Aromatherapy is one of the safest therapies if used under the directions of a qualified Physician. Essential oils are natural plant extracts derived from specific plant species using steam distillation, expression or chemical extraction.
Special attention should be paid while applying Essential Oils. Some essential oils should be avoided at certain times and others should be handled with care. Here a few safety tips are given on the use of aromatherapy oils.
Be very conscious in case of undiluted essential oil. Never put it on your skin in an undiluted condition. Always dilute essential oils with carrier oils such as almond or baby oil. If you make your own oils by infusing plant matter in carrier oil, the resulting oil will be weak enough to use on the skin. If you are suffering from epilepsy or have sensitive skin, are pregnant or are using homeopathic remedies or taking some other prescribed medication or have a heart problem, always consult with your general physician before using any essential oil. People with epilepsy should not apply any product with citrus oils to their skin if you are going out in the sun. The essential citrus oils can cause burning and reddening of the skin.
Do not take essential oils orally. If planning to work with oil you have not used before, do a small skin test on your arm. Avoid it if there is any irritation. Avoid eucalyptus, fennel, hyssop, sage, pennyroyal, juniper, tansy, thuja, turpentine, and rosemary, as these oils may cause seizures. People with high blood pressure should avoid rosemary, sage and thyme.
Asthmatics should avoid direct inhalation of essential oils, as this could trigger an attack.
Avoid the contact of essential oils with eyes. Essential oils are very irritating to the eyes so it should not be applied near them. Also avoid touching the eyes with your hands that may still have traces of oil. It is to be remembered that one should never burn pure oil in the oil burner put water in the reservoir and add a few drops of oil to the water. Keep oils stored in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. Some organic essential oils are very toxic and should not be used at all, yet are still sold. Always check the safety of any oil product before you buy it. For the most part, you can use commonly available essential oils such as lavender with confidence.
Always keep essential oils out of the reach of children. It is preferable to put it in a locked cupboard or locked carry case. If a child does accidentally ingest any essential oil do not encourage vomiting, let them drink one glass of cold water and seek immediate and urgent medical advice.
The great benefit with aromatherapy is that most of them are very useful. Therapeutic herbs are those that smell good so it is not too hard to avoid the ones that smell bad and may be toxic!
Many oils are referable for babies and children under 12 years of age. For those oils, which can be used for babies and small children, is advisable to dilute with other resources.
Any essential oil can cause dermatitis and sensitization, especially when used repeatedly. Avoid this by using only very small amounts of the oil at any one time. You should also practice substituting the oils from time to time rather than using the same oils every day.
When choosing essential oils, always check the Latin or botanical names to be sure you are using the right oil. Many essential oils may have the same common name but may exert different functions. There are also many essential oils that have more than one common name.