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Essential Oils Guide: Safety and Warnings

We know that 100% essential oils are natural, but doesn’t  mean that they are safe to use by each and every one in every situation? As natural living and natural remedies lately have gained popularity, essential oils have returned into the spotlights finding the way to medicine chests of many homes and households. The fact that something is natural, popular and has been used already many centuries ago doesn’t come with a guarantee that it is harmless.essential oil guideline use 300x198 Essential Oils Guide: Safety and Warnings

If you want to use essential oils and enjoy their healing properties you need to know how to use them safely and take in account also warnings. Here are the main rules for successful essential oil usage:

Know what you are buying

Labels like “Aromatic oil” or “Aromatherapy oil” don’t indicate that you are getting the right thing.  Many aromatic oils are made combining artificially created chemical substances to resemble the aroma of real plants. Unfortunately, these aromas do not have any healing properties. Always use only 100%, pure essential oils because these are the ones made out of real, natural plant material – only those can bring the expected results.

You can also find bottles labelled as “20% essential oil” (and other percentage), it means that it is diluted essential oil, but what’s the rest in that bottle? If you understand what the remaining 80% is and clearly know that it won’t harm you, feel free to use it. Selling diluted essential oils make them cheaper and available to more people, there is nothing bad with it as mostly essential oils are used diluted anyways. If you do not know the substance used for essential oil dilution, don’t buy it. It might lead to unexpected issues, for example, if a person allergic to nuts purchases and uses essential oil diluted with oil made of nuts (for example, almond oil is often used for diluting essential oils).

Applying on skin

Essential oils are used in two ways: inhaling their aromas and applying essential oils on skin. If you are not experienced essential oil user, do not apply on your skin any essential oil undiluted as it might irritate skin. Average ratio for dilutions is 4-5 drops of essential oil on 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of carrier oil. Using essential oils on small areas for treating specific health issue in a short term you can use higher concentration dilutions, but for bigger body areas, for example, preparing massage oil for muscle tension use lower concentration dilutions.

The most popular carrier oils used for diluting essential oils are olive, jojoba, almond, coconut and other natural oils.  To choose what fits you the best, learn about healing properties of carrier oils.

Mixing different essential oils together

Creating your own essential oil mixtures sounds interesting, but don’t get too excited. Experienced aroma-therapists can create different mixtures because they know about the interaction of chemical compounds in different essential oils. Even healing and healthy substances together can turn into mixture bringing unexpectedly negative results, just like combining some healthy foods you can actually get diarrhea and end up vomiting. Use essential oils one at a time and leave mixology for professionals.

Internal Use

You will find in some informational resources advices to take a few drops of essential oil internally.  Essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts and they are pretty strong. Molecules of essential oils get into your body when you inhale their aromas and apply essential oils on skin. Internal use is not necessary, and some oils are even dangerous if you ingest them. It should be done only if advised by health professional. To get the benefits of plants and fruits you don’t have to ingest essential oils. If you want to get the benefits of lemon, eat lemons, if you find peppermint helpful, drink peppermint tea.

Using for children

“Natural” and “organic” sounds like the best to give to your children, but natural can be also toxic, too strong and not suitable for specific groups of people, specific age and health conditions. Do not use essential oils for infants, use very small amounts on children under 6 years old, and with a caution for children under the age of twelve. Children are growing, their bodily systems are developing and not everything what’s good for adults is suitable also for children.

These essential oils are considered safe for children: chamomile, calendula, dill, grapefruit, geranium, lavender, neroli, rose and tea tree. Use them only in very small amounts and ask for advice from a health professional.  By the way, pregnant women should avoid using essential oils as well and use them with a caution as they can strongly affect the health of a mother and child development.

Onions are natural and healthy, but you wouldn’t rub your face with them, right? Nuts are healthy, but many people are allergic to them, so they avoid using them. Salt is natural, but you wouldn’t rub open wounds with it. If you are willing to use essential oils successfully, try to get as much information as possible about the properties and safety of each essential oil. Take in account allergic reactions specific oil might cause, pay attention to warnings and health conditions that might be affected negatively by the use of a specific plant extract.

Essential oils are great addition to every medicine chest, they truly have healing properties that have been proved in medical studies, researches and through their usage for millenniums. They also have to be used with a caution. Appreciate the power of nature and use it in moderation respecting your own body.

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About Kristine Fedotova

Kristine F. is a freelance writer/ghostwriter from North-Eastern Europe who is often asked to write about natural remedies and share her knowledge and views about balanced living. Since childhood she has spent hours in meadows and woods harvesting healing herbs, mushrooms and other treasures of nature, learning about natural remedies from her family. Now she spends most of the time living in a city trying to keep life simple yet meaningful. Health and natural remedies related researches, experiments and homemade healing preparations are part of her daily life. Maintaining one’s physical and mental health and keeping inner balance is a lifelong journey, the same as learning about treasures of nature – Kristine is taking this journey one step at a time always trying to dig deeper, jump higher, understand better and share her knowledge with others.

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