Are essential oils safe? You probably use essential oils or know someone who uses essential oils. Essential oils are the latest thing in natural wellness. Sort of. Essential oils have actually been around for as long as plants have existed and have been used by humans for natural wellness throughout recorded history.
I have been thrilled and concerned at the same time by the recent increase in use of essential oils. I’m glad that many people are taking charge of their wellness and seeking natural sources of healing, but I’m worried that we as consumers are apt to over use and incorrectly use essential oils in our excitement to overcome our wellness roadblocks.
Essential oils were highly prized in ancient times. Today it is just as important to respect essential oils as the potent and precious substances that they are.
Before you buy essential oils, here is what you need to know.
The oils for sale at your local health food chain store are likely diluted. Sometimes they are mixed with chemicals that can irritate your skin. Steer clear of these oils and opt for pure essential oils. (You can find pure essential oils here.)
Ingesting Essential Oils
There are many opinions on the subject of ingesting essential oils. The oils that I use are of the highest quality and the company who makes them says that some of them are safe to put in capsules and ingest or even add to water and drink.
I personally do not ingest essential oils (with the exception of the occasional use of my homemade mouthwash). When I first began using essential oils I was excited to try a lemon oil and water detox. I put one drop of lemon oil in an 8oz glass of water, mixed it around, and took a sip. It burned my lips, which should have been a sign to me. After a couple of days of drinking lemon oil water daily, I began to feeling a tightening and burning sensation in my throat and also dealt with middle-of-the-night nausea and acid reflux. I experienced the same nausea and acid reflux after taking a heavily diluted digestion-promoting oil blend in a capsule.
It was then that I researched ingesting essential oils and found that not everyone agreed that putting essential oils in the digestive tract was a good idea! If you want to know more about the dangers associated with ingesting essential oils, check out Essential Oil Safety and Learning About EOs.
I know plenty of essential oil users who ingest the oils and have had no problems whatsoever. I do not feel comfortable taking the risk based on my experience with ingesting essential oils and the research I’ve done so far on ingesting essential oils.
Again, essential oils are powerful substances. It is amazing how much a simple drop of an essential oil can do for the body, the mind and the mood. Still, it is important to use these potent oils in a way that will not harm the body.
Topical application is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils. If you are using an oil that suggests on the label that it can be used without a carrier oil, or neat, you should always test a small amount on your skin first. Dip a toothpick into the bottle and dot the oil on your wrist. Cover it with a band-aid and see what happens. If you have a bad reaction to the oil, immediately dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Do NOT use water to remove the oil. When applying oils topically to children, always dilute oils that are not already diluted with a carrier oil and use less than the amount of the essential oil that you would use on yourself.
Certain oils, especially citrus oils, may cause photo-sensitivity and increase the risk of sunburn on the areas of skin that they are applied. Always take care to avoid sun exposure on areas where these essential oils have been applied.
One of my favorites ways to use essential oils is through diffusing or by inhaling them straight from the bottle. Diffusing essential oils allows the oils to reach everyone who is the room and can kill airborne germs, provide calming to everyone in the area and work as an air freshener to replace chemical-laden sprays.
Never add essential oils to a humidifier, however, as the heat can damage the oils.
Overall, it is important to remember that essential oils, especially pure, high-quality oils, are extremely potent. Today, we are fortunate to have such easy and affordable access to essential oils. However, I don’t recommend using essential oils carelessly. Overloading your body with essential oils requires your liver to work harder to filter them out. With essential oils, more is not always better. Use the smallest amount necessary to achieve the result you need.
If you are ready to experience the power of high-quality essential oils, you can find out how here.
Photo Credits: Young Living