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Knowing your Oils


How well do you know the essential oils you use? Do you just pick an oil or oils you like and put a few drops in a burner or vapouriser? Choose one of the oils you use and really think about your relationship with it.

Are there particular times you use it? What does it make you feel? What images if any come to mind when you use it. What is it’s history? What conditions is it good for? What is its physical effect on you? Do you start to salivate when you smell it? – I certainly do with the citrus oils! Do you associate the oils with any particular place or time? –  Those of us from Catholic backgrounds will know Frankincense from the burning of the resin in church. Others may know it from Buddhist temples or other sources. Some oils remind me of particular clients with whom I have used those oils a lot. How would you describe the aroma without using the name of the plant the oil comes from?

Traditionally  words used for this include  fresh, dry, green, woody, earthy, pungent, floral. But you do not need to limit yourself to these. If you have two different bottles of the same oil, can you differentiate between them? If from different suppliers, you may well be able to. Do you have a preference or are they just different?

Learn about the plant the oil comes from. Does it grow natively in  your area? If not will it grow in a pot indoors? How does the climate it grows in relate to its aroma? With Frankincense, I would say the Brazilian one as opposed to the one from the Middle East has a greener aroma to it. How do the images you get on smelling it compare to where it is grown?

All these things and more will help you to get more out of the oils you use. This exercise is especially important for me as a therapist as it helps me to better understand which oils will help my clients the most. This is true of physical conditions but even more so when using oils for psychological help.

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