Essential Oil Safety
While essential oils are safe and natural alternatives to many products we use these days, as with anything, too much of a good thing can be harmful, so it’s a good idea to have an understanding of how to use essential oils safely before you start using your own.
First and foremost, you need to keep your essential oils out of reach of children, and store them with their lids on. Kids love to copy what us adults do, and when they see Mummy or Daddy using the oils, they’re not going to understand to use one drop only, so don’t risk their safey!
It is a good idea to keep the Poison’s Information Hotline number on hand near your essential oils as well, just in case you little one does get hold of them. If you suspect you or anyone with you may be reacting to an essential oil, contact the hotline for advice about what to do
dōTERRA essential oils are very potent and a little goes a long way. Always start with less than you think you will need, since you can always add more if required
Not all essential oils are created equal. Some companies use fillers or synthetic ingredients in their oils, which may be harmful when consumed. I only recommend using dōTERRA essential oils since they have strict testing procedures to ensure purity and safety
Always do what you feel comfortable with. You know your body and your families needs best. If you are not comfortable applying essential oils to your skin or using them in cooking, then please use your judgement and don’t feel pressured into trying the oils in this way!
Using Essential Oils Topically
Essential oils should always be diluted by mixing with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. Diluting your essential oils does not reduce the effectiveness in any way. There is more about essential oil dilution in the next section below
When you try a new oil, complete a skin sensitivity test first by applying a small, diluted amount to your skin then checking it repeatedly for several hours to ensure no reactions have occurred
Although it’s not common, it is possible for the skin to reaction to an essential oil being applied to it. Please be aware of your body when you apply any new oil to it. Watch for any reactions, and if you do have a reaction, make sure you use a pure vegetable oil to dilute the essential oil further, as water does not mix with oil so trying to wash the oil off with water will just drive it further into the skin, which can make things worse
Citrus oils contain unique compounds that make them photosensitive. If you use citrus oils on your skin, make sure you avoid sunlight and other sources of UV light on the area for up to 12 hours after
Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas, such as the skin around the eyes, any cavities such as your nose or ears, or any broken skin. If you do get an essential oil in your eye, flush it with a carrier oil and seek medical attention promptly if discomfort persists
Diluting Essential Oils
dōTERRA essential oils are pure, powerful and effective and should be diluted before applying to your skin. The benefits of diluting your essential oils include enhancing the absorption of the oil as less can evaporate off your skin, increasing the surface area of absorption, and helping to prevent skin sensitivity.
Since our bodies are all different, how heavily you dilute your essential oils is a personal choice, but the table below give you a idea as to how much carrier oil you should use. It is best to start with a smaller amount then add more essential oil if needed, and always do a patch test before adding any more essential oils.
The % ratio is the amount of pure essential oil compared to the carrier oil. Therefore, 1% dilution in a 10ml rollerball bottle would be 3 drops of essential oil and the remaining 99% would be your carrier oil.
There are only a small number of essential oils that are categorised for “neat” application, which means that they are very mild and can be applied topically without dilution for most people. These include Frankincense, Lavender, Tea Tree, Melissa and Sandalwood.
Remember, you know your body best, so listen to your body when applying essential oils to it!
Using Essential Oils with Food
For those of us who like getting creative in the kitchen, here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:
Not all essential oils are created equal. Some companies use fillers or synthetic ingredients in their oils, which may be harmful when consumed. I only suggest using dōTERRA essential oils if you want to use them in cooking, as dōTERRA has strict testing procedures to ensure purity and safety
Generally if the plant is safe for consumption, the essential oil version will also be safe, but always read the label to ensure the oils is safe for internal use and follow the directions listed on the label for the amount to consume
A little goes a long way, so start out with a small amount and taste before adding more! This is especially important for strong oils such as cassia, clove, thyme, cinnamon, cumin and oregano
When using essential oils in cooking, they should be used in glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers, rather than plastic, as the oils can damage some types of plastic
Oils that are NEVER to be ingested include Arborvitae, Cedarwood, Cypress, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus, Spikenard, White Fir and Wintergreen, as the chemical makeup can be toxic
Essential Oil Storage
Essential oils should always be stored with their lids on for safety reasons, but also because the oil will evaporate into the air over time, which will just end up wasting the oil unnecessarily.
You should always store your essential oils in glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers as the oils can damage plastic over time (and any of the plastic nasties that come away are going straight into your essential oil, which in turn will go into your body when you inhale it).
To help prolong the life of your oils, it is best to store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Your oils will generally last 18-24 months, if not longer. Some oils such as citrus oils can degrade faster though, so it's best to use them within 12-18 months.
Essential Oils and Pets
While some essential oils are safe for pets, not all are. Precaution should always be used when using essential oils around your pets, and if you are unsure if it is safe to use, always consult your veterinarian. If you want further information about using essential oils around pets, you can check out the Dog Oiler or The Essential Oil Vet.
If you follow these safety precautions when using essential oils, you will still be able to experience the benefits of essential oils, without unnecessary risk to yourself or your family.
Disclaimer: The information, advice, and statements made about the essential oils and products mentioned on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The information on this site and the products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor are they intended to replace proper medical care. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any regimen with essential oils.
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