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Safety with Essential Oils

The following are basic guidelines for safety with essential oils. Some people question, "Are essential oils safe?" Yes - if used properly. Well, think about it... not knowing enough information about anything can be harmful. Please use common sense when using essential oils. Start out small and go one step at a time.

Before moving on I must add that the following guidelines are ONLY for use with therapeutic-grade Young Living essential oils. Using Grade B or C oils can be dangerous. It is important to practice safety with essential oils. If you want to use essential oils for consumption, aromatherapy, diffusing, cooking, or applying to your skin, you will want to use therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Please Note: The information on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see our full disclaimer. Any essential oil benefits that you receive are your responsibility. ;)


The Basics to ensure safe use of essential oils include:

Also, please see the Usage Chart and the FDA Chart

  • STORAGE. If the following three guidelines are followed, Young Living Essential Oils will last for many, many years. Store them:
    • Out of the reach of Children
    • Tightly Closed
    • In a Cool Place
    • Away from Light, both natural & artificial
  • RANCIDITY. Essential Oil Blends which have a carrier oil will last a few years when stored properly. Vegetable oils will go rancid after a long period of time. If it's been several years since you used a particular blend make sure it is still in good condition by simply taking a quick sniff - you'll know if it needs to be replaced. (I've never had an oil that long... I always use them!!) Please note: non-therapeutic-grade essential oils will go rancid within 3-6 months. Be safe - use YLEO's.
  • DILUTION. Some essential oils should always be diluted (especially for sensitive skin). Please see the usage chart for the dilution ratios. Only High Quality Vegetable Oils should be used to dilute essential oils. You will want to always have a bottle of pure vegetable oil available when using essential oils.
    • Recommended vegetable oils include: V-6 Complex (2-year shelf life!!), Fractionated Coconut Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, and Tamanu Oil.
    • Oils highly recommended for dilution: Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Cumin, Hyssop, Lemongrass, Mountain Savory, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, and Tsuga. And these blends are: Exodus II, ImmuPower, Legacy, Longevity and Thieves.
    • Many other oils could result in skin irritation, so you may want to dilute them prior to use. If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended. Please see the usage chart to know which ones.
    • Essential oils are oil-soluble. Do NOT use water!! If you use an oil and your skin gets irritated, add vegetable oil to it. Water will make it worse. Think: safety with essential oils. And remember - it is better to dilute an essential oil with regular old Canola oil from the kitchen than do nothing when it's needed.
  • CONSUMPTION. Many essential oils may be taken internally - see the consumption chart. Before consuming, dilute the essential oil with vegetable oil or one teaspoon of blue agave or rice milk. Consult a physician if you want to consume more than a few drops of diluted essential oil per day. Remember: Safety with Essential Oils - Do it right the first time.

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  • ALLERGIES. People with skin allergies should do a test before extensive topical use of an oil. A good way is to put a small diluted amount on the inner side of the upper arm. The safest place to put essential oils is always the bottom of the feet.
  • FLAMABILITY. Some essential oils are flammable. Keep all essential oils away from fires, open flames, sparks, and electricity. Always remember to think of safety with essential oils.
  • BATH. All essential oils to be used in bath water should be mixed with a bath gel base or Epsom salts. Do not add them directly to the water. They will float on top of the water and this may cause skin irritation. Always Keep safety in mind.
  • EYES. All essential oils need to be kept away from the eyes. Do not even touch contact lenses. Be careful to not rub or touch your eyes when you have oils on your fingers. Essential oils will not do permanent damage to your eyes but will cause irritation - some may cause SEVERE irritation. Please be careful when using EO's.
  • EARS. Do not drip essential oils into ears. Be very cautious when applying oils on the ear that they do not drip or run into the ear. Essential oils may safely be used on the exterior of the ear using the Auricular Probe Technique.
  • TOUCHING. After using an essential oil, it will take approximately 20 minutes before all of the oil is absorbed into your skin. Please be careful with what you touch. You won't want to touch children, your face or other sensitive area, or go to the bathroom (especially MEN) within that time frame. Also be careful when touching objects - paint can be removed with essential oils and some plastics can begin to decompose. Just think about safety with essential oils first.
  • CHILDREN. Some essential oils should never be used on children 18 months and younger. And some shouldn't be used on children under 5 years! Remember, the safest place to put any essential oil is the bottom of the feet. Think - Safety with Essential Oils!
    • Do NOT use on children under 18 months of age: Basil, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Citrus Hystrix (Combava or Limette), Lemongrass, Mountain Savory, Mugwort, Thyme.
    • Do NOT use on children under 5 years of age: Bergamot, Birch, Calamus, Idaho Tansy, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Tarragon, Wintergreen.

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  • PHOTOSENSITIVITY. Some essential oils are photosensitive, which means sensitive to sunlight. When these oils are applied to the skin they can cause a rash or burn when exposed to sunlight. It is recommended that you simply stay out of the sun (or UV rays) for a few days. If you apply these oils to your feet or somewhere under clothing, you will be fine. Be extra safe - If you have very fair skin and usually burn in the sun you may want to double these times.
    • Avoid sun exposure for 12 hours: Cumin, Tangerine, ImmuPower
    • Avoid sun exposure for for 24 hours: Angelica, Citrus Hystrix (Combava or Limette), Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange, Abundance, Christmas Spirit, Citrus Fresh, Di-Gize, Dragon Time, Envision, GLF, Grounding, Inner Child, Into the Future, Live with Passion, Longevity, Magnify Your Purpose, Peace & Calming, Raven, SARA, Surrender, Thieves, Transformation, Trauma Life.
    • Avoid sun exposure for 48 hours: Bergamot, Awaken, Chivalry, Clarity, Dream Catcher, Forgiveness, Gentle Baby, Harmony, Joy, Legacy, White Angelica.
    • Avoid sun exposure for 72 hours: Lime.
  • ANTI-COAGULANTS. If you are taking anti-coagulant drugs these are the essential oils you should avoid: Birch, Clove, Ginger, Wintergreen.
  • EPILEPTICS. If you have epilepsy there are essential oils that you should avoid entirely and some you should use with caution.
    • Avoid: Basil, Birch, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Wintergreen, Harmony.
    • Use with Caution*: Dill, Fennel, Nutmeg, Di-Gize, EndoFlex, En-R-Gee, Envision, GLF, ImmuPower, Magnify Your Purpose, Mister, Relieve It.
  • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. If you have high blood pressure you should avoid some essential oils and use others with caution.
    • Avoid: Hyssop.
    • Use with Caution*: Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Envision, GLF, Harmony, Relieve It.
  • PREGNANCY. If you are pregnant there are oils that you should avoid and some you should use with caution.
    • Avoid: Basil, Birch, Calamus, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Wintergreen, Exodus II, Mister.
    • Use with Caution*: Angelica, Cassia, Celery Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus Dives, Fennel, Marjoram, Mugwort, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Clarity, Di-Gize, Dragontime, Envision, GLF, Harmony, ImmuPower, Magnify Your Purpose, Relieve It, Thieves.

*To me, 'Use with Caution' basically means I can use it, but I should pay attention to how my body responds. If I don't notice any negatives then I keep using it.

Well, now you know enough to start using essential oils. Remember to always practice safety with essential oils.

Okay - go get started!

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