Guidelines for the safe use of essential oils

Essential oils are very safe and easy to use. But it's important to know that pure therapeutic-grade essential oils 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 an hour, the oil can be used safely after it has been diluted with a carrier oil or by first applying a layer of carrier oil to 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 slowly with lemon oils, as they aid in detoxing. It is better to use a little more often than a lot at once.

Dilute: Each oil states on the label in what amount it can be diluted. On the next page is an overview for diluting essential oils with a carrier oil.

Hot oils as Oregano, Cinnamon, Cassia, Thyme en Clove must always be heavily diluted before use. Peppermint is strongly cooling and is therefore better to use diluted with carrier oil.

Babies and children: The rule of thumb is to dilute 1 tablespoon of carrier oil with a drop of essential oil. For babies, use the diluted oil under the feet and always wear socks to avoid putting the foot in the mouth and swallowing the oil. Internal use of essential oils is only from 6 years.

Internal use: Only the oils marked “dietary use” on the label may be used internally in small quantities. Mild oils can be dripped under the tongue. Hot oils are best taken in a capsule. Many oils can be used in cooking and intensify the flavor of dishes. Here too the following applies: less is more. Never use a plastic bottle or plastic cup, preferably always glass.

Sunlight sensitive: Avoid UV and direct sunlight for 12-24 hours after using citrus oils to prevent skin burns.

Eyes, ears, nose: Never drop oil directly into eyes, ears or nose. Never use water to rinse out an oil, because this actually increases the absorption capacity of the skin and causes it to burn even more. If oil accidentally gets too close or even in the eyes, always use a base oil to rinse it out.

Pregnancy And Breastfeeding: Most oils can be safely used during normal use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding and provide great relief during pregnancy. But also during and after childbirth. Some oils can affect the hormones and are therefore not recommended during this period. Peppermint, for example, can reduce milk production. It is important to discuss the use with your accompanying midwife or doctor.

Serious health problems: People with asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure and other serious health conditions will almost certainly experience a lot of relief from using essential oils. It is advisable to coordinate the use of these with accompanying doctors and therapists. People with epilepsy should not avoid fennel, basilicum, birch and mixtures containing these oils. People with high blood pressure should not use 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 the 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%
One-time or short-term use 10-25%
Amount of drops of essential oil
base oil 0,5% 1% 2% 3% 10% 25%
  5 ml   1 2 3 10 25
10 ml 1 2 4 6 20 50
15 ml 1,5 3 6 9 30 75
30 ml 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.