ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY
ALL of Oily Adventures educational classes // workshops will link back to THIS post. Make sure you take a few minutes to read through at some point prior to attending any of these complimentary class(es).
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OIL SAFETY: Something we cannot impress enough upon everyone who is new to essential oils is safety in using them. This is going to be a LONG post – but please take the time to sit down and read through to the end.
You can never replace knowledge and common sense when it comes to health and application of any medicine, essential oils, or any other healing procedures you decide to try out. As you browse through education groups, you will find terms like “neat,” “diluted,” “hot oils,” “photosensitizing,” etc. All of these are important to know before you start researching and using oils on yourself. We are only covering the very basics of essential oils here, and there is much more out there that we all need to continue to study and share.
GRAS: GRAS is an FDA term meaning Generally Regarded As Safe. With a little research, you’ll find that many Young Living oils are considered GRAS. Essential oils that can be ingested have nutritional supplement data on the back of the label (you might need to peel the outer label back to see it) with recommendations on dosage.
NEAT vs. DILUTED: When you apply an essential oil “neat”, you are applying it directly to the site on your body or into a capsule without adding any carrier oils to help dilute the concentration. When it comes to figuring out how much you should use of a particular essential oil, the label will tell you if you need to dilute the essential oil for use. For kids, even more dilution is recommended. Start slow and increase as needed. Use your judgement based on what you know about that person on whether to dilute more or not. Test the essential oil in a small spot first. Go slow and don’t use more than a few single essential oils or one blend when you first start out. Exercise common sense.
CARRIER OILS: Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable, and prevents waste due to excessive application. A vegetable oil such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil or Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex are excellent examples of carrier oils for all applications. *Vegetable shortening, butter, margarine, or petrolatum derivatives (petroleum jelly) should NEVER be used as carrier oils.
HOT OIL: Plants come in many different forms and have many different properties. Consider eating a Sriracha chili versus a bell pepper. One is hot and burns your mouth; the other does not. Why is this? The oils are different. This is how I define the “hot” oil in my mind. If the oil is considered a hot oil, the dilution will be listed on the label so you can take precaution before application. Young Living recommends doing a patch test on a small area of skin prior to your first use. If you are sensitive to oils and find they work quickly on you, you might want to take more caution with the hotter oils. If you are not so sensitive, then you might even be able to apply some of the hotter ones neat. It all depends on the individual. Use common sense and as mentioned above, start slow.
PHOTOSENSITIVITY: Photosensitizing essential oils are those that might react with skin when exposed to the sun causing a dark rash or dark pigmentation. Oils like Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit are all photosensitizing. Typically, they are citrus-based. Angelica, Bergamot, German Chamomile, and some blends contain photosensitive oils as well. These oils need to be kept in dark glass containers since they will react to exposure to direct sunlight or UV rays. The citrus-based oils have been known to react with plastic as well.
ORIFICES: Another safety factor to be aware of is keeping oils away from your eyes and out of ear canals, nasal passages, etc.
PREGNANCY: Most Young Living essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, and many women have found success using the oils during and after pregnancy. However, always exercise caution and consult your healthcare professional when starting any health program. Read the labels, dilute often, and use common sense.
ALLERGIES: Spot test a tiny amount of oil on the inside of your upper arm if you decide to use an oil from a plant that you are allergic to. Again, use common sense. If you have extreme allergies, research the oils in depth.
EMERGENCY REMOVAL: In the case of an accident or emergency where you need to remove an oil from a location quickly (like if you started to feel a burning sensation with a hot oil), do NOT use water. Water will likely spread the oil out more – oil will not dissolve in water. Instead, apply a neutral carrier oil like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil to dilute the oil then wipe the oils away with a washcloth or tissue. Call emergency contacts if needed. Continue carrier oil application as needed. Organic and cold pressed carrier oils would be best since you want to keep with the clean ingredients and not reintroduce toxins and pesticides from a carrier back into your body.
Safety can be a little scary to read about and start to cause concern, but as with anything it is very important to know how to handle the essential oils and get the most out of them so you can keep your family healthy. It's very easy to get caught up in the amazing results you will see from oils, so it's good to keep that common sense and caution in the back of your mind so you know what to do when different situations arise.