Thursday, 12 July 2012

Essential oil dilution

Its FEMA who issue the designation GRAS generally regarded as safe and as you say only in respect of the use of oils typically in 0.01% dose for their aroma (what gives food and drink its flavour). The FDA only comment on one or two oils.

In fact with the exception of tea tree and yarrow most common oils are used in food and drink but only in such low doses. Besides anything else it only takes such low doses to register an aroma with the nose. Higher doses and you spoil the flavour and risk sensitisation.

In the 1-4% range we are talking beauty products (creams 1% wash off shampoo 4%). In the 5-10% dilution range for specific conditions we are talking clinical aromatherapy use by or sanctioned by qualified MDs or Nurses. Yes over the counter neat in gel capsules for a limited number of oils for a limited number of conditions for a limited amount of time.

Ingestion of 'active' substances is not really what the holistic approach is about as I understand it. Infection apart more important is the trained observational and personal skills of the practitioner, the psycho-therapeutic properties of the aroma and methods of application like touch. We are talking about what MDs call the "worried well". Anyone who is ill should see a doctor. 

Ian Brealey

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