Using Essential Oils
Our essential oil safety guidelines our here to help you on how to use essential oils safely and effectively around the home, for you and your family. Be sure to use only 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils and follow all label warnings and instructions.
It is important to remember that pure therapeutic grade essential oils are very potent and that each person will react differently to the oils, depending on their age, weight and health. Start by using just one drop and slowly increase until the desired effect has been achieved.
- Consult your physician/doctor before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care or if you have other safety questions regarding essential oils.
- Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal or nose. In the event of accidental contact with the eyes, dilute with vegetable oil NOT water. Avoid using essential oils on a baby or young child’s hands, as they may transfer the oil to their eyes or mouth.
- When using an essential oil for the first time, I recommend that you do a small skin patch test. Dilute one drop in 5 ml of carrier oil and apply to a non-sensitive area to see if there is any sort of reaction. If redness or irritation occurs when using essential oils topically, apply a vegetable oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil to the affected area. You can then increase or decrease the amount of oil used, dependent on the result.
- Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil when using them on babies and infants, as well as when using the more potent essential oils.
- Some essential oils are known as hot oils, these include Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano and Thyme. When using these essential oils, I always recommend that you heavily dilute them to avoid skin irritation. Other essential oils that may cause some skin irritation include Black Pepper, Citrus Oils, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Wintergreen.
- Citrus Oils contain photosensitises that shorten the time it takes to get sunburnt when applied to the skin. Therefore, I recommend that you avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after using citrus oils on the skin.
- Do not consume an essential oil internally unless there is a ‘supplement facts’ or ‘for flavouring’ on the label. Arborvitae, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, White Fir or Wintergreen are not recommended for internal use. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have liver or immune issues, please talk with your health care provider before using internally.
- Remember that essential oils and water do not mix, when adding essential oils to your drinking water, make sure you either stir or shake the bottle of water before drinking to disperse the oils. Do not store in plastic bottles, only use glass or stainless steel water containers.
- Discontinue the use of an essential oil if you experience severe skin, stomach, or respiratory irritation or discomfort.
- Essential oils can be flammable, so keep away from heat sources and keep out of reach of babies and children.
Topical Use – the ratio of essential oils to carrier oil will be dependent on the size, age and health of the person you are making the blend for. Here are some simple guidelines to get you started:
Internal Use – once again, the dose will depend on the age, size and health status of the person however; I would initially start on a lower dose (1–2 drops) and then increase the dose if needed; there is no benefit to using a stronger dose. Use the amount recommended below and repeat the dose every 4-6 hours if required, but do not exceed the maximum amount within a 24-hour period.
- Internal – 2-4 drops (maximum 12-24 drops in 24 hours)
- Oral – 1-3 drops (maximum 4-18 drops in 24 hours)
Child (Over 6 years): –
- Internal – 1-2 drops (maximum 3-13 drops in 24 hours)
- Oral – not recommended to give orally
Internal Use Of Essential Oils
Some critics suggest that essential oils should not be taken internally, while others believe that the oils can do nothing but help.
With extensive knowledge about essential oils and their effect on the body, Dr. Hill addresses the use of oils internally, the responsibility of individuals with internal use oils, and how to use oils personally.