A brief guide to the safe use of pure essential oils. This guide is by no means exhaustive, rather it is a starting point which I believe as a supplier I have a responsibility to protect my customers from potential misuse.
High Blood Pressure
Avoid the following oils in cases of this condition as they can raise the blood pressure: Hyssop, Sage(all types) and Thyme.
Avoid the following oils in the cases of epilepsy, as they have a very powerful effect on the nervous system: Sweet Fennel, Hyssop and Sage (all types).
The oil of Clary Sage or Labdanum should not be used in any form within a few hours of drinking alcohol (either before or after). They can cause nausea, exaggerated drunkeness and can cause poisoning.
Homeopathic treatment is not compatible with the following oils due to their strength: Blackpepper, Camphor, Eucalyptus & Peppermint.
During pregnancy, use essential oils in half the usual stated amount because of the sensitivity of the growing foetus. Oils which are potentially toxic or have emmenagogue properties (that is they stimulate the uterus muscle) should be avoided altogether, e.g. Basil, Cinnamon Leaf, Camphor, Clove (Bud & Leaf), Hyssop, Juniper (Berry, Leaf or Wood), Marjoram (Sweet or True), Myrrh, Sage (all types), Tarragon & Thyme (red or white).
The following should be avoided during the first four months of pregnancy: Atlas Cedarwood, Peppermint, Rosemary & Sweet Fennel.
As a general rule of thumb, if in doubt do not use.
Babies & Children
Always dilute oils for babies and children to a 1% dilution or at least half the usual stated amount. For young children avoid altogether: Aniseed, Blackpepper, Cinnamon Leaf, Camphor, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Hyssop, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Pine Needle, Nutmeg, Oregano, Sweet Fennel, Sage, Thyme.
Babies 0 to 12 Months
Only use 1 drop of Lavender, Rose, Chamomile (Roman or German) Neroli or Mandarin essential oil, diluted in one tablespoon of carrier oil or massage or bathing.
Infants 1 to 5 years
Use only 2 - 3 drops of the safe oils (those not listed above) diluted in 1 tablespoon carrier oil for massage or bathing.
Children 6 to 12 years
Use as adults but in half stated concentration.
Use directed as adults.
Keep all essential oils away from light and heat (even blended oils) and keep out of the reach of children.
Do not take essential oils internally
This rule is in accordance with the safety guidelines recommended by the Federation of Aromatherapists. Essential oils do not mix with water, and in an undiluted form they may damage the lining of the digestive tract. In addition some essential oils are toxic if taken internally.
Before applying any new oil to the skin, even as a perfume always do a patch test. Add a few drops on the back of your wrist and leave for a hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs, bathe the area with cold water immediately.
Thank you for reading this guide and I hope you found it useful.