Do you need to
use cautions with
essential oils?

They come from plants and nature, how harmful could they be?

Carrier oils and essential oils can be harmful. Carrier oils are mostly not hazardous except maybe a nut oil if the person has an allergic reaction. Essential oils contain chemical constituents which can have a adverse effect if used incorrectly. No carrier or essential oil is 100% safe. Essential oils are classified into Caution and Hazardous oils.

You have to use cautions with anything, even when it says “natural”. Something we need to remember is that everything from nature is not safe. As an example I am sure that anyone that has had a bad reaction to poison ivy or stinging nettle wouldn’t want it to be added to their hand lotion just because it is “natural”. Also a lot of things from science are very beneficial. Safety and benefits can be more important than natural.

So Let’s Look at a few Responsible Cautions we should follow
when using therapuetic essential oils:

1. Most companies alter oils to increase profits or to mimic hemotypes. Manipulated oils cannot carry the same natural healing substances as pure, single-specie, unadulterated oils - and may even be harmful. So the first responsible caution is to always use only pure essential oils for aromatherapy.

2. Cautions need to be taken as aromatherapy essential oils are exceptionally pure and should not be applied to the skin neat (undiluted). The essential oils should be applied with a carrier oil or lotion. How you should dilute will depend on many factors. For a massage you may put 20-40 drops of essential oil in a 1/4 cup carrier oil or lotion. Dilute at least twice as much for under 16, and at least 4 times as much for small children. Consult a qualified practitioner if you are going to be applying to an infant younger than 8 weeks. Also contact a qualified practitioner before using on pets. An exception to this is Tea Tree and Lavender which can be used neat for some instances, but don’t over do it.

3. Before applying topically, you may want to use caution (especially if you have sensitive skin) and do a skin test for the oils. Dilute a small amount and apply to the skin on your inner arm. Do not use if redness or irritation occurs. You can still use the oil by inhalation or diffusor to receive the benefit of it or try another one that has some of the same benefits. Or you may just need to dilute more with the carrier.

4. NEVER put essential oils into the eyes or ears. Be sure and use caution but if you accidentally do, use pure olive oil to dilute and rinse from the eyes. For the skin any carrier will do, dilute well and then wash off. DO NOT rinse with water. Water will only enhance the oil's ability to penetrate and push the oil deeper into sensitive tissues.

5. Essential oils can be taken internally but you do need to use caution. I do not recommend it unless recommended by a health-care professional trained with essential oils or if you have research it thoroughly and know what you are doing. There are a few exceptions and one is peppermint oil - you can put a drop on the back of your hand and lick it off for intestinal conditions. (you may be surprised by the taste when you are used to peppermint flavoring). But even with this use caution and do not over use it.

6. Some essential oils will cause the skin to become photosensitive. So always use caution if you are using citrus oils and will be in the sun.

7. If you are pregnant please consult your physician about using oils. Some essential oils may be beneficial and others you will want to avoid.

8. People who have high blood pressure (hypertension) should avoid using these oils: Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

9. People who have low blood pressure should avoid the more sedating oils such as Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang and Lavender.

10. If you suffer from epilepsy avoid these oils: Fennel, Hyssop, Rosemary, and all types of sage.

11. If you suffer from asthma the oil of Wild Rosemary may aggravate some people.

10. Keep the essential oils closed tightly and out of the reach of children.

11. Keep essential oils out of the sunlight and extreme cold. All aromatherapy products should be stored in a dark, cool environment.

12. If you experience redness, burning, itching or any irritation while using essential oils, discontinue use, or you may have not diluted them correctly, try rubbing in more carrier oil or lotion and see if the irritation goes away.

13. Essential oils are FLAMMABLE under certain conditions. Please do not drop essential oils on top of a burning candle (in the flame) or place near an open flame. You can use essential oils with candles you just have to use caution. You can add a drop or two of essential oils on the top of the wax before lighting a candle or after you have a pool of melted wax you could add some drops to the melted wax.

14. Never use essential oil undiluted in a bath. The oil will pool on the surface and may irritate (sometimes very significantly) the skin. Always blend the oil with a carrier oil or bath gel to dispense the oil evenly throughout the water. Then enjoy your bath. Use caution and do not add a whole bottle, do not use more than 6 to 10 drops of essential oil in the bathtub. You just need a little for big results, that is why even thought therapeutic essential oils are expensive they are economical to use. By being responsible and following these cautions you will have a pleasant experience with aromatherapy and therapeutic essential oils. I sure you will come to love them and enjoy learning more and more about therapeutic essential oils and their cautions on using them safely.

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