There is a lot of essential oil information on the interwebs. A LOT! Most of it, including on this blog, speaks to the benefits of using essential oils, why you should consider adding them to your Health and Wellness Journey, and which oils you should consider buying. Even on this blog I share with you some information about oils. Not much though, because the FDA has gagged me from saying even the basic things about oils. They can gag me all they want, I still know that I should have jumped in much sooner than I did with oils. I still know what they do for me and my family and I still know and believe that God knew what he was doing when He created these for our health and wellbeing and I was nothing short of stubborn and prideful when I used to stick my nose up at anyone trying to share with me their love of essential oils.
I noticed that some helpful tips on the safe way to use your oils isn’t information that is front and center in most blog posts. A basic, ‘Let’s get started’ compilation of safety information. This list is just a drop in the bucket of all the tips I could share with you, but it’s a great place to start. Essential oil safety should play an important role in your every day essential oil use. Below are just 20 tips I’ve come up with, that you should know before you begin using your Young Living Essential Oils. Remember, this list in not all-inclusive, but it’s a great jumping off point for folks that are new to essential oils. Also, please note that I’m only talking about Young Living Essential Oils here. Oh, and the F D A wants me to tell you that I am not a Doctor. I’m not here to diagnose, treat or cure any disease, nor am I here to make any claims regarding essential oils. The F D A has not evaluated these statements. Thank God for them, however… I mean, with over 100 deaths per day occuring from prescription drugs, which they approved, where would we be without their gag order on anyone talking about supplements, essential oils or colloidal silver?
- Store your oils in a cool, dark place to preserve their quality. I store mine in a case that is then stored in one of my dresser drawers. The Stud Muffin also made me a beautiful storage box for the ones that don’t fit in the dresser drawer. Also keep them away from outlets and electronic devices as electro magnetic frequencies don’t do your oils any favors.
- Neat vs. Diluted: Undiluted essential oils are called neat. Oils applied with carrier oil are called diluted. What are carrier oils? Any oil that is can be used on the skin and blended with essential oils such as: Apricot oil, Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sesame, or Young Living V-6 Enhanced Vegetable Oil (it’s organic, don’t worry). I personally use organic coconut oil and organic jojoba oil. I do not recommend canola or corn oil. Nope. Nope. Nope.
- Layer Singles, but not Blends: Feel free to layer ‘single’ oils on top of each other, but don’t layer the ‘blends’ together. Gary Young has specially formulated these blends with special uses in mind. They are mixed appropriately and if you alter them in any way, by adding them to another blend, you could change their chemical properties! Instead, if you need to use two blends at the same time, use them on different parts of your body vs. layering one over the other on the same section of your body.
- Citrus Oils and the Sun. If you plan on going out to catch some rays or get some Vitamin D therapy, be sure that you haven’t applied any citrus essential oils to any skin that will be exposed to the sun within the last 36-48 hours. Citrus oils are photosensitizing, which means they enhance the rays of the sun. That could cause you to severe burns, rash or darkening of the skin. Citrus oils are bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, citrus hystrix, and angelica. Remember, they can cause phototoxicity, so err on the side of caution. German Chamomile is also photosensitizing.
- Less is More. Use no more than 6 drops of an essential oil at a time. Typically, 1-3 drops is enough! I personally believe in diluting oils so they last longer and you can spread them over larger areas. This also allows the oils to spend more time on your skin, thereby making the essential oil more effective. How much you dilute depends on the oil and how sensitive your skin is. You can always amplify the therapeutic constituents of each oil by layering on copaiba or peppermint after applying the oils of your choice to the designated area of your body. Peppermint and Copaiba drive in and amplify other oils.
- If an oil gives you a headache, simply cut back on the frequency and amount of use, dilute and put on the bottoms of your feet and ease into using oils. Diffuse for 15-30 minutes at a time, only. If diffusing, use fewer drops in your diffuser– say 1-2 drops of an oil vs. 3-5. Use every other day instead of daily. Give your body time to acclimate to the balancing and restorative nature that the oils are having on your body. In most instances, my headache reactions to a couple of oils went away within a few days to a couple of weeks. Except where the blends Christmas Spirit and Thieves are concerned- I can only diffuse Thieves if I add Orange to it, and only add 1-2 drops of Thieves and I can’t even diffuser Christmas Spirit. My guess is that I’m sensitive to Cinnamon Bark. It’s the only oil my head can’t handle, so I listen to my body and use oils with that single in it, wisely.
- Hot Oils? A ‘hot’ oil is one that has a warming, tingling, or slight burning sensation when applied to the skin. A hot oil can cause sensitivities to those with sensitive skin, especially babies and children. Cinnamon, clove, oregano, lemon, basil, thyme, wintergreen, peppermint, Thieves, black pepper and majoram. Not everyone feels that lemon or peppermint are hot, but I used lemon to reduce allergy symptoms by swabbing the inside of my cheeks with a half a drop and my mouth was pretty warm. Essential Oil Safety is key, so err on the side of diluting too much vs. not diluting a hot or warm oil at all.
- Keep the oils out of your eyes and away from your eyes. Around the cheekbone and above the eyebrow is close enough. It’s a no-brainer, but eventually you’ll rub your eyes after putting peppermint on your temples and you’ll hate yourself for not remembering to wash your hands before touching your eyes. However, if you do get some in your eyes , DO NOT USE WATER to ease your discomfort. Instead, grab some olive oil, or Young Living V-6 oil and put a drop into your eye. I’m serious. It helps. Trust me. I speak from experience. It feels weird, but it won’t hurt your eye. Water makes the oil spread, and oil draws it out.
- Check the labels. They will give you directions on how you should use that particular oil. Some oils are quite strong and the label will instruct you to dilute them for topical use. The label will also tell you if you can use the oil internally. Many of the labels peel at the bottom corner. So check for tiny letters that spell “Peel Here”
- You Can Use The Oils in Different Ways:
INHALE – Inhale directly from the bottle, diffuse with a diffuser, or drop into your palm and breathe deeply.
SKIN – Drop the oil directly from the bottle onto your skin or place a couple drops in your hand, rub your palms together and massage oil into locations. You can choose to do this either “NEAT” (undiluted) or dilute with a carrier oil. The bottoms of the feet are the safest place to apply essential oils topically.
SWALLOW – Place essential oils into clear vegetable capsules and swallow, add to liquids and drink them, or drop directly on the tongue and swallow. (I only trust YL oils for internal use, and folks, if ingesting isn’t your cup of tea, then don’t worry about it. Keep oiling on, just diffuse, inhale or apply topically! 🙂 Just like with Real Food, do the research and take action on what fits with your life, works for you and your family, is in line with your personal health and wellness goals, budget, mission and beliefs. It’s that simple.
MOUTH – Rub the selected oil inside the mouth under the tongue, the roof of your mouth or inside the cheeks.
- Use a Glass drinking glass. If you’re adding essential oils to your water, use a glass water bottle instead of a plastic one. The oils can break down the plastic/styrofoam. They also eat petrochemicals. Sooo, you’d be drinking them. You may also use stainless steel. Lemon oil digests petrochemicals and many people consume a drop or two of lemon essential oil each morning in a glass of water–this is why drinking from glass is best.
- Learn From Others: It’s so helpful when read about someone else’s positive experience using a specific oil for a specific ailment. Testimonials are super helpful! Check out this fantastic website called Essential Oil Testimonials. It’s all about YL Essential Oil testimonies. Another great site would be: YLSearch.com This site allows you to search for Young Living related information. It indexes a variety of Young Living related websites, blogs and testimonial sites. Super cool resource! Attending online classes, or in home classes, or meeting up with someone knowledgable in the use of essential oils one on one is a good idea too.
- Curious as to how many drops of oil are in each bottle? For 15ml bottles, it’s approximately 250 drops. For 5ml bottles, it’s approximately 85-100 drops. Okay, not really a safety tip, but important nevertheless.
- Singles and Blends? A single oil is just that. One oil. Examples include, lemon, orange, Frankincense, Peppermint, Lavender, Wintergreen, Oregano, Grapefruit and Thyme, just to name a few. A Blend is a specially formulated combination of many oils. YL Blends include: Valor, PanAway, R.C, Thieves, Purification, Joy, Peace & Calming, StressAway- just to name a few!
- Keep them out of the ear canal. Essential oils should never go IN the ear canal. You may rub them around your ear, on the vita flex/accupressure points, behind the ear, on your ear lobe, but never, ever drop oils in your ear. Period.
- Dilution ratios: Neat or straight means that your essential oils is undiluted. 50:50 means 1 part essential oil to 1 part carrier oil. 20:80 1 part essential oil to 4 parts carrier oil. I personally believe in dilution and dilute my oils 95% of the time.
- Learn the Vitaflex points. I like to place an oil say, on my back to ease aches and discomfort and then find the corresponding body part on the bottom of my foot, and apply the oils there, too. Double Whammy!
- Skin test- there is nothing wrong with putting a drop of essential oil in about 4-6 drops of a carrier oil and rubbing it on the skin under your arm (away from the pits, where the skin is the most sensitive). If any sensitivity occurs, you know you need to either dilute more, or apply the oils to the bottoms of your feet, only, for 2-3 weeks until your body acclimates to their powerful benefits.
- Essential oils rich in menthol (such as peppermint and eucalyptus) should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 18 months of age. Wintergreen should not be used on children under the age of 12. I know some parents that use the blend PanAway on their children ages 9 on up, but it’s heavily diluted and used on their feet, only. Research this and make an informed decision.
- Keep bottles of essential oils tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Treat the oils as you would any product for therapeutic use. Teach your children that they are not candy and only Mommy and Daddy can open the bottles. (Until they are old enough to learn how to apply safely)
- Epileptics should consult a trusted health professional before using essential oils. Use extra caution with high ketone oils such as Basil, Rosemary, Sage, and Tansy oils. You should also take great care if you are on Blood Pressure medication and you use lavender. Lavender naturally lowers your BP, so applying lavender and then taking your BP medication immediately afterwards could have serious consequences. Consult with a medical or holistic practitioner and research this to learn more. Knowledge is power.
- BONUS Tip. Invest in a couple of great resources to help you learn the safest and most effective way to use your essential oils. Resources that I trust are listed below.
Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern,
Essential Oils for Natural Pet Care, by Melissa Shelton DVM (Dr. Shelton does have a much larger, more condensed Desk Reference with even more information than the book I just shared a link for, but it’s pricy. Worth it, but pricy.
Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishing
Essential Oils Safety Guide— The Young Living website
What are some of your best Getting Started and Essential Oil Safety Tips? Share with us in the comments section below.
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