Using essential oils safely

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This is a contentious issue at the moment and there is so much conflicting information available on the internet, it is not hard to see why so many people are confused as to the safe usage of essential oils. 

I’m sure we’ve all seen or read someone recommending a couple drops of lemon essential oil in a glass of water will work miracles.  Many people would think this was fine as essential oils are natural right, so must be safe?  Essential oils are natural and are safe, if used correctly.  If you remember back to your high school science class (it’s a long time ago for me 😊), water and oils don’t mix. 



Therefore, when you add the lemon essential oil to your glass of water, the oil will float and will remain undiluted.  When you drink this, there is the possibility of the undiluted essential oil causing damage to your esophagus and digestive tract.  Why risk this when you can cut up a fresh lemon and add to your glass of water for the health benefits?

Another thing I am hearing a lot of is ‘therapeutic grade’ essential oils.  Some MLM companies claim that their oils are therapeutic grade so are therefore safe to ingest.  There is no grading of essential oils in this manner and the term ‘therapeutic grade’ has been trademarked by a certain company purely as a marketing ploy to imply their oils are of a superior quality.  This is simply not true.  If an essential oil is pure, with no added fillers or adulteration, then all essential oils have therapeutic qualities.   

In Australia, only those suitably qualified in Aromatic Medicine can prescribe ingestion of essential oils and it is used as a last resort.  Not even qualified clinical Aromatherapists can prescribe ingestion.  So, you can see why there is concern in the industry that untrained, unqualified consultants selling a product are recommending ingestion.

Unsafe dilution rates are also a concern.  A 3% dilution is a recommended maximum level for adults and for children that level is 1.5% maximum.  Now, in a 15ml roller bottle this equates to approximately 14 drops of essential oil and the remainder carrier oil for adults and approximately 7 drops of essential oil for use by children. I've seen recipes suggesting up to 80 drops of essential oil to a 10ml roller bottle! Way too strong, regardless of quality of the essential oil!

In conclusion, please use your own judgement and be aware of the motivation behind people that are recommending ingestion of oils.  Of course, if you are ingesting oils daily, you are going to use more essential oils and will therefore need to purchase more regularly.  Also, do your own research. Don’t blindly accept what someone tells you.  Essential oils are wonderful and have so many therapeutic benefits but they are extremely potent and do require safety measures to be adhered to, to keep you and your family safe.


Health and happiness,



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  • Aromatic Living on

    Hi Sharon. Sorry for the delay in replying as I have just seen your comment. I am not a chandler & am not fully aware of usage in candles. I do know, however that the recommended maximum fragrance load of essential oils in candles is 6% due to their flammability. Hope this helps. Donna

  • Sharon Baldwin on

    Your essential oils. Can they be used for candle making? As some oils can be toxic when burn a candle.

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