My first experience using essential oils was as a mother searching desperately for anything to help my daughter who had a rare form of epilepsy--and everything that comes with that: poor sleep quality, moodiness, developmental delays, etc. It wasn't long on my aromatherapy newbie journey, however, before I learned that while essential oils are generally safe, extra caution needs to be used with young children and those with epilepsy. In fact, some very common blends for immune and respiratory support contain essential oils that can lower the seizure threshold (making seizures more likely). And then there are drug interactions. Essential oils are not drugs, but even grapefruit juice is known to interact with many prescription drugs. Certain essential oils are known to do the same. Avoiding ingestion of essential oils lowers this risk of interaction, but doesn't eliminate it completely. This began my journey toward formal training as a certified Master Aromatherapist. I had questions I wasn't finding answers to elsewhere. I didn't want to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" and avoid all essential oils, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it safely. Now, I want to help others to do the same. I teach group aromatherapy safety courses and I do one-hour aromatherapy consultations where I take into consideration the client's entire health history and health goals. I carry a small number of my own blends which are geared toward the epilepsy and special needs community. I will only carry blends in my shop that are free from epileptogenic oils. I also avoid adding oils to my blends that are high in 1,8 cineole, as these oils can be dangerous when used around very young children. Additionally, I can make custom essential oil blends for the client as needed. As an Aromatherapist, and as a mother to a child with medically refractory epilepsy and autism, essential oil safety is my highest concern.
- Heather Little, Certified Master Aromatherapist