How To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential oils can be seen as Mother Nature’s gift to us. These natural, yet powerful, substances are incredibly effective at treating a vast array of complaints, without having to turn to chemically synthesised drugs, lotions and potions.

Here on the Jersey Lavender Farm, we are surrounded by vats of beautiful lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil, and we are able to address a myriad of issues from our own back yard. However whilst being a 100% natural product, essential oils are also incredibly potent as they contain the very essence of the plant. For example, on average it takes 5 kilos of lavender to produce just 15ml of lavender essential oil.

So how should you use essential oils safely?

There are a few simple rules of thumb that should be followed when using essential oils, especially when you are applying them topically to the skin. In most cases, essential oils should never be applied neat (undiluted) to the skin, as this can cause skin sensitivity. However there are some essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree, that can be applied neat in some cases.

Although it is not recommended to apply any essential oils to open wounds or deep cuts as that can cause irritation. Although, in the case of lavender essential oil, this irritation will wear off and is not dangerous or harmful.

So, rather than applying essential oils neat to your skin, you should apply them diluted into a carrier oil or lotion etc. In most cases, essential oils should be diluted at between a 1% to 5% dilution rate, and it is recommended that you should always start off at the lowest possible dilution rate and then work up if necessary.

To ensure that you are applying your essential oil at the correct dilution rate, then a simple rule to follow to create a 1% dilution rate is to add 6 drops of your essential oil to 30ml of your carrier oil. You can then increase this if necessary.

It is also important to ensure that you perform a patch test before commencing full use of your diluted essential oil. This is an incredibly simple thing to do, yet could save you from serious discomfort if you miss it out.

To perform a patch test simply apply 1 drop of your correctly diluted essential oil to the inside of your elbow and cover the area with a plaster or bandage. Then simply leave it for 24hrs, ensuring that it doesn’t get wet. If after that time you have experienced no sensitivity then you are fine to go ahead and use your oil as directed. However, if you do feel any sensitivity occurring then it is important to immediately wash the oil off thoroughly and if irritation occurs to seek medical advice.


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