Recently I have come across a couple blog posts that have concerned me. There is soooooo much information out there about essential oils and soooooo many people telling you how to use them! How do you know what to do? Who do you trust? There is a right and a WRONG way to use essential oils. How do you figure out what ways those are?
The only thing I can say is do your OWN RESEARCH!
I really would love everyone’s feedback so please, please let me know what you have been told and what questions you have! Please leave us a comment!
So, I know I just told you to do your OWN research, BUT I have done a little for you and then you can start here and see what else you can find!
“An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam.
Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims that essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage or diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense.”-Wikipedia
I thought this post was on Essential Oil Safety 101?! It is 🙂 I just wanted to give you a little bit of background on essential oils!
Diluted vs. Neat
This one baffles me EVERY time I hear someone talk about how you should use essential oils neat (undiluted). I am going to say this OVER and OVER again! ALWAYS dilute essential oils! Here are just a few of reasons:
- Essential oils evaporate very quickly!! The reason for this is because the essential oil has just evaporated! If you dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, they won’t evaporate, meaning, you can use LESS essential oils. Dilution allows a smaller amount (meaning a few drops) to be spread over the whole body, it traps in moisture and helps with the penetration into the skin.
-If you are being told to almost never dilute essential oils, I would recommend that you find someone else to take advice from. To me, that simply means they don’t know what they are talking about OR they want to sell more oils to you! How else can it make sense? There are some essential oils that can sometimes be used pretty safely without diluting. If you have no other options and you don’t have something to dilute an oil with, then maybe put it on neat. Other than that, ALWAYS dilute essential oils! It will save you money! 🙂
- Essential oils can cause serious harm! If used unsafely, in large amounts and neat (undiluted), essential oils can cause harm. Why? Because over use of neat oils can cause sensitization. Essential oils are often over 100 times the concentration of the fruit or plant it was derived from. If you don’t know much about essential oils, always be safe and dilute them extremely well. That way if there is going to be a reaction it will be a lot less. Maybe you have used essential oils for years neat and have never had a problem, that doesn’t mean the next person will react the same. Plus, the chances of your becoming sensitized to any oil increases with undiluted use, so one can become sensitized to anything, not just the known sensitizers like cinnamon bark, Lemon verbena, etc (for another discussion)…
- Please tell your friends to dilute them to be safe. I know I would hate to be the reason my friend has a sever reaction because I never had. HERE is an article about a few girls who got burned by a lime tree from Phytophotodermatitis. Imagine using an essential oil and having this reaction!!!! Essential oils are not acidic but some, including Lime, are photo toxic, thus they can cause burning too. If an essential oil is photo toxic, it will say on Plant Therapy’s website if it is, even diluted these can still cause harm if out in the sun. Dilution may just lessen the harm if you mistakenly do this.
-I am not saying this will happen if you use essential oils neat. I am simply saying it is better to be SAFE than SORRY! So just take a second longer and DILUTE. Easy dilution rule to remember: With children over 2- use 1 drop of essential oil to 1 TBSP of carrier oil. Adults- use 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tsp of carrier oil. You can add more if you need to but LESS is usually MORE!
Here is a chart you can print out and use as references.
Ingesting of Essential Oils
I have a lot of customers and essential oil users ask me if Plant Therapy’s essential oils can be ingested. I am going to post our official stance on this: “All of our Essential Oils are 100% pure and natural, and free from any adulterants, additives, or dilutions. However, we do NOT recommend the regular ingestion of essential oils. They are highly concentrated and have the capacity to cause serious damage if used internally without the necessary expertise required in administering it. This is supported by the International Federation of Aromatherapists, NAHA and AIA that does not recommend ingestion of essential oils unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy.”
Please ask someone who is qualified to give advice. This isn’t me (I will just tell you not to take oils internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy). I know A LOT of Certified aromatherapists who have used essential oils for MANY years that would NEVER recommend ingesting essential oils. Why? Because they have seen too many people not knowing what they are doing, and causing harm to themselves.
To learn more about ingesting essential oils, check out this post Can Essential Oils Be Ingested
Essential Oils and Infants
Where to even begin? This is one I personally struggle with. I will admit I have used essential oils on my young children. Never on my newborns, I have never felt like there was a need. I am on not one to use essential oils just because I have them. I use them when I NEED them. I have seen them help my children sleep, ease tummy aches, help with tension in the head, when congested so my children and I can breathe, make stinky shoes smell better, and so many more things!
If you choose to use essential oils on children under 2, make sure you DILUTE them EXTREMELY well. We recommend you follow the maximum dilution guidelines found on this chart.
The best way to use essential oils with children under the age of 2, is for the mother to properly dilute KidSafe® only oils and apply them topically on herself. That way the baby can benefit from the inhalation of the essential oils without having to use them topically. AND always remember to use only KidSafe® oils with children.
BE SAFE!!!! DILUTE ESSENTIAL OILS!!!!!!
Essential Oils and Pregnancy
HERE and HERE are a couple of posts on Essential Oils and Pregnancy. To some it up there are some essential oils that you can used while pregnant. Do some research and find out what ones will be best for you. Also remember to dilute the essential oils more than you normally would. I would recommend the dilution of 1 drop of essential oil to 1 TBSP of carrier oil. This is at least a good starting point.
Check out our pregnancy safe chart HERE.
**I would like to thank Sylla for looking over this post on Safety and correcting some things! Sylla has almost 40 years experience under her belt!!! Learn more about Sylla HERE.