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Essential Oil Cautions

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that can be helpful if used carefully. The following are basic guidelines and it is best to consult a trained aromatherapy practitioner if you are in doubt regarding the proper use of essential oils. 

  • Read and follow label instructions and warnings. 
  • Do not ingest essential oils without consulting a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. 
  • Avoid contact with eyes and mucus membranes. Flush with olive oil in case of contact. DO NOT flush with water.
  • Do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin. There are exceptions to this precaution, such as Tea Tree or Lavender, but the decision to apply undiluted oils should be made by experienced aromatherapy users and practitioners.
  • Bathwater forces oils deeper into the tissues. For best results, dilute the Essential Oil in unscented body gel or shampoo and then add to the bathwater.
  • If you have ANY medical condition or are pregnant or nursing, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
  • Fennel, hyssop, rosemary and all types of sage oils should not be used by people with high blood pressure.
  • A skin patch test should be conducted on a small skin area to determine skin sensitivity prior to using an oil for the first time. 
    • To do this, place a small amount of the diluted essential oil (never use essential oils undiluted on the skin) on the inside of your elbow and apply a band-aid. Wait 24 hours to see if there is any form of reaction. Even if a particular essential oil is not known to cause irritation, this step should be taken.
  • Avoid strong sunlight or sun beds after topically applying essential oils, particularly citrus oils, which can be photosensitive.
  • It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils for children.
  • If you experience redness, itching, swelling burning or irritation while using essential oils, discontinue use.
  • Take a periodic break from using essential oils. Use oils for six days and then rest for a day, or use oils for three weeks and then rest a week.
  • Avoid applying essential oils immediately after perspiring or using a sauna.
  • Store essential oils away from extreme cold, heat, light and dampness.
  • Be sure your essential oils are tightly closed.
  • Keep essential oils away from children.
  • Essential Oils are flammable. Do not drop essential oils on top of burning candles or place them near open flames.

 
HERBS TO AVOID with SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

PREGNANCY

Goldenseal - Barberry - Oregon Grape Root - Ephedra - Juniper Berry - Birthwort - Bittersweet - Cotton Root Bark - Pennyroyal - Mistletoe - Bleeding Heart - Anemone - Fenugreek - Angelica - Parsley - Baneberry - Blue Cohosh - Black Cohosh - Licorice Root - Dong Quai - Brook Mint - Wormwood - Mugwort - Peony - California Snakeroot - Milkweed - Goldthread - Inside-out Flower - Thuja - Silk Tassel - Shepherd's Purse - Cinnamon - Aloe Vera (internally)

ASTHMA/ALLERGIES

Long-term use of these herbs can make your condition worse:

Ephedra - Kola Nut - Guarana - Coffee - Black Tea


ULCERS

Ephedra - Kola Nut - Guarana - Coffee - Black Tea - Tobacco


CIRCULATORY DISORDERS

Horsetail - Tobacco


LIVER DISEASE

Yohimbe - Pennyroyal - Wormwood - Sassafras - Comfrey - Germander - Coltsfoot - Sweet Flag - California Snakeroot

KIDNEY DISEASE

Juniper Berry - Cedar Berry - Yohimbe - Horsetail - Tobacco - Sassafras - Bittersweet - Thuja


HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Ephedra - Kola Nut - Guarana - Goldthread - Goldenseal - Oregon Grape Root - Barberry - Coffee - Black Tea - Tobacco - American Mistletoe


HYPOGLYCEMIA

Goldenseal - Oregon Grape Root - Barberry - Devil's Club - Uva Ursi - Celery Leaf - Juniper Berry - Cedar Berry


BLOOD THINNERS

White Willow - Birch - Ginger - Aspen - Licorice Root - Sweet Clover - Pau D'Arco - Lomatium - Agrimony - Meadowsweet - Vanilla Leaf - Sweet woodruff - Cayenne - Alfalfa - Spearmint - Wintergreen - Red Root - Balm of Gilead - Licorice Fern - Thuja - Red Root


DIGITALIS PREPARATIONS

Hawthorne - Echinacea - Siberian Ginseng - Coleus Forskohlii - Lily of the Valley - Cactus Grandiflorus (Night Blooming Cereus) - Scotch Broom - Milkweed - Figwort - Silk Tassel


LIFE-SAVING MEDICATIONS

The following herbs may interact with, interfere with or remove medications:

Uva Ursi - Manzanita - White Oak Bark - Periwinkle - Alum Root - Bittersweet - Bleeding Heart - California Snakeroot - Madrone - Mormon Tea - Poppies


HERBS THAT MAY CAUSE FALSE POSITIVES ON DRUG TESTS

Ephedra (Ma Haung) - Mormon Tea - Prickly Poppy - Matilija Poppy - Red Poppy - California Poppy - Prickly Lettuce - Blue Lettuce

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DANGEROUS HERBS NOT RECOMMENDED
FOR INGESTION:

Autumn Crocus - Foxglove - Mandrake - Savin Juniper - Aconite - American Hellebore - False Hellebore - Deadly Nightshade - Hemlock - Jimson Weed - Thornapple - Mayapple - Pennyroyal - Mistletoe Berries - Tansy - Arnica - Mule's Ears Root