Nov 10

Essential Oils that could be Hazardous to your Well-Being

rs-aromatherapy-productsWhen trying new things, you must remember that sometimes even something that looks like a great idea can have problems associated with it. This applies even to the use of essential oils that have become so popular. Essential oils are made from plant materials such as bark, flowers, fruit, berries or leaves. These are easy to find at your local grocery store or any health shop and are not overly expensive.

To begin with, never assume that just because these oils are natural products that they pose no danger.  Many aspects of nature are dangerous. Many beautiful plants are deadly. Consider the possibility that your use of essentials oils can affect others. If you use diffusers, or candles to put the fragrances in the air you should remember that those with allergies to perfumes could be affected in the same away as secondhand cigarette smoke affects others.

Anything used improperly can be hazardous to your well-being. These oils are concentrated and must always be diluted or they can have very detrimental side effects. They can cause severe skin irritation. Many of the essential oils can cause skin irritations or photosensitivity; which is a bad reaction to the sun.  Using bergamot, ginger, grapefruit or many of the other citrus oils can cause this.  Although most essential oils are not to be applied directly on the skin lavender and tea tree are exceptions and are good for cuts and burns.  As well, lemon is good for wart removal.

Looking closer at essential oils we see that many of them are not good for using directly on the skin. The best way to determine what works for you is to try a couple of drops on your wrist. Leave it for a day and if it’s okay you can use the oil. If it has turned red or itches discontinue the use of that item.

Another concern is that, as with many things, essential oils may not mix well with certain medical conditions. If you have high blood pressure stay away form rosemary, common sage, hyssop and thyme. If you are epileptic do not use sweet fennel, hyssop, sage or rosemary. Diabetics should avoid using angelica. If you suffer from hypoglycemia you should not use geranium and someone with kidney problems should use juniper, sandalwood or coriander with caution. Pregnant woman should avoid most essential oils especially, juniper, hyssop, clary sage, peppermint, lemon, fennel, lemon verbena, rosemary and wintergreen to name a few. The ones that are all right to be used should be diluted doubly.

When drinking alcohol don’t use clary sage, as it will intensify the effects of the alcohol acting like a narcotic. When driving you should keep away from marjoram and chamomile as either one could cause drowsiness.   To be safe when using essential oils be careful as they are flammable.

There are concerns that certain essential oils have been proven to or suspected of having a history of causing allergies. There are probably twenty of these. A few of the more common include; citronella, clary sage, ylang ylang, and verbena oils.  There are also a few that are believed to be carcinogenic; most seriously considered dangerous are calamus and sassafras, which itself is banned across Europe from being used in toiletries and makeup.

Sweet Birch oil is potentially hazardous. It has the same active ingredient as aspirin, methyl salicyalte, and if you are treating yourself with aspirin and then use this essential oil you could overdose. It is doubly dangerous because it has a sweet smell and could prove attractive to someone who did not know what it was like a child. Make sure this one has the top on tight and is stored safely away

What is the final thought on of all this? While essential oils have been proven to be useful in helping keep you emotionally and physically fit, there are, like many things in life, reasons to be cautious.  As well, remember to always use essential oils in moderation. So, as you would with anything new you may decide to try, be careful and research the essential oil you want to try before starting to use it. Common sense is always your best advisor.

Looking for a way to transform your lifestyle into a healthier one? We have some quick ways to get started as well as tips on implementing more difficult yet more rewarding health transitions into your life in our Healthy Living article.

 

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