Aromatherapy Safety and Precautions
Aromatherapy blends make wonderful additions to healthy lifestyles. It must not be forgotten, however, that essential oils are highly concentrated substances which should be used with care.
The following safety precautions are guidelines only:
- Essential oils are for external use. Never take essential oils internally.
- Oils should not be applied undiluted directly to skin. Use with carrier oils, creams, or lotions.
- Keep oils out of reach of children and pets at all times.
- Avoid contact with eyes and mucus membranes. Wash your hands after handling essential oils to avoid accidentally getting oil on these sensitive and highly irritable areas.
- Some oils, especially the citrus oils, are photosensitive. Do not use these oils if you are going out in the sun or using a tanning machine. Examples: lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, neroli
- Skin reactions are difficult to predict because they vary between individuals. For an individual with a history of sensitive skin, asthma, or allergies, it is always best to test an oil before using it to see if there is any irritation to the skin. To do this place the diluted oil or oils in the crook of your forearm. Wait for 6-8 hours to see if any rash or other reaction becomes apparent.
As a precautionary factor, some oils have been deemed unsafe to use during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Before using an essential oil always check to see if it is safe to do so. During the first three months of pregnancy it is best to use essential oils through inhalations. Exercise caution when using the following oils after the first trimester: Basil, Birch, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrrh, Parley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Spike Lavender, and Yarrow (This is not a complete list) Care should be taken when using essential oils while pregnant.
- Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders:
If there is a possibility of seizures use caution with the following oils: Camphor, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Hyssop, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spike Lavender, Thyme, and Yarrow. (This is not a complete list) Care should be taken when using essential oils if you have epilepsy or seizure disorders.
- High Blood Pressure:
If you have high blood pressure use caution when using essential oils. The following oils are not recommended for use with this condition: Thyme, Hyssop, Pine, Rosemary, Sage. (This is not a complete list) Care should be taken when using essential oils if you have high blood pressure.
Children may use essential oils only under the careful supervision of an experienced adult. There are several oils that are not appropriate for children, while the suitable essential oils should be diluted to a 1% Dilution which means 1 drop of essential oil to 2 tsp. of carrier oil. The following oils are considered safe for children: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Rose. Care should be taken when using essential oils with children.
If you have a skin condition, are pregnant, have epilepsy, high blood pressure, asthma, are on a course of treatment with prescribed medication, or are in doubt about any condition you may have, it is important that you seek the advice of a doctor or suitable health care practitioner before using pure essential oils. Do not stop using treatments recommended by your medical or health professional. Essential oils are not a substitute for any medication which has been prescribed by your medical physician.