There are important guidelines to follow when using essential oils, especially if you are unfamiliar with the oils and their benefits. Many guidelines are listed below. However, no list of do’s and don’ts can ever replace common sense. So, start gradually, and find what works best for you and your family.
Guidelines for Safe Use
1. Always keep a bottle of a pure vegetable oil handy when using essential oils. Vegetable oils dilute essential oils if they cause discomfort or skin irritation (water doesn’t). (I always keep a bottle of unrefined coconut oil in my oils bag.)
2. Keep bottles of essential oils tightly closed and store them in a cool location away from light. If stored properly, essential oils will maintain their potency for many years.
3. Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Treat them as you would any product for therapeutic use. If a child or infant swallows an essential oil: Call a Poison Control Center or seek immediate emergency medical attention if necessary. They may tell you to administer a vegetable oil, milk, cream, yogurt, or other safe, oil-soluble liquid.
4. Essential oils rich in menthol should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 30 months of age.
5. Wait a day or so after using Angelica, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, or other citrus oils before getting out in the sun.
6. Keep essential oils away from the eye area and never put them directly into ears. Do not handle contact lenses or rub eyes with essential oils on your fingers. Oils with high phenol content—oregano, cinnamon, thyme, clove, lemongrass, and bergamot—may damage contacts and will irritate eyes. Some oils may be painful on mucous membranes unless diluted properly. Immediate dilution is strongly recommended if skin becomes painfully irritated or if oil accidentally gets into eyes. Flushing the area with a vegetable oil should minimize discomfort almost immediately.
DO NOT flush with water! Essential oils are oil soluble, not water soluble. Water will only spread the oils over a larger surface, possibly exacerbating the problem
7. Pregnant women should consult a health care professional when starting any type of health program.
8. Epileptics and those with high blood pressure should consult their health care professional before using essential oils. Use caution with hyssop, fennel, basil, wintergreen/birch, nutmeg, rosemary, peppermint, sage, tarragon, and Idaho tansy oils.
9. People with high blood pressure may want to avoid using sage and rosemary.
10. People with allergies should test a small amount of oil on an area of sensitive skin, such as the inside of the upper arm, before applying the oil on other areas. The bottom of the feet is one of the safest, most effective places to use essential oils.
11. Before taking GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) essential oils internally, dilute one drop of essential oil in one teaspoon of an oil-soluble liquid like honey, olive oil, or milk. Never consume more than a few drops of diluted essential oil per day without the advice of a physician.
12. Do not add undiluted essential oils directly to bath water. Using plain bath gel or Epsom or sea salts as a base for all oils applied to your bath is an excellent way to disperse the oils into the bath water. When essential oils are put directly into bath water without a dispersing agent, they can cause discomfort on sensitive skin because the essential oils float, undiluted, on top of the water.
13. Keep essential oils away from open flames, sparks, or electricity. Some essential oils, including orange, fir, pine, and peppermint are potentially flammable.
14. Skin test an essential oil before using it. Each person’s body is different, so apply oils to a small area first. Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow enough time (3 to 5 minutes) for the body to respond before applying a second oil.
15. Read the labels on your oils and research what you’re using. For instance, NEVER take an essential oil internally unless you are certain it is listed as a “supplement” on its label AND that it is a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil.
16. Be careful not to use adulterated or synthetic oils. Some may be toxic. Read more HERE.
17. Do not use peppermint essential on open wounds.
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Information used with permission of author-TheCommonScentsMom
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information found here is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or substitute for professional medical assistance. It is provided as information only for your better understanding of holistic health. Always apply common sense and careful handling practices when using essential oils. In case of medical need, please consult an appropriate licensed professional.