Safety is not a buzzword, or a trendy idea, it is the first rule of aromatherapy. When you ignore safety guidelines and protocols, or just don’t believe in them, you put yourself at risk. Safety is paramount in healing modality.
What do I mean by this?
I mean if you remove safety from aromatherapy and essential oils you will have interactions and reactions. Many essential oil products are sold as natural, so people just assume you can slather them all over your body and nothing will occur. Nothing can be further from the truth. Essential oils can cause skin reactions, rashes, photo-sensitivity, burns, sensitivity, and other serious issues. Here is the good news though, essential oils can be used safely and appropriately, you just have to follow some simple rules.
1. Don’t use essential oils without dilution.
I don’t care if your Aunt Sally sells essential oils for a xxx company, and they say you can just apply them directly to the skin, well don’t. Usage advice from a sales person can become problematic very quickly. In fact, most reported issues that I hear about are from “sales” people doing direct sales. All essential oils should be diluted for use.
Yes, even Lavender and Tea Tree. Why develop a sensitivity to an oil, even one that everyone is telling you that can be used undiluted? If you develop a sensitivity you will potentially never be able to use that oil again, it could cause nausea or headaches when you are exposed to it. So, dilute, dilute, dilute!
2. Do not drink or ingest essential oils.
Lots of sales and marketing materials from essential oil companies promote this type of usage, but it is not safe. It has not been proven safe. Essential oils have not been proven to be safe for internal use. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so drinking a few drops is like drinking the concentrate of 100 pounds of the herb or flower in a cup of water. You wouldn’t do that, so why would you take essential oils internally?
3. Know what you are using.
Make sure the product or essential oil you buy is properly labelled, that way you know exactly what you are using. Each label should have the name of the company, contact information for the company, size, list of ingredients in common and Latin names, and usage guidelines. Essential oils are sold in a lot of stores, some are labeled essential oils, but they are diluted products or blends, so if you don’t see a proper ingredient list, pass it over.
4. Don’t use essential oils on people, places or animals without consent.
Most essential oils in most cases are never safe for animals in my opinion. They are just too potent, animals have a much higher developed sense of smell. If you are going to us essential oils on animals get a proper education in animal aromatherapy, don’t just read a blog about it. Animals can’t consent or communicate when an issue occurs. An animal being “quiet” after a treatment can be mistaken for them liking it, when it is actually a stress response.
Don’t apply essential oils without someone’s consent. It has become the rage now to just “put oils” on people. Please don’t.
- People don’t like it.
- It is never a great way to promote a therapy, doing something to someone without their consent.
Don’t diffuse in public spaces, like shops, classrooms, day care centers, hospitals. Here are some of the problems. Some people are sensitive to scents. Some scents make some people nausea. Lavender can have that effect on some people. Not all scents are okay for all people. Some can cause agitation and anxiety in one and peaceful relaxation in another. Another issue, is that you will become immune to the diffusor, or less sensitive to it, and your space can quickly have an over powering scent.
Even lavender can cause sensitivities,
always dilute for use!
Here is the good news!
Aromatherapy can be an effective treatment for many emotional and health issues. You can use aromatherapy easily, it is relatively inexpensive and you can make your own custom blends. Aromatherapy is one of the best tools you can have when you travel, have in your first aid kit and medicine chest. It is a tool that when used properly can have very little side effects.
Take the time though to read quality resources about aromatherapy or enroll in a course on the subject, from a quality education provider. You can have a lot of fun with aromatherapy, take control of emotional heath issues or physical issues, and connect better to the needs of your body, but you need to do it safely for the best and most optimal results.