Dangers of Essential Oils, 8 Mistakes to Avoid
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as a powerful source of plant-based medicine. They were used in ancient Egyptian medicine and are still used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine today. Being that essential oils are potent and concentrated, they should be used responsibly.
Because of their popularity, aromatic oils have become a big business and individual consultants are popping up everywhere. Some have taken an essential oil certified course, but most have not. It’s really optional for those who wish to invest in this modality, but you must educate yourself before using a specific essential oil and especially before giving out any advice. I personally have several essential oil books that I use as references written by master herbalists and/or certified aromatherapists. These people have studied their craft for many years and are able to give reliable advice. I also frequent a holistic doctor’s site that gives conscious advice on essential oil use.
Also to take into consideration is the grade of oil you are buying — unless they are pure 100% certified essential oils, you really don’t know what quality of ingredients is in each oil. Plus, you need to be aware of which oils can be used for internal use, topical use, and aromatic use. Some people may assume that essential oils can be used for anything and on anyone including pets, but that just isn’t so. I’m going to cover some of the biggest mistakes people make on a regular basis when using essential oils.
#1 You Think You Need to Know Everything about Every Essential Oil Before Using Them.
Not so! It’s recommended that you pick five or so essential oils and make them the go-to oils that you would use on a regular basis. Get to know them and how to use them proficiently in your home and life. Here are five popular essential oils that would be ideal to use safely and effectively on a daily basis.
Frankincense oil is good for your immune system, has mild anti-inflammatory properties, and supportive of your overall health.
Lavender oil is the number one essential oil used in North America. It’s great for relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and aids as an acne treatment.
Lemon oil has calming and detoxifying properties so it’s good for cleansing the lymphatic system, relieving stress, boosts immunity, and helps with insomnia.
Peppermint oil is a great natural energizer, natural antibiotic, good for digestive issues, inhibits bad breath, and loosens sore muscles.
Tea Tree oil treats acne, heals and soothes sunburns, rids toenail fungus, good as an all-purpose cleaner, helps remove skin tags, soothes insect bites, works an antiseptic and can be used as a natural deodorant.
#2 Given The Wrong Advice
The key to using essential oils is to use them safely and efficiently so as to not cause harm to man or animal. Just because they are a natural product does not mean you can saturate your body with them. Know your facts before you practice on your family or dish out any information. They are powerful forms of plant-based medicine and they should be respected. They can affect someone’s health, so learn the details before applying. Some essential oils must never be used internally like wormwood or wintergreen. There are some oils that can be ingested in small doses on a regular basis, but learn which ones these are. It’s so important that you do not give out wrong advice on essential oils. This is where training and a certification program comes in; you’ll learn and understand how to use the oils responsibly.
#3 All Oils Are The Same, Right!
This is a biggy! Most people are not aware that many companies are using synthetic ingredients so they are not real or true essential oils. Many also use plant ingredients that have been sprayed with pesticides, hydrocarbons, and other harmful toxins. These toxins will then be present in the oils, so ensure you are only buying a high-quality organic grade essential oils, or least buy brands that don’t use ingredients that have been sprayed with any harmful chemicals. Check to see if any additives like filler oils are put in their products as well and that the company practices ethical farming.
#4 Using All Oils The Same Way
This is also a huge issue. Not all oils are safe to use the same way. It’s imperative that you know how to use your essential oils. Some oils are safe in therapeutic doses internally if it’s a high-grade organic quality — plus there are oils that can never be used internally. Did you know that all essential oils should be diluted? Oils like oregano and cinnamon are hot so they will need to be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil and then use directly on the skin.
#5 Using Oils Too Long
Typically when using a diffuser, you don’t want to use it more than 8 hours. If it’s a huge room, you can actually have a diffuser running 24 hours, but for most homes, 8 hours is enough. For direction inhalation, you would only want to do this for no more than 5 minutes. You can have too much of as a good thing — yes, there is such a thing as too many essential oils. Depending on how many drops you use daily, like 30 or so drops, it can stress out your liver and potentially your kidney’s overtime.
#6 All Oils That Are Safe For Humans, Are Safe For Pets
I was alarmed to learn that some of the oils I was using is not beneficial for my pets. Essential oils like Wintergreen, Cloves, Oregano, Birch, Tea Tree, Cinnamon, Yarrow, and Thyme are not recommended if you have cats and dogs in your home. I love wintergreen, but I discontinued using it because it’s not safe for my cats. These specific essential oils can trigger a host of conditions for pets including skin sensitivities and allergies to interference in their natural body processes. Essential oils that are safe for pets include Lavender, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Myrrh, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Ginger, Helichrysum, and Majoram.
#7 Using The Same Oils On Kids as Adults
Children being so much smaller will require a smaller dose and strengths. Some oils are not recommended for kids because they are strongly antimicrobial like oregano and lemongrass. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying to children’s skin to avoid irritation and sensitization. Even though pure oils are safe, their livers are small and can only process so much. Frankincense, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, and Wild Orange are safe for children.
#8 No Training or Certification
If you are selling essential oils, you may want to consider taking a reputable essential oil course. Many people are giving medical and health coaching advice with no training and no certification. Getting certified teaches you how to use essential oils properly, boosts your confidence, and builds your credibility. Becoming educated means you have the knowledge to help and support your family, friends, and those that reach out to you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.