General Safety Guidelines
Essential Oils can be safely used to enhance well being and to promote a healthy lifestyle. However, essential oils are powerful substances and can be harmful if not used with care and diligence. The essential oil in a bottle is 50-100 times more concentrated than the plant. Safe handling and use is essential.
There is a lot to know about essential oil safety. This page only encompasses the general safety guidelines. If you are experiencing adverse effects to essential oils, please review the First Aid Guidelines at https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/what-to-do-when-experiencing-an-adverse-reaction/
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION
Consult your health care professional before using essential oils during pregnancy, labor, and lactation.
The use of essential oils during pregnancy and lactation is a controversial issue in the aromatherapy field. According to most aromatherapy references, there are essential oils to be avoided. It is recommended that anyone who is pregnant or lactating and intends to use essential oils, consult with their physician and conduct their own research, using a variety of sources, to determine personal guidelines for use.
Topical Use and Dilution:
Do not apply undiluted essential oils to your skin. The most common adverse reaction is a skin reaction and the most common cause is using an undiluted essential oil.
End Use Dilution Range
Bath & Body Products
Pain , Wounds
| 0.2 – 1.5%
1.5 – 3 %
1 – 4 %
4 ,- 10%
5 – 20%
BABIES AND CHILDREN
Consult your health care professional before using essential oils with babies and children. It is important to ensure proper essential oil selection, dilution, and method, specific to your child. According to Fiona Cuthbert O’Meara, RN, Aromatherapist, “ A baby’s liver and kidneys are not fully functioning until after two years of age and are still developing up to the age of seven, making their ability to process and remove essential oils from the body inhibited.”
ELDERLY OR FRAIL
The elderly often experience a higher incidence of health issues, changes in skin integrity, and general increase in sensitivities. It is important to take into account medical conditions, medications and overall health when using essential oils; use in a 1-5% dilution and choose essential oils that are not contra-indicated with current health problems.
To view the suggestions on dilutions please visit our page on dilutions and also have a look at oils that may be irritants or cause skin sensitivity.
If you have serious health issues consult with your health care professional before using essential oils. If you have or have had estrogen-dependent tumors, it is recommended that you avoid phytoestrogen essential oils such as Anise, Clary Sage, Fennel, Angelica, and Tarragon. For more information refer to the book, Clinical Aromatherapy by Jane Buckle.
ALLERGY PRONE / SENSITIVE SKIN
If you are allergy prone or have sensitive skin, it is recommended that you test an essential oil before using it. Dilute essential oil to the dilution ratio of intended use. Wash and dry an area on the inside of your elbow. Apply a drop of the diluted essential oil and cover it with a strip bandage. Leave in place for twenty-four hours. Take the bandage off and assess your skin. If there is no reaction, there should not be an allergy or sensitivity to the essential oil. If there is swelling or irritation do not use the essential oil, and clean the area by applying a carrier oil and then washing with soap and water. Rinse well and pat dry.
If you are taking a homeopathic remedy, essential oils may negate its effect. Those especially indicated are Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
This material is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other healthcare provider. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should be done under the direction of a healthcare professional.
Please contact us with your questions or to request a private consultation.