How can be sure that the essential oils I
use are safe?
Essential oils require careful handling. They are very
concentrated substances with specific active properties and it is
important to follow professional guidelines and apply common
sense as you would with any other medicine.
If you buy from a reputable source, your oils will come with
directions for safe application.
Can I use an essential oil neat on my
The first general rule is not to use essential oils
indiscriminately on the skin. The majority of essential oils are
not suitable for neat application, though some, like Manuka or
Lavender, can be used by most people in small quantities direct to
People with a history of sensitivity should always dilute with a
carrier oil (1 drop to 1ml).
A general safe ratio for dilution is 2 drops of essential oil to
a ¼ teaspoon of carrier oil. A qualified practitioner may
recommend a higher dose but this is based on an extensive
knowledge of the essential oils in use. If directions offer a range
such as 2-5 drops, begin with the lower dose and only increase
it if it seems necessary, a little at a time. A little like
homeopathy, with essential oils less is more.
If a skin reaction is experienced, rub the area down with pure
Olive or Almond oil or even butter, do not wash with water as
this will make the essential oil penetrate further into the
skin and may cause a greater reaction. The essential oils are drawn
into the carrier oil and become diluted.
Are there any instances when essential
oils would be dangerous to use?
Some essential oils have properties that are considered
dangerous for certain conditions. Pregnancy, asthma, epilepsy,
high blood pressure… if you are making your own blends and you
have a condition to consider, always research well
before proceeding. A good source of essential oils should be
able to offer safe guidelines and products that include clear
safe directions of use. (Click here for
Is it unsafe to take essential oils
Though some practitioners may prescribe an essential oil for
internal use, in reality very few essential oils can be used
this way and therefore it is NOT OK to take any essential oil
internally unless a qualified practitioner has prescribed a safe
method as part of a specific treatment. (If an oil is ingested
by accident, drink fatty milk and seek advice, do not drink water
nor induce vomiting.)