Essential oil safety

This page is a great reference guide for the safe use of essential oils. There are 3 ways we can use essential oils, but if you are pregnant, there are some you should avoid altogether. We do not set out to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure – ALWAYS refer to your doctor for advice.

Aromatically

Your sense of smell is closely linked to your memory and emotions. Using essential oils aromatically is a great way to shift your emotions to where they need to be. For example, they can uplift your spirit on those days you’re feeling a little low, or you could use them to ground and centre you for activities such as yoga.

You can sniff straight from the bottle for a quick burst of energy, rub a drop of oil into your hands, hold them just in front of your nose and inhale deeply to enjoy the aroma.

A common thing you might have tried in the past is using an oil “burner”. Technically you can, but as our oils are 100% pure, many of them will burn off too quickly, and may leave you disappointed. More importantly, heating the oils destroys much of the therapeutic value, compared to diffusers which use ultra-sonic (or other similar) technology to diffuse them into a very fine mist that delivers the highest therapeutic benefits, for anyone nearby to enjoy.

We have a few diffusers on offer, the most popular in Australia being the Petal Diffuser that comes with the Home Essentials Starter Kit, or on its own. It lasts up to 4 hours and will fill a room quickly. The Cloud Diffuser is a waterless diffuser that provides substantial output with minimal noise. Whilst there are other diffusers available through the USA warehouse, bear in mind that they will come with USA electrical plugs, so you may need a converter and transformer.

Whichever option you choose, everyone is different and will like/dislike different oils.

Internally

Before we go any further, you cannot use just any essential oil internally. Many oils you will find in shops are synthetic fragrances, or will have a low amount of pure essential oil (for example 1%) with the rest being filler agents. Always check the label before using any essential oil, and ensure a) it is 100% pure essential oil with no nasty surprises, and b) that the particular oil is safe for internal use. Our oils will always state on the label “For dietary use only” if they are safe for consumption.

Whilst many of our oils are perfectly fine to ingest, remember that they are very concentrated. For example, 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea. Your body will not be used to such high concentration levels, so you will need to dilute, and ingest along with a healthy meal. Remember that oils are not water soluble, so they will often sit on top of a glass of water. We recommend grabbing some veggie capsules, either through your next US order, or from your local organic shop. Even if you are using capsules, don’t put any more than a drop or 2 in there.

You can of course incorporate essential oils into your cooking. But again, remember that they are highly concentrated, so often dipping a toothpick into the oil bottle is enough flavour to add to a dish. Stay tuned for some yummy recipes on our blog.

Topically

Yet again, be careful about which oils you use topically. We always recommend you dilute your essential oils when applying directly to skin. You can use virtually any type of vegetable oil – jojoba oil, almond oil, or our Fractionated Coconut Oil, which has had the fat particles removed so that it doesn’t harden and is less greasy, so it absorbs nicely into the skin. People with sensitive skin will usually not react to appropriately diluted oils, but always start with a low essential oil to high carrier oil ratio as a patch test. You can always add another drop of essential oil, if needed. Diluting oils is YOUR responsibility – please educate yourself and be safe!

You might choose to apply directly to the affected area of the body (be careful, some oils are “hot”, for example Oregano or Peppermint). To ease head tension, try putting a drop on your temples, or on the back of the neck. It should still be close enough where you can smell the oils, so you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful aroma also. Do not put oils into the ear; instead dab the oils on the bone behind the ear.

Research has shown that dabbing essential oils onto the soles of your feet will have it entering the bloodstream within about 30 seconds – much quicker than my paracetamol, I must say! Reflexology can be used to determine more accurate parts of the feet and/or hands to place the essential oil, in order for it to target a particular area of the body. For example, along the balls of your feet is great for the lungs.

Here are some general guidelines when diluting for babies, children or adults with sensitive skin.

Adults – 5 drops essential oil to 10ml carrier oil
Children – 2 drops essential oil to 10ml carrier oil
Babies & Toddlers – 1 drop essential oil to 10ml carrier oil

Pregnancy cautions

As someone who has lost 2 unborn babies (not for any known reasons) and know the heartache, I cannot stress the importance of being extremely careful using essential oils when pregnant. We do not say this to scare you, merely to make you aware, and encourage you to speak to a medical professional for their advice.
Here are some no-no’s that we’ve come across:

  • Aniseed
  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon leaf
  • Citronella
  • Clary Sage
  • Cumin
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper berry
  • Laurel
  • Nutmeg
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Lavender we’ve found to be debatable

Here’s an article by doTERRA Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hill, about the use of essential oils during pregnancy. He describes that many pure essential oils are safe for use during pregnancy, but I cannot stress enough to research for yourself and your own body, and consult medical professionals for advice.