Although very useful, you have to be very careful with essential oils – especially in some specific cases. To enjoy only the benefits, see the six examples for when you should not use them.
In recent years, essential oils have gained an increasing number of supporters who prefer them as a safer alternative to harmful synthetic drugs. And what exactly is an essential oil?
Many people mistakenly believe that essential oil is a plant extract mixed with something else. The truth is that essential oils are actually 100% plant extract, which means they are very concentrated. For example, about 100 kilograms of lavender flowers are needed to make only half a kilo of lavender essential oil.
For this purpose, you should be careful when using essential oils, as they can be both beneficial and harmful.
See the six cases when you should not use essential oils, as well as tips for their safe application:
#1. When undiluted
Because of their high concentration, the direct use of essential oils can cause rashes and even burns. Mixing them with water will also not help. For the safe use of essential oils on the skin, you should dilute the essential oil with another type of oil – for example, avocado or grape seed.
Do not put more than 3-5 drops of it into 1 tsp of conventional oil. You can also safely add essential oils to homemade soaps, shampoos, and lotions.
#2. On mucous membranes
As has already become clear, essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin. This rule is all the more critical when it comes to mucous membranes – the tissue near the body cavities such as the mouth, throat, or vagina.
#3. Internal use without consulting a physician
Capsules with essential oils are available in health food stores and pharmacies. And because buying them can be done quickly and at any time, this leads to the wrong idea that taking such capsules is entirely safe. It is best to ask a doctor beforehand because essential oils can be as powerful as conventional drugs.
Take antibiotics for example. According to some studies, the essential oils of oregano and thyme have the properties of medicines in the treatment of diseases induced by bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
This is excellent news, as bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics. These essential oils reduce the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines, but much like antibiotics, they could also destroy good bacteria.
#4. On light skin
Some essential oils, especially citrus ones, are phototoxic. This means they make the skin more sensitive to the sun, which increases the risk of heavier sunburn. Avoid using citrus essential oils in your routine care if your skin is very light and you spend a lot of time outdoors.
#5. If you are allergic
You should be careful with essential oils if you are allergic to fragrances. It is believed that people who are highly sensitive to synthetic fragrances can more readily accept essential oils.
However, you should be cautious if you have allergies. It’s always a good idea to test a new essential oil (diluted with another oil, of course) that you have not yet used. Put a small drop of the combination on the inside of your hand before smearing your whole body with it.
#6. During pregnancy
When you are pregnant, you should be careful not only about what kind of food you eat but also about what cosmetic products you use. The same applies to essential oils that are so powerful and varied that it is still unclear exactly how they affect our bodies.
During pregnancy, the internal use of essential oils is prohibited. However, it is not a problem to use them with a body lotion, for example.