Frankincense essential oil and cancer: Why EOs and chemotherapy don’t always mix

My friend just started taking chemo for colon liver cancer and she was taking therapeutic Sacra Frankincense from Young Living before she started. I read somewhere that you should not take the essential oil with 5FU if you are taking it for skin cancer because it will drive it in the skin deeper and make the chemo 10 times greater. That sounded good to me, but for some reason they say not to use Frankincense with 5FU. Since she has colon liver cancer, and not skin cancer, should she just rub it on her feet and side, stop taking it, […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:45+00:00March 26th, 2015|Q & A, Safety|15 Comments

Why Is Essential Oil Dilution Important?

dilutionHi Robert,
I’m having some trouble understanding my essential oil dilution research and was hoping you could clarify for me.

1.) Why is dilution so important if 95% of the oil evaporates when applying topically?

2.) Is dilution recommended due to sensitivities that could occur? I have used oils neat before and never had an issue.

Thank you for your time,

Hi Danielle,

It partly depends on why you are applying essential oils, and why to the skin. Much of my teaching is about cosmeceutical effects and products for skin care. Dilutions of essential oils are generally more […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:47+00:00May 9th, 2014|Q & A|13 Comments

Is there such a thing as re-distilled peppermint oil?

Hello Mr. Tisserand,

I am curious about re-distilled peppermint.
Someone wrote me recently and said that there was no such thing as a re-distilled peppermint. I’d like to know if this is true.

Thank you!

Close-up of Mentha piperitaShallow depth of field. Selective focusA few essential oils are ‘rectified’. Because this is also described as “re-distilled” it has given rise to the myth that many essential oils are distilled more than once – 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades, or distillations. But, once plant material has been distilled, it contains no essential oil – […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:48+00:00January 3rd, 2014|Q & A|8 Comments

Essential Oils, Stroke Patients, and Bergamot

brain image

Dear Mr. Tisserand,

I have been a student of essential oils for the last 15 years or so. I have what seems to be a defeating question. I’ve looked for the answer from some people in aromatherapy and tried also to find the answer online.
Is there any kind of research on essential oils and healing the brain, whether it be strokes or epilepsy?
I am particularly interested in essential oils on healing stroke victims.
I am not in the medical field. I would like to do a research paper on this but have hit […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:48+00:00December 9th, 2013|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|2 Comments

Which types of vitamin E prevent essential oil oxidation?


I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what type of vitamin E to use to slow the oxidation of essential oils, as in cream. Is it just tocopherol? Or some other type?

Thank you for your time.
Stephanie P.

PS. I enjoyed your webinar very much!

Hi Stephanie,

There are four principal isomers (chemical subtypes) of tocopherol:


There are also sub-types of each one.

You can use ‘mixed’ tocopherols: all four in various proportions. But my preference for essential oils is to use alpha-tocopherol, specifically d-alpha tocopherol. Here is a supplier that sells small quantities, as well as large.

By |2018-04-24T20:25:59+00:00February 20th, 2013|Q & A|10 Comments

Diaper rash safety


Hello there. I am in hopes you can please help me. I currently use the doTERRA line of essential oils and I also have used them to help my 18month old daughter. I have recently used ylang-ylang, roman chamomile, lavender and sandalwood to reduce stress and attempt to balance my hormones that have been out of wack since my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my husband is extremely skeptical as to the healing properties of EO’s as well as the safety of their use. He is concerned about the oils coming through my breast milk and causing issues for our daughter and recently […]

By |2019-01-20T16:49:56+00:00February 13th, 2013|Q & A, Safety|4 Comments

Q&A – Essential Oil Extraction Process

Hi Robert,
I have read that the essential oil extraction process can (but doesn’t’ always) include the use of solvents, and that many of the manufacturers buy and distribute oils that contain these solvents (claiming that they are pure). Can you recommend a manufacturer and or a distributor that can be trusted to sell high quality oils?

Dr. James Lembeck

Hi James,

Essential oils are extracted by steam or water distillation, citrus oils generally by expression. Other than water or steam, no solvents are involved. So there are no solvent-extracted essential oils.

Concretes, absolutes and resinoids are extracted using solvents, most commonly hexane. (Benzene used […]

By |2013-01-09T17:14:32+00:00January 9th, 2013|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|1 Comment

Tea tree & cloth diapers

Mr. Tisserand,

I am a Real Diaper Circle Leader with the Real Diaper Association (a not-for-profit organization). I lead the Ventura County chapter here locally where I donate my time to teach cloth diapering 101 classes as well as support the local cloth diapering community with monthly meetings which are all free to the public. The cloth diapering community has run into a bit of controversy regarding the use of Tea Tree Oil to kill microbes including bacteria commonly found in feces, yeast, viruses shed in feces and in rare cases, mold (usually related to improper storage).

Many moms have been recommending […]

By |2018-04-24T20:26:02+00:00August 10th, 2012|Myth-busting, Q & A|11 Comments

Wintergreen oil safety

Hello Robert,
I’d like to ask your opinion if I may. Recently I’ve had a western herbologist join my business and I am finding discussions with him to be very enlightening as well as confusing in a way. For instance, we were talking about wintergreen and how it is contraindicated in Aromatherapy because of its content of methyl salicylate. He then told me that they use wintergreen specifically for its methyl salicylate and this is true for some other “hazardous” oils. Although they don’t use essential oils in their practice but herbs, tinctures and herbal extracts – is this perhaps where […]

By |2012-03-28T06:30:10+00:00March 28th, 2012|Q & A, Safety|17 Comments

Interaction with SSRI medication?

Dear Mr. Tisserand,

I was treating a young woman with back pain recently. This young woman is on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) type of anti-depressant medication. Because her pain was acute I used a 10% blend on the specific site of pain that included German chamomile, black pepper, ginger and everlasting. About 30 minutes after the application she vomited and told me she suspected the essential oils may have caused her to be sick. She mentioned serotonin syndrome which is caused by an overload of serotonin in her system.

I referred to quite a few texts (including your book) and could […]

By |2012-03-20T17:01:04+00:00March 20th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A, Safety|11 Comments
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