As a continuation of our previous post on using essential oils, this post deals with more questions related to incorporating essential oils for different purposes. As promised, we are going to answer few more questions that were left unanswered in the previous post.
Essential oils that can be used on Skin Directly
We have clearly mentioned that essential oils are not for direct skin applications. But there are exceptions to any rule, right? Many aroma therapists agree that a few oils can be used directly without any repercussions. They include German Chamomile Essential Oil, Sandalwood Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Rose Geranium Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil.
Toxic Essential Oils
Did you think all things natural means they are safe? Absolutely not! Some of the potent and lethal poisons are natural! Likewise, essential oils are highly concentrated and at times, toxic. Though toxicity depends on the proportions used, usage and other different factors, these oils are considered toxic and few are restricted. Most are toxic when ingested even in small quantities, except few like Tancy that triggered Eczema in women who helped pluck the flowers!
Bitter Almond, Prussic acid also known as Cyanide, Camphor (good for external use and used to treat pain and a few skin conditions, lethal when ingested), Calamus, Cassia, Boldo, Mugwort, Horseradish, Mustard, Rue, Pennyroyal, Sassafras, Savin, Thuja, Tansy, Wintergreen (used externally for treating pain related to arthritis, rheumatism and neuralgia, though toxic for internal consumption) , Wormwood, Wormseed, etc.
Essential Oils that are suitable for Use During Pregnancy
Do you know not all essential oils are suitable for use during pregnancy? Yes, though essential oils are often applied eternally and not ingested (not many countries have essential oils that can be used internally), even with external application, these oils do penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. Once there, they work like any medicines that you consume and hence, only mild oils are allowed during pregnancy.
German Chamomile, Orange, Helichrysum, Neroli, Lavender (preferably after second trimester), Tangerine, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Black Pepper, Cypress (after about five months into pregnancy), Eucalyptus, Geranium, Bergamot, Patchouli, Tea Tree Oil (not during delivery or labor pains), Geranium and Spearmint are considered suitable.
Essential Oils to be Avoided During Pregnancy
Many contradict the list of oils that can or should not be used during pregnancy. However, if you are doubtful, it is better to err on safety side and skip essential oil usage. Rosemary, Cedarwood, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Nutmeg, Lemon, Clary Sage, Rose, Peppermint, Jasmine,Mryhh, Sage, Thyme, Mustard, Juniper Berry, Angelica, Aniseed, Laurel, Citronella, Oregano, Cumin and Cinnamon shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
Choosing the Right Dilution
For external applications, it should typically be around 3% concentration. In other words, for a teaspoon of carrier oil, you can add 3 – 4 drops of essential oil.
For massage, it should be 1% and inhalation; it should be 1 – 2 drops in a steamer and not more than 10 – 15 minutes.
For compress, 2 – 3 drops to water, or carrier oil, though water is easier. After adding it to water, mix and soak a cloth in the mixture, to use for compress.
In a bath, full cream milk or bath salts can be used to disperse the oil and prevent direct skin penetration, since oils don’t mix with water. Just add a drop or two of the desired essential oil to the bath salt and then, add it to your bath!
Are Essential Oils Edible?
Some essential oils can be ingested after diluting with carrier oil, or in teas, etc. Care should be taken to follow ingestion instructions according to the essential oil in question. However, toxic essential oils are best avoided internally.
Do Essential Oils Trigger Allergies?
Of course, they can! If you are allergic to a few foodstuffs, you might be allergic to their essential oils (eg: wheat). Additionally, some essential oils don’t suit certain individuals due to skin sensitivity or other reasons. With trial and error you should be able to identify them sooner. However, never use them undiluted and always, try to use one essential oil at a time to determine allergens.
How to Choose the Right Carrier Oils?
Oils like Jojoba, Argan, Evening Primrose, Rosehip, Coconut, Sweet Almond, Olive, Avocado, Apricot, Borage, Moringa, Sunflower and Wheatgerm are flexible. Choose one that suits your skin type or go with Jojoba Oil or Argan Oil that will suit any skin type! Don’t worry! We will do a detailed post on this soon!