Using Essential Oils Safely

The safety of essential oils is a concern to all aromatherapists as well as everyone at Ananda. There are a number of protocols that are undertaken at our facility to ensure our customers are receiving high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. This includes our robust testing of every oil once it enters our facility to ensure no contamination or adulturation has occurred. Once we have tested our oils we store them in a cold, dark room in UV resistant glass containers until they are bottled. Our labels and the product page on our site include all of the following information for you to accurately identify an essential oil:

  • Botanical (latin) name
  • Part of the plant used in extraction
  • Country of Origin
  • Extraction Method

Additionally, every oil that enters our facility has a lot number assigned to it, which is tied to a report which includes the GC/MS report which includes all of the notable chemical constituents, as well as the results of our five physical property tests.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated volatile liquids, and should be used with the utmost care and precaution. If you are new to aromatherapy and essential oils, we recommend you research whether the oils you plan on using can have adverse reactions, including oral and dermal toxicity, as well as which oils should be avoided at all costs. Here we provide some guidelines to use essential oils in a safe manner.

General Safety Guidelines

Essential Oils and Children

Essential Oil Hazards

Toxicity

There are a number of oils which have toxic, or poisonous effects at a certain level. Oral toxicity is the degree of toxicity of a substance when it is ingested by swallowing. Dermal toxicity is the degree of toxicity of a substance when it is absorbed through the skin. The greatest hazard is oral toxicity, or ingestion of essential oils. Oils can have acute toxicity, which usually involves a single dose and with a high enough dose, can be lethal. Oils can also have chronic toxicity, which is the result of a long-term use of small doses. The result of chronic toxicity is usually organ tissue damage, usually affecting the liver and kidneys.

The following oils have frequently appeared in cases of poisoning due to ingestion:

  • Camphor
  • Cinnamon
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Hyssop
  • Nutmeg
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sage
  • Thuja
  • Sassafras
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood
  • Wormseed

Oils not listed here should not be regarded as necessarily safe, and over-ingestion may cause serious problems.

Hepatoxicity:

Skin Reactions

Skin reactions from using essential oils, which can vary from one individual to another, include:

  • Skin irritations
  • Sensitisation
  • Phototoxicity
  • Idiosyncratic reactions

We recommend conducting a patch test if you are worried about having an adverse skin reaction from an oil. Instructions for a patch test:

  1. Apply the oil at twice the concentration you plan to use it to the inside of the forearm for 48 hours
  2. Apply two drops of the oil to an inside of a plaster
  3. Repeat a second time to test for sensitization

Skin Irritations:

Sensitization:

Photo-sensitization:

Idiosyncratic Reaction:

Essential Oils and Pregnancy/Nursing

In case of Essential Oil Poisoning