by Emily Bowles
There are a few preferred methods of absorbing essential oil therapy. There’s topical use, aromatic inhalation, and ingestion of oils. To satisfy these things in a safe way, one must understand the rewards and risks involved with each method. Diluting therapeutic grade oils in a carrier oil is one way to ensure the safety of usage, by decreasing the potency of certain products. This can be done while cooking or bathing and during certain constitution of the body/mind, such as pregnancy.
There are many carrier oils you can use, such as olive, safflower, coconut, almond, avocado, or any vegetable oil, and shea butter, cocoa butter, or beeswax. When using blends in the bath, 20+ drops of oil can be diluted in a full tub of warm water (with or without salt).
Oils that should be heavily diluted for topical use during pregnancy are allspice, aniseed, anise star, basil, black pepper, carrot seed, clary sage, copaiba balsam, eucalyptus, fennel, fenugreek, ginger grass, marjoram, oregano, pine needles, rosewood, spikenard, vanilla oleoresin, vetiver, citrus blends, energizing blends, lemon/cleansing blends, skincare blends, energizing oils, sexually stimulating oils, immunity blends, hair care, respiratory blends, anti-aging and renewing oils, blends for muscle pain, metabolism, and stress relief.
Oils that are safe to ingest during pregnancy are: anise star, aniseed, bergamot, black pepper, blue tansy, German chamomile, coriander seed, frankincense (also great for stretch marks), geranium, ginger, grapefruit, helichrysum, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, tea tree, melissa, sweet orange, patchouli, sandalwood, spearmint, tangerine, turmeric, white fir, and ylang-ylang.
Never use ajowan, Amyris, birch, parsley seed, rosemary, thyme, or wintergreen during pregnancy.
How should children best use essential oils?
Children can use essential oils, and most of the time they truly benefit from them. Oils can help strengthen children’s immune responses and prevent coughs & colds. One of the best ways to do this is with a diffuser. Dilute about 10 drops of any immunity blend and add lemongrass & lemon balm essential oil in water and diffuse the air. You can also use a cotton ball with 3-5 drops of oil on it, and paperclip it to your car’s vent.
For children, these oils are safe to use topically but with heavy dilution: ajowan, allspice, Amyris, anise star, aniseed, black pepper, carrot seed, cassia, chili seed, cinnamon, clove, copaiba balsam, eucalyptus, ginger grass, oregano, parsley seed, pine needles, rosewood, spikenard, and thyme.
Everyone should dilute these oils: blue tansy, cassia, chili seed, cinnamon, ginger grass, oregano, spikenard, and thyme.
When enjoying the aroma of essential oils, place a few drops on the palm and place over the nose. Deeply inhale, and enjoy. Just be careful when placing drops in the hand, avoid the fingertips as to avoid oils getting in the eyes.
And as always, seek advice from a professional aromatherapist or medical doctor to ensure that the oils you’re using are right for your body. Namaste.
Emily Bowles is a Yoga Alliance certified Hatha yoga instructor—currently living and teaching in Northern California. She is a Reiki level II practitioner and essential oil wellness advocate, engaged in daily healing and self-liberation. She is about to release her first children’s book, and currently studying pre-med sciences to become a naturopathic physician. Emily maintains a personal piyo, core power, and yin yoga practice, believing that all things are possible—yoga being the dance, the lifestyle, and the vehicle that bridges us closer together, to our higher selves, and to home. She wants to remind you that you must never give up. Your dreams are alive within, waiting on you to manifest the courage and make them real. Her website link: Queenbeeapiary.com ॐ