Guidelines for the safe use of essential oils

Essential oils are very safe and easy to use. But it is important to know, that pure essential oils of therapeutic quality are highly concentrated plant extracts and should be used with caution.

Skin test:  People with sensitive skin can prevent unwanted irritations with a simple skin test. Put some neutral carrier oil on the forearm and then a small amount of essential oil. If the skin shows no irritation after one hour, then the oil can be safely used after diluting it with a carrier oil or by first putting a layer of carrier oil on the skin and then the essential oil.

The most commonly used organic carrier oils are: coconut oil (fractionated), jojoba oil, almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.

Less is more:  A normal dose is 1-3 drops for adults. Start quietly with lemon oils, as they aid in detoxification. Rather use little more often than a lot at once.

Dilute:  For each oil, the label indicates the amount in which it can be diluted. On the next page is an overview for diluting essential oils with a carrier oil.

Hot oils  such as Oregano, Cinnamon, Cassia, Thyme and Clove should always be diluted heavily before use. Peppermint is strongly cooling and is therefore also better used diluted with carrier oil.

Babies and children:  Rule of thumb is to dilute 1 tablespoon of carrier oil with one drop of essential oil. For babies, use the diluted oil under the feet and always put on a sock to avoid putting the foot in the mouth and thus swallowing the oil. Internal use of essential oils is only from 6 years of age.

Internal use:  Only oils labeled “dietary use” may be used internally in small amounts. Mild oils can be dripped under the tongue. Hot oils are best taken via a capsule. Many oils can be used in cooking and intensify the flavor of dishes. Again, less is more. Never use a plastic bottle or plastic cup, preferably always glass.

Sunlight Sensitive:  After using citrus oils, avoid UV and direct sunlight for 12-24 hours to prevent skin burns.

Eyes, ears, nose:  Never drip oil directly into eyes, ears or nose.  Never use water  to rinse out an oil, as this actually increases the skin’s absorption capacity, making it burn even more. If oil accidentally gets too close to, or even in, the eyes, always use a base oil to rinse it out.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:  Most oils can be used safely during pregnancy and lactation when used normally and actually provide great relief during pregnancy. But also during and after childbirth. Some oils can affect hormones and are therefore not recommended during this period. Peppermint, for example, can reduce milk production. It is important to discuss use with your supervising midwife or physician.

Serious health problems : People with asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure and other serious health problems almost certainly experience much relief by using essential oils. It is advisable to coordinate its use with accompanying physicians and therapists. People with epilepsy should avoid fennel, basil, birch and mixtures containing these oils. People with high blood pressure should avoid thyme and rosemary.

Bathing with essential oils:  Always mix essential oils with a dispenser such as bath or shower gel, (rice) milk or salt (sea salt, epsom salt) before adding them to bath water.

Flammable:  Many oils are flammable. Therefore, keep them away from open flames and heat sources.


Dilution Overview

What do you want to use the oil for? Dilution
Babies, toddlers or “hot” oils 0,5%
Children, seniors, sensitive skin 1%
Daily skin care 2-3%
Single or short use 10-25%
Amount of drops of essential oil
Base oil 0,5% 1% 2% 3% 10% 25%
  5ml   1 2 3 10 25
10ml 1 2 4 6 20 50
15ml 1,5 3 6 9 30 75
30ml 3 6 12 18 60 150

A drop is not an exact unit of measurement, and the size of a drop depends on the viscosity of the oil and the dropper of the bottle.

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