Essential oils and aromatherapy have been gaining popularity in the last few years. There is some misinformation associated with them. You may have read through scientific journals, listened to beauty podcasts or talked to a certified aromatherapist to determine your the Essential Oil Essentials. Before reading on, please understand that I am not a doctor, scientist, nor do I have any medical background. In this blog post, I am not making any medical claims or going over the physical benefits of essential oils - I have simply gathered information so you can learn more about these wondrous oils.
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts found in plants, roots, trees, fruits, peels and twigs. If used improperly, essential oils can do more harm than good. Since they are concentrated and potent, it is critical to dilute your essential oils with a “carrier” oil. Most common carrier oils are among the following: Almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, etc. Proper dilution provides a measure of safety and can prevent irritation, sensitivity and desensitization.
The recommended dilution for essential oils in a carrier oil is 0.25-0.5% for children, 1% for older children and sensitive adults, (or on your face, or for day-to-day use,) and 2-3% for more acute conditions like acne spot treatment or wounds. What does that look like? For approximately 2 tablespoons of oil or 30 milliliters, 0.5% would be about 2-3 drops of essential oil (total), 1% would be about 5 drops, 2% would be about 10 drops and 3% about 15 drops.
If you plan on taking a bath with essential oils (my fave night time combo is lavender + peppermint), remember that essential oils don’t naturally dilute in water. You will have to use a carrier oil prior to spruce up your bath. In our Crystal Candles, we have diluted the oils to reduce the combustibility and also to reduce the potency of the oils when they burn.
Not all essential oils are safe for everyone- if you are pregnant there are some essential oils you should avoid (Again, please remember that I am no doctor. Always consult a health professional when introducing new components in your regiment, especially when pregnant). A few examples of these are as follows: Aniseed, Angelica, Basil, Black pepper, Camphor, Cinnamon, Chamomile, Clary Sage (often used during labor by midwives safely), clove, fennel, fir, ginger, horseradish (should not be used by anyone), Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Mustard, Mugwart (should not be used by anyone), Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wintergreen.
Additionally, if you want to use essential oils on your infant, they should be properly diluted. Be careful with Eucalyptus and Peppermint as they may cause respiratory issues.Finally, Jen Novakovich from The Eco Well, makes a VERY IMPORTANT point that I cannot stress enough regarding taking essential oils internally: “[...]This is quite honestly dangerous, especially when recommending to a broad audience. Aside from the risks of esophageal burns, liver and GI issues, poisonings due to essential oils are a real thing, and they've been increasing over the last few years.”
- Essential Oils are very concentrated and MUST be diluted before used
- Essential Oils do not dilute in water. Always use a carrier oil
- Essential Oils are not safe for everyone
- Internal use of Essential Oils is dangerous