Safety With Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly fragrant, volatile oils that are extracted from the flowers, leaves and other parts of plants. Essential oils generally go by the name of the plant from which they were extracted. For instance, lavender essential oil comes from lavender and sandalwood essential oil comes from sandalwood. Essential oils have several properties which make them extremely useful for hair and skin care. For instance, grapefruit essential oil (scientific name Citrus x paradisi) has been found to stimulate hair growth, french lavender essential oil (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) has been found to help combat dandruff, and tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been found to help clear up acne.

Essential oils are extremely potent. Having an essential oil is like having a concentrated liquid form of that plant. Because essential oils are so strong, you should be sure to follow the following safety precautions before using them:

1)Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. Some essential oils can have harmful or fatal effects if ingested.

2)Don't apply any undiluted essential oil to your skin unless you know that it is safe to do so. Some essential oils (such as cloves and cinnamon) can be extremely irritating to the skin.

3) If you are pregnant, or seeking to become so, check with your doctor before experimenting with any essential oils.

4) Wait to go out in the sun if you plan to wear any product that contains a citrus essential oil. The citrus oils (bergamot, lemon, lime, sweet orange, mandarin, tangerine, grapefruit, etc.) make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light. They can cause rashes or a temporary darkening of the skin, if they are on your skin and you are exposed to strong sunlight.

5) If you are in a state of delicate health, consult your physician before using essential oils.

If you follow these safety precautions, working with essential oils will be a pleasant experience.

Copyright 2005, Ololade Franklin.

Ololade Franklin publishes Making Good Scents(TM), the newsletter of handcrafted cosmetics, soaps and perfumes. For information about Making Good Scents(TM) visit http://www.MakingGoodScents.com

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