Oil Safety & Guidelines
Purity & Quality: Use only high quality pure therapeutic grade essential oils and oil blends. This is extremely important regarding essential oil safety. Contact me for help finding the right source and why. Samples are also available.
Carrier oils: Always have vegetable oil or carrier oil close by when applying essential oils. This is to dilute and remove the oil if necessary.
Potentcy: Essential oils are highly concentrated, powerful and highly potent. Only small amounts are required (just a few drops) in their application, less is truly more. This may be difficult to believe at first.
Eye contact: The most common problem at our house has been accidentally touching or rubbing our eyes when we still had oil on our fingers. If this should happen, immediately remove the oil by gently dabbing your eye with a cotton ball or tissue that has vegetable or carrier oil on it. This will help dilute the oil.
Oils can burn and sting (just like getting onion or garlic juice in your eye), but they will not damage the eye.
Do not flush the eyes with water! Water spreads the oil and could make it worse. Oils are not water soluble.
Skin irritation: If the skin should become irritated, or if there is a burning sensation, dilute the area immediately with vegetable or carrier oil. You can rub vegetable or carrier oil directlyon the area and wipe off with a tissue. Repeat as necessary. Do not use water! It can increase irritation by spreading the oils. It may also cause the oil to penetrate more quickly. You may need to wipe the essential oil off with pure vegetable or carrier oil several times. If this does not provide relief, contact a health care professional, and discontinue use of the oil.
Skin testing: One of the most important rules for essential oil safety is to always test an essential oil on the skin before use. Each person has their own unique body chemistry and just as foods affect people differently, so do oils.
Testing the oil on the soles of the feet is the safest place. Always test here for babies and children and for those with allergies.
Another location is on the inside of the arm just above the elbow. 10-15 minutes is usually sufficient. If the person you are testing is prone to allergies or unusually sensitive allow for 30 minutes. Testing allows you to see how their body will respond.
Allergies: Many people with allergies safely use essential oils and find them highly beneficial. People with allergies need to be extra cautious when using essential oils. Slow, cautious, exposure is recommended to see how well the oils are tolerated. Start with the skin test on soles of the feet.
Hot oils: Certain oils should always be diluted. They can burn and irritate the skin if not diluted.
We call them the "Hot" oils. Essential oils high in phenols, citrals and cinnamic aldehyde, such as thyme, oregano, and clove (phenols), lemongrass (citrols), and cinnamon bark (cinnamic aldehyde).
Baths: Always use a dispersing agent, such as bath gel base, epsom salts, or baking soda when adding essential oils to bath water. Never add undiluted essential oils to bath water as they can injure or burn the skin.
Hot, dry, tender skin: Do not apply undiluted or "neat" essential oils to parts of the body that are hot, dry or tender. Instead, use a compress that has been soaked in cold water filled with dispersed essential oils.
Citrus Oils: Citrus essential oils are light sensitizing and might make the skin very sensitive to the sun’s rays.
Avoid direct sunlight for 24-48 hours and tanning beds at least 3-4 days before using essential oils to avoid rash and dark pigmentation.
Open flames: Some essential oils may be flammable, including pine, fir, orange and peppermint. Keep away from open flames, and electricity.
Children/Infants: Essential oils that are rich in menthol may not be safe on or near the throat and chest area of babies and children that are younger than 2 1/2 years or 30 months of age.
Always check to see if the essential oil, or essential oil blend, is safe for use on infants and children from a trusted source (Not a blog!).
For newborns/infants/babies a good start for diluting is 1 drop of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and always do a skin test on soles of their feet.
Essential oils should not be given as dietary supplements to children under 6 years of age. Use caution before administering essential oils orally to a child. Always use skin test beforehand and dilute for your child prior to ingesting.
Internal use: Before ingesting essential oil, know and trust your source. Many oils contain forien contaminants, chemicals and fillers that may be dangerous and toxic. Ask me what I use for purity and quality. Do the skin test on bottoms of feet with each new oil before ingesting.
Diluting/Mixing with food: Before taking essential oils internally, always dilute in a capsule filled with vegetable oil, olive oil or mix it with a teaspoon of honey, or agave. You can also mix a drop in with rice, soy or almond milk.
Accidental ingestion: If an infant or child should accidentally swallow essential oils, immediately dilute the ingested oil by administering milk, soy milk, rice milk, yogurt, cream, or honey. Only use honey if the child is over 12 months of age. To be safe call your poison control center and/or seek emergency medical help.
Pregnant or nursing: Be especially mindful to avoid oils with hormone-like activity, such as clary sage, sage, and fennel.
Epilepsy and High Blood Pressure: Avoid sage, rosemary, and fennel.
These are only suggestions and guidelines that work for my family and other Wellness Advocates. If you have more questions or concerns please don't hesitate to shoot me an email. I'll be happy to help!
For more information on safety of each individual oil, I recommend the "Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils" book. Click on the images to find them at aromatools.com.
Essential Oil Classes & Wellness Consults
Schedule a one on one consultation or attend a group class to learn how and which essential oils to use for health issues and optimal health.