Essential Oil use with Babies and Children

I see a great amount of misinformation floating around the web on oil use and children so I want to lay out some basic safety tips for you.  If you are new to oils I cannot stress enough the importance of research.  To be sure you are getting the most accurate information research should be based on information provided by reputable aromatherapy websites or from licensed aromatherapists and doctors (in other words people who have studied the use of essential oils, NOT someone who sells them and has been using them for a month).

Basic safety rules for using Oils with Children

1. Babies and children should NEVER ingest oils.  
Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND licensed physician with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine says “Essential oils are the distilled volatile aromatic constituents of the plant that are highly concentrated.  Remember that one drop of essential oil is equivalent to 15-40 cups of medicinal tea, or up to 10 teaspoons of tincture.  Would you ever give a child 40 cups of tea or 10 teaspoons of tincture?  My goodness, I hope not.” (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)
If your child accidentally ingests some essential oils, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room. (Anthis, C.  2014, August 14. Safe Essential Oils use with Babies and Children retrieved from http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/)

2.  Oils used with babies and children should ALWAYS be diluted. 
Using oils Neat (without a carrier) could possibly cause permanent sensitization. Marge Clark says in her book Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy “One of my mentors reminds me ‘sensitization is forever.’ And I know she is right. Years ago I read the books saying that lavender oils could be used neat (undiluted). I very unwisely used undiluted lavender on broken skin, and consequently set up a sensitivity reaction. Today, almost two decades later if I come in contact with lavender in any form I will immediately start a new round of contact dermatitis that can take months to heal” (Clark, M., Essential Oils and Aromatics, Sandy, UT; Silverleaf press, 2008, 32.)

And remember Babies and Children can’t always express when something hurts them so PLEASE, ALWAYS DILUTE OILS with children and babies!  Also don’t forget to do a patch test on babies and children to make sure your dilution ratio doesn’t cause skin irritations and I always like to test the oils on myself before applying on my child, and recommend to others to do the same, just to be safe.  For a dilution chart click the below link: EO Dilution Chart

3. Introduce oils slowly, One at a time. . .
Just like you introduce new foods to babies one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction, you should introduce essential oils one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction.

4. Always keep oils away from eyes and mucus membranes (nose and mouth).
Just don’t do it.  If essential oils get in eyes flush immediately with milk and then water.  (You can also use milk or a carrier oil to flush essential oils off your hands if you end up with excess essential oil on your hands.)

5. Use extreme Caution when using oils on children with asthma
“Most essential oils will inflame a sensitive respiratory tract. I have heard from some of my naturopathic colleagues who have seen frightening cases of children completely unable to breathe because of essential oil-induced asthma attacks,” says Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)

Below is a list of age recommendations of some essential oils  for babies and children by two different experts.  This is by no means a complete list of oils and in some cases the two experts disagree on which age oil use is appropriate.  This list is a guideline and if you have questions about a specific oil, you should do some research or consult a qualified aromatherapist for more details. When in doubt don’t use an oil on yourself or your child until you find out more.  And ALWAYS DILUTE!

Age Recommendations from Two Different Experts
Expert Expert Essential Oil Name Latin Name
No. 1 No. 2
6-8+ Years 6+ months Bergamot (Citus bergamia)
2+ Years Basil, Lemon (Ociumum x citriodorum)
2+ Years Basil, Sweet  (Ocimum basilicum)
2+ Years Benzoin (Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus)
2+ Years Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)
6+ months Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota)
2+ Years Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
6+ months Cedarwood, Atlas/Virginia (cedus atlanticia, cedrus deodora, Juniperus virginiana)
6+ months Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
6+ months Cinnaman Leaf (Cinnamon zeylanicum)
6+ months Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
2+ Years Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
2+ Years Clove Bud/Clove Leaf (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata)
2+ Years Copaiba Basalm (Copaifera officinalis)
2-5+ years 6+ months Coriander (coriandrum sativum)
9-11+ Years 6+ months Cypress (cupressus sempervirens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Dill (anthum graveolens)
9-11+ Years Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
Newborn and Up 10+ Years Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
6+ months Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
2+ Years Garlic  (Allium sativum)
2-6+ months 6+ months Geranium (Pelagorium graveolens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months German chamomile (Matricaria rectutita)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
2-5+ years 6+ months Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
2-5+ years 6+ months Helichrysum (helichrysum angustifolium)
6-8+ Years Ho-wood (Cinnamomum camphora, Laurus camphora)
2+ Years Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
2+ Years Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Lavender (Lavandula Agustifolia)
2-5+ years 6+ months Lemon (Citrus limonum)
6-8+ Years Lemon Eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriodora)
2+ Years Lemongrass (Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus
2+ Years Lime (Cirtus x aurantifolia)
Newborn and Up 6+ months Mandarin (Citris reticulata)
Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium)
6-8+ Years Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
6-8+ Years 2+ Years Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
6-8+ Years Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
2-6+ months 6+ months Neroli (citrus aurantium)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Niaouli (melalecua viridiflora)
2+ Years Oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum,
2+ Years Oregano Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata)
2-5+ years Ormenis flower
Moroccan Chamomile
(ormenis mixta)
2+ Years Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
7-12+ months 6+ months Palma Rosa (cymbopogon martinii)
7-12+ months 6+ months Petitgrain (Citrius aurantium)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
2-5+ years 6+ months Ravensara (Ravensara Aromatica)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
6+ months Rosalina (Melaleuca ericfolia)
2-6+ months 6+ months Rose otto (Rosa Damascena)
6+ months Sandalwood (Santalum Spicatum)
2+ Years Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca, Mentha spicata)
6-8+ Years Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
6+ months Spruce (Picea abies, Picea Glauca, Picea mariana, Picea rubens)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2+ Years Sweet Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)
7-12+ months 6+ months Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
2-6+ months 6+ months Tea tree (Melalecua Alternifolia)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Thyme linalool (Thymus vulgaris, type linalol)
2+ Years Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
2+ Years Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
2+ Years Verbena (Lemon) (Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citrodora, Lippa triphylla)
2+ Years Vetiver  (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2-5+ years 3+ months Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
9-11+ Years Ylang, ylang (Cananga odorata)

Sources and Recommended Reading:(The above lists are from Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood , from Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis and  Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young  PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST DOES NOT COVER ALL ESSENTIAL OILS IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF IT IS SAFE TO USE AN ESSENTIAL OIL ON YOUR CHILD OR BABY CONSULT A CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED AROMATHERAPIST OR JUST DONT USE IT)

Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis

When Not to use Essential Oils by Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND

Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy by Marge Clark

Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

http://roberttisserand.com/

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils click below: Organic Essential Oils

I am NOT a doctor or medical professional. If you are seeking medical advice please do so from a qualified professional. Products and               Information on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or ailment.

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendations/testimonial or link to retail products on my website to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail site I do not myself use and recommend.


Kiss Kiss- How to make Your own Lip Balm

Since getting into making my own body products, I’ve learned that  an easy product to make (especially since the holidays are creeping around the corner) is lip balm.

The basic recipe I used was:

2 TBS of Beeswax
2 TBS of Shea Butter (you could probably sub Cocoa Butter if that’s all you have on hand)
4 TBS Almond or Coconut Oil
1 capsule or TSP of Vitamin E
10 drops of Essential Oils (such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, mint, myrrh, palmarosa, lavender OR you could use honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, chocolate or candy flavoring. . . the possibilities really are endless just look around the kitchen)
Tins/recycled containers.

I don’t have a double boiler so I set my glass pyrex measuring cup in a pot in a few inches of water.  I bring the water to a boil and then add the beeswax.  Once the wax is melted I turn down the heat a bit and stir in the almond/coconut oil.  Lastly add the Shea butter stirring frequently to keep the temperature low.  (Shea Butter can get grainy if heated for too long). Remove the mixture from the heat and then add the vitamin E and essential oils or other flavorings, mix, then pour in your tins to cool.

lipbalm

Easy, peasy.  Give it a try!

Essential Oils Safety and Safety Under the Sun- Intro to Phototoxic oils

Some essential oils are known for photosensitization or phototoxic properties. Okay, what the heck does that mean?

Photosensitizing, meaning that if applied to the skin at certain concentrations, burning can occur if the skin is also exposed to ultraviolet light. To avoid this the person should not go outside during daylight for 12-18 hours (after use). (Tisserand, R., Young, R., 2013. Essential Oil Safety, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, p. 211).

According to Wikipedia “Phototoxicity is a chemically induced skin irritation, requiring light, that does not involve the immune system.  It is a type of photosensitivity. The skin response resembles an exaggerated sunburn. The involved chemical may enter into the skin by topical administration or it may reach the skin via systemic circulation following ingestion or parenteral administration. The chemical needs to be “photoactive”, which means that when it absorbs photons, the absorbed energy produces molecular changes that cause toxicity.”

What this means is that you can bleach, cause a rash/sunburn or other damage to your skin if you apply a phototoxic essential oil to a part of your body that is then going to be exposed directly to sunlight.  I personally have a friend who has a large faded patch on her chest from using Lemon essential oil and then going out into the sun. Over time it is possible her patch might completely fade, but for some people the sun reaction can leave a permanent mark. Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young recommend that skin treated with a phototoxic oil should not be exposed to UV light for 12-18 hours.


Below is a list of Essential Oils known for their phototoxic properties

Angelic Root (Angelica archangelica)
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)*
Orange, Bitter (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Lemon (Citrus limonum) (cold/expeller pressed)
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) (cold/expeller pressed)
Mandarin Leaf (Citrus nobilis)

Orange Bergamot (Citrus bergamia, Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia)
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Tagetes (Tagetes minuta)
Verbena, Lemon (Lippia citrodora, Aloysia triphylla, Verbena triphylla)

Sources used for Research:
Introduction to Essential Oil Safety From The Hippy Homemaker

Aromatherapy For Everyone by Robert Tisserand

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e
by Rodney Young and Robert Tisserand

Gritman Essential Oils

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phototoxicity

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils click below: Organic Essential Oils

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.

Essential Oils Safety Series- Babies and Children

I see a great amount of misinformation floating around the web on oil use and children so I want to lay out some basic safety tips for you.  If you are new to oils I cannot stress enough the importance of research.  To be sure you are getting the most accurate information research should be based on information provided by reputable aromatherapy websites or from licensed aromatherapists and doctors (in other words people who have studied the use of essential oils, NOT someone who sells them and has been using them for a month).

Basic safety rules for using Oils with Children

1. Babies and children should NEVER ingest oils.  
Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND licensed physician with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine says “Essential oils are the distilled volatile aromatic constituents of the plant that are highly concentrated.  Remember that one drop of essential oil is equivalent to 15-40 cups of medicinal tea, or up to 10 teaspoons of tincture.  Would you ever give a child 40 cups of tea or 10 teaspoons of tincture?  My goodness, I hope not.” (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)
If your child accidentally ingests some essential oils, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room. (Anthis, C.  2014, August 14. Safe Essential Oils use with Babies and Children retrieved from http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/)

2.  Oils used with babies and children should ALWAYS be diluted. 
Using oils Neat (without a carrier) could possibly cause permanent sensitization. Marge Clark says in her book Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy “One of my mentors reminds me ‘sensitization is forever.’ And I know she is right. Years ago I read the books saying that lavender oils could be used neat (undiluted). I very unwisely used undiluted lavender on broken skin, and consequently set up a sensitivity reaction. Today, almost two decades later if I come in contact with lavender in any form I will immediately start a new round of contact dermatitis that can take months to heal” (Clark, M., Essential Oils and Aromatics, Sandy, UT; Silverleaf press, 2008, 32.)

And remember Babies and Children can’t always express when something hurts them so PLEASE, ALWAYS DILUTE OILS with children and babies!  Also don’t forget to do a patch test on babies and children to make sure your dilution ratio doesn’t cause skin irritations and I always like to test the oils on myself before applying on my child, and recommend to others to do the same, just to be safe.  For a dilution chart click the below link: EO Dilution Chart

3. Introduce oils slowly, One at a time. . .
Just like you introduce new foods to babies one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction, you should introduce essential oils one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction.

4. Always keep oils away from eyes and mucus membranes (nose and mouth).
Just don’t do it.  If essential oils get in eyes flush immediately with milk and then water.  (You can also use milk or a carrier oil to flush essential oils off your hands if you end up with excess essential oil on your hands.)

5. Use extreme Caution when using oils on children with asthma
“Most essential oils will inflame a sensitive respiratory tract. I have heard from some of my naturopathic colleagues who have seen frightening cases of children completely unable to breathe because of essential oil-induced asthma attacks,” says Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)

Below is a list of age recommendations of some essential oils  for babies and children by two different experts.  This is by no means a complete list of oils and in some cases the two experts disagree on which age oil use is appropriate.  This list is a guideline and if you have questions about a specific oil, you should do some research or consult a qualified aromatherapist for more details. When in doubt don’t use an oil on yourself or your child until you find out more.  And ALWAYS DILUTE!

Age Recommendations from Two Different Experts
Expert Expert Essential Oil Name Latin Name
No. 1 No. 2
6-8+ Years 6+ months Bergamot (Citus bergamia)
2+ Years Basil, Lemon (Ociumum x citriodorum)
2+ Years Basil, Sweet  (Ocimum basilicum)
2+ Years Benzoin (Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus)
2+ Years Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)
6+ months Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota)
2+ Years Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
6+ months Cedarwood, Atlas/Virginia (cedus atlanticia, cedrus deodora, Juniperus virginiana)
6+ months Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
6+ months Cinnaman Leaf (Cinnamon zeylanicum)
6+ months Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
2+ Years Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
2+ Years Clove Bud/Clove Leaf (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata)
2+ Years Copaiba Basalm (Copaifera officinalis)
2-5+ years 6+ months Coriander (coriandrum sativum)
9-11+ Years 6+ months Cypress (cupressus sempervirens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Dill (anthum graveolens)
9-11+ Years Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
Newborn and Up 10+ Years Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
6+ months Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
2+ Years Garlic  (Allium sativum)
2-6+ months 6+ months Geranium (Pelagorium graveolens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months German chamomile (Matricaria rectutita)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
2-5+ years 6+ months Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
2-5+ years 6+ months Helichrysum (helichrysum angustifolium)
6-8+ Years Ho-wood (Cinnamomum camphora, Laurus camphora)
2+ Years Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
2+ Years Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Lavender (Lavandula Agustifolia)
2-5+ years 6+ months Lemon (Citrus limonum)
6-8+ Years Lemon Eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriodora)
2+ Years Lemongrass (Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus
2+ Years Lime (Cirtus x aurantifolia)
Newborn and Up 6+ months Mandarin (Citris reticulata)
Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium)
6-8+ Years Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
6-8+ Years 2+ Years Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
6-8+ Years Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
2-6+ months 6+ months Neroli (citrus aurantium)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Niaouli (melalecua viridiflora)
2+ Years Oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum,
2+ Years Oregano Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata)
2-5+ years Ormenis flower
Moroccan Chamomile
(ormenis mixta)
2+ Years Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
7-12+ months 6+ months Palma Rosa (cymbopogon martinii)
7-12+ months 6+ months Petitgrain (Citrius aurantium)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
2-5+ years 6+ months Ravensara (Ravensara Aromatica)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
6+ months Rosalina (Melaleuca ericfolia)
2-6+ months 6+ months Rose otto (Rosa Damascena)
6+ months Sandalwood (Santalum Spicatum)
2+ Years Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca, Mentha spicata)
6-8+ Years Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
6+ months Spruce (Picea abies, Picea Glauca, Picea mariana, Picea rubens)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2+ Years Sweet Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)
7-12+ months 6+ months Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
2-6+ months 6+ months Tea tree (Melalecua Alternifolia)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Thyme linalool (Thymus vulgaris, type linalol)
2+ Years Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
2+ Years Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
2+ Years Verbena (Lemon) (Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citrodora, Lippa triphylla)
2+ Years Vetiver  (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2-5+ years 3+ months Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
9-11+ Years Ylang, ylang (Cananga odorata)

Sources and Recommended Reading:(The above lists are from Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood , from Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis and  Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young  PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST DOES NOT COVER ALL ESSENTIAL OILS IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF IT IS SAFE TO USE AN ESSENTIAL OIL ON YOUR CHILD OR BABY CONSULT A CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED AROMATHERAPIST OR JUST DONT USE IT)

Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis

When Not to use Essential Oils by Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND

Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy by Marge Clark

Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

http://roberttisserand.com/

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils click below: Organic Essential Oils

I am NOT a doctor or medical professional. If you are seeking medical advice please do so from a qualified professional. Products and               Information on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or ailment.

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendations/testimonial or link to retail products on my website to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail site I do not myself use and recommend.


Essential Oils Safety- Carrier Oils are NOT the Devil

For some reason I get the feeling that a lot of people who are newer to essential oils view using a carrier oil as a bad thing. . . I’m here to tell you that CARRIER OILS ARE NOT THE DEVIL!  Carrier oils play a very important role in SAFELY using essential oils.

What exactly is a Carrier Oil?  In the aromatherapy sense a Carrier oil is a vegetable, nut or seed oil that is used to dilute an essential oil for topical use.

Why Should I dilute my essential oils?

1. Using oils Neat (without a carrier) could possibly cause permanent sensitization
Marge Clark says in her book Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy “One of my mentors reminds me ‘sensitization is forever.’ And I know she is right. Years ago I read the books saying that lavender oils could be used neat (undiluted). I very unwisely used undiluted lavender on broken skin, and consequently set up a sensitivity reaction. Today, almost two decades later if I come in contact with lavender in any form I will immediately start a new round of contact dermatitis that can take months to heal” (Clark, M., Essential Oils and Aromatics, Sandy, UT; Silverleaf press, 2008, 32.)

Sensitization is a skin allergy that results in a severe and/or itchy rash and sensitization is a permanent condition.

2. Some Essential Oils are Potential Skin Irritants.

Some essential oils are known as “Hot Oils” and can causing a warming or burning sensation when applied to the skin. (Anthis, C. 2014, July 27 Introduction to Essential Oils Safety retrieved from
http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/introduction-essential-oil-safety/).
These “HOT” oils should ALWAYS be diluted with a carrier oil.  Other essential oils are skin irritants and can cause slight irritation (rash or redness) on sensitive skins.  “If you have extremely sensitive skin you may find that many, even all, essential oils are minor irritants, in which case you will have to avoid them.” (Tisserand, R. Aromatheraphy for Everyone, London, England; Penguin Books, 1988. 209)

The following Oils are potential Skin Irritants:

Aniseed
Backhousia
Bay
Bergamot
Black Pepper*
Cassia
Cinnamon Bark or Leaf*
Clove*
Citronella
Cumin
Inula
Lemon grass
Lemon Verbena
Marjoram*
Nutmeg*
Oregano
Peppermint*
Peru Baslam
Rosemary
Sage Dalmatian
Tagetes
Tea Absolute
Thyme (ct. Thymol)
Turpentine Oil
Verbena absolute
Birch/Wintergreen
Ylang/Ylang

  • Oils marked with an * are “Hot” oils and should NEVER be used undiluted on skin.
  • You should ALWAYS use a patch test when using a new oil to make sure you do not have a dermal reaction.

3. Dilution helps make your essential oils last longer.  
“One drop of an essential oils may be all you need to use.  That obviously will not go very far, but when it is diluted in a base oil it will cover quite a large area.” says Valerie Ann Worwood in her book The Complete Books of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy (Worwood, V. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, Novata, CA. New World Library, 1991. 15).  Dilution of oils makes a little go a long way and in the aromatherapy world the common turn of phrase when it comes to using oils is Less is More.   Remember one drop of an essential oils can equal 20-80 cups of tea depending on the oil, that’s a lot!

If you like to look at things from a more scientific point of view I found the following paragraph extremely interesting and helpful in understanding further why a carrier oil is a good thing.  “Dr. Pam Taylor, a practicing naturopathic physician, feels that there is a power released from the essential oil when it’s diluted or extended. She explains: “It is important to realize that the main reason to use non irritant essential oils undiluted is generally convenience. The assumption that undiluted essential oils will work more efficiently is generally not true. Perhaps surprisingly, experience often indicates that diluted oil is more effective than undiluted. Such observations can be explained chemically in that certain molecules rearrange into less active forms when they are present in high concentration. The molecule curls up because it sees too many of its own kind. Diluted, it sees more molecules from other oils and it relaxes into a more stretched out and active form.” FOOTNOTE By adding a carrier oil, we can extend the application surface area and possibilities of the essential oil and/or dilute a potentially skin-irritating oil. ” (Sherman, L.  2013 March 19 Safe Safe Use of Essential Oils for Health Issues retrieved from http://heritageessentialoils.com/blog/?post_id=47).  So, to me, it seems that according to Dr. Taylor that carrier oils are actually tools that help your essential oils work better, not worse, as so many people new to oils are inclined to believe.

Click Here for a Diltuion Ratio Chart

I hope this brief explanation helps you in your essential oils journey.  There is always so much more to learn and share, safely.  When using essential oils, be safe, dilute with a carrier. Carrier oils are your friend, not the devil.

Sources used for Research:
Safe Use of Essential Oils for Health Issues (Linda Sherman, Heritage Essential Oils)

Introduction to Essential Oil Safety From The Hippy Homemaker

Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy by Marge Clark

The Complete Books of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

Aromatherapy For Everyone by Robert Tisserand

Safety Information from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils  to: Organic Essential Oils

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.

Basic Essential Oil Safety

I love Essential Oils!  And I am a huge stickler when it comes to using them safely! I see so many people using oils irresponsibly because they are uneducated about how and why we use them certain ways.  This is not entirely their fault, some people get sucked into to buying them from someone who is great at sales and just doesn’t know much about the oils themselves. I decided that to help combat this problem that I am going to write a summer series about essential oil safety to help anyone new to essential oils be sure they they are using them properly!  I am starting with 12 basic rules and each week this summer I will go into more detail about different proponents of Essential Oil Safety!  Please follow along and if you would like more details about any of the information I provide I will be happy to help out!

Essential Oils General Safety

  1. Keep out of reach of pets, children, (and anyone else who doesn’t know what they are)
  2. Always Dilute All Essential Oils, ESPECIALLY if using oils for Babies or Children or the Elderly. You can find many dilution charts recommended by experts in the field of Essential Oils.  Here is one from  Kurt Schnaubelt PhD, Valerie Worwood, Robert Tisserand and courtesy of Heritage Essential Oils:EO Dilution Chart (www.heritageessentialoils.com)
  3. Keep Oils Away from Eyes and Mucus Membranes
  4. Keep Oils away from Sun and Heat (Essential Oils are highly flammable substance and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes and gas cookers *)
  5. Avoid Prolonged Use of the same oil.
  6. Do not use any type of photosensitive oils 24 hours prior to sun exposure
  7. Do not use undiluted oils directly on skin. Use a Carrier Oil for Dilution and perform a skin patch test when using a new oil typically for the first time.
  8. If you are pregnant, have sensitive skin, epilepsy, heart or kidney problems or any other serious medical condition consult with the appropriate medical professional before using essential oils
  9. Never ingest Essential Oils without consulting with an Aromatherapist or other qualified practitioner
  10. Remember Less is More when it comes to essential oils.
  11. If swallowed immediately contact poison control and do not try to induce vomiting.
  12. If essential oils get in eyes flush immediately with milk and then water.  You can also use milk or a carrier oil to flush essential oils off your hands if you end up with excess essential oil on your hands.

*Battaglia, S. (2002) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Australia: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils  to: Organic Essential Oils

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.

How to make your Own Face Wash

In my journey to make my own household products and get rid of commercial products with chemicals I wondered what I should use to clean my face.  I stumbled across the oil cleansing method from The Holistic Mama here:
http://theholisticmama.com/why-you-should-wash-your-face-with-oil/
and thought, what the heck, it’s inexpensive, let’s give it a try. . .

To make the face wash for the oil cleansing method you need:

A Glass Bottle with a lid.
Castor Oil
Olive Oil (or you can substitute your favorite carrier oil here other recommendations are almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, apricot oil, sunflower seed oil, argan oil or avocado oil)
A Few Essential Oils of your choice. (Recommendations are Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Rose Oil, Myrrh Oil.)

For Normal skin use a 1:1 Ratio for every 1 TBS of Castor Oil, use 1 TBS of Olive Oil

For Dry Skin use a 1:3 ratio.  1 TBS Castor Oil for every 3 TBS of Olive Oil

For Oil Skin use a 3:1 ratio.  3 TBS Castor Oil for every 1 TBS of Olive Oil.

Mix the oils and pour them in your glass container.  Then add the essential oils of your choice to the glass bottle and shake vigorously to mix.

To wash your face.  Pour about a nickel size dab of oil in your palms and rub on your dry face.  Use an upward circular motion and massage into your skin for about a minute.  Run a washcloth under hot water and then lay the cloth on your face for 15-30 seconds to help the oil penetrate your skin.  Rise the washcloth and then wipe any excess oil from your face.  (Be sure to use a clean wash cloth every time you use this method).

Cheers and Happy Cleansing!

Disclosure:The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other organization.  Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any diseases.  Readers are advised to do their own research and make their own decisions and refer to their own healthcare provider regarding anything health related.

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit.  I will never link to a retail provider I have not used.  I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.

General Essential Oil Safety:

  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • If swallowed immediately contact poison control and do not try to induce vomiting.
  • If product gets in eyes flush with milk than water
  • Keep away from heat 
  • Do not leave in direct sunlight

For more safety tips go to https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/#general

Find Essential Oils at:

Mountain Rose Herbs

 FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.