherapy for Animals

Aromatherapy for Animals

We love our pets so much, that it's understandable that we want to share the benefits that we achieve when using essential oils with them.

However, Essential oils must be used with great care on and around animals and pets. This holds particularly true for cats. Jaden

A few months ago, I adopted Jaden, a 2.5 year old cat that my daughter's friend could no longer care for. If I let myself, I could ramble on and on about his cute little silly self, but I'll restrain myself. :)

Cats can differ in their interest in essential oils. Our last cat Tigger, for example, always wanted to hang out in the kitchen when I was spending time in there blending and formulating with essential oils. I'd need to keep him in Ashley's room when making up more than a couple quick blends. Jaden, on the other hand, loves to check out my fresh cut herbs, but he hates the smell of essential oils. I'm glad for this because that means Jaden will instinctively retreat away from the kitchen if I'm blending.

Even for those of us that use essential oils in our homes regularly, there are some simple things that you can do to help ensure that your cat isn't overexposed to essential oils. For example, I mindfully diffuse only in my home office, and Jaden isn't allowed in my office when I diffuse. Outside of my office, it's easy for me to use an inhaler (I keep them neatly organized in a small lipstick holder) or fragrance testing strip. When using essential oil dilutions topically, I make sure that Jaden doesn't get too close to the region of my body that has the oil applied. Since diffusion shouldn't be done continuously and should be done mindfully, it's not too tough to ensure that your cat isn't inhaling essential oils.

Recommended Animal Aromatherapy Resources

Although I've been working with essential oils for almost 25 years, I'm not an expert on aromatherapy for animals. Similar to the concept of vets specializing in the care of animals and doctors specializing in the care of humans, there are aromatherapy educators and experts that specialize in the use of essential oils specificallly with pets.

Head on over to AromaWeb's Aromatherapy for Animals and Pets article to view details about a wonderful book on aromatherapy for animals and to learn about an incredible animal aromatherapy facebook group that is administered by Kelly Holland Azzaro (R.A., C.C.A.P., C.B.F.P, L.M.T.), past president for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Kelly not only maintains this wonderful resource, but she also offers courses in animal aromatherapy.

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Aromatherapy Monster Repellent!

Are your kids afraid of the boogieman, ghosts or monsters during this Halloween time of celebrations, haunted houses, scary costumes and horror movies?

AromaWeb's delightful Monster Repellent Recipe couldn't be easier to make (1 ingredient!) and leads to a soothing and softly aromatic room mist that your child can use to repel monsters, the boogie man and any other scary creature lurking in his/her mind, underneath the bed, in that dark closet or in the cold, creepy basement. Of course, I'm not suggesting that there really are monsters (remember this is all in fun!), but this spray may potentially help give your child control over these scary creatures in their minds. It may also gently help to combat your child's fears and anxieties and help sooth him/her to sleep. It's gentle aroma may also help to calm adult anxieties and fears.

I enjoy dusting this blog post off and re-sharing it each year, in fun, around Halloween. It was originally inspired by a delightful question submitted by a visitor to AromaWeb. Do you have a recipe request? Be sure to let me know.

Click Here to View the Recipe...

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Hurricane Harvey: How the Essential Oil and Aroma Communities Can Help

How the Essential Oil and Aroma Communities Can Help for Hurricane Harvey

I can barely articulate how saddened and shocked I am by the damage done by Harvey. So many of us wish there was much more we could do to help...

Those of us that have used essential oils to help support ourselves, friends, families and clients through traumatic events know how beneficial and comforting they can be. For example, I wouldn't have created AromaWeb twenty years ago if I hadn't experienced how profoundly helpful essential oils were to me during an extremely difficult period in my life. I'm not suggesting that using an aromatherapy inhaler, roll-on or other essential oil product will eliminate trauma, PTSD or magically remove the unspeakable stress that Harvey has caused, but they can make a difference to those impacted.

The American Red Cross and disaster relief organizations such as Americares are stepping up efforts to provide assistance to those impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

In addition to the wonderful works of these major organizations in providing relief, I'd really like to reach out to you to bring attention to the amazing work of the United Aromatherapy Effort and volunteers that include (but are not limited to) Amy Kreydin, the Barefoot Dragonfly and Sylla Sheppard-Hanger of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. The United Aromatherapy Effort provides assistance to victims as well as to the selfless first responders who also endure significant stress and trauma as a part of their service. View a touching Uncommon Scents Movie interview of Sylla talking about her experiences working with first responders after 9/11. You can view it on YouTube here.

Please learn more and help by following these links:

United Aromatherapy Effort Facebook Page - If you have facebook, please look to The United Aromatherapy Effort's Facebook Page for continuously updated information and to learn how you can help.

United Aromatherapy Effort - The United Aromatherapy Effort Web site isn't updated often. If you have facebook, please visit their facebook page to keep up to date and learn more about how you can help.

Aromatherapy Relief for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

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FDA Regulation of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Products

Botanicals in Test Tubes
On September 22, 2014, the FDA sent warning letters to Young Living and do-TERRA International, LLC. This indicates that the FDA will likely be keeping a much closer eye on companies that sell essential oils for holistic aromatherapy applications.

This will hopefully lead to positive changes for both consumers and vendors within the holistic aromatherapy community. However, it may also pose some big changes and challenges in how vendors market their oils and how consumers shop for oils.

Read AromaWeb's new FDA Regulation of Aromatherapy Products article to learn more...

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