Curious about essential oils and how to use them? Get some basic safety tips and here! Essential Oils 101: Basics and Safety Tips
Hey friends! As you know, I love to use unconventional products here. I’m not a totally “crunchy” mom: we still use conventional products in our house. But we still love trying out new products and finding ways to add more natural elements into our routines.
One of the things I have been using periodically is essential oil. There is a lot of buzz around essential oils and aromatherapy these days. And for good reason! Essential oils are an impactful wellness tool that complements your good health habits.
While essential oils can have positive effects on health, they are also very concentrated and there can be negative effects if not used properly. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about how to safely use essentials oils, so here are some essential oil basics and considerations so you can use essential oils safely!
Essential Oil DON’Ts…
- Never use essential oils directly on your skin without diluting in a carrier oil first
- Don’t use essential oil blends if you are pregnant or have serious health conditions without professional guidance
- Don’t think that essential oils are a “quick fix” for problems: essential oils are a tool for wellness, not a replacement for medicines or healthy lifestyle choices
- Never ingest essential oils: essential oils aren’t meant to be ingested, even if they are diluted. There is not enough research done on ingesting essential oils to support safety and efficacy
Essential Oil DOs:
- Find reputable brands of oils that are pure and unadulterated (check out the aromatherapy essential oils from Nature’s Bounty® Earthly Elements™)
- Educate yourself on types of essential oils and effects before using them
- Seek medical and professional help when choosing essential oils if you have special health concerns
Regarding ingestion or internal use of essential oils, the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) does not endorse the internal use of essential oils unless administration is under the direct supervision of a trained and experienced professional. The AIA website has some great safety information if you want to read more on their site.
NOTE: I also highly recommend reading this article from the National Capitol Poison Center on the safe use of essential oils!
The best ways to use essential oils are topically and through diffusion. For topical use, a good rule of thumb for diluting essential oils is to use a 2% solution. Some essential oils may require even less concentration, but most will be fine with a 2% concentration. This roughly equates to 12 drops per 1 fluid ounce of carrier oil.
For pregnant women, children, or people in special populations or with significant health problems, a 1% solution is best. This is equivalent to 3 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil.
Copyright ® 2015, Nature’s Bounty, Inc
Do keep in mind that the Nature’s Bounty Chamomile Oil is already blended with sweet almond oil. If you have tree nut allergies keep this in mind.
For using essential oils in a diffuser, use the directions of your particular diffuser for information on how to dilute the essential oils. Since each diffuser is a little different and each has a different capacity, the instructions should tell you safe dilution guidelines.
If you’re looking for affordable and pure essential oils, check out the Earthly Elements™ essential oils from Nature’s Bounty®. They have 9 essential oils, almond oil (for diluting), and a diffuser so you can mix and match aromatherapy oils to meet your needs.
I chose the lavender oil and the chamomile oil to keep at home. Both oils are calming, soothing, and help to relieve tension through relaxation. I’ll be sharing a recipe with these oils soon, so stay tuned!
Copyright ® 2015, Nature’s Bounty, Inc
Disclaimer: This website contains general information about health and fitness. This information is not advice, and should not be used to replace medical advice from a doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about health or fitness matters, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
11 thoughts on “Essential Oils 101: Basics and Safety Tips”
I really like your article…..This is the first time that i read your article and its really worth!!!!!You really describe it in very brief way…..Essential oils are very popular now…..I have just recently gotten into using the essential oils. Thank you for sharing this information!!!!
This is so helpful!!!!Keep posting!!!!
Have a nice day ahead…….
Brilliant post, Sarah! Would you think of doing a post regarding safety use for pregnant women and babies as well?
What kind of oil(s) are best when trying to get rid of a cold?
Here’s a good post with some oil blends for colds: http://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/15666516-using-essential-oils-to-effectively-prevent-relieve-colds#.VtzSeZMrKi4. Eucalyptus is a good one in a diffuser to help open up your upper respiratory system
Hola mi hija de 4 añis tiene dermatitis atopica y se rasca mucho. He leído que el aceite de lavanda le ayuda mucho. Por favor me puede confirmar y la manera de usarlo. Gracias
Hi Karem, it’s safe to use lavender oil topically if it is mixed with a carrier oil first, like grapeseed oil or jojoba oil. You can start with 6 drops of lavender oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil (about 3 drops of essential oil to 1 Tablespoon carrier oil). That would make it a 1% dilution, making it safe for kids. Make sure you don’t use the essential oil straight on the skin without diluting first
We do a chamomile / lavender blend to help my daughter sleep better at night.
This is great information and now I am a bit nervous. I have peppermint oil and I have rubbed it on my temples when suffering from a migraine. I did this because a friend that sells oils suggested it. Any idea what it could do to me or maybe what already has done? Again, thank you for this great information, I am constantly learning new things when it comes to this product and you just taught me more!
Hi Jenn! I’m glad this is helping you 🙂 Most essential oils are super potent and can burn skin and cause contact dermatitis if it is undiluted with a carrier oil. Using it undiluted once may not have had any long term adverse effects, but I definitely wouldn’t do it again. Because they are so potent they can cause skin irritation and other things. The AIA website has some really good safety tips for essential oils too.
I made the mistake of drinking some water with essential oils in it (recommended by people as well) until I did a little research and discovered that they are never meant to be ingested. Plus the oils won’t disperse in water so all the oils were gathering at the top and going down very concentrated at once – not good! I won’t be doing that again…
Definitely do some research on essential oils before using them. Some types of essential oils can actually be poisonous if ingested or used improperly (http://www.poison.org/articles/2014-jun/essential-oils). There are lots of good things about essential oils, but it helps a lot to do a good amount of research on proper use. The internet has a lot of conflicting articles on how essential oils are to be used, so the AIA website (http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/) is a great place to start.
Also, lavender is a good one for headaches, you can mix it with a carrier oil and then apply it to your temples that way
I love mixing lavender and a peppermint blend into my diffuser. So relaxing!
That combo sounds so good!