If you or a member of your family becomes ill do not diagnose or treat yourself, get proper medical treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Then, you may proceed with complementary aromatherapy to help you or your family member. Remember, aromatherapy is not to be used to replace proper medical care.

The suggestions in this information are for general use. If you are undecided as to which Essential Oil to use, consult a qualified aromatherapist who will help guide you in the right direction.

Essential Oils are very powerful and highly concentrated and should only be used in very small amounts. Before using an Essential Oil, become familiar with its properties, method of application, toxicity, precautions, and contraindications. These will be found on the Product Information Page (PIP) for each single oil or blend.

  • Only purchase essential oils from a reputable company with documentation on purity. Essential Oils should have a lot number, expiration date, and tamper-proof lid.

  • Only use high-quality Essential Oils identified by the botanical name and the chemical variety (ct chemo-type) of the oil where appropriate. For example, Thymus vulgaris is the botanical name for Thyme. There are two different chemotypes of Thyme commonly sold. Thyme ct. thymol contains phenols, is an irritant to the skin, and large amounts are liver toxic, which makes it inappropriate for children, the elderly, or those who have liver diseases. The other is Thyme ct. linalool which is non-toxic, non-irritating, and is very useful for children. The majority of Thyme ct. linalool in the marketplace today is a "nature-like" product, not a pure from-the-plant Essential Oil. Alexandria recommends the use of Palmarosa in place of Thyme ct. linalool.

  • Keep essential oils away from children, with the lids securely tightened.

  • Do not expose to heat, light, or the air. Replacing the caps as soon as you finish the bottle will help to extend the life of your oils. Unnecessary exposure to the air will cause the oils to oxidize and spoil.

  • When using essential oils with children and the very elderly, use caution when applying oils to the hands as they may rub them in their eyes. Should any essential oil get into the eyes, wash with whole milk or vegetable oil to dilute before seeking medical advice.

  • Never take essential oil by mouth unless under the guidance of a suitably qualified practitioner, working in cooperation with your own doctor.

  • Stick to the recommended dosages and suggested usages only. Do not attempt to go above the recommended amounts unless under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.

  • Do not use essential oils orally when pregnant. We know that oils pass through the placenta and the high concentration of essential oil molecules will be difficult for the developing child to detoxify as their detox system is not mature or fully functional.

  • About ten times more essential oil molecules will enter the bloodstream when ingested than with application to the skin.

  • Even a 5ml bottle can contain enough Eessential oil for a lethal dose of poisoning if a child were to accidentally drink the bottle. Always keep them out of reach of children with the orifice reducer in place and the lid tightly closed. Remember, when plants are distilled the resulting oil is 100 times more concentrated than the plant material.

  • The mucous membranes of the nasal passages are known to readily absorb whatever is placed inside, such as nasal sprays used to administer doses of drugs for various conditions. Care must be taken when using this method of application. As reported by Penny Price, serious though non-fatal toxicity in children has been reported when applying or injecting Peppermint and/or Eucalyptus Globulus inside the nose. Due to the seriousness of these cases many professional aromatherapists recommend that essential oils should not be instilled into the noses of children under age six.

  • Patch testing is advisable, especially when a person is subject to allergies. If an irritation should occur, apply carrier oil to the area to dilute the essential oil and stop the irritation. Do not wash the area as water will enhance the irritation.

  • Avoid essential oils known to cause skin irritation or photo-toxicity on children under six years of age. Dilute appropriately for skin application. With the exception of Lavender, Tea Tree, and Ravintsara on the soles of the feet, essential oils should be diluted when used on a child.

    Note: The essential oil marketplace can often be confusing, and never more so than in the case of Ravintsara and Ravensara. What was previously known to be Ravensara Essential Oil has been reclassified as Ravintsara. A different species of the plant that is not known to be as safe for children due to the high levels of methyl chavicol is now being called Ravensara.

    For now, Alexandria's personal recommendation is to only purchase Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole (commonly called Ravintsara) and avoid the purchase of Ravensara aromatica until such time as more information is available, or you can get a full gas chromatography report on the essential oil you are purchasing

  • Usually no risk unless large quantities are taken such as when essential oils are taken internally (oral, rectal, or large doses inhaled using a nebulizing diffuser).

  • Do not use diffusers that have a naked flame in the form of a candle around children and pets as they may accidentally knock them over starting a fire.

  • Every mixture you make up should have a label that tells you exactly what is in it, what you are using it for, and the date the mixture was made. This prevents confusion when treating different family members and ailments.

  • Do not use Peppermint essential oil on children under 30 months of age. The menthol can, in rare cases, cause a breathing spasm and cut off the air supply. Not recommended for those who are suffering from atrial fibrillation for the same reason.

  • If you are taking homeopathic remedies, the essential oil treatments must be given at least an hour apart to prevent interference with the homeopathic treatment; especially when using Peppermint, which should be two to three hours apart.

  • Peppermint stays on your fingers long after you have washed your hands and you could rub it into your eyes. Always apply essential oil with the little finger as it is least likely to get into your eye.

  • Topically applied Birch oil and Wintergreen oil, which are both high in methyl salicylate, can potentiate the anticoagulant effect of Warfarin, causing side effects such as internal hemorrhage. Similar effect may be possible with other anticoagulant drugs.

  • Birch and Wintergreen are contraindicated for those facing major surgery, hemophilia, or other bleeding disorders. Also contraindicated during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and for young children, as well as for those with salicylate sensitivity (often applies in ADD/ADHD).

  • Numerous cases of poisoning have been reported from ingestion of Wintergreen oil; 4 to 8 ml is considered a lethal dose for a child. Methyl salicylate can be absorbed transdermally in sufficient quantities to cause poisoning in humans.

  • Do not take Birch or Wintergreen internally.

  • Do not use Birch or Wintergreen topically.

  • Only use organic Birch or Wintergreen as these oils are commonly udulterated.

  • The use of Birch or Wintergreen should be limited to blends that have been formulated by a qualified Aromatherapist.

  • Note: All known Birch essential oil currently in the marketplace is a "nature-like" product.

  • Oregano and Thyme ct. thymol are both high in phenols (carvacrol and thymol); large doses or continued use are toxic to the liver. They are not recommended for use with children under 12 years of age, the very elderly, or those who have had hepatitis or other liver damaging diseases.

  • Oregano and Thyme ct. thymol should be diluted to 1% for topical application to avoid irritation, and a patch test should be done before use on the skin. Phenols are both skin and mucous membrane irritants.

  • Do not take internally unless under the care of a professionally trained aromatherapist.

  • Oregano oil inhibits platelet aggregation and may potentiate anticoagulant medications. Oregano was also found to potentiate diabetic medication. It is contraindicated during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and for small children.

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