We are at the end of the essential oil series and I just wanted to end with a few safety guidelines I like to follow. It is important to remember essential oils are very concentrated and potent and care should be taken with the way we store and use them. Here is a simple list of guidelines to follow in order to use your essential oils safely and effectively - according to Annie.
If you are new to essential oils I would suggest starting with one essential oil and study it, learn about the healing properties of that oil; all that it can be used for, if it can be used neat or needs a carrier, if it can be taken internally and if it has any cautions with it such as staying out of the sun after use or not using while pregnant or nursing. Once you study the oil then get familiar with the aroma, use it and become familiar with it, only then move onto another essential oil continuing to use both. This is the baby step method and takes a lot of frustration and feeling of being overwhelmed out of using these amazing, God sent gifts. May I suggest starting with lavender - this is one of the most gentle and versatile essential oils available. Using several books and resources I am currently compiling a list of each single essential oil with all of the above information contained on the page. This is a work in progress and I will try to finish it as quickly as possible so you can have all this information at the click of a button. You can find the single oil pages by clicking below.
After applying the first guideline you should know if the essential oil you are using is safe to use on infants and children. When using essential oils on infants and young children ALWAYS use a carrier even if the oil states it can be used neat (without a carrier). Also start with 1 drop of essential oil per palm full of carrier oil (about 30 drops carrier) for topical application and only 2-3 drops in bath water - I loved giving my babies lavender baths! Lavender is an exception to this rule, it is gentle enough to be used neat and as a bonus it can be used to treat most anything your baby may need to be treated for.
I learned this lesson the hard way as I thought my essential oils were out of the way in the dark towel closet towards the back of one of the shelves. My then 3 year old always saw mommy applying oils to his owies and decided he could do it himself, he climbed up the shelf and pulled a random bottle out and dumped the entire bottle onto his leg. Besides the fact that the entire house had to be fumigated, his leg was bright red and was very irritated. I doused his leg with carrier oil and we all spent the rest of the day outdoors while the house aired out. After that I moved my oils to the highest shelf completely out of sight and reach. Again these oils are very potent and should be treated as such.
I will be honest in stating that I never patch test my oils before using, however neither myself or my children have allergies. I would highly suggest this if you or your family are prone to allergies or have sensitive skin. To do this, apply a small amount of carrier and 1 drop of essential oil to the inside part of your arm, wait for an hour or two to see if it turns reds or you have any type of reaction. If not, go ahead and use the oil as planned.
Remember how potent and concentrated essential oils are? 1 drop is the equivalent to about an ounce of plant material so you do not need that much at all, in fact using too much will cause a detox and those are no fun at all. Start with 1-3 drops of oil and if you feel you need more than that you can use a couple more but never more than 6 drops. If you use too much and trigger a detox you will feel nauseous, faint, have a headache, stuffy nose or cold and flu like symptoms. If this happens discontinue the use of the oil and apply a lot of carrier oil to the area. You can never overdose on oils when applying them to skin, only if taken internally, so you may feel yucky for a bit but you will get over it. Next time use a smaller amount of essential oil and maybe more carrier oil. Along the same lines if you accidentally spill oil or get it into your eyes dilute with carrier oil as I did my 3 year old until you feel better.
Only use 100% genuine essential oils, I only trust the distributor I use for this purpose and even then I only use essential oils to flavor food, not to take medicinally. Study the oil to make sure it is okay to take internally and only use the recommended dosages on the bottle, I would also be prayerful about this method of use.
There are so many essential oil distributors around these days that there are many places to choose from when purchasing essential oils. I have seen many blog posts about people testing out different oils and coming to a conclusion as to which company is the "best". I am not going to do that here. Yes, I have tested out several different companies and have been doing so for many years, but my conclusion as to what I think are the "best" essential oils is different from what this blogger decided and different from what that blogger decided. So what I am suggesting you do is study, test and experiment until you find what works "best" for you. I have found a brand of essential oils that are a step above everything else I have used (which has been a lot). I use these for medicinal purposes but for my household cleaners and salves using a lot of essential oil I use another brand that I can order in bulk and am happy with them as well. Don't feel you must tie yourself down to just one brand, but do be cautious because there are some out there that will dilute their oils or add synthetics to them, again be prayerful when choosing what oils to use.
May God be with you in your essential oil journey and may he bless you with good health and healing as you use these gifts he has blessed us with!
Hi, I’m Annie, a Mother of Influence and Master Herbalist. Welcome to my place where I share what I have learned of natural and frugal living, healthy eating and living, gardening, homeschooling,herbal crafting, preparing temporally and spiritually, and love for God and Country.