The Hazards of Essential Oils

Alywillow is an essential oil company who works hard to stress the importance of knowing how to correctly use their products. They host events like “Essential oils safety seminars” and more. (Photo courtesy: Izzee Akers)

When finding ways to improve one’s life there are many possible paths to take. Recently, the trend of essential oils has sparked people’s interest. Essential oils are “highly concentrated compounds that come directly from plants and can bear the healing or therapeutic benefits of that plant,” according to Nontoxix Reboot. Small molecules in the oils absorb into your skin or nose and interact with your body. There have been studies that proved the effectiveness of essential oils and their various benefits.

With the growth of essential oil popularity, there are some things that many people are unaware about when purchasing these products. The misuse of essential oils can be dangerous and potentially even life threatening.

The three most common dangers of essential oils are: photosensitive oils, incorrect application of oils, and disregarding contraindications and general safety recommendations.

Photosensitive oils (phototoxic oils) contain an organic chemical compound called furocoumarins which when exposed to sunlight or UV light can cause severe burns to the skin as well as increase one’s risk of skin cancer. Bridget Morgan, a senior at Leesville Road High School, noticed a burn on her neck after applying an essential oil for several weeks. Morgan was unaware of the cause of the skin damage until she went to an essential oil company looking for possible answers. When they informed her of the photosensitive oils it came as a big surprise because she had never been told of this danger before it was too late.

“It’s important to know how to properly use essential oils because if you a very pungent oil it can give you a chemical burn. I used the citrus flavor when i noticed that the oil burning my skin. It was super alarming and scary,” said Morgan.  

Many other essential oil users are like Morgan. They buy the oils in hopes of receiving the benefits but are not taught of the dangers that can occur if they aren’t careful. Companies do not express these dangers to their customers because it will decrease their sales numbers but in the process they are harming many users.

Another danger of essential oils is the incorrect application of them. There are hundreds of different types of essential oils all with various benefits and different ways of receiving those benefits. Some oils can applied directly to the skin, inhaled, internal/oral use, or used while cooking. Before using the essential oil, it is mandatory to look up the correct application method. The majority of oils need to be diluted first before use in order to protect the skin and body from becoming irritated or potentially sick. To figure out how much to dilute the essential oil see this article by Healing Solutions.

Lastly, disregarding contraindications and general safety recommendations is a huge risk that people take when applying their essential oils. Although, some users are so in the dark when using their oils that they don’t even think to research them before use because they think that nothing harmful can come from something natural and organic. This is because they are not taught how to correctly use their oils when they buy them or are scammed by fake websites or sellers. Before using a new oil, it is extremely necessary to look up the right way to use the oil, how much to use, when to use it, and so on. All of this information are factors to take into consideration as no two oils are the same.

There are ways that can prevent these dangers from happening to the user but it comes with responsibility and precautions. To ensure one’s safety and the safety of others around them, following the correct steps when using essential oils is a great way to receive all of their amazing benefits while staying healthy.

An Introductory Guide to 1000’s of Uses for Essential Oils is a great way to research many oils and experience their amazing perks.

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