As in anything we choose to use to promote health or wellness, it is good to know what should and should not be done with it for optimum results. Our family has grown to value highly Young Living's essential oils, and we have also educated ourselves as to the safety information.
I started using Young Living brand essential oils with my family because it was the only brand that had distributor options for Mexico at the time. However, in using their products and becoming familiar with the company, their standards and processes, I have come to believe in the company and their dedication to research and top quality product.
You can find essential oils by a variety of pharmaceutical companies at the local drug store, but a company who makes most of it's money selling chemically formatted medicines, is not going to take time or spend money to invest in the proper process of a high quality natural oil. Ingesting low-quality oils is especially dangerous and can be toxic, as “pure” and “therapeutic” may have an entirely different meaning in their company.
Young Living has a 5 step seed to seal process that ensures their oils are high quality (more on that here). And Young Living also has my respect because of the hoops they continually jump through with a good attitude to keep their product on the market in the face of regulating agencies and pharmaceutical competition that would like to shut them down.
My Safety Guide for Using Essential Oils
As a general rule, if you are on any kind of prescription medication, always consult your physician before using essential oils.
1. Keep Out of Reach of Children
The little bottles are cute and could be appealing toys for children, however the highly concentrated oils and glass bottles are not a good combination for little ones. Keep them stored safely out of reach in a cool, dry place.
Many essential oils are appropriate for use with children, but they should be diluted prior to use. Some Young Living products come pre-diluted with carrier oil as indicated on product label and are intended for direct application on children.
If you have older children that you can trust you may consider giving them roller bottles of their own special blends to use as needed, but again to be kept out of reach of the little people.
2. Dilute as Needed
Essential oils are very concentrated, and many of them are too strong to be used on skin without dillution. We use a food grade or therapeutic grade coconut oil, but you can also use other fatty oils such as almond, grapeseed, or olive oil, or you can order the V-6 carrier oil from Young Living. Dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the oil, but does prevent waste due to applying too much. Vegetable shortening, butter, margarine or petroleum derivatives (such as petrolatum jelly) should never be used as carrier oils.
If you apply an oil and it feels uncomfortably warm, apply a carrier oil on top of it to dilute it, and remember to dilute first before the next application.
Do not try to dilute oils with water. Oil and water do not mix and it will not dilute it or help it wash off. Dilute an oil with a carrier oil.
Only ingest Young Living brand essential oils that have “supplement” on the label or are listed for this use in the reference guide.
3. Protect Ears and Eyes
You should never put oils IN the ears or eyes, including carrier oils.
You may put oils and oils diluted with carrier oils AROUND the ears and eyes. Avoid contact with mucus membranes.
If you should get some in the eye dilute with whole milk or vegetable oil. Do NOT dilute with water!
4. Use Citrus Oils Safely
Citrus oils are especially potent because of the acids in them.
Citrus oils applied to the skin can cause the skin to be photosensitive. Do not apply a citrus oil (or a blend with citrus oil in it) topically to skin that will be exposed to sunlight within the next 12-24 hours.
Do not add oils to drinking water in plastic cups. Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel instead. The oils will “eat” the petrochemicals and break down the plastic causing it to leach into your drink.
This Klean Kanteen is one of our favorite bottles for drinking “lemon water” as our kids call it. It is double lined (insulated) so it keeps things cool indefinitely and doesn't sweat. And it's stainless steel interior so I don't have to worry about drinking plastic. We also bought the Cafe Cap for it which helps it not to spill in the car and allows me to add a straw (I make messes if I don't drink through a straw.)
5. Store Essential Oils Properly
Store your essential oils out of reach of children and in a cool dry place.
I've already mentioned the essential oils can break down the chemicals in plastic (see #4), so please do not store oils in plastic. A dark glass, (not clear glass) bottle is best. This is how they come when you purchase them from Young Living, but if you want to purchase extra bottles to create your own blends or share the oils with someone I suggest bottles like these.
Young Living essential oils are highly volatile (meaning the molecules are easily evaporated at normal temperatures). Young Living's bottles come with drop reducers or you can purchase roller ball fitments to help them not evaporate when opened and to make the applications of the oils easier.
Once your bottle is empty you can immerse it in a container of epsom salts to absorb every last drop and then use the salts in your bath.
Empty bottles can be washed out, dried completely and reused to store oils or oil blends. If you have trouble getting the labels off apply a bit of lemon essential oil and it should help.
Find out how to get started with Young Living essential oils and how to get a free gift with your first order HERE.
Do you use essential oils already? Please leave me a comment and tell me which one is your favorite.