At first glance, it may seem strange to think of safety precautions with Aromatherapy. After all, Aromatherapy uses scents so what could be dangerous about that, right? Well, actually there is plenty of concern to be warranted when using essential oils and Aromatherapy. The essential oils used in Aromatherapy are concentrated forms of plants and herbs. Because these oils are highly concentrated, they can be very irritating to skin if they are directly applied. Every essential oil is different and has different properties. It is because of the high concentration that essential oils need to be diluted either in an infusion or in carrier oil. The only essential oils that are recommended for direct application to the skin are Tea Tree oil, and Lavender. These oils are often applied directly to the skin in cases of insect bites, skin rashes, or eruptions.
As with any product, you should also check to see if you have any allergic reactions before using essential oils. The good news is that you may have an allergic reaction to a plant or herb in a different form, but not have the same allergic reaction to the essential oil. To test for an allergic reaction, apply a small amount of the essential oil to an inconspicuous part of the body. Fourteen hours is plenty of time to wait and see if there is any reaction in the test area. If you have no reaction, it is safe to assume that you are not allergic to that particular oil.
You should take special care when using essential oils on children. You should check for any allergic reactions with children, as you would with yourself before using various oils on children. When using essential oils with children, use one half of the dose that you would normally use with an adult. It is best to avoid all toxic essential oils with children and stick with those that are gentle and non-toxic. However, when used wisely, essential oils may replace many over the counter medications and remedies and may be considered as Mother’s best friend.
Even though many essential oils are edible, it isn’t recommended that beginners take them orally. There is an art and science behind Aromatherapy and the usage of essential oils. It is best to err on the side of caution and this means not to use essential oils in any way unless you have been properly trained.
Pregnant women need to exercise caution when using essential oils. Many oils may even cause premature labor. Here is a list of essential oils and herbs that should never be used by pregnant women, these herbs encourage menstruation and can cause a miscarriage. The herbs to be avoided are Myrrh, Rue, Horsetail, Mugwort, Prickly Ash, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Gentian, Blessed Thistle, Beth Root, Damiana, Chamomile, Black Haw, Goldenseal, Motherwort, Pennyroyal, Angelica, Safflower, Tansy, and American Mistletoe.
These herbs are determined to be very toxic and most Aromatherapists recommend not using them at all: Arnica, Camphor, Jaborandi, Mustard, Narcissus, Nutmeg, Parsley, Rue, Tansy, Turmeric, Wormseed, and Wormwood.