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© 2012-2020 Linda Mabry Lewis DBA Mountain Oils & Healing

Essential oils are very powerful substances. Depending on the oil you have acquired, you might need to dilute it before using on your skin. Always check the label for information. Your aromatherapist will also give you instructions on how to use your oil. Be cautious about using the internet for information — make sure you're reading info provided by a certified aromatherapist, and not just a distributor or regular user. Properly used, essential oils are very safe, but there are a lot of unsafe practices being promoted by people who think the oils can't hurt you or be misused.

To avoid contaminating your oil, don't touch the little dropper orifice that allows your oil to come out drop-by-drop. Hold the bottle at about a 45 degree angle over your hand or whatever you're dropping the oil into. You might need to rotate the bottle to allow air into it and enable a drop to come out. You should see a drop form — sometimes slowly, sometimes rather quickly, so be careful. As the drop starts to leave the bottle, twist the bottle and put it upright to stop more oil from coming out.

And make sure to put the lid back on the bottle as soon as possible. Essential oils are not like fatty oils — they are volatile, which means they evaporate quickly. If you are able to smell the oil, then molecules are leaving the bottle, lightest compounds first.

How you store essential oils is important, too. Some oils will actually change their molecular composition over time, and should not be stored longer than 12 - 18 months. Citrus oils are an example of this. Other oils, if stored in a cool, dark place, will last for years without losing their effectiveness. Actually, light and heat are the enemies of all essential oils, so all oils should be protected. Your refrigerator is a fine place to store your oils, if you don't have a cool, dark closet available. But it's probably best not to freeze oils. Contrary to what you may read on the internet or on Facebook, some pure oils WILL freeze in your home freezer. Just keep oils cool and in a dark place.

BUT — you CAN cook with oils, if they are designated as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FDA. Important note: If your bottle of oil says anything like "do not take internally" or "not for internal use", then do not cook with it. Personally, if it is an oil from a plant you would normally eat and it has that warning, I would not buy it at all. They (in general) won't be providing a therapeutic result, but they will most certainly flavor your food. In fact, with strong oils like oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, unless you're making gallons of sauce, just dip the end of a toothpick into the oil and swish it around in your sauce — don't put a whole drop in the dish! You can always put another toothpick-full in if you want more flavor, but it's awfully hard to make enough of something to dilute the flavor if you get too much!

I hope this brief introduction will help you feel confident with using your new oil.

Blessings, and Be Well ~