Although essential oils are all-natural, their highly concentrated nature can make them, at times, quite dangerous. Here are a few tips to keep you safe when using essential oils.
Use therapeutic grade oils whenever possible.
The use of the term ‘essential oils’ isn’t very heavily regulated. What this means is that companies can sell synthetic, chemical laden oils as essential oils. A lot of these fake oils are intended for the perfume industry, not for healing. That is why I suggest using therapeutic grade oils whenever possible. The higher the purity, the better it will be for your body. It will be more expensive, but the results will be worth it.
Essential oils are for external use only.
Most essential oils are not intended for internal use. When taken internally, essential oils have been known to harm mucous membranes, elicit an allergic response, and cause scarring. I recommend external use only, but if you must take oils internally, be sure they are diluted with a carrier oil or fat and placed in a capsule. This way, you minimize your risk of causing harm.
Essential oils can be harmful.
There actually have been reported deaths from accidental overdose from essential oils, as well as phototoxicity, burns, ulcers, and other negative reactions. It is important to remember that essential oils are highly concentrated substances. In fact, one drop is about 100 times more potent than the herbal counterpart. Just because you can drink Peppermint tea several times a day does not make it safe to put drops of Peppermint essential oil in your water every day. This is because the process from herb to essential oil changes the constituents within it. Do your research on your oils and keep yourself safe!
Dilute your oils, even if you think you don’t need to.
Many people think that if they don’t have sensitive skin, they don’t need to use carrier oils. This is false! Even if direct application of essential oils to the skin doesn’t elicit a reaction, it could still be harming you. Often, a reaction to the oil is slow moving, and over time it will become more apparent, faster moving, longer lasting, and more harmful. Avoid the drama and dilute–the oils will still give the same benefits.
The best rule of thumb for children is 1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon carrier oil (such as coconut, almond, etc.). The average adult can use 2 drops essential oil per 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Good carrier oils include almond, coconut, hazelnut, olive, grapeseed and sesame.
Preventative measures aren’t the best solution.
I know some people who say that they consume 30 to 70 drops of essential oils daily, usually delivered through water, as a method of “keeping themselves healthy.” Yeah, you read that right: They don’t have any specific health issues, but still consume massive amounts of essential oils daily. This is shocking to me. As I’ve said before, some essential oils can have serious negative effects when consumed internally. I can’t imagine, over several years’ time, what this overuse will do to ones liver, or if it will give them kidney issues, or even cancer.
Essential oils are a wonderful choice for alternative medicine, if you are trained to use them as such, but if you want to keep yourself healthy, try doing so through lifestyle choices. Diet and exercise can go a long way in maintaining your health. If you need a little more help maintaining health, a whole body, customized health plan, can be developed in my office for you, removing a lot of the guess work. Just get into contact with me by scheduling a free phone consultation.