Essentials of Essential Oils

Tessa BowersEssential Oils

The Essentials On EOs

Are you completely new to essential oils,  thinking about taking the plunge, or have been using them for years?  During your research and use, if you are like me. you have visited tons of blogs and/or aromatherapy sites, maybe you have invested in some resources, researched several study sites, chatted with all your friends and now you are more confused then ever.  Maybe like me you thought “They’re easy right, after all they are all natural, so they have to safe.” Right?

Wrong.  Well the easy part is correct, but because they come from nature, they can actually be harmful if used in correctly.  Due to the nature of their potency they are powerful and with power comes rules.  Not to worry, they are pretty easy to learn.

First and foremost.


Not all Essential Oils are created equally.  They just aren’t.  No matter what you see or read. Once you use them, smell them, compare them, they are nothing like high quality essential oils.  You are not saving money by using cheap oils.  In the long run you end up using more of them, they irritate your skin, your nose, your pets, your kids, and you throw them out.  Why? Because most store bought essential oils are typically diluted with something, most of the time with something synthetic, if you are lucky its with water or another type of oil.  These oils in my opinion should not be used, but if you choose too please don’t use them topically.  Even diluted they can be irritating because of the added agent, thus leaving you with a bad “taste,”  that essential oils can not help you.  Which is so not the case, its just this kind that can’t help you.  If the oils are cheap they are for a reason, normally at the cost of quality.

Essential oils that have been labeled organic are plants being stifled from being allowed to grow in optimal conditions. Organic in the United States may not necessarily mean they are the best quality, better then non organic, yes.  If you are researching essential oils, more then likely you research where your food is coming from, how its being grown, what they are being sprayed with, are they weeded, how are they cared for, and what makes them special.  Personally using essential oils that don’t have the organic label actually make more sense to me, knowing what the US vs Europe deems safe for us to ingest or use on our skin. But of course as with anything there are 2 kinds of essential oils no labeled organic.


~ The first kind has been created with money as the end goal, not quality.  There is little focus on where the plants came from, how they are cared for, how they are harvested, how they are distilled, and how they are bottled.  This kind, no one needs.  This kind is as bad as the store brands. Don’t buy these.  These are cheap for a reason.

~ The second kind of non organic is the awesome more organic kind. The kind that follows European regulations.  The kind that practices higher standards by growing in countries where the plants originated from and thrive, where they are happy and weeded by hand. This kind is far superior and a huge reason of why I choose Young Living’s Seed to Seal guarantee over any other companies practices.

Top TEN Rules of Essential Oil Safety:

Top 10 EO rules summary

There are many rules and depending on what site you follow the rules can be different at each site.  These top ten I find to be pretty consistent on any site I go too:

  1.  Keep your essential oils in a secure place, away from sun light and heat and out of reach of children and pets.  Most reports of incidence with essential oils is from inappropriate exposure in quantities more then a several drops.
  2.  It is always a good idea to use a variety of essential oils and rotate those which you use often to avoid sensitization and irritation. If you use a blend for several days, its ideal to take a day or 2 off and use an alternate blend during that time if needed.
  3. During pregnancy, as with any medical condition, it is strongly recommended that prior to using essential oils, you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained health care advisor who is experienced in essential oil usage. Some people choose to avoid overuse and excessive use of:
    • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) (can be used just prior to delivery to help move things along)
    • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
    • Idaho Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
    • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
    • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
    • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
    • Peppermint(Mentha piperita) should not be used within the last trimester as it is known to reduce milk production and on occasion professions may use this oil to aid in turning babies prior to delivery
  4. Read and follow the instructions on the back of each bottle carefully.  There are many essential oil reference guides that are considered an inexpensive resource that will provide you with further detail.  I have a few that I really like and have noted them in the Resources section at the bottom of this page.
  5. Always take precautions with using Aromatherapy.  Less is more, start low and slow. I am pretty conservative here.  My personal general rule is:  No more then 3 single oils or 1 blend with up to 2 single oils in the diffuser.  Start with 1-2 drops of each oil.  When using a high quality oil such as Young Living, it is not necessary to use excessive drop counts.  There are a few exceptions to this rule:
    • Diffusing in larger, open spaces may require more drops (or not, start low and work your way up.)
    • Kids present in the room.  Some oils are not safe around children, but this is especially important at night.  Do not diffuse peppermint, Thieves® essential oil, or some forms of eucalyptus at night in the bedrooms of kids who are less then 6 years of age.
  6. Never use essential oils in the eyes or ears.  If an essential oil gets into your eye, flush the eye immediately with a carrier oil or cold milk.  Do NOT flush with water. Seek medical attention if the stinging and/or irritation continues.
  7. If allergic to certain foods, do not use essential oils or carrier oils that come from those foods.  On rare occasion some people that are allergic to different parts of the tree or plant, do not react to essential oils because they may use a different part of the plant. But do your own research and do what is best for your body.
  8. If you have epilepsy, you can still use essential oils for whole body support, but there are a few you should avoid:
    • Eucalyptus (Eugalyptus radiata)
    • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
    • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
    • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
    • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
    • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
    • Thuja (Thuya occidentalis)
    • Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium)
    • Camphor (and compound found in many of the above oils)
    • Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) ***Please note this not very different from the “typical” Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).
  9. There are a few oils that cause photosensitivity and will contribute to a sunburn or rash at the sight of application when exposed to sunlight.  When applying any of the following oils topically be mind full of application location to avoid reaction or cover up the areas for 24-48 hours.
    • angelica
    • ginger
    • bergamot
    • grapefruit
    • lemon
    • orange
    • tangerine
    • citrus fresh
    • lime
  10. Proper Dilution for your whole family is key to safety
    • Unless otherwise stated, never use essential oils on your skin without diluting first with a carrier oil.  There are few oils and rare instances that neat (aka undiluted) oils should be used.  Test an area of your skin prior to use.  If you experience any soreness, redness, or irritation, stop using the essential oil.   Apply additional carrier oil to dilute further and wipe away excess oils.  Milk may be used as a substitute also. Do not rinse with water.  Water causes the essential oil(s) to be driven further into the skin.
    • When using essential oil enriched epsom salts for baths.  It is recommended to not use more than 2 drops of the following essential oils when used in a bath the first time: Anise, Black pepper, Camphor (rectified), Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus globulus, Ginger, Juniper berry, Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Thyme.  Always mix epsom salts and essential oils together prior to adding to bath water.  Ideal if oils and salts are given a window to time to  “marry.”
    • Proper diluting will depend on the issue you are wanting to address. Here is a handy guide for diluting essential oils, especially in the beginning.  Some people choose a more conservative dilution ratio in the beginning.  Its always best to start low and slow, especially in kids!
      • 0.25% Dilution (1 drop per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil) UP TO 3 MONTHS OF AGE.   There are only a Few oils that may safely be used topically at this age.  Only apply to the bottoms of the feet.  Diffusing is the best choice at this age.
      • 0.25% Dilution (1 drop per 1 Tablespoon of carrier oil; 1 drop per 10 ml roller bottle) – 3-23 MONTHS OF AGE  Continue to use oils at the same dilution as infants but with a few more options of oils available.
      • 0.5 % Dilution (1 drop per 2-3 teaspoons of carrier oil or 2 drops per 10 ml roller bottle) – CHILDREN 2-6 YEARS OLD
      • 1% dilution (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil; 3-4 drops per 10 ml roller bottle; 5-6 drops per ounce) – CHILDREN OVER THE AGE OF 6, PREGNANT WOMAN, ELDERLY, THOSE WITH SENSITIVE SKIN, COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEMS, OR OTHER SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERNS. This dilution would be ideal for massaging over a large area of the body. 
      • 2% Dilution (2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil; 6-8 drops per 10 ml roller bottle, 10-12 drops per ounce) – IDEAL FOR MOST ADULTS and in most situations.  Ideal dilution for daily skin support.
      • 3% Dilution (3 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil; 12-16 drops per 10 ml roller bottle; 15-18 drops per ounce) – BEST FOR SHORT TERM TEMPORARY HEALTH CONCERN (such as muscle or respiratory support.) Up to 10% dilution is fine depending on concern and oils being used.
      • 25% Dilution (25 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil; 125-150 drops per ounce)

There are a couple variations of this, but its a very good place to start as you become more comfortable with essential oil use and understanding their quirks, uses, and how you respond to each of them.

Dilution Chart Final_with WM

When you are ready to order, click here for Premium Starter Kit options and to purchase.  After your purchase is complete, expect an email from me at  I have lots of resources for you, including an oil chat group to add you to and a welcome kit to send your way. Its important to me that you you receive all the support you need. Contact me with an questions you have!


For another great resource, click here:  Young Living Safety Guidelines

~ 7th Edition Reference Guide – comes in a pocket version (does not fit in pocket 😉 :

or Desk Reference (my favorite, a little bigger, a little more info, easier to read, and space for me to make notes on recipes I tweak):

~ Reference Guide App (for ios or android):

~ PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

~ Additional resources and sites may be found on The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

All information, content and product descriptions contained within this site are for reference purposes and are not intended to substitute advice given by a pharmacist, physician or other licensed health-care professional. We do not advise you use the information contained within this website, or any other site for treating a health problem or disease or to make a self-diagnosis, without talking to your doctor. Actual product packaging and materials may contain different information than shown on this website. Contact your health care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding our products have not been evaluated by the FDA.