Since becoming an essential oil user and lover, I have learned quite a bit; how to use them, what to use them for, what a carrier oil is (you guys, I didn't even know what a carrier oil was when I first started learning about oils), mistakes I have made along the way and, ultimately, how dangerous oils can be if not used correctly. I have been super lucky in that myself and my family have not been harmed. Although, I have heard and read stories, which brings me to my reasoning for this weeks blog topic on oil safety. EO's (essential oils) were a game changer for me and can be for you too. I want to educate you so as to not create a fear of them, but rather create awareness of the risks involved if not used correctly. When used properly, the risks involved are very small and the benefits are incredible. My research comes from trusted sources, by the way. I will note where the information came from so you can research further if you wish!
1. What are essential oils?
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy says that an essential oil is a product made of natural materials that have been physically isolated through one of three methods; distillation, expression, or maceration (the process of soaking the plant material in warm water to release the enzyme-bound essential oil). There is quite a bit more information that can be looked into with this and the extraction process, but I won't bore you with all of that scientific smart stuff.
2. What factors influence oil safety and effectiveness? (Info gathered from NAHA)
3. What are the common ways to use oils?(Info gathered from NAHA)
4. What oils are safe for young children?
This is a tough question for me because I have read so many articles on oil safety for kids, but I also know that oils have been used on children right from birth in some cultures with great results. I do feel that oils need to be taken very seriously with kids, especially infants, but it all comes down to your own preference as a parent. In my home, we treat essential oils the same way we do medication. Do your research and don't ever use any oil on your child that is undiluted. Here's a list of some oils that are considered safe for young ones, according to Valerie Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy.
5. What oils are safe for pregnancy/breastfeeding?(Info gathered from NAHA)
Like kids, it is important to do your research when using any essential oil during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding. Here are some EO's that are considered safe for pregnant women, according to the NAHA.
According to Robert Tisserand (one of the worlds leading experts in aromatherapy), the following essential oils should not be used during pregnancy: wormwood, rue, oak moss,Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop.
6. How much carrier oil should I use to dilute my essential oils?
Generally speaking, a 2-3% dilution is a good place to start for older children and adults with normal skin type. By using the chart below, you can see that you might place 2 drops of essential oil in a dish, followed by 1 tsp (or 5ml) of carrier oil. For children and elderly, it is good to start at a 1% dilution.
7. Are essential oils used for vision ailments?
The short answer here is NO. There currently is no evidence that applying dilutions of essential oils to the eyes in beneficial in any condition. If an essential oil splashes in your eye, flush out with a carrier oil. Do NOT use water. EO's are insoluble in water.
Do your research and get to know your oils before you use them. In order to keep you head from spinning, you can pick one oil a week and learn about them one at a time.
Give yourself a crisp high five if you read this post all the way though. Learning about your oils is going to make yours and your family's experience that much better! If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, let me know!
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