Essential oils have been known since Ancient Egypt since 4500 BC or even earlier than that, according to religious texts. Are essential oils safe? This is the number one question that arises. The short answer is Yes. To those in good health and to those who use them safely.
When using essential oils, it should be a top priority to use them safely and to keep your essential oil safe and out of reach from pets, children, and elders. Below I have outlined common mistakes when using essential oils. Essential oils to avoid if you are pregnant, have kids or have pets. First, I have listed a few ways to keep essential oils safe.
How to keep essential oil safe:
- Keep oils out of reach and from falling. Accidents happen when children, pets, or elders accidentally knock over or ingest essential oils. The best way to keep them safe is to treat them as medicine.
- Teach children and elders about the oil’s danger and what to do if the oil is ingested or spilled.
- Have a poison control number nearby the place of the oils, just in case.
- Put in a locked cabinet. Essential oils should be stored in dry, dark areas. A locked cabinet is a perfect storage place.
- Get essential oils with safety tops.
Six common mistakes when using essential oils.
Over-usage common mistake that people make when using essential oils is over-usage. Adding a few drops to the diffuser can go a long way. And diffusing in the right amount will allow you to stay safe when using essential oils. People often think that because you cannot smell the scent means that you need more oil. But it is not true. Just because you cannot smell it doesn’t mean it’s not working. We must remember that we are diffusing the air, and even if the scent is soft, it’s still working. Some oils are very soft, and some oils have a strong scent. Ensure that you use the right drops in your diffuser to stay safe.
2. Buying more expensive oils.
More expensive buying oils does not mean that the oil's quality is better. Looking at where the origin of the oil has come from is a determination to help look at the quality of the oil. Having the GC/MS, however, is not the determining factor. When looking at the results, it isn’t easy to see what they mean unless you have a scientific background—looking at where the oil originates. The best place for the oil to grow will be a better-determining factor in its quality. The closer the origins and environment the plant grows, the less likely it will be grown with pesticides and growth help.
3. Do not rely only on company information.
When using essential oils, we must learn about the oils individually. We must know how it affects our bodies, how it affects our family’s bodies, and how it affects our pets. All those who are around us that will benefit from the oils. Our bodies are different, and we all react to oils differently. We must learn about ourselves; if we take medication, speak to others about the oil we decide to use, and determine what oil we can use depending on our body type.
Photosensitivity happens when essential oils cause more UV light to enter. The rule is to be extra careful when using products that contain citrus essential oils or to avoid those products in the sun. Phototoxic can be seen on your skin through blisters, burns, and changes in skin color. A few phototoxic oils are bergamot, lemon (cold-pressed), lime( cold-pressed), grapefruit, and orange.
5. No additives or preservatives.
Buying essential oils without additives or preservatives. Essential oils have a shelf life of up to 2 years. There is no need for additives or preservatives.
Make sure you store your oils away from heat and sunlight. Store them in dry, dark places to keep them fresh longer. When oils start to build upon the bottom of the bottle, that shows the oil is going bad.
Misuse of Essential oils
Here is some examples of the misuse of specific essential oils. These are common oils and plants but can harm your health if misused. Pennyroyal oil should not be produced or at least not mass-produced for the public—a high level of menthol that can cause harm in overuse.
“Pennyroyal oil contains pulegone, which is highly toxic, particularly to the liver. Ingestion can initially lead to gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Later, it can lead to liver and kidney failure, resulting in bleeding, seizures, multiple organ failure, and death.” (Buechel DW, Haverlah VC, Gardner ME. Pennyroyal oil ingestion: report of a case. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1983 Jun;82(10):793-4. PMID: 6874446.)
Wintergreen is used to relieve pain like over-the-counter medication. However, it is hazardous that more than a tiny amount is swallowed; swallowing wintergreen oil is like eating many adult aspirins.
Tea tree oil is used for skin infections. However, a large amount of tea tree oil can cause skin infections.
Nutmeg is used in food. When misused, it can cause hallucinations and coma.
Eucalyptusis useful when the winter season is approaching. It’s good to prevent colds and flu. However, Eucalyptus is overuse can cause seizures. Those who have asthma have a more difficult time breathing.
Sage oil is a scent for diffusing. However, even a small amount can cause seizures in children if shallow.
Are essential oils safe? | Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, there are oils you should avoid. It would be best if you took extra precautions when using oils of any kind when pregnant. If you have complications, are high-risk, or need extra help, it is best to consult your doctor about what oils you are using and how you are using them.
Remember, if you are allergic to the plant, you will most likely be allergic to the oil. Learn about your body and how different oils react to your body if you have used essential oils before your pregnancy. It will be a good indicator of how your body reacts when pregnant. Understand how the oil was responding to your body then. Listen to your body if you feel sick, nauseous, or lightheaded; don’t think it is just from the pregnancy. It may be from the essential oils you are using, so take caution when using pregnant when using essential oils.
Essential oils to avoid when pregnant.
|Anise Star||Fennel (sweet)||Pennyroyal|
|Cedarwood (Atlas, Himalayan)||Oregano||Wormwood|
|Dill (seed)||Parsley seed and leaf|
* There may be other oils. Consult a doctor before use of any essential oils. https://naha.org/index.php/explore-aromatherapy/safety/
Are essential oils safe?| Kids Safety
While the benefits of essential oil to adults of good health is extremely good, however, to children, some can be dangerous. Some essential oils can only be used with children over 5. Our children always want the best for them; therefore, we need to learn how to use essential oil to safely give them the best outcomes.
Here are two common oils used on children when they shouldn’t.
Peppermint and Eucalyptus. When we look at peppermint, we think it’s peppermint. What harm could that cause? Peppermint has a high amount of menthol. Even a tiny amount can cause seizures, coma, and even death in children.
Eucalyptus is another one. Eucalyptus contains 1,8 cineole. This means it offers strong therapeutic properties meaning it has strong healing powers. Eucalyptus is excellent for killing bacteria and viruses in the air during cold and flu season. It can also reduce swelling, muscle spasms, and coughing. For children, when exposed to high amounts of eucalyptus, it can cause breathing complications. The recommendation is to not use eucalyptus at all for children under five, especially for children who have been diagnosed with asthma.
The reason why some essential oil is not safe for kids.
- Toxicity concerns
- Adverse skin reactions
- Respiratory issues
- Skin is thinner than adults
- Metabolism has not fully developed
All children should consider different usage than adults when using oils. And all users should consider health care provided for proper safety guidelines. Always take precautions when using essential oils.
Ways to use your non-kid-friendly essential oil.
You can now use essential oils in your car, office, or bedroom. You can still use the essential oil in your home if your children are not home for a certain amount of time—allow the oil to set and dissolve before the children return to the area. You can diffuse individual rooms and close the door. If you are using it in lotions, sprays, etc., make sure you label them and keep them out of reach of your children. Essential oils are great, but in the wrong hands, they can become harmful.
|Anise Star||Clove (bud)||Peppermint (supreme)|
|Basil (sweet)||Eucalyptus (Globulus)||Ravensara|
|Bay (laurel leaf)||Fennel (sweet)||Rosemary|
***Do not use all or near children Birch (lovely) or Chaste Tree
If you have questions or concerns, always contact your doctor before use. If you see a reaction in yourself or your children, discontinue usage.
Are essential oils safe? | Pet Safety
Just like humans, pets also react differently to essential oils. Pet has a different way of showing us that they are responding to the essential oil. Some animals will throw up, some will be drowsy, and some will become sleepy. Some animals start shedding; others leave the room if they smell something they don’t like. When you use essential oils around pets, monitor your pet’s reaction and see what discomfort they may experience. Diffusing oils will go in the air and land on the floor or your animals. It may be linked to their fur and become ingested when the animals clean themselves. It is important to monitor your animals when you are starting with different. Below are common oils that are bad for cats and dogs.
Oils to avoid.| Cats
Oils to avoid.| Dogs