Are Essential Oils safe? There are a lot of opinions about essential oils out there, aren’t there? Essential oils are a hot topic and there are a lot of fear-mongering and oil-bashing posts. (Those people are missing out!) It’s hard to know what right and safe for our families with all of the different opinions swirling around. It’s just like everything else – food, politics, vaccines, etc. And just like everything else it comes down to personal choice and what you decide is best for you and your family.
I’m a natural skeptical person. I have had my own hesitations and questions about all the different ways to use essential oils, so I understand if using them for more than cleaning your counters seems bizarre. For the last 3.5 years I’ve used a high quality, pure, therapeutic brand of oils and now share and teach about essential oils as my “job” (it’s nothing like a job! way too fun to be a job!). But it took a long time for me to build trust in this company and the people behind it. Now I am more than confident in them.
So are essential oils are safe??? Yes! Pure essential oils are made from plants that we can touch, consume (some) and/or otherwise utilize safely. So if we know we have pure, chemical-free, well-tested oils and we know the plants are inherently safe to use then it’s just a matter of using them safely.
As Americans we tend to have a false sense of security. But we’ve all seen the commercials and heard the disclaimers or seen terrible stories on the news so we know that many things in our culture aren’t without consequence. When we go back to nature we find SAFE solutions to our every day problems. Used properly essential oils are a wonderful tool to empower you to care for yourself and your family ~ naturally and safely.
Top 10 Tips for using your oils safely:
1. Know the company you are buying from – what tests do they do? are all the oils tested or just certain batches? how often? who does the testing? are you 100% sure they are pure? Where are they sourced? how are they grown? is the price to good to be true? Oils that are adulterated can be dangerous, so be a savvy consumer.
2. Start slowly. There can be an adjustment period for some people depending on their health and chemistry. Some people want to dive right in and use a ton of oils to feel better but that sometimes has the opposite effect. Adults should always only use 1-2 drops at a time. Be gentle to your body and listen to it. I used to get headaches from a few oils when I first started but I no longer have that response. Ease yourself into your new lifestyle change. Slow and gentle is always a kinder way to treat your body, no matter the change.
3. Less is more. One drop at a time! Topically thats all you need, you may do more if you need to take them internally. Its actually much better for your body to use less oil more often so instead of 10 drops a few times a day try 1-2 drops every hour. The liver can only process so much so giving it extra is just wasting your oils and making your liver work harder (I’ve been using oils internally and externally for over 3 years and my liver and kidneys are happy and healthy) TIP: Use a roller bottle to make dilution and application easier.
4. Always dilute. Ok … most of the time. I’d be a hypocrite if I said we never use the oils “neat” (undiluted). We dilute for a few reasons: to be gentler on the skin, to increase absorption and to cover larger areas without using a ton of essential oils. Often for myself I’ll grab an oil and use it undiluted because I don’t have a diluted roller bottle handy or if its a non-sensitive area like the bottom of the feet. I almost always dilute for my children except sometimes when I use milder oils on the bottom of their feet. We don’t dilute because its “dangerous” not to, we dilute to be cautious with our skin and make our oils go further. TIP: Read this for dilution guidelines and when making a capsule add olive oil to dilute.
5. Avoid skin sensitization. Repeated undiluted use can cause skin irritation and sensitization. You do not want that to happen. Skin irritation means the skin may get red or irritated temporarily. This is especially common with “hot” oils like oregano or cinnamon. Always dilute those oils. Sensitization means that because of overuse or not diluting your body becomes sensitized and any time you use that particular oil your body may respond with redness, itchiness, etc. Essential oils are POTENT especially when you are dealing with the purity of the company we use. Your little one only needs some, diluted in a carrier (read about carrier oils and how to dilute here) and adults only need a little more. We want to use essential oils the rest of our lives so we want to keep our body happy with them. Everyone is so different, some people have a lot of leeway here and some don’t (seems to be people who’s skin is more sensitive in general) TIP: Rotate where you apply and which oils you use
6. Never put oils in your eyes, ears or nose. Just trust me on this. TIP: If you do get oils in your eye by accident see #7.
7. Stop the burn with carrier oil – not water. If you get oils in the wrong place (ahem) or an oil is too strong for you and you have a burning sensation never use water – grab some carrier oil (like coconut oil) and dilute the area well. All will be fine. TIP: Fractionated coconut oil is the most shelf-stable carrier oil, doesn’t stain clothes and doesn’t leave skin greasy or oily.
8. Do your Research. There are a few oils which are contraindicated for certain meds and conditions. Do your research and go with credible up-to-date sources. There are a lot of bloggers who are blogging inflammatory things about essential oils just for traffic, so be aware.
9. Keep your oils out of the reach of children. There are some essential oils that can cause breathing issues or poisoning in VERY high doses (like drinking half the bottle or more) such as wintergreen or peppermint. These are very strong oils but we don’t really want our kids drinking any oils so just keep the pretty, colorful, enticing bottles up on a shelf. I have diluted roller bottles I keep accessible for my children. I have no idea how a child could actually drink a lot of essential oil when 1 drop of peppermint is SO strong, but it happens. Kids are just crazy so error on the side of caution. TIP: Always call poison control if your child ingest oils accidentally. We’ve had a lot of mishaps on our team and everyone has always been fine but its always good to check with a medical professional.
10. Put your citrus oils where the sun don’t shine. Citrus oils + sun can be bad news. You do not want a “Bergamot burn” – they are uncomfortable, leave a brown mark and they last a long time. Be most careful with Bergamot which is phototoxic but not all citrus oils cause the same sensitivity. TIP: Learn more about which oils are photosensitive and which are phototoxic HERE.
Now that we have all the guidelines out of the way it’s time to enjoy our oils! This morning I rolled out of bed to go to yoga. I was tired. I put some Grounding blend on my feet and a Citrus blend in my hands (deeply inhaled) and on the back of my neck and it was the perfect pick-me-up. The ways to use essential oils in your daily lives are endless.
And using essential oils is FUN! It’s very hard to get it wrong so use them, love them, share them!
Have questions? Need help deciding whats best for you?
Email me [email protected] and I’ll be in touch very soon. Happy oiling! I look forward to working with you!