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Bioavailability of Essential Oils

In recent years, the use of essential oil has become increasingly popular. And with good reason. Essential oils and aromatherapy are wonderful and you can achieve a lot with them. What many people don't realize, however, is that essential oils are not always safe to use and that there is much more involved in applying it safely than "a few drops by feeling".

Earlier this year I already wrote a post about the administration routes of aromatherapy. A good overview of the ways in which you can use essential oils. If you haven't read that post yet, I highly recommend that you do.

And just a disclaimer in advance, this post is mainly intended to be informative. If you really want to make use of aromatherapy, I strongly recommend that you contact an aromatherapist who has also studied to practice the profession. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

BIOAVAILABILITY | what's that?

If you want an essential oil to be useful for your body, so that it has an effect, it must first be available for your body to use. The bioavailability of a substance indicates how much of it (a percentage of the administered dose) gets available and unchanged into your bloodstream for your body to use.

The essential oil does not directly enter the bloodstream, if it does, then you have a problem... The components of the essential oil however, they can enter the bloodstream to a greater or lesser extent. How big the bioavailability is, depends on a number of factors:

COMPONENTS | which oil do you choce?

Certain components enter your bloodstream unchanged more easily than others. This has to do with various things, such as the size of the molecules, but also the extent to which the substance is soluble in water or fat. With its solubility, the route of administration also comes into play.

TOEDIENINGSROUTES | een olie is geen gel

The administration route also makes a huge difference. For example, your body absorbs an essential oil faster in a gel or cream than in an ointment, which contains much more fat. Keep in mind that fast is not always desired!

Oil does not dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in fat. A gel is mainly water. For me, the image of water droplets pushing the oil droplets into the skin always appeals to the imagination. The higher the percentage of water in your preparation, the more water droplets push the essential oil into the skin. The proces will then be faster. An ointment is mainly fat, which is close friends with the essential oil and will therefore push it much less hard. The proces is therefore slower but gradual. So there is a lower percentage for longer in the bloodstream.

This is based on application to the skin, but ingestion is of course also possible. I really don't recommend doing this on your own. This can also be quite dangerous, so do this ONLY UNDER THE GUIDANCE of a CERTIFIED AROMATHEAPIST. Furthermore, the amount of the essential oil that enters the blood unchanged through ingestion is often much lower than when you apply it through the skin. This is because you are dealing with the first pass effect. When ingested, the substances quickly pass through the liver, which then converts them so that you can be removed form the body.

THE RECEIVER | my skin isn't yours

Then there is the receiver. As I explain in this post about diluting, a baby's skin cells are much further apart. This means that the components of the oils enter the body more easily through the skin. The bioavailability is therefore higher. In the elderly, the skin is thinner, which also makes it easier for the oil to penetrate the skin. For the safe use of essential oil in children and the elderly (and in general), I strongly recommend reading the post on diluting essential oils.

Then there is the case of damaged or irritated skin, which also lets through more. And of course everyone's skin is slightly different. It is therefore important to always take the condition of the skin of the recipient of your products into account.

In addition, the metabolism of the recipient plays a major role. If your body metabolizes the components of the oils faster and removes them, there will be less left for your body to use.

That was it for today. Was this information new to you or did you already know most of it? For now, goodluck with the next steps on your bridge and I wish you all the happiness and an amazing rest of your day.

❤ Eva

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