Precautions for use
Pure Essential Oil (EO) are powerful concentrated substances that can present undesirable effects and contraindications. Numerous precautions are therefore needed when using them.
A specialist should be consulted and always seek the advice of your doctor before using an EO.
- CHILDREN: keep containers of EO out of reach of children (some containers have a safety cap). As a general rule, the use of essential oils is forbidden for children under the age of three (except if medical advise is given).
- PREGNANT WOMEN or nursing mothers: ask a medical opinion
- People suffering from hepatitis, allergic or sensitive, having had seizures or convulsions need to be extra careful
- Asthmatics need to avoid essential oils diffusion in their homes.
- Always wash your hands after a dermal application or a massage
- Never apply essential oils near or in the eyes, mucous or ears
In the case of eye contact, do not use water (EOs do not dissolve in water) but wash with a vegetable oil (preferably almond oil) on a cotton swab or directly on the eyeball. Finish with water or a hydrosol. Consult an ophthalmologist for further precautions.
In the case of accidental intake, do not drink water but try to vomit by ingesting vegetable oil (1 to 3 tablespoons). If it is an important amount or if the person is a child, contact the nearest anti-poison centre.
In all cases, consult your doctor if in doubt or in the case of a serious pathology.
- Do not diffuse continuously or close to young children (diffuse for 10 minutes before they enter the room).
3. Conservation of EO
Away from light and air in order to prevent evaporation or oxidation.
4. Adverse effects
- Abortive essential oils: they are strictly forbidden for pregnant women as they may cause a miscarriage (ex. peppermint, organic sage, vetiver, eucalyptus or eucalyptus dive, Italian Helichrysum,…)
- Allergenic essential oils and/or irritating for the respiratory tract: certain molecules (phenols and ketones) may trigger allergies or asthma, notably in the case of atmospheric diffusion (ex. Yarrow, cinnamon, cypress, fragrant inula, lemon balm)
- Skin sensitive essential oils: certain natural substances are very irritating to the skin and mucous and may provoke burns or irritation. (ex. Possible skin sensitivity: dilute up to 20% at most in a vegetable oil: Dill – exotic basil – citruses (Lemon mandarin – sweet orange) –citronella – tarragon – ginger – lemongrass – Lemony litsee – marjoram – melaleuca – pines – sandalwood – linalool thyme – peppermint ; Strong skin sensitivity: dilute between 5 and 20% at most in a vegetable oil: Ajowan, cinnamon, clove, oregano, savoury, thymol thyme.
- Neuro-toxic essential oils: these oils contain ketones and lactones that act on the nervous system. These oils are forbidden with young children and with pregnant or breastfeeding women (ex. Dill – camphor – Italian Helichrysum – CT verbenone or camphor rosemary and even Peppermint)
- Photosensitive essential oils: these oils react to light and you should therefore keep away from sunlight (wait several hours after usage) in order to avoid permanent skin blemishes (ex. Angelica, bergamot, celery, sea cistus, lemon, fennel, mandarin, neroli (orange blossom), orange, grapefruit, petit grain, exotic verbena.
A complete blog post here
5. The allergy test
This test is strongly recommended before using an essential oil, even more so if you have a tendency to be allergic. In order to test the EO, put a drop in the crook of your elbow and wait for 15 to 20 minutes. If nothing happens, no redness or disagreeable feeling, it would indicate that you can use it safely.
– 1 pure drop in the crook of your elbow or behind your ear if the EO is not skin sensitive
– 1 drop of EO + 1 drop (or 2) of vegetable oil if you are dealing with an irritating essential oil.
A complete blog post here