Over time, essential oils have been used in therapy with many different application methods. Each method was developed through centuries of trial and error resulting in tried and true natural therapies that are honed to provide tangible results. As much of this knowledge has been around for thousands of years, the safe practices and application methods of essential oils are well documented. These methods are generally separated into 3 different, contemporary models: French, German, and English.
The French model consists of two delivery techniques; non-diluted topical application and ingestion. The German model is centered around the inhalation of the aromatic compounds and vapor of essential oils. The English model suggests diluting essential oils with vegetable or other base oil and applying to the skin in conjunction with massage therapy. Each oil has ideal delivery techniques, which are discussed in detail in our individual essential oil lessons.
Therapeutic grade essential oils are incredibly concentrated and pure, exceeding 1000x the concentrations found in plant matter. These concentrations can have powerful therapeutic effects, but if used non-diluted, topical application may cause skin sensitivities. Just as people may be allergic to a specific set of plants, people can also exhibit allergic reactions to a specific set of oils. To reduce the risk when introducing oneself to oils, follow these guidelines:
1) Always complete an allergy test of an essential oil before using. This can be done by applying a small drop of the full strength oil to the inner arm or wrist and waiting 30min. to observe any inflamed or red areas.
2) When using a new essential oil at full strength, first apply it to the bottom of one’s feet. This is an ideal site for the absorption of oils, and is the least likely to exhibit skin reactions.
3) Keep a bottle of vegetable oil nearby when applying an oil full-strength and rub it onto the application site if any adverse reactions or sensitivities occur. Keep in mind that essential oils are oil, not water soluble and washing with water is much less effective at removing and diluting than applying a base oil.
4) When new to essential oils, apply each oil one at a time, rather than a blend. With this method, if any adverse reaction occurs, it will be apparent which oil is the root cause.
5) There are no instances where application of essential oil to the eyes is recommended. In fact, just the vapor of many oils, for example peppermint, can cause irritation and tearing. Use good judgment when choosing a spot to apply strong oils.
6) Some oils (specifically citrus oils) are UV sensitive, and, may cause irritation or darkening of skin upon exposure to sunlight up to 4 days after application. See our lessons on individual oils for more information on UV sensitivity.
1) Never consume full-strength essential oils, always dilute them with milk, soy milk or olive oil.
2) When using a new essential oil, test your reaction to a single drop in a glass of >4oz. milk or soy milk before increasing dosage.
3) Never consume more than 2-3 drops (in solution) in an 8 hour period.
4) Many oils are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) to ingest but some are intended only for aromatic or topical use. Consult our lessons on individual oils to determine if an essential oil is GRAS. Also, when you order an oil through Young Living, they will include information about GRAS oils with your shipment.
1) Be careful not to touch the eye area when inhaling oils from hands.
2) When using strong oils, limit time in immediate vicinity of an essential oil diffuser as the concentrated vapors may cause eye irritation.
3) Some oils may irritate eyes and may even damage contact lenses and are not recommended for diffusing or direct inhalation. Turn to our online lessons on individual oils for details and recommendations on inhalation-friendly oils.
Essential oils can have powerful effects on the body and should be treated with the same caution and respect given to prescription medications. With this in mind, following recommendations are made:
1) Do not topically apply or ingest full strength essential oils if nursing or pregnant without consulting a physician.
2) Do not apply menthol containing oils of any strength topically to children less than 2 years old. See our lessons on individual oils to determine if an oil contains menthol.
3) Use caution when administering essential oils to children orally, and never give oils orally to children under 6 years old.
4) Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
5) If a child ingests more than 5 drops of any essential oil, call a poison control center immediately.
6) Use caution if you are epileptic or have high blood pressure, as certain oils may interact with your conditions. Please consult our library of lessons on individual oils for indications.
In a modernized world where aerosols, concentrated cleaners, detergents, and solvents are found throughout the home, it is difficult to separate oneself from mass-manufactured, synthesized chemical products. We wash our hair with chemicals, we clean our cookware with chemicals, we wash our clothes with chemicals, we are constantly exposed.
For someone looking to reduce this exposure, essential oil-based products can replace many of these conventional chemical products. Due to their highly concentrated nature, products utilizing therapeutic essential oils can be even more powerful than conventional cleaners and detergents.
GRAS essential oils may be used in the kitchen to created incredibly flavorful meals with only a few drops. Ginger, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg give great flavor to cookies and cakes. Adding a few drops of mandarin orange essential oil mixed with 1tsp. agave or brown rice syrup to a glass of cool water makes a refreshing drink on a hot day.
This completes our fifth and final lesson in our Core Knowledge program. To continue your journey into the world of essential oils you can sign up under School of Essential Oils as a Young Living Independent Distributor and get 24/7 online access to all of the School of Essential Oils course materials and the Young Living community of resources and support.
Other classes with School of Essential Oils include individual lessons on each oil with details on its composition and applications, advanced knowledge about natural support methods for the systems of the body, and informative courses on how you can use your Young Living distributorship to create financial freedom for yourself and your family.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We would love to talk with you and share samples of the products and our own experience as a part of the wonderful community of Young Living Independent Distributors. If you have a particular need that you wish to address, we have essential oil experts who are more than happy to talk to you on the phone or by email to recommend an oil or blend of oils for your situation.