How to use Essential Oils Safely

How to use Essential Oils Safely

Safety is very important when it comes to using essential oils.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information available, but using common sense and starting gradually will help ease any sort of intimidation you might feel as you begin using essential oils in your everyday life.

  1. When storing essential oils (EOs), it is important to keep them in a cool dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children).  You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution.  Always use and store EOs in glass containers, especially when adding them to water for drinking, since most plastic products contain chemicals that can be broken down by the oil.
  2. Most EOs are generally safe for use during pregnancy, but do your research to know which ones are not helpful in different stages of pregnancy.  For example, peppermint has been known to turn the baby in the womb and decrease milk production, so it is not recommended during the 3rd trimester.  As with any health program, you may want to consult with a health care professional beforehand.  There are many good reference books available to assist you.
  3. Keep EOs away from eyes and never put them directly into the ears.  Should irritation or accidental contact with eyes occur, never use water to clear the EO (they aren’t water-soluble).  Instead use a carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.
  4. Citrus oils are photosensitive and when applied to skin, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application of citrus oils.
  5. For people with allergies or sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area (like the inside of the upper arm) then wait 30 minutes before applying to other areas.  In general, the bottoms of the feet are safe for topical application.
  6. Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should use extra caution when using EOs with high ketones like basil, rosemary, sage, or tansy.
  7. When adding EOs to bath water, start with 1-3 drops mixed in Epsom salt first to help disperse the oil.  Never use more than 10 drops in one bath.  If a dispersing agent isn’t used, serious discomfort can be caused because the oil tends to float undiluted on top of the water.

oil safety quick tips


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