Following these simple safety guidelines will assist you to use essential oils with the respect and safety they (and you) deserve…
Because they are highly concentrated essential oils should not be applied undiluted on the skin. Direct application on the skin can cause severe irritation or sensitivity. The only two exceptions are lavender and tea tree. Diluting an essential oil means mixing it with a quality carrier such as sweet almond oil, macadamia oil or a hand cream base.
Always use essential oils in the correct dosage. If unsure, check with an aromatherapist.
It is always recommended that you test on a small area of your skin first, before applying further. The best way to do this is to place a small amount of the diluted essential oil (using a rate of 1-2 drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil or cream) to the inside of your elbow and leave it 24 hours to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.
Essential oils should not be taken internally. They should only be taken internally after receiving a detailed consultation and prescription from a trained and qualified aromatherapy practitioner trained in aromatic medicine.
If pregnant, or suffer from a condition such as epilepsy, or other health conditions you should always consult a qualified aromatherapist for safe application guidelines.
The old saying “less is more” is very important to remember when using essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so use the smallest amount, as they go a very long way. And a low dose will often get the desired result.
Store essential oils in a dry, dark and cool place away from heat and light. Prolonged exposure to heat and light will often result in essential oils evaporating and losing their strength if not stored correctly.
Essential oils are volatile which means they are also flammable so should be kept away from naked flames.
Essential oils should also be kept away from children. You should treat the oils like medicines that are poison in unwitting hands and ensure they are kept out of reach.
Some people require lower dilutions, for instance when using essential oils on children, the elderly or women who are pregnant, it is important to use a dilution of no more than 2%, i.e. use no more than 20 drops in 100mls of carrier oil or cream.
In fact if pregnant it is a good idea to avoid using of essential oils unless you have undergone a consultation with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner trained in aromatic medicine.
Some essential oils are considered hazardous. These include horseradish, wormwood, sassafras, camphor, wintergreen, pennyroyal, rue, onion, and bitter almond. Again, these essential oils should not be used, and if you wish to learn why consult with a qualified aromatherapist for more information.