Today I’m handing the essential-oils-reins over to my amazing and talented friend, Jenn. Jenn is just an average girl trying to find her way in this crazy thing called life. She is also a blogger, health and wellness advocate, and accountant for the research department at her local hospital. She lives with her husband and two crazy cute pups, Lacie and Paisley, in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jenn is a lover of God, coffee, animals, travelling, and Harry Potter.
Jenn is blogger-in-chief and owner of Essentials of a Healthy Life
Her journey to healthy living began a couple of years ago when she developed anxiety and panic disorder. She began living in a near constant state of panic and anxiety over a fear of passing away young. Through this experience, she realised how important it is to take care of your health and began making some big changes in her life. She discovered essential oils, organic foods, started yoga, and cut out the major stressors in her life. She is now panic free and no longer suffers from severe anxiety. Her mission is to help others who suffer from anxiety and to inspire people to live a happier, healthier lifestyle! You can learn more about Jenn here.
So here she is to talk about one of the key discoveries she made on her journey, essential oils, and how to use them safely for maximum impact. Over to you Jenn….
This post contains affiliate links
Essential oils are powerful and effective, so it is important that we understand how to use them in a safe manner. Many people think that because they come from a plant that they are harmless and without risk. They are like any other drug, you must be careful how much you use or it can be dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I love essential oils and they have been such a positive change in my life. I use them daily, but I also use essential oils safely and take the necessary precautions when using these amazing oils from mother nature.
Essential Oils are Highly Concentrated
The first thing you need to know about essential oils is that they are highly concentrated. To put it into perspective, it takes twenty-two pounds of rose petals to produce one 5-ml bottle of rose essential oil. Let’s look at what it takes to make other oils:
- 75 lemons in a 15-ml bottle of lemon essential oil
- 27 square feet of lavender plants for a 15-ml bottle of lavender essential oil
- 1 pound of raw peppermint goes into a 15-ml bottle of peppermint essential oil
As you can see, essential oils are highly concentrated from the plant or herb they are taken from. They have strong therapeutic properties and that is what makes them so effective. Because they are so concentrated, a little bit goes a long way. It is always better to start with less and then add more drops if needed. If used in safe quantities, essential oils can be very beneficial to your body.
Applying Essential Oils Safely to the Skin
Applying essential oils topically is a common and effective way to use oils. Using essential oils safely on the skin is important because you don’t know how your body will react to the oil. You should always test one drop of oil diluted with a carrier oil (grape-seed, olive oil, jojoba, etc.) on your arm to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to the oil. You should use the same precautions especially before you apply to children.
Avoid using essential oils around sensitive areas such as your eyes, ears, or any other sensitive area on your body. Never put essential oils in your eyes or in your ears. If you get essential oils in your eyes or discomfort occurs where you applied the oil, do not use water to wash it out. Water actually drives oils into the skin, as water and oils do not mix. If you get essential oils in your eyes, flush out using a carrier oil as soon as possible.
A general rule of thumb is to use 1-2 drops of essential oil at a time. Using too much can actually waste product and does not make the oil “work more”. If you have been using oils for a while, then you can gradually start to use 3-4 oils at a time if you feel it is necessary. Less is more when it comes to essential oils and you can gradually add more as you get more experienced and educated.
If you are using a 10-ml roller bottle, the average dilution is 5-10%. This is about 10-20 drops of essential oil with 2 tsp of carrier oil. This is effective for most adults. However, for those who are experienced oil users and are less conservative, you can go up to 25% dilution. This is more for severe needs such as muscle cramps, bad bruising, or severe pain. This equates up to 50 drops of essential oil with 2 tsp of carrier oil in a 10-ml roller bottle. These are general guidelines as not all people are created equal and the number of drops to use is not cookie cutter. Use what you are comfortable with and start SLOW. You can always work your way up to more drops if needed.
Ingesting Essential Oils Safely
Young Living is the only essential oil company I would ever ingest oils from. This is because of their Seed to Seal process and I am confident that their oils are pure and safe. I am going to be honest, I am not a big fan of ingesting oils, but many have great success doing so. I personally feel that you should ingest only if absolutely needed as they are very potent and have such a great effect on the body. You also shouldn’t ingest oils regularly as they have a profound effect over time. I think ingesting occasionally is fine, but should not be done every day for an extended period of time.
It is also important to know that you cannot take all essential oils internally. Young Living labels their oils that are safe to ingest using their Vitality line. Anything in the Vitality line is safe to ingest and it is clearly labelled for you. If you are going to ingest, you only need a drop of each oil that you are using. If you feel comfortable and are experienced with using oils, you can add another.
Essential Oils for Children and Pregnancy
The most important thing to know is that not all essential oils are safe for children and pregnant women. If you haven’t gotten the idea by now, essential oils are STRONG and powerful. They affect children and pregnant women much more than the average adult.
For children, dilute much more than you would with yourself. Children are little and the essential oils affect them more greatly. For babies, dilute the oil at 1%, or 2 drops with 2 tsp of carrier oil in a 10-ml roller bottle. For young children, you can do 2% dilution, or 4 drops with 2 tsp of carrier oil in a 10-ml roller.
Most essential oils are safe for children, but you should avoid using Idaho tansy, sage, hyssop, clary sage, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oils.
For pregnant women, you should do the 1% dilution as the oils could affect the baby. If you are pregnant, you should be much more conservative with your oil use during the first trimester. Most oil use is perfectly fine during the second and third trimesters. If used properly, essential oils are very safe and helpful for those bothersome pregnancy problems. Just start slow and use less while pregnant.
Essential oils to avoid while pregnant include basil, birch, calamus, cassia, cinnamon bark, hyssop, Idaho tansy, lavandin, rosemary, sage, and tarragon.
While you can still use these oils while pregnant, use them cautiously or sparingly: angelica, cedarwood, chamomile (German/blue), cistus, citronella, clary sage, clove bud, cumin (black), cypress, davana, fennel, laurel, marjoram, mountain savory, myrrh, nutmeg, peppermint, vetiver, and yarrow.
Essential Oil Photosensitivity
When I say essential oil photosensitivity, I mean how oils can affect you when you are out in the sun. There are certain oils, mainly citrus oils, that could make your skin more sensitive to the sun. They contain natural molecules that react with UV light and could cause sunburns, blistering, and discoloration of the skin. These essential oils include bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit essential oils. If you are unsure, Young Living clearly labels on all the bottles of the oils that you should avoid using if you are going to be out in the sun.
I don’t want this information to discourage you. Essential oils are completely safe when you use them correctly (as directed on the label/packaging) and can be of great benefit to your family. The point of this post is to educate you that essential oils are strong and that a little bit goes a long way. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to essential oil use, so do what you are comfortable with and what works best for you. I want to encourage you to do your research in understanding how to use essential oils safely. Essential oils are wonderful, but safety always comes first!
You can learn more about Jenn and Essentials of a Healthy Life here. If you have any questions about Young Living Essential Oils or Jenn, you can contact her here. or leave a comment!
If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, you should take a look at the
HERBS & ESSENTIAL OILS SUPER BUNDLE
The article was originally published at http://www.essentialsofahealthylife.com