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Basic Essential Oil Safety

A woman's blue eye looking up and away

Sunday while I was surfing Facebook I saw someone receive advice to put essential oils directly on their chid’s eyelids, when I saw the advice it was several hours old and I just cringed hoping the person hadn’t followed such dangerous advice that could endanger their child’s vision. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around the internet, coming from here, there, and everywhere, none of it supported by peer reviewed research. Before you follow any advice you see online or elsewhere please make sure the advice is supported by peer reviewed research and/or properly accredited certification training.

Because essential oils are discussed frequently on the internet I wanted to share some very basic safety tips you can use to protect your children and family. These tips are based on some of the reference materials I used in my training for my Certified Clinical Aromatherapy program and some of the data in the program itself. The sources will be listed at the end for those that want to do additional research.

1. Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children.

2. Never apply essential oils to mucus membranes, ears, eyelids or other bodily openings. For the record your mouth and internal organs are mucus membranes. This means you should Not be putting oils in your water and drinking them, even if you’ve been doing it for 3,6, 9+ months. We already have a shortage of organ donors in this country and it’s going to get worse as the need for livers and kidneys go up due to the proliferation of people putting citrus, peppermint, and other essential oils in water and drinking it. When you do that the oils adhere to your mucosal lining and slowly eat away at it.

3. Always dilute essential oils. The only exception to this rule is under the guidance of a properly trained and certified aromatherapist for a specific short-term issue.

4. Age Does Matter even if you dilute the oils. Children under 5 years of age are physiologically ill prepared to biologically process the potent complex chemical constituents of aromatic essential oils. For children under 5 years of age the industry standard is to use aromatic hydrosol waters, aka hydrolats which they respond to as effectively as older children respond to essential oils. There are age restrictions on oils that go as high as 12 years of age. i.e. Children under 5 can suffocate from the use of Peppermint essential oil. Wintergreen and/or Birch should never be used on or given to children in any amount due to risk of developing Reye’s syndrome. (Tisserand and Young p.656)

5. Essential oils interact with prescription medications and vice versa. Notify your health care provider(s) when you use essential oils and/or consult a certified clinical aromatherapist to inquire about safely integrating aromatherapy and medications. Consider putting your healthcare provider and clinical aromatherapist in touch with each other so they can communicate freely. An information exchange waiver will need to be signed.

6. Quality is important! Country of origin, Date of distillation, and GC/MS reports are your provenance to know if the oil is what it says it is. Some essential oils last longer than others so the date your oil was distilled is key information to have to reduce your risk of reacting to the oil because it oxidized. CPTG or Therapeutic Grade is branding it’s like saying Calvin Klein is better than Levi. It’s meaningless when companies won’t show consumers the GC/MS, date of distillation and/or country of origin reports. IF their oil is ‘more pure’ it’s going to be more potent. If it’s more potent there’s more risk for harm. If it’s been sitting in a warehouse since it was distilled two years ago and it’s an oil with a shelf life of one year it’s useless.

7. When underlying health conditions are a factor, always consult a certified clinical aromatherapist, naturopath, or other medical professional specifically trained in the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of essential oils. Essential oils must be used judiciously with asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and cancer patients to name a few.

8. Essential oils are wonderful, potent, and powerful Complementary aids to Support the body. When used properly they can be Amazing in Supporting the body where it needs support. However, they do Not cure Cancer, Ebola, or Bi-polar. If you’re not seeing the results you expected chances are you’re using the wrong oil(s) or using them in the wrong manner. Consult a professional for assistance.

**Essential Oil Safety A Guide for Healthcare Professionals (Second edition) Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young

** The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Second edition) Salvatore Battaglia

** Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare (Third edition) Jane Buckle PhD, RN

I am a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist with over 500 hours of accredited training approved by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, the Alliance of International Aromatherapist, and the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapist. I’ve studied under Andrea Butje having completed the Scholar’s Program at the Aromahead Institute. I’m currently studying under Jade Shutes at and Robert Tisserand at I’m a professional member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and the Alliance of International Aromatherapist. ©2016 Cynthia Tamlyn-CCA DISCLAIMER THIS BLOG IS FOR INFORMATIONAL & EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN DOES NOT CONSTITUTE, PREEMPT, OR SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE NOR IS IT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, CURE, TREAT, OR PREVENT DISEASE OR HEALTH ISSUES.ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING OR APPLYING ANY OF THE SUGGESTIONS CONTAINED ON THIS BLOG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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