Aromatherapy : Guide To Safety, Storage, Handling And Diluting

Safety rules for essential oils : Essential oils are concentrated and should be used with care, If the following sensible precautions are observed, there is no cause for concern.

  • Essential must NOT be taken internally
  • Essential oils are potent, only ever measure them out in drops
  • Never apply undiluted oils to the skin, unless specifically prescribed
  • Never increase the dose of essential oils. Some oil are toxic in large amounts
  • Apply essential oils only as instructed for treating common ailments. If symptoms persist seek medical advice.
  • Some are allergic to essential oils, much as they are with some flowers.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children
  • Keep away from pets
  • Neat essential oils can damage some surfaces such as wood and discolour plastics over time
  • Certain essential oils (such as Eucalyptus and peppermint) should not be used while taking homeopathic medicines, as these oils can counteract the effects
  • In baths , mix  the essential oils in a table-spoon of carrier oil if you have sensitive skin or for children.( Neat oils in time discolour fibreglass baths)
  • Keep away from the eyes, If contact is made, splash the eyes with tepid water, If burning sensation occurs, seek medical advice. Never drop vegetable oils into the eye to ease the situation, it’s greasiness will add to the problem.
  • Do not pour blended oils straight from the bottle when massaging, as your hands will be slippy and the bottle could be dropped and break.

Special care should be taken if the following conditions apply :

  • High blood-pressure : Avoid eucalyptus, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
  • Low blood-pressure : Avoid Lavendar, Ylang-Ylang, and Marjaram.
  • Epileptics : Avoid Basil, Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Sage.
  • Pregnancy : Do NOT use any essential oils
  • If exposed to strong sunlight : Avoid bergamot, Angelica, Ginger or any Citrus oil
  • Sensitive/allergic skin : Avoid Basil, Begamot, Lemonglass, Thyme and Tea tree

Key properties of essential oils :

  • They are insoluble in water.
  • They are soluble in other oils and soluble in ethanol.
  • They will oxidize if left over time (developing unpleasant odours and undesirable qualities) so keep oils well-sealed.
  • They are all volatile (some more than others).
  • They will polymerise if left in bright light (chemical structures can change, varying the functional qualities). so store your oils in dark glass bottles

Storing and caring for essential oils : Essential oils are extremely volatile, they are effected by environment, light, moisture and temperature. They can quickly evaporate, so it is best to keep them in tightly closed coloured bottle normally Amber but I’ve seen both Blue and Green as well. Don’t keep your oils in the bathroom as it is to humid and its best not to keep then in cupboards near heaters or cookers. They re EST kept in a cool dark area out of the reach of children. Plastic should also be avoided due to the fact that it can interact with the chemical makeup of the essential oils and over time cause disintegration.

Handing : You will find that pure, natural essential oils have droppers inserted into the bottle neck for better control over usage but care is still needed. The oils have different viscosities, some like peppermint and rosemary are almost like water, while patchouli and myrrh are thick, like syrup. Bare in mind that although the bottles have droppers lighter oils may flow to quickly, And remember to make sure you replace the correct top to each bottle securely after use.

Citrus oils have a shorter life than the others, especially Lemon, grapefruit or Orange. Once opened , they can turn cloudy as they begin to derteriate.

Diluting oils : Essential oils are very potent and are almost always used diluted. Never increase the quantity of essential oils used in a recipe, this does not increase the benefits. Some oils can make you feel nauseous if used in excess other oils become toxic. All oils are powerful so always measure in drops and always follow recipes carefully and exactly.

Two ways to dilute essentials oils.

By adding to water : This method is used for baths, inhalation, and room sprays. Drops of the oil are simply added to the poured out water immediately before use.


By adding to a plain carrier oil : This method is used in beauty treatments, massages and body moisturizing

For immediate use : Measure out the carrier oil into a glass measure then add drops of essential oil and mix well.

To store for repeated use : Measure base oils into a dark-tinted glass bottle. Add the drops of essential oil. Secure top and mix well. Label the bottle clearly with the proportions of carrier oil to essential drops in the mix.

In the next part in will talk about carrier oils and there therapeutic properties and dilution ratios for base oil to essential oils.

Have I missed anything ? Do you feel something should be on his guide that’s not, just drop me a line or two and let me know and I’ll happily add it

Lots of Love Berry xx


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