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Risks and Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils are fashionable lately, and with good reason. They are, in a sense, a pharmaceutical grade natural remedy with incredible power. But with great power comes great responsibility, and there are many online resources essential oils that give blanket advice worrying about their use.

Do not misunderstand me. I love oils and use everyday. Very often, I use diluted natural beauty of or natural cleaning recipes but also aromatically and therapeutically use sometimes.

Due to the strength of essential oils, I am cautious of overusing them and want to make sure that my family always used safely. Here are some important things to know about essential oils (and, of course, consult with a certified herbalist, aromatherapy or doctor) before use.

Essential oils are highly concentrated

Please, you know you need:

  • 256 pounds mint leaves to make a pound of peppermint essential oil
  • 150 pounds or more of lavender flowers to make one pound of lavender essential oil
  • Thousands of pounds of roses to make 1 pound of essential oil of rose

essential oils contain highly concentrated properties of the herb or plant derived from. A very small amount employers’ organizations often have the qualities of many cups of herbal tea from the same plant. For example, a drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 26 to 28 cups of mint tea. This does not mean that essential oils should not be used but must be used carefully, with proper education and safe amounts. If you do not eat dozens of cups of herbal tea, you should probably think twice before consuming the equivalent amount of essential oils.

Essential Oils skin

I use essential oils in many of my beauty recipes like bars lotion and face herbal oil but in dilute amounts. The key word is “diluted”.

In most cases, the essential oils is used undiluted on the skin. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the time, essential oils should only be used undiluted under the care and supervision of a trained physician or aromatherapy. Due to the small molecular size of essential oils, which can easily penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream.

Generally, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or almond oil in a 3 -5% solution. On the practical level, this is 3-5 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil (much less if used in an infant or child).

use undiluted on the skin can cause irritation or an allergic reaction in some people, and I even read cases of someone getting a permanent sensitivity to a particular oil after use undiluted on broken skin . Some oils, such as lavender, rose and chamomile are generally considered safe for use undiluted skin, but was still personally dilute (most of these are expensive oils and would be costly to use undiluted anyway).

I personally see any essential oil diluted in the arm before using a big part of my body. Some essential oils are considered acceptable to use undiluted on the skin if an individual is not sensitive to them, but again, always consult a qualified professional first.

From a personal standpoint, I have firsthand experience with potential problems with exposing the skin undiluted. I tried a new massage therapist in our small town as it had a special offer for massage “aromatherapy”. I assumed this meant no essential oils in a diffuser during the massage. To my surprise, as it began the massage I felt drops on the back. I realized a few seconds after she was pouring essential oils on the back … a lot of them. Le oils using what she was asked and she assured me they were safe, but it gave me a headache soon after.

In total, probably she poured more than 80 drops of essential oils undiluted on the back. I had chills and headache for the rest of the day and a large red stain on the back (12 inch diameter) that lasted several days. Certainly, there should be asked to leave rather than simply asking what oils were, but what struck me was that she did not ask if I could use essential oils in me, she did not ask if she was pregnant or had a health problem first and I found out later that she was not even a trained massage or aromatherapy, but there was only “invented” technique as a way to use essential oils therapeutically therapist.

again, should have acted differently and probably asked to see his license massage first, but my experience with this amount of essential oils in the skin was not positive

Conclusion :. Be careful and do your research before using essential oils in the skin, even undiluted.

photosensitivity of certain oils

always include a warning in my recipes that include citrus oils that can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. These oils have certain components that can make the skin more sensitive to UV light and can lead to blistering, skin discoloration or burning more easily exposure to minor.

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Although the risk of photosensitivity or phototoxicity varies depending on the way the oil was distilled, oils generally are considered photosensitive are :. orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit and bergamot

internal use of essential oils

This will be a point of controversy, but many essential oils are not safe for internal use and the other should be used with extreme caution. Since essential oils are the equivalent of 10-50 cups of herbal tea (depending on grass) or 20x the recommended herbal tea of ​​the same grass, which should only be taken internally dose in situations where they are absolutely necessary and with extreme care (and under the guidance of a trained professional).

Here’s the thing: the essential oils are very potent plant compounds that can have a very dramatic effect on the body. Many online sources tout their “antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties.” You know what is full of many kinds of bacteria? Your gut .

Research is constantly emerging about our diverse intestinal microbiome, but do not fully understand yet. We know that intestinal health drastically affects other aspects of health and imbalances in the gut can cause skin problems, brain and other body parts. The effects of the essential oils in the intestinal bacteria have not been well studied yet and the very real antibacterial properties of essential oils can kill many types of bacteria in the intestine (including beneficial and necessary bacteria).

In fact, the studies on the antibacterial properties of essential oils that compare to antibiotics and suggest that they may be an effective alternative to antibiotics ( This is a study ).

antibiotics can save life and necessary in some cases (that saved the life of my husband several years ago) but should not be used regularly, or without the supervision of a professional preventively doctor.

In most cases, some of the same benefits of an essential oil (taken internally) can be obtained by use of the herb itself (fresh or dried) or a tea or tincture of the herb.

Many essential oils are considered “GRAS” or generally recognized as safe for food and cosmetic use. However, essential oils have not been studied, especially in concentrated internal quantities. Things like vinegar, salt and baking soda are also given this status, but that does not mean they should be consumed regularly or in large quantities. Always do your research first!

essential oils during pregnancy or nursing

Essential oils can affect hormones, gut bacteria and other aspects of health and extreme care should be used when taken for pregnancy or breastfeeding.

There is evidence that essential oils can cross the placenta and reach the baby. The effects of essential oils can be mixed into the uterus and extreme care should be taken with the use of essential oil during pregnancy. Again, I’m not saying they should not be used during pregnancy, but extreme care must be taken and the research carried out for the first time.

I personally do not take any essential oil internally during pregnancy (or even during lactation). Right now, I stay with aromatherapy and very dilute approved use of essential oils in recipes for skin care and bath. I also re always try a diluted oil in a skin test before use during pregnancy.

Many oils are considered safe during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester (depending on the source), but again, I ‘d consult a professional and be careful with any herbs used during pregnancy . Even the oils that are considered safe can be harmful to certain women and there is some speculation that the actions of some oils in hormones can cause dangerous hormonal imbalances during pregnancy.

oils that are not considered safe during pregnancy

anise, angelica, basil, pepper Black, camphor, cinnamon, chamomile, sage (often used during childbirth by a midwife safely), cloves, fennel, fir, ginger, horseradish (not to be used by anyone), Jasmine, juniper, marjoram, mustard, Mugwart (not to be used by anyone), myrrh, nutmeg, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, Wintergreen.

I personally recommend you consult a doctor or midwife before taking essential oils during pregnancy.

peppermint essential oil can decrease milk production during lactation, and as such avoid it topically during lactation.

use in infants and children

This is one of the things that worries me a lot of essential oil recommendations I see online. In my opinion, essential oils should not be administered internally to children or used undiluted on the skin. They should be further diluted than they are for adult use and care should be taken with the “hot” essential oils considered, since they can damage the skin.

Generally, oils like lavender, chamomile, orange, lemon and incense are considered safe for the diluted use in children, but I personally still make a skin test and consult a doctor first .

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Some oils have caused seizures in children and extreme caution should be used ( this article by a naturopathic doctor explains more and gives some case studies – as people have said, I want to mention I think his message is excessively alarmist but she also makes some good points). Clarify- reactions to these seizures were rare and most were people who were predisposed to seizures, but this is still not a risk to take with young children.

Others, such as mint, rosemary, eucalyptus and wintergreen should not be used near young children or infants. These herbs contain menthol and 1,8-cineol. These compounds can slow breathing (or even stop completely) in very young children or those with respiratory problems. Of course, you should never be used internally or pure on the skin of children, but these particular oils aromatic warrant caution even for use. I do not personally never use these oils in or around infants for this reason.

This article from the University of Minnesota warns about the use of oils of peppermint and similar in children under six years, because “menthol and one of the main chemicals in the peppermint oil-caused respiratory failure in young children, and caused severe jaundice in babies with G6PD deficiency (a common genetic enzyme deficiency) (Price & Price, 1999). ”

Since the effects of essential oils are more concentrated in children, it is prudent to take extra caution when using essential oils in them. Personally, I prefer the use of essential security oils in a diffuser or in very dilute beauty and cleaning products amounts.

Essential Oils in plastic

Another thing that is not mentioned often is that essential oils should never be stored in plastic containers, especially in concentrated forms. Many essential oils can eat through the plastic when undiluted, and even when diluted, plastics can degrade over time.

I do household cleaners with essential oils in glass bottles for this reason (although they are highly diluted) and store homemade beauty products in glass whenever possible.

This warning also extends to other surfaces in the house, which seemed to me that the hard way. A bottle of wild orange oil was left in a homemade furniture in our house and when I picked it up the next day, which was attached to the piece, finishing and removing stains when I picked it up. Apparently, there was still some oil on the bottom of the bottle (probably hand when pouring). Be very careful to leave used oils, especially citrus oils, wood or other soiled surfaces.

The Good News

Although there are a lot of warnings about the safe use of essential oils, which are wonderful natural remedies when used correctly. I hope this post does not discourage any user of essential oils, but encourages research and proper safety first.

I use essential oils in everyday, but just make sure you investigate each oil and proper first use. It is also important to ensure that the essential oils used are organic and very high quality

Safe ways to use essential oils :.

At the end of the day, essential oils can be an excellent and safe natural remedy, if used safely. The main ways to use essential oils are:

I reserve the use of the skin undiluted and internal use for times of real need when the benefits outweigh the risks and avoid the use of essential oils of this how babies / children or when I’m pregnant

Sources and further reading :.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/6/39
Bensouilah J, and P. Buck Aromadermatology. Abindon, UK: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Tisserand, R., and Balacs, T. (1995). Essential Oil Safety. NY:. ] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10460442
the essential oils as a result of the breakthrough seizure after temporal lobectomy
Seizures by the essential oil of fennel induced
book :. Essential and Aromatic Oils: A step by step guide for using massage and aromatherapy
Book: essential oil safety: a guide for health professionals
the biological effects of essential oils – a review
tiger Balm as treatment for tension headache. A clinical trial in general practice.
acute and subacute toxicity study in mice 1,8-cineole
The antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts
antibacterial in vitro activity of essential oils against Streptococcus pyogenes
in vitro antibacterial activity of some essential oils from plants
A near fatal case of high lessons learned dose peppermint oil Ingestion-
National Association of Aromatherapy data Sheet comprehensive security for essential oils during pregnancy
International Association of professional Aromatherapists Sheet data pregnancy (PDF)

What do you use essential oils? Have you had any negative impact of their use?

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