Safe Use of Essential Oils

 

The following guidelines are intended to provide a beginner with a safe framework for exploring essential oils. If you’re interested in learning more, so that you can safely and effectively work more deliberately with essential oils, I highly recommend taking an aromatherapy course from a trained instructor. We also have excellent books available for you to consider.

  • Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid synthetic and fragrance oils.
  • If irritation occurs, discontinue use. I would recommend testing new essential oil blends on  a small patch of skin prior to full on use.
  • Avoid contact with mucous membranes, eyes and ears.
  • Use essential oils in well ventilated area.
  • Avoid internal or undiluted use unless you are working with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare practitioner. Safe essential oil use most often includes the use of carrier oils/creams and/or salts.
  • Store essential oils and vegetable/carrier oils away from light and heat.
  • Before using an essential oil, become familiar with its uses, safety and therapeutic properties.
  • Ensure all essential oils you purchase are authentic, 100% pure essential oils, and have been tested by means of Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometry. This testing assures that the oils you are purchasing have not been adulterated.
  • Angelica root, bergamot and citrus oils (in general) are phototoxic, unless extracted by steam distillation. Do not use potentially photosensitizing oils prior to going into a tanning booth or the sun.
  • Unless you have received clinical aromatherapy training, do not use essential oils in greater than a 3% dilution. Per 1 ounce of carrier, 5-6 drops of essential oil is a 1% dilution, 10-12 drops is a 2% dilution and 15-17 drops is a 3% dilution.
  • Use low concentrations (1-1.5%) for children, during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, and for the elderly, and ideally under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.
  • Essential oil use during the first trimester of pregnancy should be avoided.
  • There are risks associated with the use of some essential oils for individuals with asthma, cancer, epilepsy, clotting disorders or high blood pressure and/or low blood pressure. Always check before using essential oils like birch, hyssop, clove, sage, fennel, ylang ylang or wintergreen.