SAFETY STATEMENT ON ESSENTIAL OIL USE
The CFA takes the following positions on internal usage and neat/undiluted applications of essential oils:
- It is the position of the CFA that there is significant risk associated with ingestion of essential oils, whether short term or long-term use. Internal use of essential oils via vagina or rectum also poses these same risks. Risks may include unwanted side effects, irritation, sensitization, injury or worse
- Ingestion or internal use of essential oils for medical purposes should only be practiced by licensed medical practitioners who are extensively trained in internal medicine and essential oil pharmacology. Current and emerging research is pointing to inhalation and topical (diluted) applications of essential oils as the preferred and oftentimes most effective method of use
- We strongly encourage people to be weary of misinformation, to avoid internet fads and to seek credible information sources and qualified practitioners
The CFA does NOT recommend nor condone:
- the topical application of undiluted essential oils
- the ingestion of any essential oil in any manner
Essential oils can be irritating and sensitizing, and some chemical constituents have the potential to cause systemic toxicity if used improperly. Therefore, safe use is critical. CFA members are required to adhere to the CFA code of ethics, which disallows the application of undiluted essential oils or ingestion of oils.
Essential oils used as food flavouring, within various pharmaceuticals and natural health products, such as vitamins are regulated by Health Canada. In these circumstances the CFA suggests individuals use the guidelines provided by the regulatory body. Health Canada does not recommend internal uses of essential oils as a stand-alone product.
The CFA promotes the dilution of essential oils for all topical applications
- Current best practices indicate that the dilution of essential oils is key to safe, effective and responsible usage of essential oils
- Dilution of essential oils helps to reduce the potential for adverse reactions, allergies, sensitization, and photo-toxicity as well as to avoid any potential systemic toxicity or negative interactions
- Beyond risk reduction, other rationales for dilution include reducing overuse and over consumption and the promotion of sustainable practices
The CFA highly recommends and strongly encourages anyone interested in using essential oils, to consult with / seek advice from a CFA Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional, or other Certified Aromatherapist affiliated with a professional organization that maintains educational and practice standards for its members. Alternatively, one can seek quality education to better guide one’s own home use. To find a CFA Certified Aromatherapist, go to Find an Aromatherapist on our website.
As professional Aromatherapists, we do not promise to cure any ailment. Aromatherapy is a complementary practice which, when used properly, can help to alleviate symptoms, promote recovery and promote general feelings of well-being.
The CFA recognizes that there is a plethora of misinformation and potentially unsafe practices being shared with the general public. Many of these sources are well-intentioned, but often lack proper knowledge, education and training leading to the dissemination of potential misleading and harmful advice.
Professional Aromatherapists understand how to interpret and validate the various sources of research and information to identify the correct or appropriate information. They can then use that information to help them to further their own knowledge as well as to better inform their clients and the public about safe practices, best practices as well as dispel myths and misconceptions.
Qualifications of a CFA Aromatherapist
The CFA Certified Aromatherapy Health Professionals (CAHP®) have received a minimum of 400 hours of education and training and must pass two written exams before certification is awarded. In addition to this, all professional members are required to complete continuing education annually as well as agree to practice according to the CFA Code of Ethics.
In their studies and training, Aromatherapists learn about:
- essential oil chemistry
- safe practices and methods of application
- health assessment* and client records
- contraindications and potential drug interactions
- anatomy and physiology
- proper dilutions and blending techniques and more
The CFA has hundreds of professional members across Canada, as well as several approved schools. To find a school or an Aromatherapist, please visit www.cfacanada.com.
*Aromatherapists do not diagnose, and treatments are not a replacement for other medical care.
About the CFA
The Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists (CFA) is an association dedicated to promoting safe and effective Aromatherapy practices. We have set high standards of education and ethics to which our members and approved schools adhere.
The CFA, supports, fosters and educates professional Aromatherapists. We are dedicated to providing current, best practice information about the safe and effective use of essential oils and aromatic materials.