How Can Essential Oils Harm You?

by Leo Cartland
bottles of essential oils

Essential oils may be natural, but they’re not as totally harmless as you’ve led to believe. Some may have chemical compositions that can be too potent if not use with care. They’ve been around since time immemorial but it’s only in the present times that they’re enjoying mainstream attention.

At one point, a friend or a family member may have told you that essential oils are the answer to whatever health affliction you have. And while essential oils are natural and have proven health benefits, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have detrimental components in their compositions.

Here’s how essential oils can be potentially dangerous:

1. Burning and skin discoloration

essential oils with dropperSome essential oils can result in burns when exposed to the sun. So, it is important that you don’t have oil on your skin that may involve going through a photochemical process before frolicking on the beach. Side effects can vary from skin discoloration to burns. Photosensitizing oils include Lemon essential oil and Lime essential oil, among others.

2. Potential harm to expecting women and babies

Certain essential oils can bring harm to pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, and babies. For this reason, they need to be hugely diluted first before they can be safely used. On the other hand, rosemary oil and lavender oil are the very oils pregnant women should steer clear of, even when they’re diluted.

For babies less than a year old, don’t use oils at all. To be on the safe side, use products that are specifically developed for infants and women who are expecting instead of using essential oils. Moreover, pregnant women should avoid the use of certain oils such as sage and mugwort, to name a few.

3. Skin irritation and itchiness

lavender essential oils

While an application of peppermint oil can relieve a headache when applied at the rear side of your neck, it can also lead to a severe skin irritation. Several essential oils can irritate the skin, especially when used undiluted. To make sure your skin is protected, do a tiny spot test before you put any oil to your skin.

Don’t suppose that all kinds of oil are harmless when applied straight to the skin. These are some of the essential oils that can cause skin irritation, which include lemongrass and cinnamon, among others.

4. Pet alert

It is important to note that essential oils are not safe for pets. Don’t assume that just because you use it, your pet should, too. To be safe, you should only use essential oils for your pets when overseen by your veterinarian. Otherwise, your furry friends are better off your collection of oils.

5. Harmful interactions

Just breathing in some oils can cause adverse reactions for those individuals with pre-existing conditions. Thus, essential oils aren’t advisable for people who suffer from asthma or heart-related conditions, unless you’re being supervised by a professional aromatherapist. This is because aromatherapy training involves more than 200 hours of classes.

It also involves studying chemical processes and the interactions of drugs. Essential oils can cause serious health repercussions when used improperly. So, don’t other people’s world for it just because they’re trying to make you buy some. The use of these oils is a bit complex than what it seems. Proper caution is advised.

6. Falling ill or dying when ingested

There are those who really ingest essential oils, though there are oils that can be orally consumed. This, however, is not something you can do with your daily essential oil. For instance, oil such as pennyroyal can be severely dangerous if gulped down.
There are some lethal oils that can even lead to miscarriage when consumed. Others can become huge irritants after being kept on the shelf for a significant period of time. For safety reasons, steer clear of oral consumption unless you’re doing so under the guidance of a health professional.

Bottom Line

While you should not be scared of using essential oils, it is still crucial that you use them properly. Don’t give the kids the chance to get curious by putting them in a safe place, somewhere out of their reach. They may be natural but you should treat them with caution like you would with prescription drugs.

Take the time to explore or do research on any essential oils and mixtures before making use of them. Just like drugs, oils have varying chemical structures and diverse possible adverse effects. If you’re a bit anxious about this, you can begin with a diffuser since you can experience the benefits of these oils without being required to utilize them on your skin directly.

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