Stumped about an ingredient or recipe? Got a health query? Here’s your chance to ask Sheree your most compelling questions! 

Q: What essential oils are used for what purpose? 

A: Nearly any essential oil can be used for inhaling or topically (sometimes after diluting), depending on what your goal is. Lavender is commonly used to relieve stress, provide relaxation and chill out. Peppermint oil is helpful for headaches, especially when applied to pulse points on your head such as temples and behind the ears. Peppermint oil can also bring headache relief when massaged into the skin webbing area on your hand between your thumb and index finger. Tea tree oil is popular for skin issues such as acne, bug bites and even splinters. 

Q: Are essential oils safe for children? 

A: Certain essential oils can be toxic if taken in large doses, so it’s important to treat essential oils like the medications that they are and keep them out of reach of children. When using essential oils on kids, consider diluting the product in a carrier, such as almond or coconut oil. Also, be mindful of which part of the body you apply the oil. Most oils can be applied to the bottom of children’s feet: they still enter the bloodstream quickly, but the tougher skin on that part of the body isn’t as prone to irritation as other areas might be.  

There are several good books that you might want to review before you introduce your child to essential oils, including Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Wordood and Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz. 

Q: Are essential oils safe for pets? 

A: Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways for pets, but it is critical that you know what you are doing. (Be cautious about searching the internet for guidance, as misinformation is everywhere!) Because your pet cannot tell you what is or is not working, you must closely watch their reactions. Signs to pay attention to include scratching, sniffing, nervousness or whining. Never use oils near your pet’s eyes, mouth, nose or genital area.

Cats can be especially sensitive to essential oils. Even dispersing certain oils in the air or using them as cleaning agents around the house can be detrimental. Make sure that your pet is able to go into another room if the cat finds a particular oil you’re using to be offensive. 

For additional guidance, see Holistic Aromatherapy for AnimalsA Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell or The Animal Desk Reference: Essential Oils for Animals by Melissa Shelton. 

Oil-Testimonials.com is a free resource about essential oils. Don’t know which oil to use in a particular situation? This easy-to-use website will help change that by offering thousands of personal examples, all of which you can search by keyword! Go to www.oil-testimonials.com