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A Guide on How to Safely Use Essential Oils

A Guide on How to Safely Use Essential Oils

July 9, 2019
How can you safely use essential oils and terpenes to reduce anxiety, promote healthy skin, and even alleviate pain? Here's you guide to help avoid common pitfalls with essential oil use.

As is the case with cannabis, essential oils can help you live a better life. Essential oils, when used appropriately, can support the health of your skin, body, and mind. Terpenes, which are found in most essential oils, offer a wide-variety of health benefits greater than skin-deep. They can help relieve your pain and even alleviate anxiety among many other benefits. However, these oils are made out of concentrated extracts that need to be handled with care.

When mishandled, you can suffer some unfortunate side effects such as skin rashes, phototoxicity and even poisoning in the most extreme of cases. With that in mind, here is a guide to safely using essential oils

There are very many different types of essential oil uses. Some people like applying them topically while others prefer to ingest them. Some still would rather have them diffused into an aroma they can breathe in. Every type of use has its own safety measures to consider. Let's start with how to safely use essential oils topically.

Be Sure to Dilute Before Use

Essential oils often require dilution. Even though some are more concentrated than others, the general rule of thumb is to keep those concentration levels under 5%. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use carrier oils (vegetable-based oils).

Diluting at 1% is equivalent to adding about six drops of your essential oil to an ounce of a vegetable oil-based carrier oil. The carrier oil will help make it easier to spread the essential oil over a large surface area as well as carry it safely onto your sensitive skin.

There are some essential oils that you can use without diluting. These include:

  • Sandalwood
  • Chamomile
  • Tea tree (unoxidized)
  • Cypress
  • Lavender oil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rose

It is, however, highly advisable to only undertake precise application under strict professional supervision.

Some essential oils simply must be diluted before use. These include:

  • Cumin
  • Citronella
  • Lemongrass
  • Oregano
  • Clove bud
  • Lemon verbena

Whether you are using an essential oil that requires dilution or not, the prudent thing to do is to carry out a patch test to see if there is any skin irritation. Apply the essential oil to a small patch of your skin and let it sit for 24 hours. If there are no adverse reactions such as itchiness or blistering, then you know that your skin will not react to the oil. 

guide for using essential oils and terpenes

How to Safely Use Essential Oils Internally

The truth is you should avoid ingesting essential oils unless you have advanced training or are under the supervision of a professional. Oral ingestions, or other forms of internal application such as in the mouth, on your eyes or in the vagina could cause extensive unforeseeable side effects. This is because essential oils, for the most part, aren't as consistently regulated as other products.

How to Safely Use Essential Oils through Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy happens to be one of the most beneficial ways to remedy a number of issues including insomnia and respiratory issues. If you want to improve your sleep, try inhaling lavender and if you want to ease your stress and anxiety, try inhaling sweet orange and so on. Here are some popular and common essential oils that work well with aromatherapy:

  • Cedarwood
  • Spearmint
  • Fir
  • Lavender oil
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon

Aromatherapy works in two ways; you can either inhale it or diffuse it. Inhalation is best for respiratory issues while diffusion works well for mood management.

Use these safety precautions when diffusion your essential oils:

  • Dilute it in a well-ventilated room or area
  • Strictly follow the dilution guidelines provided by the manufacturer
  • Carry out intermittent diffusion (30-60 minutes on and 30-60 minutes off)

When Not to Use Essential Oils

Various concerns are doing their rounds about using and diffusing essential oils around pets, children and pregnant women. While it is true that some essential oils are good for one group but bad for another, knowing which is which takes a great deal of research. Here are some general guidelines on when not to use essential oils:

  • Around children or infants. Using essential oils around infants and children is highly discouraged. These people have thin skins and under-developed livers as well as less stellar immune systems. This makes them rather vulnerable to any potential toxicity that might come with the oil in use.
  • During pregnancy. There are some studies showing that some essential oils can actually help calm the mother down and alleviate fears associated with childbirth. That being said, it's widely believed that some essential oils can actually pierce through the placental barrier and cause harm to your fetus. Unless directed by your doctor specifically or in the presence of a trained and qualified professional, it's best to stay away from essential oils when pregnant.

The general rule of thumb is that you should always closely follow the instructions given by the manufacturer and when trying out riskier operations such as using your essential oils internally then you should always do so under the supervision of a qualified and trained professional.

CBD as an Essential Oil of Cannabis

Another option other than essential oils is a CBD tincture. Simply shake the bottle before use and put 1/3 of a dropper under your tongue for ten seconds. You can then take a few deep breaths and begin to feel some relief within thirty minutes.

CBD Tinctures have anti-anxiety properties and can help relieve body aches as well. 

Heylo always recommends finding CBD products that offer a full-spectrum of the plant’s native terpenes to increase efficacy and decrease potential side-effects.

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