Ep. 33 Essential Knowledge: Essential Oils

In This Episode

Joining Neal today is the Founder and Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger.

Essential oils have become ubiquitous, especially in a more holistic lifestyle, but there is a proper and improper way to utilize them- and it’s Sylla’s mission to make sure we know what we’re doing.

In this podcast, she explains the basics of aromatherapy, gives us her formula for dilution of the oils and explains why undiluted oils should never be applied topically.

Neal and Sylla discuss why essential oils should never be ingested, and the severity of the allergies ingestion can cause.

Other topics they cover include pricing, avoiding pyramid schemes, and essential oil quality.

Topics Discussed

  • How she became an advocate
  • The importance of diluting essential oils
  • Undiluted oils used topically can lead to allergies including anaphylaxis
  • Her dilution formula
  • Why oils should never be ingested
  • Why oils should only be inhaled (aromatherapy)
  • Quality v price
  • Losing oils to monopolies and overuse
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Testing for purity
  • GRAS determination from the FDA

All About Sylla Sheppard-Hanger

Sylla Sheppard-Hanger is the Founder and Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in Tampa, Florida. She brings forty years of experience and personal research into the practice of aromatherapy and essential oils.

Sylla is the author of The Aromatherapy Practitioner Correspondence Course and The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, the latter of which is a complete reference book with over 350 aromatic plant extracts and phytochemicals, clinical and botanical indexes. She also wrote and published the Aromatic Mind and Aromatic Spa books.

Since 1996, Sylla has also been involved with an on-going research project called Psychosocial Aromatherapy Research Project (PARP) with Dr. Trevor Stokes from the University of South Florida.

She formed the non- profit organization United Aromatherapy Effort which helped out after the September 11th tragedy and continues today.

Sylla set up and has maintained the Injury Reports database since 2014. In 2017, she received the Outstanding Contributor award from the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA), where she also serves on the Board. She is a Board member for the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC).

Sylla also volunteers her time and aromatic counseling skills to organizations within her community, and she continues to maintain her private aromatherapy practice in Tampa, Florida, where she resides with her husband and one cat.

Dr. Neal Smoller, Holistic Pharmacist

About Neal Smoller

Dr. Neal Smoller, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist: and owner of Village Apothecary, an independent pharmacy in the most famous small town in America—Woodstock, NY. He’s also the host of the popular wellness podcast, The Big Mouth Pharmacist.”


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