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10 Simple Dos and Don’ts for Using Essential Oils

Do use essential oils to help your body deal with issues such as emotions, skin problems, muscle pain, and respiration. This is where essential oils really shine and will provide the most benefit.

Do try different usage methods such as inhalers, diffusers, steaming, and topical application. Depending on how you want the oils to benefit you, the method of application will differ for potential benefit.

Do take time to learn about the oil you are using and the plant it came from, place of origin, and extraction method. Even oils with the same common name can have different scents and be beneficial for different issues. For example, there are several types of Lavender. Lavandula angustifolia is the one usually associated with being beneficial for resting.

Do dilute your essential oils in a carrier before applying topically. Applying essential oils directly to your skin will increase your risk of sensitization. In addition to being uncomfortable, you may be limited with essential oil use in the future. There are cases where an individual has had to stop usage completely after a long period of neat usage due to sensitization.

Do diffuse in 30 minute increments. You will receive the most benefits from the oil during the first 30 minutes of diffusing. Diffusing for longer times could lead to minor side effects. For example, some oils can lead to headaches if diffused for too long. Take a 30-60 minute break before diffusing again.

Don’t ingest or use internally unless under the guidance of a certified aromatherapist with training in aromatic medicine. There are oils that can harm you internally or interfere with medications. An aromatherapist is trained in this area and will guide you to safely using what works for you.

Don’t use topically on cats or diffuse in a closed space around them. Cats don’t have the kidney and liver enzymes to breakdown essential oils. Keep your pets safe.

Don’t assume there is an essential oil for everything. There are many ailments for which you need to seek the care of a medical doctor. Essential oils are a great complement to western medicine but they are not a replacement for quality medical care.

Don’t add essential oils to water for flavor. Essential oils do not contain any vitamins and therefore have no nutritional benefit. Using fresh fruit to flavor your water is a safer and more cost effective option.

Don’t assume the same dilution rate is safe for everyone and every oil. Age, health, and individual sensitivities are important contributing factors when deciding on dilution rates.

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