Thursday, July 30, 2009

Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils are becoming more common as more of us start to look for natural alternatives to common commercial products. It is important to remember that essential oils are concentrated and they should be treated with care and caution. For example, I was mixing up some oils over my stove and I learned a good lesson. I had recently painted my drip pans black because I thought it would look nicer, I got the high heat good paint that they use on grills and the pans looked really sharp. So, I was using lemon essential oil and spilled a few drops which I immediately wiped up. I also wiped the paint up too! It was quite a shock, but it took the paint straight off and let the pans bright shiny silver in those few drops. So, here are some good tips:

  • Never use an essential oil directly on your skin (except lavender), always dilute it in a carrier oil first. Some oils are more potent and should be diluted more.
  • Citrus essential oils cause photosensitivity and should not be used on skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Always consult a doctor if you are pregnant or have any medical conditions.
  • Conduct a patch test before using a new oil on your body to test for allergic reactions.
  • Severe reactions should be treated by medical professionals.
  • Common sense is always helpful: if you are allergic to cinnamon, you will be allergic to cinnamon essential oil, stay are from it.
There is a lot of literature on different conditions that can be treated by using herbs and essential oils. However, if you wish to treat a condition it is not a good idea to self-treat. Visit a trained herbalist or aromatherapist.

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