Aromatherapy has many benefits, but it is imperative that safety precautions are taken when handling essential oils. While they may seem harmless (they are extracted from plants, after all), many need to be diluted before applying directly to the skin.
- Read all label warnings and cautions
- Keep essential oils away from your eyes. If an oil comes into contact with your eye, flush it out with large quantities of warm water and immediately seek medical advice
- Keep essential oils away from children, who may think they can ingest them because of how they smell
- Use only the suggested amount; misuse can lead to headaches and/or nausea. If you suspect you’ve used too much, drink plenty of water and get some air
- Essential oils should be diluted before being applied to the body. Because they are so concentrated, it is not advisable to rub essential oils directly onto the skin. This can cause redness, burning, itching and irritation. If the oil comes into contact with your skin, coat the area in a cream or vegetable oil and then wash with warm, soapy water
- Never consume essential oils, unless called for in specific recipes. If you do ingest the oil, drink and rinse mouth out with milk, and seek medical advice
- Read the warnings on essential oil packaging; some oils shouldn’t be combined with other medication or alcohol, or taken if you have certain medical conditions (like epilepsy or low blood pressure)
Essential oils have wonderful medicinal benefits, but if used improperly the effects can be hazardous to your health.