• Louise

Clarifying "a few drops"

As I am fairly new to the world of blogging about my passion and how aromatherapy can be used help us in our daily life’s my research often brings me across some startling articles on the worldwide web. I appreciate this is the case with everything on the internet these days as it is an open platform for opinion and I wholeheartedly agree with free speech but when it comes to seeking advice on using essential oils we have to be cautious. One “tip” I stumbled upon was “Sprinkle a few drops of lavender onto your toddler’s bedding to help them calm and drift off into a peaceful sleep”.

As a qualified aroma therapist my first problem with this is that there are hundreds of different botanical types of lavender plants. Some are cloned, some are seeded, some are grown high up in the French mountains and others are grown in Norfolk. While all lavender plants contain essential oil, the oil in each plant is different chemically due to variations in species, location and weather! They all might have the recognisable lavender aroma, but will not have the same pharmacological effects on you or your family. For example, if you sprinkle a few drops of spike lavender around a toddler’s bed rather than drop off to sleep, they could be up racing around or having a very restless night! Some lavender oils are better for arthritis, some for skin and some for stress and insomnia.

The lavender oil needed to help promote calmness and sleep is True Lavender – Latin name Lavandula angustifolia. This lavender is not usually found in the shops in its original, unadulterated form so it best to contact your local aromatherapist to purchase a bottle. True Lavender, to be effective, should be steam distilled and put straight into a bottle so do check with your supplier on this. It is important to use good quality essential oils to promote health and harmony.

The next issue is in reference to the ‘few drops’ (I have found this phrase used often). Is this 2 drops or 10 drops? With the potency of essential oils, this is an important question indeed. Especially since 2 drops of true lavender will certainly promote sleep, but 10 drops will have the opposite effect! Just as the specification for the lavender oil is important, so is the dosage.

Essential oils are energy in a bottle. Just the right amount of energy needs to be given to the individual to encourage the needed response. So instead of taking everything we read as gospel, we should be checking our sources and asking them questions. Any professional will be happy to give advice. Aromatherapy is more serious and more potent than the modern world would have people believe, as much as it can perform greatly to enhance wellbeing and bring balance to you and your family it can also be unsafe if inappropriately used.

Always seek the advice of a professional aroma therapist as often people selling you the oils have no formal qualification. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful, arsenic is an element found in nature after all.

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