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Aromatherapy basics

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Absolute Essential Oils is a New Zealand based company that I have been obsessed with this since the mid-90's (its scary when I say that). Why am I stating a specific company and not just saying “essential oils are amazing”?

Well….it’s because not all oils are created equal. In my corporate life, I would burn essential oils in my office. I had a team member come in one day and state “whatever you were burning yesterday, it gave me a headache, but the oil you are using today, it’s really nice and not causing me any problems”.

When I thought back to the day before, I was burning another oil that stated it was organic, but it was MUCH cheaper than the oils I was buying from Absolute Essentials. It was at that point I realise that not all oils are created equal.

Our sense of smell produces reactions in our nervous systems. When we are exposed to a smell, that smell can cause a physiological response in the autonomic nervous system. Pleasant, natural, organic smells promote healing and relaxation, but exposure to acrid, or poorly developed smells can create a non-invasive stress response.

What is Aromatherapy and how does it work?

The word aromatherapy is used very broadly and with little standard control. So buying that beautiful blend that smelt so good in the discount store, may not have the benefits you think. It pays to check ingredient listings and research a company well before purchasing any "aromatherapy" products.

Absolute Essential as they are proudly a New Zealand company, committed to sustainability, and source only organic or wild grown ingredients which is used to create their organic pure blends. "Pure Blend" is the term used by Absolute Essential for their therapeutic synergies made from a number of complementary essential oils. Combining essential oils in this way creates a greater therapeutic dynamic than the single oils alone. Pure Blends that are professionally crafted with high quality oils offer a safe, natural way to support the body through many issues of imbalance. Pure Blends should only be used neat on the skin as per directions for each individual product.

It is the molecules in the extract and its vapor that interact with the receptors in our body systems - most importantly those connected to the endocrine and nervous systems which together regulate almost all physiological processes. We absorb these molecules into the blood stream directly through our skin, or through our lungs from breathing in the invisible vapors. To achieve a medicinal benefit with plant extracts the raw materials must be organically pure. Pesticides, fertilizers and processing chemicals will leave a residual presence in the plant essence.

The following recommendations come from Absolute Essential, and were prepared by a medical expert.

Essential Oil safety during pregnancy and for babies

Lavender Sweet A gentle Lavender hybrid with a delicate calming aroma, plus antiseptic and skin tonic properties.

0-6 months: diffuse 3-5 drops to purify air and enhance relaxation of mother and baby; 1 drop to collar of baby's jumpsuit to protect from germs and enhance relaxation; 1-2 drops in ¼ tsp Sweet Almond oil for diaper or skin rash.

6 month+: up to double above dosage.

During pregnancy: diffuse 5-10 drops, or add to bath in milk for relaxation.

Lavender Spike A more camphor-like Lavender that is still gentle enough for babies to inhale for respiratory issues.

0-6 months: diffuse 3-5 drops to purify air and enhance relaxed breathing for mother and baby; 1-2 drops to collar of baby's jumpsuit to protect from germs and enhance breathing.

6 months+: up to double above dosage.

Pregnancy: diffuse 5-10 drops for cold and flu or rub on chest and soles of feet.

Chamomile Roman 3% in Jojoba A soft-scented oil that is calming on the nervous system with gently soporific qualities.

0-6 months: rub 5 drops to soles of feet to enhance relaxation for sleep, or to pulse points; massage 5 drops clockwise to tummy for colic, or to neck and cheek for teething.

6 months+: up to double above dosage.

Pregnancy: 5 drops to pulse points to aid sleep; and pure Chamomile Roman essential oil: 3 drops in bath before sleep; diffuse 3-5 drops at bedtime; 1 drop in 1tsp honey as sleep remedy.

Rose 3% in Jojoba Tender rose is harmonising, nurturing and wonderfully tonic for both mother and baby. A quality dilution in pure carrier oil helps to sidestep the exceptional price tag that goes with thousands of hand-harvested petals in every ounce.

0-6 months: massage 5 drops to soles of feet.

6 months+: double above, or 10-20 drops all over body.

Pregnancy: massage to inner thighs at birthing to welcome baby into soft, nurturing aroma; apply to wrist, neck and ankles for calming, balancing perfume; apply around eyes to reduce dark rings.

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