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Essential Oil General Safety Information and Disclaimer

There are safety concerns associated with improper use of essential oils. In general, however, essential oils are safe when used externally (not ingested) in low concentrations. For skin applications, that usually means concentrations no higher than 5%. For inhalation, use intermittent exposure (not more than 15 minutes in an hour). There may not be any safety information on the bottle, but usage guidelines may be posted near sales displays, on company websites, or available through company sales representatives.

If in doubt, always consult a healthcare provider you trust who is knowledgeable about essential oils or willing to investigate with you. There is a great deal of information about essential oils available on the internet, and it may be difficult to critically determine its integrity.

General safety recommendations include: Research each oil by reading about it in books or looking up information on the web Adhere to all cautions for not over-doing it Follow recommendations for diluting the oil Special Considerations In general, you should adjust dosages downward for children, but also use extra caution in choosing essential oils to be used in babies and children (or avoid use altogether). Some essential oils, such as peppermint, should not be used with children younger than six years old. Menthol-one of the major chemicals in peppermint oil-has caused breathing to stop in young children, and has caused severe jaundice in babies with G6PD deficiency (a common genetic enzyme deficiency) (Price & Price, 1999).

You should also exercise caution with essential oils if you are pregnant, since essential oils can cross the placental barrier and there is little clinical research in this area. Very gentle essential oils, such as true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are sometimes used by midwives during and after labor and delivery with favorable effects (Burns et al., 2000).

In general, however, similar cautions during pregnancy and infancy/early childhood should be used with essential oils as with other substances. If you are in doubt, contact a knowledgeable healthcare provider. Phototoxicity can occur after you apply an essential oil topically and then go out into the sun. This happens most often with certain citrus oils, such as bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, and angelica. For example, if you spray yourself with a solution of orange essential oil and then lie out in the sun or in a tanning bed, you will most likely get a sunburn or even deeper burns.

Possible Drug Interactions. There is little published research on interactions between pharmaceutical drugs and essential oils. Given the complex chemistry of essential oils, however, it makes sense that this is possible or even likely. As with dietary supplements and herbs, it is important to discuss regular essential oil use with your healthcare provider and together assess any potential risks and benefits. For example, studies indicate that peppermint and eucalyptus oils increase the skin absorption of 5-fluorouracil, an anti-cancer drug (Abdullah et al 1996, Williams & Barry, 1989).

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. Essential oils are renowned for their immune strengthening and emotionally balancing qualities. When used respectfully and according to your professional education, aromatherapy is a simple and delightful way to support health. Interested in learning more about using essential oils? Use at your own risk. http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/are-essential-oils-safe

Are Essential Oils Safe? | Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing
Most essential oils are safe and free of adverse side effects when used properly. However, as with any substance you are introducing into your body, it is important to use them intelligently. We recommend that you never eat or drink essential oils. You should pay attention to the following factors.