Essential oils are everywhere now. They pop up in any one of my social media news-feeds multiple times per day. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I believe that God has given us many powerful natural remedies to take advantage of in this world. Bad because people don’t do their research and don’t inform themselves or others (as they are sharing it on social media or face to face) on how to safely and properly use them. It’s not their fault (or yours), it just is what it is. People don’t realize that essential oils need to be treated just like pharmaceuticals in some ways. Oh and ya know…the FDA doesn’t really wanting us blogging about how to use essential oils for specific conditions and I think that scares people away from writing about them and maybe even from learning about them soooo make sure you are signed up for my newsletter (box on the right side) and follow my other social media platforms to learn more about essential oils as I do!
I’d like to give you all a few tips for using essential oils safely. Disclaimer: I am not a certified aromatherapist (though i’d love to be one day and have/am taken/taking classes) nor am I a physician so all of the information in this post is for informational purposes only and you should consult with a certified aromatherapist/herbalist/naturopathic doctor for help in deciding what essential oils you should use.
My first tip is the most important in my opinion.
- Essential Oils and Kids and Babies: Certain essential oils are not safe to be used on or around children (talking 12 & under). The one oil I see people posting about using on or around their kids all the time is peppermint. Most recommend to save this for kids over 6 years old, some even say wait until 12 years. Others are rosemary, eucalyptus and wintergreen. These should not be used around young children or babies. These herbs contain menthol and 1,8-cineole which can slow breathing in very young children or those with respiratory problems. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS dilute any essential oils for kids (or adults for that matter). Also it’s best to put them on their feet if the oils aren’t be used for an injury, that way there is some space between the airways (noes and mouth) and the oil. I like to err on the side of caution with kids (which is why I use a brand that has kid safe oils that are labeled as such and I have researched those oils as well. I trust the brand I use and you should too)
- Essential Oil Dilution: As I hinted above, almost all oils need to be diluted. Not only can it irritate the skin but sensitization can happen as well. A typical rule of thumb is to dilute 2-3 drops in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (dilute even more for children).
- Essential Oils and Internal use. Oh I can hear the people now… this one is so controversial. *I* believe that essential oils should only be used internally in extreme cases or under a doctors care. Essential oils are so so potent! Seriously, most oils are 20x what an herbal tincture would be! Please make sure you do your research and talk to someone trained in eo’s first!
- Essential Oils and Plastics: This is one that is really not often talked about. EO’s shouldn’t ever be stored in something that is plastic, no matter what it is being used for. It can eat away at the plastic even when diluted. Make sure to sure them in glass bottles and some may even need to have the straw inside removed while not in use.
- Essential Oils During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: This one I’m not even going to touch. This one is super controversial too. There are a lot of oils that shouldn’t be used when pregnant due to the fact that can be uterine stimulants (cause contractions) or an emmenagogue (promotes menses). However there are some that are safe during pregnancy in moderation and they can be super helpful during birth. As for breastfeeding, remember that andything you put on your body can be in your milk. It’s best to talk to your doctor and/or certified aromatherapist for advice in these areas.
- Essential Oil’s and Pets: There are so so many oils that are toxic to animals. It is incredibly important to make sure you have done your research and talked to you vet before using oils on your pets. Also, when diffusing oils in your home make sure that your animals can go to another room for some fresh air (or outdoors). Keep in mind that the oils will be stronger to them. When diffusing make sure your diffuser is not right next to your animal and if you aren’t in that room consider not using the diffuser in there while your pet is.
I know all of this can seem super overwhelming and you may even be thinking that you don’t want to embark on the essential oil journey now BUT I promise once you do your research and learn more about the use of essential oils you will love them! Just start out with a few and go from there.
P.S. Always keep oils in a safe place where kids and pets can not access and away from sunlight and heat!
Happy and safe oiling!!