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Essential Info on Essential Oils

Essential oils are aromatic liquids extracted from flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, and trees. There are hundreds of essential oils, and they are used for everything from insect repellents to aromatherapy and fragrance.


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Be sure to use 100 percent pure oils, and exercise caution. Essential oils can burn the skin and should not be ingested. All the terpene essential oils are disinfectants; they include thyme, sweet orange, lemongrass, rose, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, orris root, birch, tea tree, and lavender. These oils serve many purposes because of their antiseptic and antifungal properties.

Better Basics for the Home recommends these oils as disinfectants, mold eradicators, air fresheners, and in body care products. They are also used as preservatives. Essential oils are commonly used for fragrance in potpourris, air fresheners, sachets, and even as a rinse for clothes, and are available in health food stores and from herb suppliers.

Caution: When pregnant, avoid the essential oils of pennyroyal, sage, wintergreen, basil, myrrh, and thyme. Also, essential oils can harm the eyes, so be sure not to get shampoos, rinses, or conditioners in the eyes. Don't add more than three drops of essential oil per ounce of base preparation used near the eyes.


Excerpted from:


BETTER BASICS FOR THE HOME: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living
Copyright 1999 by Annie B. Bond. Published by Three Rivers Press.
Reprinted with permission of the author.



(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)



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HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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Essential Info on Essential Oils:  Created on July 14th, 2007.  Last Modified on April 16th, 2010


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About Annie B. Bond

Annie B. Bond

Annie B. Bond has more than 20 years of experience as a leading authority, writer and editor about the connections between the environment, personal health and well-being.


Annie has authored four books, including: Home Enlightenment (Rodale Press, 2005), Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Clean & Green (Ceres Press, 1990), and The Green Kitchen Handbook (with Mothers & Others; foreword by Meryl Streep) (HarperCollins, 1997).


Annie is the official green living expert for Maid Brigade and its Green Clean Certified system.





Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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