You may have seen the two part investigation on The Project last week about essential oils and multi level marketing. We felt so strongly about including this important message this week that we asked Clinical Aromascience Practitioner, Gillian Parkinson, if we could share her article on essential oil safety.
Gillian makes the beautiful Le’Esscience Remedy Rollers that we sell. They are gorgeous blends that help with sleep, relaxation, headaches and focus.
Regarding our natural Green Goddess products, if you are in the first trimester of pregnancy or have a child under 3 months old we recommend using our Unscented range.
From Gillian ….
Although pure essential oils come from fruit plants, herbs, flowers, woods & resins, they are highly concentrated and must be used with respect – we are trained that ‘less is more’ & I encourage you to do the same.
Essentials oils must not be ingested or used neat on the skin & must be stored out of the reach of children – all 100% pure essential oil bottles are equipped with a dripolator, this means only one drip can come out at a time, perfect for making blends & adding to baths, vaporisers etc but also means if they do get into the hands of a child & they take a swig, they will only get one drop! Hopefully, the taste will be so bad it will put them off wanting to take any more! If a child should consume Essential Oils, contact your Doctor immediately or phone the Poisons Centre.
Please note: Many essential oils can be toxic if ingested, even in moderate doses. Never ingest or use undiluted essential oils (neat) on the skin (for any age group), for any ‘therapeutic’ purposes. If an essential oil is ingested by accident, drink fatty milk and seek advice, do not drink water nor induce vomiting. There is an alarming trend promoted by multi-level-marketing (MLM) unqualified essential oil resellers (& their companies) to add drops of essential oils to water and drinking them and other ways to ingest, please do not do this – it is a very high-risk practice that can damage the mouth, oesophagus, gut, mucous membranes, and internal organs. Essential oils have a cumulative effect so doing this regularly could cause even more damage. The MLM’s may even argue this is ok, it simply is NOT. If you have any concerns, please contact me.
For further reading on this subject, this is a brilliant article
How to use essential oils safely:
Essential oils are powerful substances that can be harmful if not used with due care and diligence. The information provided here on how to safely use essential oils are general guidelines only and more specific safety information for the individual oils uses can be found by emailing me Gillian@LeEsscience.co.nz
1. Dilution for Topical use Essential oils should only be applied to the skin after being sufficiently diluted in a nut or seed carrier oil. The latest research has found that undiluted essential oils should not be applied directly onto skin due to the potential by some people to experience an inflammatory skin reaction or develop an inflammatory reaction over a period of time. Below are general guidelines for the safe dilution of essential oils for adults and children as recommended by the Tisserand Institute:
Adult Use Dilution Range
Facial Cosmetics – 0.2% – 1.5%
Body Massage – 1.5% – 3%
Bath & Body Products – 1% – 4%
Specific Problems – 4% – 10%
Pain or Wounds – 5% – 20%
Children Ages Dilution Range
Up to 3 Months – 0.1% – 0.2%
3-24 Months – 0.25% – 1%
2-6 Years – 1% – 2%
6-15 Years – 1.5% – 3%
15 or Older – 2.5% – 5%
Essential oils can be safely diffused into the air using the ultrasonic diffusers or any other type of diffuser. It is healthiest to only diffuse essential oils 60 minutes with a 60-minute break, then repeat if necessary, for adults. For babies and children, the diffusion time is 30 minutes with a 60-minute break, then repeat if necessary.
This is not only safer, but it is also more effective as both our bodies and our nervous system habituate to essential oils after this period of time. It is also advisable to allow a source of fresh air into the room/s where diffusion is being carried out.
Diffuse essential oils when there is a need, for a purpose. Overuse can lead to adverse reactions.
It is not safe to diffuse essential oils in public places, such as daycare centres, schools, waiting rooms etc…. There is a lot to consider when using essential oils, age, health conditions, pregnancy and people simply can not gather that type of information for everyone they are diffusing around.
Amounts: 1-2 drops for babies between 3 & 12 months
2-3 drops for babies 12 months to 6 years
4 drops for children 6-12 years
4-8 drops for adults
Essential oils can be added to a bowl of steaming hot water and inhaled. 6-15 drops to 500mls of very hot (not boiling) water. However, it is advisable that this is for no longer than 15-20 minute periods at a time. Not recommended for children under the age of 12 years.
One of life’s great pleasures can be relaxing in a warm bath that has had essential oils added to it to aid the relaxation process. However, essential oils and water do not mix by themselves as the tiny droplets on the surface remain effectively undiluted. Lowering oneself onto these droplets of undiluted essential oil can result in a serious adverse reaction to ones genital areas which is best avoided, particularly with children.
The best way to use essential oils in a bath is to dilute them into an emulsifying agent first such bath bubbles, shampoo or shower & bath gel/liquid soap. Mix 5-20 drops of essential oil per 15mls of your chosen bath base. Either use this amount for one bath or make up a larger quantity for future use. However, for anyone who might have sensitive skin, such as children or those with a skin disease, then it is probably best to avoid using essential oils in a bath.
The only safe way to use essential oils with ears is to put a drop or two of oil onto a cotton wad. This wad should only be partially inserted into an ear so that it does not get close to touching the eardrum.
Essential oils must not be used in the eyes even if they have been diluted as this will cause a chemical burn and may result in temporary blindness or worse.
Essential Oils should NOT be Ingested Orally
Do not ingest essential oils unless advised to do so by a practitioner who is qualified/licensed to prescribe essential oils in this way. Taking essential oils orally engages many areas of risk that other modes do not. Do not take essential oils either undiluted or in water, as there is a risk of mouth/stomach irritation. For example, Lemon essential oil has therapeutic values, but it is also great when used as a household disinfectant in a soapy solution of water as it helps dissolve grease and grime. As such, orally taking Lemon essential oil poses a severe risk of irritating or damaging the mouth or stomach lining, long term (4 weeks plus) essential oils can affect the gallbladder, liver & kidneys. All the positive benefits of essential oils can be gained without needing to ingest them as outlined in the points above.
This includes using in food & beverages. When aromatics are used in the food and beverage industry, they are typically deterpenated or rectified, they are not essential oils as we know it and for good reason. These methods are what makes them safe for human consumption in food and beverages. This is something many do not understand but it is important for anyone being told to put oils in their food or water.
General Safe Use Recommendations
It needs to be kept in mind that persons current state of health also needs to be taken into account before using an essential oil for the first time. If they are pregnant, have epilepsy, asthma or an existing skin condition then it would be advisable to consult with a trained medical professional or qualified aromatherapist before using pure essential oils. Also, some essential oils can be particularly strong and more likely to elicit a negative reaction than others, for example, lemongrass, clove, thyme or cinnamon bark.
References: Tisserand, R & Young, R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Churchhill Livingstone (Elsevier). Mark Webb, Aromamedix Pty Ltd.
Contra-Indications – These could include:
These oils may irritate the skin when used in baths. Use in small amounts only (2 or 3 drops) and dilute in a carrier oil before adding to the water. Do not use at all if you have sensitive skin or are susceptible to allergic reactions.
These essential oils make the skin more sensitive to ultra-violet light and should not be used before exposure to strong sunshine, sunbeds, or other sources of ultra-violet light. Generally, ALL fruit essential oils come under this category.
Some essential oils must never be used if you suffer from epilepsy as they could trigger an attack. These oils are Fennel (sweet), Hyssop, Thyme, Sage & Rosemary.
Do not use the following oils during pregnancy, some are safe after the first trimester & during labour – in any treatments, I will state this. In pregnancy avoid Basil, Clary Sage, Hyssop, Juniper, Marjoram, Cypress, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Yarrow, Clove, Thyme, Myrrh & Sage – if in doubt, always ask!
High Blood Pressure
These oils should not be used if you are suffering from high blood pressure, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage & Thyme
Lower Blood Pressure
Avoid Clary Sage if you have low blood pressure
It is said that some essential oils negate homeopathic remedies if this is the case, I will state this at the end of each treatment
IMPORTANT NOTE: No Le’Esscience products contain the hazardous essential oils, Wintergreen & Sweet Birch. These particular essential oils should only ever used under the guidance of a professional qualified essential oil practitioner, who has studied and gained an official qualification. For further reading about these essential oils, please visit this article by certified Aromatherapist Kayla Fioravanti.
I also don’t use the harsh anti-microbial essential oils such as Oregano, Cinnamon & Clove. These essential oils carry too many contraindications and there are safer & effective options available that I chose to use instead.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Gillian@LeEsscience.co.nz
About Le’esscience products
All Le’Esscience products are blended by hand – they are made from 100% pure high-quality essential oils & high-quality carrier oils.
The essential oil blends may provide relief & natural healing due to the properties stated in the information provided with each blend (if used as directed).
From time to time I get asked how to make my products and to share my recipes, I have felt it necessary to blog about this subject – you can read this here: Why I don’t share all my recipes