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FAQ

FAQ

{ general questions }

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the practice of using extracted essences of plants, essential oils, to promote the health and well-being of the body (human as well as animals), mind and spirit.  One may find many books, articles, websites that define aromatherapy.  There is a common thread in the definition --- the use of the following words:  healing, holistic, wholeness, art and science, body, mind.

What function is within the scope of an aromatherapist or an aromatherapy consultant?

An aromatherapist or an aromatherapy consultant role is to teach how to attain wellness using essential oils.  An aromatherapist or an aromatherapy consultant does not diagnose disease, prescribe drugs or perform invasive procedures.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic volatile liquids obtained from flowers, trees, roots, shrubs, bark, leaves, resins, seeds, fruit peels and bushes through various extraction processes.  They are volatile oils because of their ability to evaporate.   Essential oils carry the essence or spirit of the plant of origin.

Where are essential oils found?

Essential oils are found in the flowers, leaves, and fruit, but also in the roots, stems and in other parts of the plants.

Why do plants produce essentials oils?

  • They act as a powerful attractant to insects to ensure pollination
  • To attract beneficial insects that prey on the plant’s predators
  • To provide protection for the plant by repelling harmful insects 

How do essential oils work?

  • Through the sense of smell.  When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil, odor molecules enter your nostrils and move up into the olfactory receptors (where smell originates) and transmits information about the scent to the brain where it recognizes the odors that initiate the awareness of smell.
  • Essential oils also work through the skin.  The skin can absorb the small molecules of essential oils and penetrate through the pores of the oil secreting glands.  Once they enter your skin and into your bloodstream, the blood transports the essential oils to your internal organs and your lymphatic system. 
  • Essential oils have been well-documented to have some of the following properties:  stimulate circulation, relieve muscle spasm, alleviate pain, soothe sore muscles. 

Methods of Administration

  • Topical application – bath, compress, massage, ointment
  • Inhalation – direct inhalation, diffuser, vaporizer, humidifier, steam inhalation 

Safety Considerations

  • Always use the stated dose; a smaller amount often more effective
  • Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.
  • Keep away from light and heat sources
  • Do not use undiluted on skin
  • Be aware of individual sensitivities and/or allergies
  • Do not use on the eyes or near the eyes, or contact with mucus membranes.  Do not handle contact lenses or rub eyes with essential oils on your fingers. 
  • Conduct skin patch test if prone to sensitivities
  • Avoid the phototoxic essential oils with a history of skin cancer
  • Avoid phototoxic essential oils prior to exposure to sun.
  • Do not take orally except under supervision of a physician or health care professional
  • Know the contraindications of each essential oil or essential oil blend
  • Do not use if there is a preexisting condition, pregnancy or nursing without consulting a physician or health care professional.
  • Epileptics and those with high blood pressure should consult their physician or health care professional before using essential oils.
  • The use of essential oils is not an alternative to seeking medical advice from your physician or healthcare practitioner 

Skin Patch Test

A skin patch test is performed to determine sensitivity to particular essential oil.  Before using any essential oil, confirm the recommended dosage and follow the directions as written.  Individuals with a history of allergies, asthma, rashes, irritation or sensitivity should always have a patch test.

How to administer a Skin Patch Test

For accuracy, conduct the skin patch test using the proposed concentration of a single essential oil or essential oil blend.

To Test Blends Diluted in Carrier (Base Oil)

  • Wash and dry the forearm thoroughly with unscented soap
  • Apply enough of the essential oil blend to moisten but not saturate
  • Cover with sterile gauze; leave in place 24 hours, unless burning or irritation occurs.  If burning or irritation occurs, wash immediately with water and soap or wipe with a cotton ball saturated milk or vegetable oil.

To Test Undiluted Essential Oils

  • Wash and dry the forearm thoroughly with unscented soap
  • Apply 1-drop of the essential oil to the crook of the arm
  • Close arm (hand to shoulder) for five minutes
  • Open and close once again
  • If stinging or any irritation occurs, wash with water and soap or wipe with a cotton ball saturated with milk or vegetable oil 

Sensitivity

Sensitivity to an essential oil is an allergic reaction that usually occurs over a period of time.  The reactions may be visible in the form of a rash, sneezing, or shortness of breath.  Sensitivity to an essential oil may also occur after long-term habitual use.  If you are taking different medications simultaneously, you may develop a sensitivity to a particular essential oil.  Individuals who have conditions such as asthma, eczema, or hay fever may also be more sensitive too some of the components in essential oils.

To Test for Sensitization

  • Use the proposed essential oil concentration
  • Place in the crook of the arm and cover with sterile gauze
  • After 24 hours, check for irritation, remove, and then patch test again
  • Any sensitization reaction will usually appear within 48 hours. 

Irritation

Skin irritation is a result of an irritant component within the essential oil and usually occurs immediately.  The physical reaction is a sensation of heat and burning.  Immediate dilute with a carrier oil.

Phototoxicity

Phototoxicity occurs as a result of an interaction between a component in an essential oil, the skin and UV light.  Exposure to sun-bed radiation or natural sunlight can produce a skin reaction, such as pigmentation changes or burns.  Citrus essential oils such as; lemon, grapefruit, orange are phototoxic and should not be used when skin will be exposed to direct sun light or UV light.

Storage

What is the best place to store your essential oil?

  • Out of sunlight in a cool dry place
  • Heat, light, air and moisture generally degrade the quality of essential oils

Children and Aromatherapy

Children generally respond well to aromatherapy partly because do not have preconceived expectations of the results.  Essential oils can be used safely and effectively, provide precautions are clearly defined for each single essential oil or essential oil blend.  Baths, inhalations, compresses and air sprays can be used in assisting with the challenges of childhood discomforts.  The following safety precautions must be followed when using essential oils for children:

  • Never use an undiluted essential oil on a child.  Use 1% dilution in carrier oil.  Example 1% dilution or 3 drops in ½ oz or 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
  • Always dilute essential oils before adding to a child’s bath; 1-2 drops per bath is sufficient.
  • Never give essential oils by mouth.
  • Lavender, Mandarin, and Rose may be use in a 1% dilution.
  • Never attempt to treat serious illness without consulting a physician or qualified healthcare professional. 

Aromatherapy and Pregnancy

There are some essential oils that should never be used during pregnancy because either they are toxic or can cause miscarriage. Pregnant women should always consult their physician or health care professional prior to beginning any type of health care program.  Essential oils that should not be used are: Arnica, Basil, Birch, Camphor, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Savoury, Thyme, and Wintergreen.  It is well-documented that Rose may be used for emotional balance by diluting to 1% in ½ oz of carrier oil.  Upon request Spiritual Blends’ creates custom blends for pregnant women. Click here to contact us.

Aromatherapy and the Elderly

Essential oils may assist with relieving challenges associated with growing older such as joint pains, respiratory problems, poor memory, lack of energy, decreased libido, lack of confidence.  While I do not know of an eternal fountain of youth, the physical properties and fragrant influence of essential oils can help keep an aging mind sharp, spirit bright, and care for the body with degenerative conditions.  The essential oils in Spiritual Blends’ Special Care Blends are well-documented to have an affect on the muscular skeletal, respiratory, and endocrine systems; the essential oil blends in the ISLUMA Collection incorporate qualities are intended to encourage one or m ore of the following qualities:  peace, insightfulness, warmth, comfort, harmony, love, stillness, joy, peace, balance, and strength.

Safety Considerations for the elderly

  • Do not use undiluted.  Always dilute essential oil:  1% (3 drops) in ½ oz (1 tablespoon) of carrier oil
  • Always test a small amount in the crook of the arm to test for sensitivity.  See Sensitivity Section of FAQ above.
  • Do not use for extended periods.  A good rule of thumb is 7-10 days on and two weeks break before resuming protocol.  
{ orders, shipping and returns }

What are my payment options?

We gladly accept American Express, Discover, Visa or MasterCard; Debit / Pay Pal. Alternatively, you may choose to mail a check or money order, and your order will be shopped as soon as payment is cleared.  You may order via our online catalog, by mail, fax, by telephone, or email).

How quickly may I expect my order?

Orders will ship within three (3) business days from the order date; exceptions include out-of-stock items or sometimes during busy holiday seasons.  We make every effort to ship orders the same day.  You will be informed of any delays in your order and given the option of substitution or backorder for unavailable items.  Backorders will be shipped at no extra charge to you.  Please allow appropriate time for the shipping carrier to delivery your order after we have notified your of your shipping.  Delivery times depend on the carrier type you choose at the time of your order.  If there is a tracking number available for your order, it will be provided to you via-mail at the time of shipment.

Do you have “Free Shipping” options?

Our Free Standard Shipping option is for Order $100 or More and applies only to orders shipped within the United States.  (Our shopping cart will automatically calculate for qualified orders at checkout).  The method of shipment will be our choice and will be via either UPS Ground or USPS Priority Mail.  For additional questions click here to contact us.

What is your Return Policy?

Returns and Exchanges:  UNOPENED and UNUSED products in “SALEABLE” condition may be accepted within 30 days of delivery for return or exchange, with prior approval.  We will refund your initial shipping charges for the order but do not reimburse for the postage of returns or exchanges.  All returns must be accompanied by a Return Authorization Number (RAN), which should be placed visibility on the returned package.  Also include the reason for the return in the package.  Contact us for an RAN before attempting returns.  If are returning an item and paid for your order by credit card, a refund credit will be issued and should appear on your next billing statement. “Saleable Condition”  is to be determined and approved by representatives of Spiritual Blends. 

Damaged or Defective Goods.  It is suggested that you unpack and inspect your package as soon as possible after delivery.  Damage MUST be reported to Spiritual Blends within 48 hours of delivery.  Please retain all packing materials and damaged products for return of damaged merchandise.  A replacement for damaged products will be arranged as soon as possible after damage is reported and verified.   

Special Orders are not returnable or refundable after customer has given Spiritual Blends final approval.  We will ensure your customized product meets your expectation before final approval is confirmed.  Our goal is to provide the finest quality products and to make each customer experience a pleasurable one.  Please email us with any questions or concerns.   

Returns should be addressed to:
Spiritual Blends
Returns Department
P.O. Box 43895
Charlotte, NC  28215-7603

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