21 Mar Essential oil safety and awareness – dilution
Have you ever wondered how many lemon peels are in your bottle of essential oil?
Or what about lavender buds? Peppermint leaves? Chamomile flowers?
I believe the potency of these little bottles of absolute goodness are not talked about enough.
So to give you a visual idea – it takes about 30 lemons, to produce a 10ml bottle of essential oil. About 1kg of lavender flowers, 1kg of chamomile flowers, and a whopping 18kg of jasmine flowers.
approximate plant material required to make 10ml quality essential oil
Hopefully this gives you a good indication of how highly concentrated and potent these essential these oils are. As well as the reason for some (significantly) higher purchase prices, it also raises the issue of sustainability, as essential oil’s are under an already big and increasing demand: obviously the more diluted you use them, the longer they last… Better for your pocket, your body, and the environment!
Topical use of oils
One of the most popular ways to use these oils is appylying them directly onto the skin. But because of how incredibly potent we now know they are, there are a few things to consider in order to be safe.
- Because of their small molecular size, our skin absorbs oils really well.
- Because of their water-soluble properties, an essential oil can travel to every cell in the body within a few minutes.
- Because of their high concentration levels, if too much oil is used (undiluted), skin sensitisation can occur. This is basically a skin allergy that results in an itchy rash. In severe cases it can lead to respiratory issues or possibly even anaphylactic shock. And the sensitisation to that particular oil is likely to remain permanent, even if you dilute it in future uses, and may also mean you discover sensitivities to other oils also.
So the bottom line is that these oils need to be treated with a whole bunch of respect, as you would ‘normal medicine’.
Respect translated into Essential Oil language basically means Dilution. Lavender is the only exception that is usually safe to apply neat but if you have sensitive skin then it’s best to dilute it as well.
Diluting your oils prior to application means combing them with a carrier oil (such a Jojoba, Coconut, Olive, Grapeseed).
Many oils require a 2% dilution rate which means 2 drops of Essential Oil per 1 tsp (5mls) of carrier oil – this is a good rule to go by if your unsure.
Our oils all come with a user guide explaining these dilution levels, per oil, as they are all different. While some like Lavender and Tea Tree many people can use safely ‘neat’, there are many others like Ylang Ylang and Lemongrass that often cause a negative reaction.
If you are unsure, then always stick to the aromatherapy theory ‘less is more’.
Once diluted, we can use them in many many ways – to relieve pain, aches, sore muscles (warming, cooling, relaxing, soothing), injuries/ailments (antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, to promote healing) and also to support our moods (uplifting, calming, focusing, grounding etc etc)
Dilution rates for children
As children’s skin is even more sensitive (and baby’s is also a lot thinner – do not use oils on babies under 3 months old), extra care and dilution needs to be applied. Many oils should not be used on children at all, so you need to be very careful. A simple guide to remember is:
- For children 5-10 years – 2x adult dilution
- For children 2-5 years – 3x adult dilution
- For children 6 months – 2 years – 4x adult dilution
In general these oils are said to be safe for children: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melaleuca-Tea Tree, Orange, Rose Otto, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Thyme, Ylang Ylang
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY*, purchase any of our You Choose Oil Essential Oils sets, and receive a FREE Organic Jojoba Oil.
Giving you the means to easy dilute your chosen oils for topical use.
* Offer valid until 20/04/2018. You choose 3 & 6 sets includes 50ml Jojoba Oil, 12 set includes 100ml Jojoba Oil.