Safety Essentials

13 important steps to ensure the proper use of your essential oils

1. Oils rich in Menthol, like Peppermint (aka "hot oils") should not be used on the throat or neck area of a child younger than 18 months.

2. There are some oils that cause photosensitivity and will contribute to a sunburn and/or a rash. Some of these oils (many of the CITRUS oils, or blends that contain citrus) are: Angelica, Ginger, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Joy, Citrus fresh, and Lime. It is best to wait 1-2 days after use to be exposed to direct sunlight (and a minimum of 12 hours).

3. Be careful to keep essential oils away from the eye area. Clean your hands very thoroughly of any oils prior to touching a contact lens. If you accidentally get an essential oil in your eye, dilute with a small amount of olive oil or V6 oil, not water. Water disperses the essential oil into the whole eye. Also never pour any oils directly into your ear. Apply a 1-2 drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball, diluting with a carrier and place it at the opening of the ear. Also, applying oils to the exterior ear, behind and around and down the lymph nodes can be very helpful.

4. Pregnancy, nursing and oils. The judicious use of essential oils can help ease the discomforts of pregnancy. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please check first with your OB/GYN, midwife, or NP about using therapeutic grade essential oils. Please reference to view a list of oils to avoid during pregnancy. Basil, birch, calamus, cassia, cinnamon bark, hyssop, Idaho tansy, lavandin, rosemary, sage, tarragon, are a few essential oils to avoid in pregnancy. Peppermint on the abdomen should also be avoided most of the pregnancy, and especially in the third trimester. Oils generally regarded as SAFE for pregnancy (again checking with your health care professional first) are lavender, peppermint, roman chamomile, geranium, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, frankincense, marjoram, cedarwood, jasmine, melaleuca alternafolia, rosewood, sandalwood, thyme, ylang ylang, ginger.

6. Epileptics and those with Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) should also contact and get clearance from your medical doctor prior to using any oils. Once that clearance is given, pay close and special attention when using high ketone oils such as Basil, Rosemary, Sage, and Tansy oils.

7. If you have sensitive skin, test a small area of your skin with each new oil prior to body wide usage. The upper arm or inner wrist is a good place to test it. Wait 30 minutes before applying oils to the rest of your body. If skin becomes red or irritated, immediate dilution with a carrier oil will greatly minimize discomfort.

8. Direct inhalation (smelling an oil deep and long for several breaths) of essential oils is regarded as beneficial for certain maladies, but it should be limited to 10-15 times throughout the day without consulting health care provider. Direct inhalation of oils is not recommended for those with asthmatic conditions. Topical application and diffusion are the safest routes for asthmatics.

9. Ingestion of Young Living therapeutic grade oils that are Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) need to be tested for the first time by diluting one drop in olive oil, blue agave, or rice milk. If making capsules, make sure to dilute 1:1 with olive oil. Not all essential oils are safe to ingest; this depends on the brand of essential oil and the type of essential oil (for example, wintergreen is never safe to ingest). Most oils you find at a health food store or online say, “Not for Internal Use” on the bottle. Even if a bottle says “100% pure essential oil” it may still be cut with toxic, chemical fillers and/or synthetic extenders. Young Living offers a line of dietary oils called Vitality™, that are safe for ingestion.

10. Although "reactions" to essential oils are not the norm, they may happen and remember that if they do, they can take up to 2 or 3 days to show up. Consider all cleaning products, bath products, perfumes, detergents, and lotions that you are using for possible sensitivities. Essential oils target toxins and digest them, so a rash or redness can appear as an allergic reaction, but may actually be toxins being drawn out from the skin. Dr. Stewart has an excellent chapter in "The Chemistry of Essential Oils" on this.

11. Seek medical attention when needed. If you are on medication, do not stop taking it unless advised by your doctor.

12. Nut Allergy Information: Most Young Living essential oils are nut-free. However, some blends of oils contain an almond oil or kiwi oil base. All of the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit are nut-free. Here is a list of products containing almond oil, provided by Young Living (updated 2014): 3 Wise Men™, Acceptance™, Awaken™, Boswellia™ Wrinkle Cream, Cel-Lite Massage Oil™, Cinnamint Lip Balm™, Dragon Time Massage Oil™, Genesis Hand and Body Lotion™, Grapefruit Lip Balm, Hope™, Into the Future™, KidScents Lotion® and Tender Tush®, Lavender Lip Balm, Lavender Volume Shampoo™, Ortho Ease Massage Oil®, Ortho Sport Massage Oil®, Present Time™, Protec™, Relaxation Massage Oil™, Rosewood Moisturizing Shampoo™, SARA™, Satin Body Lotion™, Sensation Hand and Body Lotion™, Sensation Massage Oil™, V-6 Advanced Vegetable Oil Complex,  White Angelica™, Wolfberry Eye Cream™, Valor® essential oil (Valor® used to have nuts but now is coconut oil – but please check the ingredients and lot number and call if you aren’t sure).

13. Gluten Intollerance Information: Some Young Living products contain Wheat germ oil, Barley Sprout Powder, Barley Grass Juice, Oat Bran, Barley Sprout Seed, Barley Grass, Barley Grass Concentrate, Oat kernel extract, Oat Protein, Oat kernel meal and Barley Extract. Please contact Young Living for the most recent list if you are following a Gluten-Free diet.