Essential oil cautions

Essential oils have awesome therapeutic value, however they must be used with caution:

  • before using an EO, do a spot test on your skin to check whether there are any allergic or adverse reactions
  • usually EOs should not be used neat, however some people can tolerate certain EOs applied neat, but some can develop skin irritations – it’s safer to dilute with a carrier oil (as a general rule, dilute it to 3-5 EO drops per 1 tsp carrier oil; for babies and children it should be diluted even more)
  • EOs should not be applied neat to babies and children as it may not be safe to do so, and some essential oils should not be applied to babies and children at all (eg birch, wintergreen, peppermint)
  • some EOs may be safe to ingest in small amounts, but it may not be suitable for everyone
  • babies and children should NEVER ingest EOs as it can be dangerous to do so
  • some EOs should never be used during pregnancy and lactation – always check with a qualified practitioner what is safe to use during pregnancy or lactation
  • EOs are very concentrated and very potent – EOs are the equivalent of 10-50 cups of tea (depending on the herb, or 20x the recommended dose of tincture of the same herb
  • some EOs are phototoxic (causes anywhere from 1st to 3rd degree burns) when applied to the skin and exposed to UV light (ie the sun or tanning beds)
  • some EOs are not safe to use by people using certain medications or who suffer from certain medical conditions
  • use only 100% pure EOs (and organic if possible), avoid synthetic ones
  • EOs should not come into contact with mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, nose and reproductive organs, and some oils are especially irritating to these areas; some EOs may as a result be unsuitable for use even in a full body bath; never use EOs in the eyes
  • it is suggested to avoid a prolonged use of the same essential oil

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