WHAT ARE THE PRECAUTIONS WHEN USING ESSENTIAL OILS

You should make sure to exercise appropriate caution when working with concentrated essential oils. Aromatherapy experts recommend that before attempting essential oil extraction or use, you should have basic knowledge of the oil’s qualities, including its scent. Knowing the oil’s qualities can help protect children, pregnant or lactating women, and those with underlying illnesses or sensitive skin.

There are a number of “never dos” to observe with essential oils:

• Never use them undiluted.
Using undiluted essential oils can cause permanent skin sensitization, which means becoming allergic to that particular essential oil. In the book Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy, Marge Clark, an author and aromatherapy expert who is well quoted in aromatherapy and herbal media stories, shares a personal experience that serves as a great cautionary tale. She shares how she used undiluted lavender oil on broken skin and now suffers from contact dermatitis, a skin sensitivity reaction, if she comes into contact with any form of lavender.



• Never ingest essential oils except after consulting with a physician or a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
Ginger, mandarin, nutmeg, orange, basil, cloves, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, dill, sage, spearmint, cumin, lemongrass … The list of recognizable and safe botanicals essential oils are extracted from can stretch for miles. You can easily find a doctor who can list the benefits of ingesting these botanicals. In fact, you probably have a myriad in your kitchen cabinet. Still, you should take note that even safe essential oils such as cassia (cinnamomum cassia), black mustard (brassica nigra), sassafras (sassafras albidum), and wormwood (artemisia absinthium) can have toxins capable of causing adverse effects if not administered in moderation and with common sense by avoiding ingestion.

• Never use essential oils on children without a knowledgeable adult present.
Wanting your child to safely have that famous baby smell is probably something most parents want, and essential oils can help create that. But parents and caregivers should remember that when preparing a blend for a child, essential oils should be doubly diluted. For instance, instead of using 2 drops of essential oil in a mixture, you should only add 1 drop of essential oil in a mixture.

• Never use them near fire.
Most common essential oils such as tea tree and lavender have flash points of up to 150 degrees. A flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid can vaporize into air, forming a mixture capable of igniting.

• Never use them near the eyes and genitalia.
Think of the kind of irritation isopropyl alcohol can cause in a deep cut next time you are considering handling essential oils without protective eyewear or without clothes on. They are especially irritating on mucus membranes and can cause burns in the cornea, which is the transparent part of the eye.

• Limit sun exposure when using essential oils.
Sunlight and high temperatures are known enemies of essential oils, especially those of a citrus nature. They can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, causing you to burn faster and more
severely. Experts recommend you should wait at least five hours after using essential oils before exposing your skin to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, otherwise you will redden and burn your skin.

• Label your bottles.
Common sense mandates that you should know what is in each dark-colored bottle in your essential oils cabinet both for safety and ease of use. If you have ten bottles of different essential oils in a cupboard somewhere and you are searching for lavender, you do not have to open a number of them before getting to the lavender.


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