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Precautions when using essential oils

Precautions when using essential oils :
by Sadiqa Nathani

Essential oils are powerful and should be used with care. When using the oils at home, follow the guidelines below:

  • Aromatherapy can be very helpful during pregnancy and labour, but only under qualified guidance. If you are pregnant you are strongly recommended to consult a qualified Aromatherapist.

  • Some oils are stimulants, which may sometimes affect people suffering from epilepsy. Sufferers should seek medical advice before using essential oils.

  • For babies and small children, use in extra-dilute quantities (10 ml base oil to 1-2 drops of essential oil). Lavender and Tea Tree are the two safest oils for children.

  • Keep essential oil bottles out of reach of small children.

  • Unless specifically indicated, do not apply neat oils directly on the skin, as they can cause irritation.

  • For the same reason, it is advisable to give yourself a patch test on a small area of skin when using your own blend. Note that certain drugs, stress, and the menstrual cycle can also affect your sensitivity.

  • Keep oils away from the eyes, and don't rub eyes after handling them. If you should get any in your eyes, wash them out with plenty of fresh water, if the irritation still persists, put a drop of pure vegetable oil in the eyes, and seek medical advice if necessary.

  • Essential oils are flammable, so do not put them on or near a naked flame.

  • Some of the oils are solvents and may damage certain plastics and polished wood and painted surfaces.

  • Never ingest oils, unless under medical instructions.

  • If you are taking homeopathic remedies, check with your practitioner before using essential oils, as it is believed that strong, camphorous aromas can cancel the effects of homeopathic medicine.

  • Do not keep homeopathic medicines and essential oils in the same place

  • If you suffer from skin and other allergies, use the oils very carefully and patch-test before using widely.

  • If in any doubt at all, consult a qualified Aromatherapis

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