Essential Oil Safety Guidelines: Internal Use

Is It Safe to Ingest Essential Oils?

When used appropriately, essential oils offer many wonderful internal benefits. Know that there are certain essential oils that should never be used internally. However, there are plenty of essential oils that have been approved for internal use, which will provide the body with a variety of powerful benefits. Always refer to the directions and instructions on the label before ingesting any oil.

If you’ve never used essential oils internally before, it might seem strange to consume something so powerful and potent. However, pure essential oils are derived from abundant plants in nature, offering a wide spectrum of benefits when used internally. You’re most likely already incorporating essential oils into your daily diet, as many of the foods we eat contain small amounts of essential oil.

Because our bodies are designed to metabolize and process compounds found in nature, we are already equipped to metabolize essential oils. Essential oils are merely high concentrations of natural compounds—the parts that give plants their taste and smell. While some essential oils are never appropriate for internal consumption, plenty of oils can be safely taken internally and processed by the body.

Essential Oils and Children

Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils on Children?

Because children are smaller and more sensitive than adults, it is important to understand that the rules of essential oils are different for children than they are for adults. Once you educate yourself on the safety guidelines required for using essential oils with children, it’s easy to help your kids reap the benefits that oils have to offer. If your children have specific health conditions or concerns, consult with their physician first.

While special precautions should be taken when using essential oils around children, parents can still be confident that it’s safe for children to use essential oils.

When you’re ready to use essential oils with your children, keep a few safety guidelines in mind:

  • Adjust application methods. Always give a child smaller doses of essential oils than you would an adult. Before you use essential oils around your children, think about how you might adjust the dosage so that it’s appropriate for the child. 
  • Dilute. Because children have sensitive, delicate skin and developing bodies, you should always dilute before applying essential oil to a child’s skin. Start with one drop of oil and 10 drops of a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil.  When trying a new oil with your child, apply the oil to the bottoms of their feet. The feet are a nonintrusive, less sensitive area, providing the perfect place to apply essential oils on young or delicate skin. 
  • Discuss essential oil safety with your children. It can be difficult for children to understand just how potent and powerful essential oils are. Make sure your children know that it’s not appropriate to drink essential oils or apply them without adult supervision. Remember, caps can come off and bottles can break, so keep oils out of reach of children. Educating your children about essential oil safety guidelines will help promote safe usage within the home.

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Essential Oil Safety Guidelines for Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for a woman to be sensitive to essential oils. Due to these sensitivities and all of the changes that occur in the body when pregnant, it would be wise to consult with your doctor before using essential oils during pregnancy.

Talking to your doctor about using essential oils while pregnant

Even if you’ve used essential oils before without incident, you should still inform your doctor of any essential oils you plan to use during pregnancy. Your doctor knows you, your specific health concerns, and the status of your pregnancy; therefore, he or she should be aware of all essential oil products you plan to use during pregnancy.

Because each pregnancy is different, your doctor is the best resource available for making a treatment plan and determining which essential oils are best to use during pregnancy for each individual. Your doctor can give you a good idea of what to avoid during pregnancy, as well as any other safety measures you should take, based on your personal health and the health of your growing baby.

Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils While Breastfeeding?

In addition to concerns about essential oils and pregnancy, many people ask, “Is it safe to use essential oils while breastfeeding?” While the body changes significantly during pregnancy, these changes don’t end with the birth of the baby—your body continues to change as you adapt to post-partum life. Just as you should discuss beforehand the use of essential oils with your doctor for pregnancy, you’ll also want to consult with your physician if you choose to nurse.

Again, your doctor is the best resource you have for advice when it comes to your body, your baby, and any special concerns you might have. Just as you would check with your doctor before using any new products when breastfeeding, it’s important to discuss your essential oil use with your healthcare professional when you become a nursing mother.

Like pregnancy, breastfeeding places a lot of demands on a mother’s body. When nursing, the goal is to maintain a strong and healthy body and support a growing newborn. With the help of your doctor, you can use essential oils and essential oil–related products that support the whole body.

Essential Oils and Animals

Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils around Pets?

While there is some controversy surrounding the essential oils on animals, when used properly, essential oils can be part of a well-rounded program to help your pets live happy, healthy lives. Just as it is of key importance to use pure essential oils on yourself and your family, you should use only high-quality, pure essential oils with your pets.

Essential oils have numerous benefits for your pets. They can help with calming emotions, soothing muscles, deodorizing unpleasant aromas, and maintaining overall wellness for your furry family members. As with any new product you introduce to your pet, begin slowly.

  • Start small. Start with a small amount of a diffused or diluted essential oil, and then observe your pet’s behavior.
  • Diffuse. Keep your diffusers in a safe place where your pet can’t knock it over. When you’re diffusing, be sure to use a water-based diffuser and only diffuse four to five drops at a time in an open area, where your pet can leave the room if desired.
  • Dilute. Before using oils topically on your pets, first consult with your veterinarian. Always dilute essential oils down to 1–2 percent (100 drops of a carrier oil for every one drop of essential oil) before topical application. Dilute even more for animals under 10 pounds.
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