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Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils are great! They're natural, they smell wonderful, and research shows that they offer many benefits. But have you ever stopped to think about safety issues before using your favorite essential oil or aromatherapy product? The truth is that many of us haven't, and I'm here to help you.

Check out my Essential Oil Safety class at the 2019 Whippoorwill Festival in Beattyville, KY: Friday, July 19 from 1 to 3 pm!

First, it's important to realize that essential oils may be natural but they are still considered chemicals. In fact, even water can be considered a chemical, so this is not necessarily shocking. But what you may find shocking is that essential oils are comprised of many chemical elements that may interact with medications, wreak havoc with certain health conditions, and even cause allergic reactions with no warning.

Next, you need to embrace the mindset that knowledge is power! A little education goes a long way when it comes to the safe use of essential oils. You don't need to take a full-blown course in chemistry, but you should definitely do your homework on the side effects and safety issues associated with your essential oils of choice. Here is an article from the Alliance of International Aromatherapists that will give you a bit of background on essential oils and how to safely use them: https://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/history-basics

A little side note here...don't believe everything you read on the internet! When looking for essential oil advice on the web, be sure the information is coming from a qualified individual. Look for professional aromatherapists who are a member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) and/or the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). One of my favorites is Aroma Web, which is a very informative website maintained by Wendy Robbins, who is a fellow graduate of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS).

Last, and certainly not least, please be aware of these 3 important safety tips:

1. NEVER use undiluted essential oils directly on the skin. NEVER!!! This practice is not safe and may result in burns or severe allergic reactions. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are medically frail are especially vulnerable to this unsafe practice. Always dilute your essential oils to an appropriate percentage before topical use. Here is a handy guide to help determine appropriate dilution ratios (click the graphic to enlarge):

2. Dancing Bee Naturals does not encourage the internal use of essential oils. While there is research showing that essential oils may have benefits with internal use, these studies have been conducted in controlled settings and monitored by medical professionals and experts in aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and are not the same as culinary herbs of the same name (for example, oregano or peppermint). There are many variables (including an individual's health status, medication usage, age, etc.) that affect the safe usage of essential oils. Please consult with an essential oil-knowledgeable practitioner who is qualified to diagnose and treat medical conditions if you are seeking guidance on internal usage.

3. Essential oils are not appropriate for everyone. Certain groups of people need to take extra care with the usage of essential oils, which sometimes includes avoiding their use. In general, these groups include infants, children, pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, individuals who take medications, and those with medical conditions. You should always seek the advice of a healthcare professional prior to using essential oils or products that contain them as ingredients.