Q&A: spilled essential oils discolor skin

Q&AJoanne L. writes:
Hi Robert, I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the following – a short course student of mine works in an essential oil / fragrance suppliers. Recently she poured an unspecified amount of Lemon Scented Myrtle oil over her leg into her shoe which she continued to wear for a number of hours until the end of the day. Her foot and leg turned an orangey red for over a week until she went on holiday and swam in the pool. The same student also spilled lemongrass […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:07+00:00 August 11th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|3 Comments

Q&A: Tea tree oil & hospital superbugs

Q&AQ: I have heard that tea-tree oil is one of the only things that can be used to help combat the superbug in hospitals – is this right?

A: I presume you are referring to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA (there are several other antibiotic-resistant bacteria.) One of the current problems being faced in hospitals worldwide is the increasing resistance of dermally carried MRSA to soaps and ointments intended to eradicate it. These contain active ingredients such as mupirosin, triclosan or chlorhexidine, but bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to these.

In vitro studies […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:07+00:00 August 4th, 2011|Q & A|2 Comments

Q&A: Lavender oil and cancer

This question combines two recent topics – lavender oil and cancer – and shows that strange information continues to swirl about…

Q&ABeverley H writes
Hi Robert
One of the first references I use when looking up contra-indications is your book with Tony Balaczs – Essential Oil Safety. I understand that you are working on a new edition so no doubt there is more information available than is presently in the book I have.

This morning one of my graduates contacted me. An essential oil supply store in her area has added a caveat to […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:08+00:00 July 28th, 2011|Q & A|4 Comments

Q&A: Ylang-ylang safety in perfume

Q&ACory T asks
What do you think is the upper safety level for Ylang-ylang in an oil based perfume? I have looked at the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) guideline and I’m not sure what to think about it. Thanks if you have an answer. I would appreciate it.


Hi Cory, thank you for your support! I would go along with the IFRA guideline of 0.8%. Ylang-ylang is, relatively speaking, one of the most skin-reactive essential oils. I don’t always agree with IFRA guidelines, but I think this is a good one.

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:08+00:00 July 21st, 2011|Fragrance, Q & A|4 Comments

Q&A: How Many Oils Can I Blend?

Q&AHow many of your favourite oils can you mix together before you lose the plot, so to speak? And are, say, three stress-relieving oils blended together more effective than one on its own?


If you want something for, say, aching muscles or sinus congestion, then “fragrance impact” is less important. However, if you are looking for an ideally-proportioned, wonderfully-smelling blend, most people find that if they mix more than 4 or 5 oils together they begin to, as you say, lose the plot.
You have to remember that each essential oil is composed […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:09+00:00 July 14th, 2011|Fragrance, Q & A|4 Comments

Q&A: Blue Chamomile for Bronchitis

Q&ALinda W. says
My daughter has Bronchitis really bad! My question: Can I use Chamomile instead of Roman Chamomile? I don’t have any & my health food store just has Chamomile. I want to make a rub & an inhalator by combining Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile & Eucalyptus. She is 33 yrs old.


Hi Linda,
There are 2 chamomiles, Roman, and “blue” (often called “German”). The blue oil is going to be more useful anyway. It should be quite a deep blue color.
Good luck,

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:09+00:00 July 7th, 2011|Q & A|2 Comments

Q&A: Essential Oils Can Help Dry Scalp, Dandruff

Q&AHow can I use essential oils to help my dry, flaky scalp?

Every day we lose dead skin cells from our scalp, and when more than usual are lost they clump together forming the white or grey flakes we call dandruff. Dandruff can form when the scalp is either too dry or too oily. Recently a fungus called Pityrosporum ovale, which lives naturally on the scalp, has been implicated in the development of dandruff.

scalpTea tree oil is active against Pityrosporum ovale and in […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:10+00:00 June 30th, 2011|Q & A|2 Comments

Q&A: Essential oils for pain management

Q&AWendy N. writes:
Hi Robert, I trust this finds you well. Can you direct me to any research that discusses the use of essential oils & aromatherapy in pain management please? I am currently doing some training at an aged and palliative care facility and this is one of the topics they wish me to cover. Thanks and warmest regards
Wendy 🙂


Hi Wendy, well the simplest thing to do is to go HERE,
and this is probably more than you want, but I don’t have an alternative, simple answer at this point. […]

By | 2018-04-24T20:26:10+00:00 June 23rd, 2011|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|Comments Off on Q&A: Essential oils for pain management
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