Essential Oils Safety Guidelines
Essential oils are powerful offerings from God that can often be more potent than expected.
- To prevent misuse of these precious oils
- To ensure that you enjoy essential oils’ maximum benefit
You need to print one copy of this guide and keep it on your hard drive. Whenever you sign a new member, send them this link so they, too, can download the safety guide. Use that link: http://theessentialtools.com/essential-oils-safety-guidelines/
Refer to this Safety Guide to learn the basics of essential oil use, how to handle skin sensitivity and other valuable information.
Essential oils are grown to be as pure and potent as possible and are are Highly Concentrated
Did you know that it takes:
- 256 pounds of peppermint leaf to make one pound of peppermint essential oil
- 150 pounds or more of lavender flowers to make one pound of lavender essential oil
- Thousands of pounds of roses to make 1 pound of rose essential oil
I strongly advise that you study individual label instructions and the following guidelines to ensure the safe use of essential oils:[list type=”check”]
- Make sure you read individual label directions or check with a health professional before using essential oils if you have a serious medical condition or are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant. DO NOT use wild tansy, clary sage, sage, fennel, wintergreen, or hyssop during pregnancy.
- This article from the University of Minnesota cautions about the use of peppermint and similar oils in children under six, because: “Menthol-one of the major chemicals in peppermint oil-has caused breathing to stop in young children, and has caused severe jaundice in babies with G6PD deficiency (a common genetic enzyme deficiency) (Price & Price, 1999).”
- Remember: there is an oil dropper located in the oil bottle opening that helps you follow correct dosages. It also helps prevent anybody, including small children from inadvertently swallowing large amounts of essential oil.
- If you think that a kid has consumed a large quantity of essential oil, don’t give them water but give milk and immediately seek medical advice.
- Ask for a health professional advice before topically applying any oil to kids. That includes all the dilution directions on the oil label.
- Before utilizing a new essential oil, test one single drop on a small spot of skin first (e.g., on the underside of the forearm). Skin sensitivity highly depends on each person. What might be OK for her can feel hot for you, or inversely.
- Don’t apply several drops because your friend told you so; they might have a different sensitivity than you.
- If your skin feels hot or turns red, do not use water but a vegetable oil to dilute the oil and sooth your skin. Do not wash your skin with water because this method is NOT effective.
- Only try 1 new oil at a time to determine how your body responds. Wait half an hour before you start with a new essential oil.
- Be very careful around the eyes; certain essential oils may sting the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oil strong chemical on the fingers may damage contact lenses or cause eye discomfort. If accidental stinging does occur, do not use water but put 1–2 drops of pure vegetable oil into the eye.
- Never put essential oils directly into the ears. Diluted oils may be OK ONLY under circumstances.
- Pure citrus oils will compound the effects of sun exposure. For most essential oils don’t go under the sun (at the beach) after at least 12 hours wait-time (Warning: wait up to 24 hours for Angelica and Lime; up to 48 hours for Bergamot) after applying those undiluted essential oils to the skin. Don’t use essential oils at the beach.
- Cosmetics, personal-care products, or cleansers with artificial components go through the dermal layers of the skin. Avoid applying essential oils to the areas you use these products. It will take harmful chemicals farther into skin, fatty tissue, or the bloodstream.
- Avoid using essential oils on skin that has been degraded or affected by chemical burns.
- When adding essential oils to a bath, first mix 5–10 drops of essential oil to 1/4 cup of Bath & Shower Gel Base or Epsom salt and then add to running water.
- Restrict the diffusion of any new essential oils to 10 minutes/day. Only after that you can increase the time depending on the original effect. The length of time should depend on the size of the room and potency of the oils.
- Consult a health professional about any serious disease or injury. DO NOT attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances for conditions that require professional attention.
Q&A Session (must print)
I’m an essential oils newbie. How to use them?
Every bottle of essential oil come with directions for how to use it. You need to read and consult the product label for appropriate usage instructions before your first use.
How often can essential oils be applied? How much should I use?
With essential oils, less is more. Follow the proper usage instructions printed on each essential oil label. Essential oils are very powerful, so start with one drop and slowly increase, ONLY IF NEEDED. Excessive use of essential oils may develop a risk for adverse reactions. In most cases, using 1 or 2 drops is the adequate dosage, and using more may waste product. Depending on your skin reaction and the type of essential oil, you may gradually build up to 3–4 uses per day, if desired.
What is a carrier oil? What’s the purpose of using it?
Simply put, a carrier oil is a vegetable oil. It can be coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil. Carrier Oils are best used to dilute the power of essential oils.
Carrier oils guarantee that essential oils applied topically are soft to your skin. When you mix an Essential Oil with a carrier oil, it does not dilute the effect of the essential oil. The dilution actually prevents waste due to an unreasonable copious application. Look for dilution ratios on TheEssentialTools.Com.
Vegetable shortening, butter, margarine, or petroleum derivatives (such as mineral oil, baby oil, and petroleum jelly) are not safe to use with essential oils and should never be used as carrier oils.
Does exposure to sun affect essential oil use?
Yes, it does. Some essential oils, especially citrus oils, contain natural molecules that react with sunlight (UV light) and cause a sensitivity reaction. The best essential oils and oil blends that contain these compounds come with a warning to avoid sun/UV light for 12–48 hours after applying. Always use caution when starting to use a new oil.
How to avoid the sensitivity shock:
– use patch testing
– see below the section “What is a “hot oil?”
– dilute, and apply the oil to skin that will not be exposed to sun/UV light.
What is a “hot oil”?
“Hot oils” are essential oils that can create a hot or warming sensation when applied to the skin. Examples of hot oils include Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme and any blend with those oils. While for the vast majority of users, Peppermint is a refreshing oil, for some, its cooling sensation can be too intense and must be avoided.
It is strongly recommended to use a patch test procedure before the first use of any oil.
How to perform a patch test:
– apply a couple of drops of essential oil to a small area of skin such as the forearm
– if no reactions occur within 5–10 minutes you should be safe.
– however, monitor that skin area over the course of 1–2 hours for any noticeable reaction, just in case
– if you experience a hot or burning sensation or develop a rash, add any carrier oil to the affected area to dilute the oil’s power as much as needed.
What if I experience skin discomfort or irritation?
If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using that particular essential oil and apply a carrier oil to the affected area.
Note: each person is different; you may be sensible to some oils, and not others and your friends may have the inverse reaction.
What if a rash occurs:
– this may be a sign of detoxification
– drink plenty of water to encourage the release and removal of toxins in your body.
Any toxins present in petrochemical-based soaps and skin care products, detergents, and perfumes may trigger some of the detoxification reactions from the oil.
Consider discontinuing these products if a reaction occurs.
Before using the essential oil again, perform a patch test (see the Q & A section “What is a “hot oil?”) and dilute with a carrier oil as needed.
Be aware that, to avoid burning, some distributors suggest diluting the oil with water, that is wrong. Water will actually push oil deep hard into your skin and your eyes. Never use water in an attempt to flush the oil off of the skin. This WILL increase discomfort. If essential oil gets into your eye, flush with a carrier oil as quickly as possible to alleviate any discomfort.
If eye trouble does not recede within 5 minutes, immediately seek medical attention.
Can essential oils be applied to sensitive areas?
Avoid contacting sensitive areas such as eyes, ears, genitals, and mucous membranes with essential oils. If you choose to use the oil in any sensitive area, dilute 1 drop of the essential oil with 5–10 drops of a carrier oil.
Can essential oils be used during pregnancy or while nursing?
As with any medical condition, we strongly recommended that before using essential oils, you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained health care advisor who is experienced in essential oil usage. Some people choose to avoid overuse and excessive use of Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Idaho Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), as well as the blends and supplements that contain these oils.
Can essential oils be used on kids?
Many essential oils are appropriate for use on children but should be diluted with a carrier oil prior to use. Some Young Living products come prediluted with carrier oil, as indicated on product labels, and are intended for direct application on kids. You can dilute 1–2 drops of essential oil such as lavender, chamomille, eucalyptus, peppermint with a carrier oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet.
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Can I use essential oils if I have a medical problem?
Never auto prescribe yourself and always seek professional advice if you have any condition. If you have a disease or medical condition or are using a prescription medication, it is imperative that prior to using an essential oil, you consult with a health care advisor who has experience with essential oils. Seek the advice of the prescribing physician and a pharmacist about potential interactions between any medication and essential oils.
it is important to download this document. You need to print it and give it to any new member of your team. Essential oils are NOT dangerous as long as you follow strict safety guidelines and you don’t want your downlines harmed by essential oils.
Sources & More Reading:
Bensouilah J, and Buck P. Aromadermatology. Abindon, UK: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Tisserand, R., and Balacs, T. (1995). Essential Oil Safety. New York: Churchill Livingstone.
Biological activities of Lavender essential oil
Essential oils as a cause of breakthrough seizure after temporal lobectomy
Epileptic seizure induced by fennel essential oil.
Book: Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy
Book: Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
Biological effects of essential oils – A review
Tiger Balm as a treatment of tension headache. A clinical trial in general practice.
Acute and subacute toxicity study of 1,8-cineole in mice
Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts
In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils against Streptococcus pyogenes
In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils
A near fatal case of high dose peppermint oil ingestion- Lessons learnt
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy Data Safety Sheet for Essential Oils during pregnancy
International Association of Professional Aromatherapists Pregnancy Data Sheet (PDF)
Resources and References
Price, S. and Price Parr, P. (1996). Aromatherapy for Babies and Children. London: Thorsons.
Price, S. and Price, L. (Editors.) (2011). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. China: Elsevier.
Tisserand, R. and Young, R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. London: Elsevier.
Wormwood, V.A. (1991). The Complete Book of Essentials Oils and Aromatherapy. California: New World Library.
Anthis, Christina. (2014). Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children. http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/
Anthis, Christina.(2014). Introduction to Essential Oil Safety. http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/introduction-essential-oil-safety/
Burkhard, P.R., Burkhardt K, Haenggeli CA, Landis T. (1999). Plant-induced seizures: Reappearance of an old problem. J Neurol. Aug;246(8):667-70. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10460442
Bozorg, A.M. and Benbadis, S.R. (2009). Essential oils as a cause of breakthrough seizure after temporal lobectomy. Seizure 18(8) pp 604-605. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=19577489
Butje, A. (2014). Essential Oil Safety. Retrieved from http://www.aromahead.com/blog/2015/03/02/four-important-points-essential-oil-safety/
Halcon, L. (2013). Are Essential Oils Safe? Retrieved from http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/are-essential-oils-safe
Krumbeck, E. (2013). Essential oils can cause seizures in children. Retrieved from http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/
Halicioglu, O., Astarcioglu G, Yaprak I., Aydinlioglu H. (2011). Toxicity of Salvia officinalis in a newborn and a child: an alarming report. Pediatr Neurol.Oct;45(4):259-60 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21907890
International Federation of Professional Aromatherapist guidelines for working with pregnant clients.
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. (2015). General Safety Guidelines. Retrieved from http://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/general-safety-guidelines/
Skalli, S.and Soulaymani Bencheikh, R. (2011). Epileptic seizure induced by fennel essential oil. Epileptic Disord. 13(3) pp 345-347. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21865126
Nath, S.S., Pandey, C., and Roy, D.. (2012). A near fatal case of high dose peppermint oil ingestion- Lessons learnt. Indian Journal of Anaesthesiology. 56(6):pp 582-584. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3546250/