Safety when Using Essential Oils

Essential Oils are highly concentrated chemicals with complex structures. They are powerful, so care must be used when working with them.

Ginger OilMany drugs come from the volatile compounds found within plants; and, like drugs, if used too frequently, or at the wrong time, they can do more harm than good.

Unless you are certified in aromatherapy, essential oils should be used externally only due to many being toxic if ingested.

The following oils should only be used in moderation and for short periods at a time:

Basil, Bay, Camphor, Juniper, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, Hyssop, Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Thyme, Valerian, Tuberose

A few oils are phototoxic which means they can cause senstivity to sunlight. Be cautious with them on the skin if you are exposed to sunlight frequently.

They are listed below:

Angelica, Bergamot, Citronella, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Orange, Lemon Verbena

Lavender and Nutmeg OilsIt is a good idea to not use any essential oils during pregnancy unless under the care of an experienced therapist, but these oils should particularly be avoided:

Angelica, Basil, Birch, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fennel, Geranium, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon, Yarrow

Although most essential oils can irritate the skin when undiluted, these oils are particularly irritating. Make sure to dilute them very well before using on the skin:

Angelica, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Nutmeg, Orange, Peppermint

Age Guidelines

Recommended oils and doses to use for every age group

Age Essential Oils Base Oils Base Oil Additives
(maximum 10% of base oil)
Dosage
Newborn Babies Roman Chamomile
German Chamomile
Yarrow
Dill
Lavender
Hazelnut
Sweet Almond
Jojoba
Borage
Wheatgerm
1-3 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
2-6 Months As Above Plus:
Mandarin
Eucalyptus
Coriander
Neroli
As Above As Above 3-5 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
6-12 Months As Above Plus:
Palma Rosa
Calendula
Grapefruit
Aniseed
Tea Tree
As Above As Above As Above
1-5 Years All of the Above plus Ginger BUT only use 1/3 the dosage as other oils As Above As Above plus Carrot Seed 5-10 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
5-7 Years All of the above plus the following used in 1/3 the dosage directed for other oils:
Ginger
Peppermint
Rosemary
Nutmeg
Benzoin
Thyme
Hyssop
Clary Sage
Geranium
Hazelnut
Sweet Almond
Apricot
Soy Bean
Grapeseed
As Above 5-12 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
7-12 Years All Those to 7 years plus the following in 1/3 dosage for other oils:
Fennel
Frankincense
Cypress
Basil
As Above As Above 5-15 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
Puberty All of the above at full dose plus
Female:
Rose
Geranium
MarjoramMale:
Marjoram
Bergamot
As Above As Above 10-20 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons base oil
Adult All Essential Oils As Above As Above 12-30 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons

Information used in this post is taken from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

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