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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Episode 67 (Epilogue): Aromatherapy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond

  On tonight’s show, Alisha Sexton joined Ryan and Cheryl to discuss aromatherapy during pregnancy, labor, and with children. Alisha is a graduate of the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy, a Certified Personal Trainer, and has been a Licensed Esthetician since October of 2009 after attending Florida College of Natural Health. Alisha is the creator of Graceful Tides; all natural skin care products available only at Whitewave Bodywork.

                We began the show by talking about what, exactly, essential oils are. Alisha described them as “the aromatic, volatile liquid that is within many shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds,” which are typically extracted via steam distillation. She shared with us the importance of differentiating therapeutic grade essentials oils from adulterated oils, the latter of which may be cheaply distilled, less pure, and with more potential for allergens and other harmful side effects. This is particularly important considering there are no labeling laws for essential oils. Alisha recommended the Young Living brand.

                Alisha also discussed the importance of diluting essential oils, especially during pregnancy or when using with children. Because oils are not water soluble, this must be done with a vegetable oil. She also noted the importance of consulting a care provider before beginning a treatment plan involving essential oils, and informed us that there are some oils which should NOT be used during pregnancy (listed at the bottom of the epilogue.) When used properly, Alisha noted that essential oils may have many positive effects for pregnant and laboring women, such as nausea relief and relaxation. For use during baths, Alisha noted the importance of using Epsom salt to help make the oils more soluble in the bath solution.

                Our discussion with Alisha ended with some of the other ways essential oils can be used, including cleaning and for perfume. She also gave us her recommendations for her top 5 essential oils, which were peppermint, tea tree,  eucalyptus, and ginger, as well as some recommendations for book, namely Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children by Debra Raybern and  the Young Living Pocket Book.
Stay tuned for Cheryl's experimentations with essential oils and laundry!

Safety Notes about Essential Oils:

Keep oils out of ears, eyes, and other mucous membranes. Citrus oils (such as orange or lemon) can ripen skin in the sun, so do not apply these oils to areas that will be exposed when you know you will be outside for long periods of time. If using oils on babies or small children take extra care to dilute properly.


Oils Not to Use During Pregnancy:

Angelica, Aniseed, Basil, Cedarwood, Chamomile (german, mixta, and roman), Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cypress, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper Berry, Marjoram, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Neroli, Nutmeg, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Pine, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang.

Oils which may Accelerate Labor Once it is Brought on:

Fennel and Clary Sage

Oils Best for Childbearing Women:

Benzoin, Bergamot, Chamomile (Blue,) Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender (although it should be avoided during the first trimester,) Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Orange, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree.

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