ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY

Essential oils:

- Must be properly diluted prior to topical use. Use a carrier oil, unscented lotion or glycerin gel.

 

- shouldn’t be taken internally due to toxicity and irritation to mucous membranes of the mouth, throat & stomach.

- ARE NOT recommended to be added to your drinking water. *** "It is important to note that oral application is not approved in North America and most aromatherapy associations have come out strongly against oral dosing. " from the BCAOA/CAOA website.

- ARE NOT recommended for eye issues or to be added to your mascara.

*** If you accidentally get essential oils in your eyes, Health Canada says First wash your hands, then use a carrier oil, like Olive or Grapeseed oil to flush out the eye. If your eyes continue to sting, seek medical attention!

- It is not recommended to use pure essential oils internally to treat vaginal yeast infections.

- Don’t use essential oils blends or massage oils on your genital area as it may cause irritation to sensitive mucous membranes

- Essential oils are not recommended to use in your personal lubricants because they may make condoms ineffective.

- Know the Latin name, as well as the chem-type of the essential oil that you are using. Depending on the country of origin & the growing conditions, the therapeutic properties & the safety considerations of some oils can be affected, like Rosemary, Basil, Thyme & Hyssop. It’s always important to do your research

- Do not use essential oils or blends near a heat source or an open flame, as some essential oils are flammable.

 

- ​Keep out of reach of children & away from pets

Contraindications

Essential oils have different properties, as well as different contraindications. There are some essential oils that you need to avoid & some that need to be used with caution if you take medication or have an underlying medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Care must also be taken when blending essential oils for children or the elderly.

This is a shortlist of some of the contraindications:

Asthma: Use caution before using essential oils. Check with your healthcare practitioner first. 

Epilepsy: Use caution before using essential oils. Check with your healthcare practitioner first. Best to avoid varieties of Eucalyptus, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage.

 High Blood Pressure (untreated): Avoid  Cypress, all the varieties of Peppermint, White Thyme

 Low Blood Pressure (untreated):  Avoid Sweet Marjoram

Kidney Issues:  Use caution with Juniper Berry & Black Pepper

Photosensitivity: Some citrus essential oils like Bergamot, cold-pressed Lemon & Lime, Bitter Orange and Grapefruit, can cause a photosensitive skin reaction. Avoid going out in the sun or using a tanning bed for a minimum of 12 hours after using these essential oils topically. These essential oils may react with UV light and cause redness, swelling, and/or blistering of the skin; your skin may react up to 24 – 72 hours after using these citrus essential oils topically. 

*According to authors Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, “Citrus scented bath products that get washed off of your skin, (like your body wash, bath soap or shampoo) are generally not a risk.”

Aspirin Allergy: avoid Wintergreen & Sweet Birch.

Blood thinners (Warfarin): Avoid blends with Wintergreen, Sweet Birch also Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Bay Laurel & Ginger.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Do your research and use caution before using essential oils in pregnancy or when lactating. (Also check with your healthcare professional before use). Best to avoid varieties of Eucalyptus, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage essential oils (to name a few)

Infants & Young Children: (under 6 years of age): Do your research before using essential oils with young children. Some to avoid are Sage, Thyme, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Rosemary & Eucalyptus essential oils.

This information is for interest-only & is not meant to diagnose

or replace medical advice.

References:

 

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003

  • Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2014

Beverly Hawkins at https://westcoastaromatherapy.com

https://bcaoa.org/education/safety/