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An EO crosses the different layers of the skin quickly and easily. It then reaches the bloodstream, spreading throughout the body. EO is found in the blood within a few minutes and in the exhaled air after an hour.
The cutaneous route or general route in aromatherapy applies to many conditions ranging from headache to digestive and dermatological disorders. Peppermint EO should not be applied over a large area of the skin or in baths because it creates a risk of intense hypothermia. The administration of an EO by the cutaneous route is carried out in different ways.
This method consists of applying a few drops of EO on the skin, without prior dilution with vegetable oil . The latter reduces skin irritation but slows the absorption of active molecules. Friction allows a large amount of EO to enter the body. The application of the EO is carried out near the diseased organ, for example in the stomach for a digestive disorder or else the bladder for a urinary infection. However, dermocaustic EOs cannot be used in friction. Likewise, sun exposure is prohibited after the application of a photosensitizing EO . The application of a pure EO must be carried out over a short period (3 days maximum), while for a treatment of several weeks, the EO must be diluted in a vegetable oil . For children, it takes 2 to 3 codex drops of HE 5 times a day.
The application of an EO using a compress makes it possible to prolong the contact time between the EO and the skin. Cold compresses push blood to deeper organs and are used to soothe a burn or inflammatory pain. On the contrary, hot compresses draw blood to the surface of the skin thus relieving muscle contracture or pain. Hot or cold, the compresses promote the passage of EO through the skin and help widen the treatment area.
There are 2 dosage strategies :
- Place 3 drops of pure EO codex on the compress then apply directly.
- Mix 5 to 6 drops of codex of EO in 100 ml of hot water (below 40 ° C), then soak the compress in the mixture before applying it to the affected area.
The compresses are however little or not used in children.
Massage has many virtues and an EO massage is suitable for both adults and children. Particularly suitable for circulation disorders and muscle pain, the massage soothes and relaxes, thus promoting the penetration of the EO.The latter is diluted beforehand in a vegetable oil which reduces skin irritation and prolongs the effectiveness of the EO. HE by slowing its absorption through the skin.
The choice of vegetable oil is made according to the pathology to be treated. Indeed, all vegetable oils do not have the same properties: Sweet almond oil goes perfectly with the sensitive skin of children because of its nourishing and regenerative capacities. Macadamia oil, for its part, has a toning power, thus improving lymphatic circulation.
EOs rich in phenols (oregano, savory) or aldehydes (cinnamon, cloves) however require greater dilution before skin application.
IN THE BATH :
During an aromatic bath, EO penetrates through the skin but also through the respiratory tract thanks to the inhalation of water vapor. However, all EOs remain insoluble in water. Their incorporation in the bath water therefore requires mixing beforehand with a dispersant (such as Dispersol available in pharmacies) or with almond milk for example. The mixture requires 10 drops of EO for half a teaspoon of dispersant. An ET can just as easily be incorporated into a general bath as in a foot or hand bath. A foot bath requires 4 codex drops of EO mixed with half a teaspoon of vegetable oil . The aromatic bath covers the entire body with EO and ensures prolonged contact with the aromatic molecules while providing a relaxing effect. Several ET can mix in the bath, without exceeding more than 3 ET
Not all EO can be incorporated in the bath, dermocaustic and neurotoxic EOs are not suitable for this type of administration. A bath lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, to be renewed if necessary during the day.