Welcome to The Library
Finding complete and accurate information about the use of essential oils can be difficult. Here are a few reliable publications from both online and offline to get you started. This list is not all-inclusive; it offers a few examples for each category that are meant to guide you onto a reliable tract of research for yourself. Our Library is ever growing, and, like the aromatherapy industry itself, ever changing. Remember to cross-reference all information against other credible sources - the more times, the better. And for knowledge on almost any topic, don't forget your own local library!
Official Discouragement Towards Ingestion:
Alliance of International Aromatherapists Internal Use Statement:
Alliance of International Aromatherapists Internal Use Statement:
"AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route ..." - (source: http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-safety)
Organizations that Research and Study the Safe and Effective Uses of Essential Oils
*please note: Clinical trials are often reposted online in incomplete and misleading context. Be sure to visit the original source and review the ENTIRE report for accurate and complete information!
RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR FRAGRANCE MATERIALS (RIFM):
'A nonprofit corporation established in 1966 to gather and analyze scientific data, engage in testing and evaluation, distribute information, cooperate with official agencies and to encourage uniform safety standards related to the use of flavor and fragrance ingredients. The RIFM Database is the most comprehensive, worldwide source of toxicology data, literature and general information on fragrance and flavor raw materials, classifying more than 5100 materials. The RIFM aims be the International Scientific Authority for the Safe Use of Fragrance Materials.'
Headquartered in Hackensack, NJ, USA with an office in London, England.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FLAVOR INDUSTRY
(IOFI): invests in sound science to support flavor ingredients safety.
INTERNATIONAL FRAGRANCE ASSOCIATION (IFRA):
'The fragrance industry takes its regulation seriously. All of its ingredients and compounds are rigorously assessed for toxicity and allergens. IFRA members account for 90% of the global production volume of fragrance compounds and the IFRA Code of Conduct prescribes the behaviour that is expected of them.'
"The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the IFRA Code of Practice.
This is the self-regulating system of the industry, based on risk assessments carried out by an independent Expert Panel."
Examples of Additional Research, Studies, and Trials:
National Cancer Institute. Aromatherapy and Essential Oils.
PubMed Health, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032645/
The International Federation of Aromatherapists. Research. Accessed online 2014: http://www.ifaroma.org/us/research
ClinicalTrials.gov. Essential Oils. U.S. National Institutes of Health:
Reference Material on Essential Oil Use and Safety
Tisserand, Robert and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. New York, NY, Churchill Livingstone, 1995.
Watt, M. "Essential Oil Safety: The Known and The Unknown." available onine at: http://www.aromamedical.org
"Are Essential Oils Safe?", University of Minnesota:
"...we recommend that you never eat or drink essential oils."...
"Aromatherapy". National Center for Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, Bethesda, MD: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/aromatherapy
Reference Material on Essential Oil Toxicity and/or Injuries
Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. Injury Report. 2014: Individual accounts of essential oil injuries.
Dweck, Anthony C. Toxicology of Essential Oils Reviewed. Personal Care, 2009. http://www.zenitech.com/documents/Toxicity_of_essential_oils_p1.pdf
National Center for Biotechnology Information. Eucalyptus Oil Poisoning.
Click on “complete article” within the abstract to read the full two page document.
National Capital Poison Center. Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused. 2014. http://www.poison.org/poisonpost/thirdedition2014/essentialoils.htm
Shannon, Borron, and Burns. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed. "Chapter 101: Essential Oils". Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2007.
Tea, Lee. Essential Oil Safety: Documented Side Effects, Injuries, and Deaths from Essential Oil Ingestion. 2014.
"A ***** ****** oils distributor in my city was hospitalised in Intensive Care Unit this year for severe renal/kidney problems attributed to her EO ingestion according to a nurse on the hospital. Scary and very worrisome. The distributors are misguided. Many are on chronic illness groups such as lyme disease groups promoting ingestion. Scary and what can you do when they don't want to listen to cautious reason. I feel sorry for the weak who are looking for cures." Maria M., Sept 2014.
"Had a customer come into the shop today with severe eczema on her neck, behind her ears and inside of elbows. A local Doterra rep told her to apply UNDILUTED lemon and peppermint oil to the areas. Not surprisingly, she said it burned the crap out of her and made it worse. I was appalled. I helped the customer by telling her to stop and desist. I tracked down to sales rep and called her and mentioned the FDA letter. She said her sales director (not sure of the title she used) told her to disregard that and to continue to recommend the oils as she was instructed." - Eva T., Sept 2014.
"I joined ***** ****** as a last resort for help with my daughter. I was told to apply all oils neat and to ingest EVERYTHING. I read stories some people posted where they had permanent damage. anyway on this group i'm in for ** a lady said her friends two year old drank 15 drops of peppermint oil. I said ingesting any amount is unsafe and posted a link to this site['s community]. All my posts were removed with a smart remark from the owner of the group saying it's completely safe and all of ***** ******'s oils are FDA approved." J.L., July 2014
(for more info essential oils and the FDA's "GRAS" designation see also: "Regulation" on this page, and related questions on our "FAQ" page.)
Finding a Licensed Aromatherapist
How Do I Find a Qualified Aromatherapist? http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/how-do-i-find-qualified-aromatherapist
Find a Registered Practitioner of Aromatherapy:
Individuals who have demonstrated core knowledge of aromatherapy and essential oil safety by passing a national examination may be registered by the Aromatherapy Registration Council. Find one close to home here:
Search for clinical aromatherapists worldwide:
The International Federation of Aromatherapists: http://www.ifaroma.org
International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association Inc.:
Self Regulation and Quality Standards
International Organization for Standardization (ISO):
Develops and publishes international standards in matters of science and technology, among other fields., to assure product safety, quality, and reliability. Establishes standardization thresholds for essential oil packaging, labeling, storage, and more. Also offers EO quality testing services. Direct certification is not offered through the ISO.
It is interesting to note that ISO standards do not necessarily set the criteria for what an individual aromatherapist may consider to be an oil of suitable quality.
The British Essential Oils Association
Develops and maintains general standards for the import, export, sale, purchase and production of products in the essential oils, oleoresins, aromatic chemicals and other related trade industries.
Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists:
Standards for aromatherapy certification in Canada .
Association Francaise de Normalisation (AFNOR):
Essential oil trade guidelines and standards for the European Union.
Government Regulation Related to the Business of Essential Oils
United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
A division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Establishes regulation guidelines for safety, effectiveness, and quality of products in the medical, food, and tobacco industries among others. Issues warning letters in matters of non-compliance of their established regulations.
FDA.gov, 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)
"A: Not necessarily."
United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
Regulates advertising claims and educates consumers to protect them against fraud. ftc.gov
In the UK -
"Can I report a website offering fake cures?
If you spot a website offering what you believe to be a fake cure or if you feel you are a victim of a bogus cure, you can contact Action Fraud, a part of the government’s National Fraud Authority.
Call them on 0300 123 2040 or visit the Action Fraud website at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
A List of Reputable Suppliers
View our consumer chosen, consumer ranked list at: http://essentialinfo.weebly.com/supplier-ratings.html
Proper Dilution Ratios
Dilution and Measurement Chart: https://www.naturesgift.com/aromatherapy-information/how-to-use-essential-oils/dilution-measurement-chart/
How to Measure Essential Oils: Quick and Easy Quantity Conversions: http://greenspirit.hubpages.com/hub/how-much-essential-oil
"Can Frankincense really fight cancer?"
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**The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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