Aromatherapy – Facts & Fiction
There is a lot of incorrect and out of date information still being spread throughout the community by individuals and people representing groups who may appear to have Aromatherapy training.  
This type of misinformation is detrimental to Aromatherapy and means some people are missing out on the benefits of some wonderful essential oils. 
One essential oil that many people are being misled about is Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). Some incorrectly telling people that Lavender can not be used in pregnancy.  This is robbing women of the therapeutic benefits of Lavender that are a major advantage during pregnancy and labour.  
There are many other species of Lavender used in Aromatherapy the main one apart from the Lavendula angustifolia being the cheaper Lavendula latifolia which is often sold by unscrupulous businesses at higher prices because people do not realise that there are different types of Lavender Essential Oil on the market.  If you are paying more than $10 for a 10ml bottle of Lavendula latifolia then I would question the seller’s integrity.
There are essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy, by people with epilepsy and by people with high blood pressure.  There are also essential oils that should not be used at all.  Some oils can make you sensitive to the sun and others will irritate your skin.  However the vast majority of essential oils are totally safe. 
Never take Essential Oils internally, if this happens seek medical advice immediately.
If you are getting information from a book on Aromatherapy then make sure it is an up to date recent publication.  Aromatherapy research and clinical trials are ongoing, so information is ever changing and constantly being update.  Two of the best books available on the Australian market are The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (2nd ed.) and The Enchanting Art of Aromatherapy (4th ed.) both written by Salvatore Battaglia. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy is also considered internationally as the most comprehensive text book on aromatherapy.

Remember to make sure that you are buying pure essential oils not fragrance or perfume oils.  Fragrance or perfume oils are synthetic and have no therapeutic value.  So if you are paying $2 for a bottle of Lavender it is going to be synthetic and will more likely cause a headache than help it, you get what you pay for.  
The label on an essential oil bottle should state that its contents are 100% pure essential oil and list the botanical name (Latin name) of the plant that the oil was extracted from.
If you don’t know what essential oil to use then be intuitive, smell a few oils and see which one grabs your attention.  Find out the properties of that oil and more often than not you will find that it is just what you need. There are hundreds of essential oils available so try and experience as many as you can get a hold of.  Don’t just use essential oils when you are sick or as a quick fix to a problem, have fun with
Aromatherapy and incorporate it as part of your everyday routine you will really notice the difference.

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