Essential oils safety guidelines - Do’s and dont’s.
Common essential oil mistakes
Essential oils boast of numerous advantages and fixes but it is also important to note that when not used right, there tends to be drawbacks. Nature can be tricky. Everything naturals isn’t essentially always safe. Though the odds of green going wrong are very less, negligence can prove to be harmful.. Essential oils which are plant derivatives, are thought of as a fail-proof solution to their needs but at times, when not used the right way, it proves otherwise. Here are few of the common essential oil mistakes you might be able to relate to, that you’re making without realising.
1.The Shelf life of essential oils
We all love to keep our favorite items safely locked away so we could use them for the special occasions, though no occasion seems good enough and end up putting it away for far too long. Storing it for a long time reduces its effectiveness and aroma. It’s important to research its shelf life. The shelf life of essential oils varies with their composition, manufacturers etc. To give a general idea, tea tree, lemongrass, pine have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Lavender, rosemary, 3-4 and pine and winter grass 5-6 years. Storing them in cool dry places, away from heat and moisture helps extend their shelf life.
2. Know your need
Essential oils are unique, each has its own outcome which makes it necessary to research to pick out the appropriate oil for the desired effect. Essential oil effects are unique to each oil, for example, lavender and peppermint oil both help in reducing headache, but lavender also has a sedative effect while peppermint is more fresh. It would be unwise to use lavender during the day nor peppermint before sleep. Similarly, both aloe vera oil and tea tree oil are used to treat acne, but the latter is comparatively drying and might not be much of a help for dry skin.
3. How much is too much?
If you are like me, you add a little too much bubble to the bath and end up sitting in a bubble explosion because hey, bubbles are fun. Essential oils are no different, though it’s tempting to go overboard with those essential oils, it’s important to recall that there is a optimum limit to the amount used.. Using a large quantity right away, besides not giving the desired result, could also prove to be harmful. Using too much essential oil for aroma, may give you a bad headache and breathing difficulties. Make sure the room is well ventilated, and you use them at regular intervals. When using essential oil for treatment in acne or other skin related problems, follow the dosage accurately, too much could cause rashes and irritation. Where pregnant women are concerned, doctors advice minimal exposure.
We hardly notice what the oils contain when we buy them. Co2 extracts tend to have a higher concentration of furocoumarins, which are photosensitizers. They cause redness of skin, skin discoloration and itching. Citrus essential oils, cumin seed oils are examples of the above. Similarly, lemongrass is said to have skin irritation in some cases. Undiluted ingestion of eucalyptus oil can also be fatal. Eucalyptus oil poisoning symptoms include stomach pain muscle weakness and burning sensation. It is essential to research the oil you’re going to be using to avoid essential oil side effects.
5. Essential oil with a carrier oil
When the oils are used for aromatherapy, it is important to mix them with a carrier, a carrier being a medium that would help dilute the oil. Since water doesn’t mix with oil, we could substitute it with aloe vera, almond oil, honey etc. But by mixing it with a carrier, we delay the evaporation of the oil. Citrus essential oils evaporate the quickest with sandalwood and myrrh down the list. Mixing essential oils with each other provides great combinations of aroma and therapy. Group them together based on your requirement. You could make a blend of the oils to create your own signature oil. Lavender and vanilla almost blend with any other essential oil.
Remember these 5 pointers next time you shop for an essential oil. Take time to research before you shop, it pays. Don’t let anyone’s mistakes with these oils scare you out of using essential oil, with the right research, they prove to be most beneficial.
6. Essential oils safe for infants
Essential Oils That Are Considered Safe For Children 2 And Under
- Jasmine absolute - Calming
- Lemongrass - Clean citrus scent (Home made bug spray)
- Ylang Ylang - Relaxing
However, for children under three, Robert Tisserand says that eucalyptus globula and radiata can be diffused (1-2 drops) and applied topically at a concentration of 0.5% (2 drops in 4 teaspoons carrier oil).