Hello everyone! Today we are going to cover an important segment in the field of essential oil. I am really thankful to you for being a constant support in my journey. It is of huge concern to consider the safety of essential oil. I have tried my best to inculcate some basic safety guidelines in all of my articles but it is undoubtedly imperative to dedicate complete blog for the same. So here I am dedicating complete article concerning safety.
I am presenting this article with the main aim to let everyone aware of the safety precautions that are mandatory with the use of essential oils. As the world is shifting more towards organic and natural products, we should know complete details about Natural Essential oils. Many people take safety norms lightly but keep in mind it is of high concern.
So let us go ahead with our today’s important article.
Little about Essential oil:
I will cover little information about Essential oil. These are plant extracts which are extracted from different plant parts like stem, leaves, bud, fruit peel and seed using methods of distillation or mechanical methods like cold-pressing. The oil retains the plant’s Fragrance and flavor which is known as “essence.” The specialty of the oils lies in their volatile nature so they are also referred as volatile or ethereal oils.
According to European Pharmacopoeia, essential oil is an ‘odorous product which is of complex composition obtained from botanically defined plant raw material by distillation or mechanical process without heating’. Essential oils are stored by plants in special secretory structures like glands, secretory glands, and secretory hairs.
As essential oils are concentrated in nature, it is not advisable for their direct topical application. It is always necessary to dilute these essential oils in carrier oils. Dilution of essential oil is basically done to balance the concentration of liquid and is one of the safety precautions. It does not affect the properties of the oil but rather enhances the mobility of essential oils. Carrier oil dilution helps to carry essential oil into the skin.
Essential oil usage:
We are emphasizing a lot on safety of essential oil but did you think why? The answer lies in usage of essential oil. The increasing use of essential oil in aromatherapy, cosmetic and skin care products is the reason we are so much concerned for you. It is obvious that application of essential oil is beneficial for skin health but it also pose safety concerns. Essential oils are extensively used in the perfumery mixture because of the fabulous aroma. They also have application in the field of food and pharmaceutical.
Let us read about prime concerns of Essential oil safety.
Prime concern of Essential oil Safety:
Essential oils are concentrated liquids and the consumers are more inclined towards the use of natural products to avoid any negative impact. The increased use of aromatherapy massage to get relief from stressful life also makes use of essential oils. It is thus crucial to know about the safety measures of essential oil. As utilization has spread in various sectors, it is vital to talk about essential oil safety. Though essential oils are of use in several ways if the oil is not utilized properly it causes adverse reactions.
1 Adverse skin reaction: Essential oils are a mixture of complex compounds that contain terpenes, sesquiterpene, aldehydes, ketones etc. These oils when topically applied to the skin may cause adverse skin reactions such as swelling, rashes, blisters. It is thus very important to have knowledge of safety prior to usage.
I cannot deny the fact that essential oils are pure, natural plant extracts. But do you consider all-natural and pure material as ‘safe’? In reality, purity and naturalness are not synonyms of ‘safe’. Any product is safe if it is handled with the utmost care. As essential oils are concentrated liquids and are quite powerful in action. The oil is 50- 100 times more concentrated than the plant.
2. Dosage: In the world of essential oil, less is more. This is again related to the concentration of the oil extracted from the plant. Complete information of the dosage of essential oil is another aspect to be kept in mind. The dosage given in terms of the drop can vary widely according to the size of the dropper provided with the bottle.
Dosage creates a considerable difference in the toxicity in young children, especially babies.
3. Oil ingestion: If before using essential oil you pop up with question, is essential oils are safe to ingest? Then you are on a safer side. This is a major confusion among consumers but let me tell you essential oils are not safe to ingest. Some essential oil can be really poisonous and affect your organ systems.
No matter how pure or natural an essential oil is, ingest only if it is recommended by your doctor or someone who is trained in the field of Aromatherapy.
These are some major concerns that should be addressed and one should have complete knowledge about how to use oils. The next segment of the article is dedicated to essential oil safety that is by far- most important of all.
How to maintain Essential oil safety:
To make maximum use of essential oils, it is important to keep safety measures ready. We care for your well-being and so here is how you have to maintain essential oil safety:
1 Dilution: This is one major precaution that you have to take. Dilution is done to balance the concentrated nature of the oil. Thus to avoid adverse skin reactions dilute the essential oil in a carrier or base oil like olive, jojoba, or coconut. These are vegetable-based oils which help to carry essential oils onto your skin.
The concentration of essential oil should be below 5 percent. In general, 1 percent dilution means the addition of 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oils. Though dilution percent varies according to age, oil type, and health condition.
2. Patch test: A patch or spot test of essential oil is done to check if your body is safe with the usage of that particular oil. Simply put few drops of diluted oil on the inside of your arm or wrist and cover the area with a bandage. Notice if any adverse reactions occur or not. Some reactions take 28-48 hours to unveil.
This is an important part of essential oil safety.
3. Aromatic use: One of the primary avenues for using essential oil is its aromatic use. This simply refers to inhalation of essential oils it can be direct inhalation or diffusion of essential oils.
This is the safest way of essential oil usage but it is not advisable to directly inhale essential oils for longer than 15-20 minutes. If you are choosing irritating and strong odor oils make sure to use smaller amounts and diffuse in a well-ventilated area.
4. Internal use: Essential oil is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) but that does not mean you have the right to ingest or consume it. Oral administration should be avoided unless advised by a trained and experienced person in the field of clinical aromatherapy. And if you’re advised for ingestion, the dose of oil is yet another parameter that you should be clear of.
Toxicity or poisoning is often the result of using a dose much higher than that of a therapeutic dose or recommended daily dose (RDD).
Some General Guidelines for Essential oils:
- The first and foremost guideline is dilute, dilute, and dilute. This you have to always keep in mind.
- Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
- Diffuse the oil in well-ventilated areas.
- Citrus family oils are photosensitizing in nature so you are advised not to go out in sun with such oils applied. UV exposure is strictly prohibited.
- Always wash your wash after using essential oils to avoid harm to the eyes and ears.
- Essential oils are highly flammable in nature so do not keep oil bottles near a naked flame, fire, or any source of ignition.
- Not all essential oils are good to go for aromatherapy. It is better to consult an aromatherapist before use.
- The dosage of oil should be very clear to avoid unwanted consequences.
- Purchase of essential oil should be done from a verified and trusted seller. This will land you with pure essential oils.
- Always read the labeling mentioned on the bottle which depicts about the product origin, species which plays a crucial role altogether.
- It is better for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid use of essential oil to be on the safer side.
- If looking for culinary essential oils make sure to opt for food-grade oil.
- People with pre-diagnosed health conditions like asthma; heart disease should not use essential oils unless recommended by a doctor.
Increased essential oil usage poses questions to its safety also. It is a prime concern to deal with it effectively. I hope this article helped you get broader picture of Essential oil safety and its importance.
I would like to hear from you in comment section. I am looking forward to engage more on this post.