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How To Use Essential Oils - The Safe & Effective Way

If you have heard about the benefits of using essential oils and essential oil diffusers, you might appreciate its effect when you make it part of your daily habit. Essential oils can help you in many ways including relief from pains.

The use of these oils has increasingly become popular in recent years. The demand for pure oil extracts has risen. This has also led to an increase in the safety concerns of using these oils. How do you really use these essential oils and what are the precautions you need to take into consideration when using essential oils?

Here are general considerations when using essential oils in your daily life:

Topical Application

Before applying onto the skin, dilute the oil with a carrier oil. Always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil base usually with sweet almond oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. You may also use unscented white lotion, water emulsifier, balm, butter or perfume base as your carrier oil. Mix equal amounts of the essential oil and carrier oil and apply on affected area. Most prominent body parts to apply these oils are the neck, wrists, temple, chest, over your abdomen and soles of your feet.  Avoid contact with the eyes and ears. If skin irritations develop, stop applying the oil and seek medical attention. Avoid using on broken, damaged, and irritated skin. Be extra careful when applying on people with sensitive skin.

Ingestion & Inhalation

There are certain essential oils such as ginger and lemon oil that can be made into tea. The Food and Drug Administration has accepted these oils as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). Use very small amounts of these essential oils. Take extra precautions when taking in other essential oils other than the two mentioned.

Before incorporating into the diffuser, make sure that the room is well ventilated. Apply proper caution when around infants, cats, pregnant women and elderly people. Some essential oils may not be beneficial to them. If you have a pet cat, avoid using essential oils around them. Their bodies lack the necessary enzymes to process the components present in the oils. This may result in health conditions in your pet. Consult first with a certified aromatherapist before using an essential oil diffuser in your home.

Use In Pregnancy & Lactating Mothers

There are varying opinions on the use of essential oils in pregnancy and lactating moms. There have been a few inconclusive studies about the use of these oils during certain stages of pregnancy and of lactating mothers. Some essential oils have powerful compounds that may have an indirect effect on the developing fetus and may also be contained in breast milk. It is best to consult a physician and a certified aromatherapist to practice utmost safety precaution.


Store the essential oil bottle in a cool, dark place with proper cover. Keep out of children’s reach. Keep away from heat and direct light as it alters the consistency and quality of the oils.

Use Of Diffusers

The use of essential oil diffusers is considered a potential low risk when inhaled. The compounds present in these oils have been diluted. When vaporized into the air, a very low amount of concentration is released and may be beneficial to inhale.

  • If you have Asthma, avoid using essential oils with strong fragrances. This may trigger sensitivity in the respiratory tract and may trigger a reaction. Avoid oils that may cause mucous membrane irritations. These oils include clove, cinnamon bark, thyme, and lemongrass oils.  Consider using peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, and tea tree for a milder scent.
  • Do not plug your diffuser overnight. Use within a specified time of about 30-45 minutes. Make sure there is enough water in the diffuser. If possible, buy those diffusers with automatic time tracker and turns off itself at a specified time.
  • Keep in mind that essential oils are highly flammable, place the diffuser in a safe place away from candles, stoves, ovens, gas, etc. Do not combine carrier oils in a diffuser. This will lead to clogging and may break your machine.

Essential Oils For Starters

If you have never used an essential oil and have decided to use it now, begin slowly. Test a small amount on the skin or with the use of the diffuser. This allows you enough time to observe for any adverse reactions. If you are worried about its use, ask the opinion of your physician.

Use Of Oil In Existing Health Conditions

Some essential oils may not be beneficial to people with existing health conditions.

  • Epilepsy - Do not use the following essential oils in people with Epilepsy condition: Rosemary, Fennel, Sage, and Hyssop essential oils.
  • High Blood Pressure – Do not use these oils in people with High Blood Pressure condition: Sage, Black Pepper, Thyme essential oils.
  • Low Blood Pressure – Apply extra care when using essential oils in people with Low Blood Pressure especially the use of Lavender oil. It may cause relaxation of the arteries and veins and may aggravate the condition. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.
  • Migraines and Headaches – There are essential oils that may alleviate headaches but there are certain conditions that may also aggravate headaches and migraines. Strong fragrances, enclosed spaces without proper ventilation and excess use of essential oils may contribute in intensifying the ailment.
  • Sensitive Skin – People with sensitive skin may react to the slightest irritant including essential oils even if it is diluted properly.
  • Serious Health Conditions – If you have recently been out of the hospital, underwent surgery, or undergoing treatment for a serious condition, you need to consult a certified aromatherapist and medical practitioner before using essential oils. Essential oils may have an effect on some prescribed medications, over the counter medications or other homeopathic therapies.

The rule of thumb before using essential oils is always to make sure to consult with an aromatherapist and medical practitioner. They are trained and with vast experiences in these kinds of therapeutic methods. Always consider safety first.

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