Important Cautions Using Essential Oils

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and must be treated with respect.

A good rule of thumb is that more is not better! Never use undiluted essential oils directly on your skin – always use them in a diluted form {in a carrier oil, cream, or water}, or vaporize them and gently inhale them. Never take essential oils internally, and keep them away from your eyes. Be sure to use only high-grade, pure plant essential oils {not synthetic fragrance oils} and become educated on the use of essential oils by reading a reputable book devoted to the subject or consulting a trained aromatherapy professional.

Essential oils are estimated to be about 50 times stronger than the whole herbs from which they are extracted, but the concentration depends on the species from which they are derived. Also, be aware that some herbs that are perfectly safe to eat or drink as a tea contain very strong, potentially toxic essential oils that must be used with caution. Examples include cinnamon bark { Cinnamomum verum}, clove {Syzygium aromaticum}, oregano {Origanum vulgare}, savory {Satureja spp.}, and thyme {Thymus vulgaris}. Other essential oils, such as tansy {Tanacetum vulgare}, are so toxic that they should not be used at all in aromatherapy. Essential oils made from flowers {such as rose or orange blossom} generally are the mildest essential oils.

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