Five years ago I became an aromatherapist. I was always interested in alternative medicine and how it could help when conventional medicine failed or was too invasive or debilitating. I felt the earth had more to give us than the use of manufactured synthetic products. I made sure my family ate well and emphasized natural foods so they would grow up healthy and wise. I tried to follow my convictions but unfortunately I became sick with a blood disease and found I had to take prescription drugs as there was no other way to help me. Although I had no choice but to take the drugs, I did have a choice on how I was going to approach the pain I was having. I researched many methods before I came across the properties and potential of essential oils. I found by using the oils it greatly helped me with pain and with the stress I experienced. I learned how to use them correctly and safely and wanted to share that with friends and family. I decided I needed more and went to a renowned school in the field and became certified. Now mind you, I was 60 years old when I decided to go back to school. Never did I dream I could study again, let alone delve into the sciences; chemistry and physics but I got through it. I have taken many courses since getting my certification and I am now enrolled in several advanced training courses.
I worked with many people but I felt there was missing something. I saw an ad on line from the Stein Hospice Group in NJ looking for a trained Aromatherapist. I applied for and was awarded the position. I had to go through additional training as I was working with the terminally ill. This organization is extremely caring and decided to try Aromatherapy with their clients to help them and their families get through this difficult time of their lives. I am so glad they chose me to help them and I enjoy working with their team. They all have hearts of gold and really care about their clients.
People that need hospice are going down the last trail of life. Many have fears and anxiety of what is going to happen next. Many have Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia and cannot take care of themselves anymore. It is not just for those who are passing on. Aromatherapy is an excellent alternative as long as it is done safely. I learned that many of these organizations do not know how to use Essential Oils correctly. While their intent is to help patients, improper use can actually make it worse. This lack of adequate training has manifested itself in the use of the oils neat (undiluted) on people whose skin is very thin and cannot handle the intensity. Others are using Oils in diffusers but with the wrong dilution (too many drops). I have the ability and have chosen to help this hospice organization use the Oils correctly so as to provide the most effective care to these very special patients
Some patients with Alzheimer’s disease talk to themselves about their past experiences or find themselves living in the past and it can be quite frightening.
Prior to seeing residents, the Hospice sends me an intake form that gives me medical info, allergies they may have, likes and dislikes. This helps me evaluate what is needed and also helps me to decide what oils can be used safely. It is not easy trying to figure out what is needed for each individual. I first have to check to make sure that the selected oils will not negatively interact with or counter the effects of the medicines they are taking. I have to query the family members to determine if there is a smell they like or dislike. I have to be sure they are not allergic to any specific plant.
I am hoping through the seminars I give and my work at these nursing homes, more will open up to the potential of essential oils, hydrosols and how Aromatherapy can help them or those they love or care for.
It touches my heart that aromatherapy can work for both the elderly and those who are waiting to move on. I will continue to help those in need, despite the difficult paths I must follow.
If you want to take a look at the paper I wrote that explains more please go to
My good friend Emily Carpenter has this wonderful Blog called Marvy Moms. It started out as a coupon blog and became so much more. Now it is all about Aromatherapy and Herbal facts and has wonderful information on it. Recently she started a section called "Snapshots of an Aromatherapist" and has been interviewing those who are Certified in Aromatherapy. She recently featured me. I am putting in the website but please read all that is there.
Skin sensitization is a type of allergic reaction. The oil may not produce any reaction on the first contact, however once the allergen has penetrated the skin, the body’s immune system reacts to fight off the invader causing a rash on the skin.Sensitization reactions can also take the form of inflammation, breathlessness, nausea or headache. It is actually possible to become sensitized to any essential oil even Lavender which is supposed to be one of the gentlest of all Essential Oils. The other problem that arises is you can be sensitized for life from an essential oil and can NEVER use this oil again.
One should also do a “patch test” prior to using any oil so you know in advance if you may be allergic to that oil. You can do this by applying the essential oil (with a carrier oil) to the inside of your elbow. If there is no reaction within a days’ time you should be fine.
6 drops of Essential Oil = 1 large lemon
It takes around 30-60 roses to make 1 drop of oil- and therein lies the price of rose, and the intense concentration
7 lbs of Lavender to make 30 mls (1 oz)
Would you consider rubbing 60 roses on your skin? I would hope not!
This is why it is so important to use a carrier oil and to dilute the oils properly.
There are certain oils which are more high risk to sensitization. They are as follows: Bay Pimento racemose, Cinnamon bark Cinnamomum zevlanicum, Clove Bud Syzgium aromaticum, Citronella Cymbopogon nardus, Cumin Cuminum cyminum, Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus, Lemon verbena Lippia citriodora, Oregano Origanum valgare, and Thyme ct. thymol Thymus vulgaris. Please use great care when using these oils.
Everyone says Aromatherapy works, I know that by those I have worked with, including myself and my family but I would like to know from all of you how it has helped. Please describe what you use essential oils for, and how it has made a difference in your life. Please put a Reply in the form below. Thank You.
This can occur when certain essential oil constituents, particularly furanocoumarins, (natural chemicals found in particular essential oils) react when exposed to Ultraviolet UVA light.
Inflammation, blistering and reddening/burning of the skin are most common to occur.
Citrus oils, as a group, are generally considered to be phototoxic. However, not all citrus essential oils are phototoxic, and the method of extraction as you see in the picture below.
You should not use these essential oils in creams or lotions or lip balms that stay on your skin while you are in the sun.
A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after steam-distilling or hydro-distilling botanical material such as lavender. The plant matter used in the distillation process imparts the hydrosol with the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant.
Unlike essential oils that should be diluted prior to application to the skin, hydrosols are much gentler than their essential oil counterparts, it is prudent to treat hydrosols with respect and follow sensible safety precautions. Though hydrosols are generally considered safe for topical use, everyone is different. It is sensible to conduct a skin patch test when trying a hydrosol for the first time. As with essential oils, the rule of thumb is that less is more. Immediately prior to use, consider diluting your hydrosol further so that you use the least amount of hydrosol needed to achieve your desired result and keep from using up your hydrosols as quickly. Hydrosols contain only 0.002 – 0.005% essential oil molecules in 99.9% of the watery cellular water
They are milder and often very effective. They can be used as a room spray and often can be taken in drinks. Just remember 1) use moderation, 2) do not spray directly into the face of a child or pet,
3) use herbs and hydrosols in the bath – about ¼ cup/bath for children and 4).. They can be uses diluted as a diaper rash helper in babies, non diluted as a spray for sleep issues, itchy skin and so much more. The best place to store them in your refrigerator. Take a class with someone who knows and has real education and can teach you like I can all about using them.
Undiluted Use of Essential Oils On the Skin Can Be Harmful and Potentially Cause Severe Irritation or Sensitization.
Treat essential oils with the same care that you treat medicines. If The symptoms of sensitization can vary from individual to individual, but think of it like a skin allergy that results in a severe and/or itchy rash. More severe cases of sensitization can potentially lead to respiratory issues or apparently even anaphylactic shock. Once you develop sensitization to an essential oil, you are likely to remain permanently sensitized to that essential oil, even if you begin to adequately dilute it. You may also develop a reaction to other essential oils as well and will also experience reactions to products that contain these oils.
Always do a patch test prior to using essential oils, just to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to the oil. Essential Oils are wonderful but you need to know how to use them properly. The best way is with education and finding a good Trained Aromatherapist.