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Cautions For The Use Of Essential Oils

They DON'T Want You To Know About

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All essential oils are not alike. Knowing which oils must be diluted, and which are generally regarded as safe for use is very important. The more information you have before you start using a particular oil, the more likely it will be that you will have the desired outcome. Remember to consult your health care professional.

What Are Essential Oils?    Household Uses    Oil Properties    Oil Safety    Prices

Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.

We hope that your experience with essential oils will be a pleasant one. With that in mind, there are a few things that you need to be aware of when dealing with essential oils.

For any serious disease or injury, you should consult your health care professional. You should not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances, such as essential oils, for serious health conditions which require professional attention. Talk to your health care practitioner about using essential oils in your care. Many professionals are very open to their use.

All essential oils, whether steam distilled, expressed or absolutes, are very strong. They need to be used sparingly --a little goes a long way.

The following chart is only a guideline. Consult your health care practitioner or an experienced aromatherapist for more specific information.

Additional Cautions located in Individual Oil Properties list.

Key to symbols

gras.gif (1016 bytes) = Generally regarded as safe for internal use by the FDA and/or used in general food use. If not using in a recipe, then before taking any oils internally, dilute wih an oil-soluable liquid like honey, olive oil, or soy milk. (Be sure to consult the proper professionals, and watch amount ingested.)
drop3.gif (996 bytes) = Dilution usually not required for adults unless they have sensitive skin. We always recommend dilution for children.
drop2.gif (995 bytes) = Dilution recommended for topical or internal use. These oils can cause skin irritation. Especially important to dilute before using on sensitive areas of the body (face, neck, armpits, genital areas, etc.).
drop5.gif (988 bytes) = Recommend to avoid using on skin exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays within 3 to 4 days of application. These oils may cause a rash or darker pigmentation when exposed in this way.
drop4.gif (1028 bytes) = Those with high blood pressure should use with caution
drop1.gif (989 bytes) = Epileptics should use with caution
drop6.gif (951 bytes) = Use with caution during pregnancy
drop7.gif (994 bytes) = Always dilute before applying to skin or taking internally.
donoteat.gif (1013 bytes) =
Do not take internally.

Remember to keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.

Essential Oil           Symbols... gras.gif (1016 bytes) drop3.gif (996 bytes) drop2.gif (995 bytes) drop5.gif (988 bytes) drop4.gif (1028 bytes) drop1.gif (989 bytes) drop6.gif (951 bytes) drop7.gif (994 bytes) donoteat.gif (1013 bytes)
Allspice gras.gif (1016 bytes)   drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Angelica Root gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Anise gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Balsam Peru gras.gif (1016 bytes)   drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Basil  gras.gif (1016 bytes)   drop2.gif (995 bytes)       drop6.gif (951 bytes)    
Bay Leaf gras.gif (1016 bytes)           drop6.gif (951 bytes)    
Benzoin, Resin Absolute     drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Bergamot (Bergaptene Free) gras.gif (1016 bytes)   drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Birch     drop2.gif (995 bytes)           donoteat.gif (1013 bytes)
Cajuput     drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Calamus Root                 donoteat.gif (1013 bytes)
Camphor, White             drop6.gif (951 bytes)    
Cardamom gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Carrot Seed gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Cedar, Canadian Red     drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Cedarwood     drop2.gif (995 bytes)       drop6.gif (951 bytes)    
Chamomile, Roman   drop3.gif (996 bytes)              
Cinnamon Bark gras.gif (1016 bytes)             drop7.gif (994 bytes)  
Cistus   drop3.gif (996 bytes)              
Clary Sage     drop2.gif (995 bytes)            
Clove gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Coriander gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Dill gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Eucalyptus gras.gif (1016 bytes)                
Juniper Berry                  
Laurus Nobilis                  
Mountain Savory                  
Pepper, Black                  
Tansy, Idaho                  
Valerian Root                  
Vitex Negundo                  
Wintergreen     drop2.gif (995 bytes)           donoteat.gif (1013 bytes)
Ylang Ylang                  
For blends, you must be aware of the cautions for each individual oil contained in the blend.

Flavor and Fragrance materials-1993. Allured Publishing Company. Worldwide reference list of materials used in compounding flavors and fragrances. 1993.

Herbs Of Commerce - 1992. American Herbal Products Association.

Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander, Steffen. Reprint July 1982.

How To Use Essential Oils. Young Living Essential Oils. Revised 8/1999.


  • Essential oils can react with toxins built up in the body. These can be from food, environment, or chemicals in cleaners or personal products. If you experience a reaction, it may be wise to

  • Essential oils rich in menthol (such as peppermint) should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 30 months of age.

  • Keep essential oils away from eye area. Do not handle contact lenses or rub eyes with essential oils on your fingers. Oils with high phenol content (oregano, cinnamon, thyme, clove, lemongrass, bergamot, etc.) may damage contacts and irritate eyes.

  • Do not put essential oils into ears.

  • Do not add undiluted essential oils directly to bathwater, especially those with a drop7.gif (994 bytes). A dispersing agent, such as Bath Gel Base should be used.

  • Always consult the properties of the individual oil and use it according to the instructions you are given.

  • A patch test should be performed, especially if the user has sensitive skin. (This is especially important for people with allergies.)

  • Apply oils to a small area first.

  • Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow 15 to 30 minutes for the body to respond to each one before applying the next.

  • Ingesting some oils can cause problems, rather than solve them, or even prove fatal. Do not ingest an oil unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE it is safe for ingestion, and then BE VERY CAREFUL of the amount you are using.

  • Never put oils directly on children's skin. Always do a patch test for children and then apply oils only when diluted in a carrier oil first.

  • Pregnant or lactating women should be careful of certain oils --see individual oil properties. Some oils contain constituents with hormone-like activity, such as clary sage, sage, and fennel. Consult your health care practitioner.

  • Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should consult a health care professional before using essential oils. Avoid hyssop, fennel, and Idaho tansy oils.

  • Always keep a carrier oil handy (like olive, almond, or v-6 mixing oil) if you are applying oils directly to the skin. The essential oils can be diluted immediately with the carrier oil if discomfort is felt.

That being said, essential oils are safe if used correctly. Know the oils you are using and what their recommended uses are.

For further cautionary information,

  • Consult the properties of the oils you are using

  • Ask your health care practitioner or an experienced aromatherapist if you have questions about a specific oil or condition

What Are Essential Oils?    Household Uses    Oil Properties    Oil Safety    Prices

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is provided for education only. We cannot dispense medical or health advice.  Please consult your health care professional. supports the Peaceful Solution Character Education Program. We teach reading, writing, and arithmetic... why not positive character traits and peaceful conflict resolution?

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