Essential Oil Safety

*Please read the following before using New Moon in the Forest’s essential oil products.

Essential oils–including hydrosols, mists and blends–are for External Use Only.

Don’t drink them! Please. Just don’t.

Some essential oil companies push for the internal use of essential oils.

I DO NOT. I believe it is simply not worth the risk of internal damage when the external use of essential oils is so effective.

There is the potential for bodily harm if essential oils are ingested. These plant essences are extremely concentrated.

One drop of essential oil in your mouth might seem insignificant, so you might be tempted to think, “Well, what’s a few more drops?” Well, think about this—one drop of peppermint oil is roughly the equivalent of 25 cups of peppermint tea. Have you ever consumed 25 cups of anything in a matter of seconds? That is a lot of information in a very small package to give your body all at once, especially because the inside of your mouth is a very sensitive place—as is your esophagus!

Steer clear of putting essential oils on any of your mucous membranes. They will thank you! This means DO NOT put essential oils inside your mouth, nose, ear canal, in or around your eyes or down under in your nether regions. It will hurt.

Please keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets at all times.

Consult with your physician before using essential oils:

– If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

– If you are undergoing medical treatments.

*Please do not alter dosage or stop prescription medication without consulting your physician.

*Please consult with your child’s pediatrician before using essential oils on your children.

*Please consult with your veterinarian before using essential oils on your pet(s). Do not pour or spray essential oils on your pets. Read more here.

If you overuse a particular essential oil, your body might develop a sensitivity to it and get a reaction whenever you use it. On the other hand, you might use the same oil every day and never have an issue with it.

If you are experiencing a sensitivity issue, you may feel like your nose is burning when you smell it or the area of skin where you put the oil might become bright red, itchy or even blister. It is possible to overcome, but the body tends not to forget things quickly. I recommend stopping use of that oil immediately.  It may take a long time to have your body accept that oil again, and you might have to come to grips with the idea that you might have a permanent sensitivity to it.

Even though there are so many other oils to use out there, depending upon your individual situation, it might be a good idea to bring down the smell profile in your daily life in general to give your system a break. You might find you are fine using other essential oils and scented house products (shampoos, soaps, detergents, etc.) as long as you don’t use the offending oil. If so, great! If not, maybe switching to unscented items and taking a break from perfume and essential oils for a while might allow your body a chance to ‘re-set.’

Most people do not experience an allergic reaction with high-quality/non-adulterated essential oils. However, if you are allergic to a particular plant, you may have an allergic reaction to its respective essential oil.

Not all essential oils are the same nor do they all have the same effect on every person. Some essential oils, while beneficial, can be caustic or toxic in large doses.

All essential oils should be used with care and common sense.

Conservative use is the best policy.

Always start off by using a small amount of the oil on your skin first to see how you react before using more.

Using a higher volume of essential oils doesn’t equate with better results in my experience.

I believe in using essential oils conservatively for your health and for the sustainability of the planet.

It takes A LOT of plant material to make an ounce of essential oil. I mean a lot. When I distill lemongrass, a volleyball-sized amount of leaves produces 1/8 of an ounce. Different plants have different amounts of oil they will produce from a given amount of plant material, or bio mass. Essences derived from leaves, wood, bark, fruit, roots and flowers through steam distillation, enfleurage, CO2, ‘destructive’ distillation, cold pressing, etc. are teeming with phytochemicals designed to not only help the plant survive, but also thrive.  These plant chemicals work to help humans in very similar ways that they help plants.

Egyptians have been working with essential oils for millennia. France has a rich history of using essential oils for perfumery. In England, the use of essential oils came through practitioners guiding their clients. In contrast, essential oils were introduced relatively recently to the United States and are sold directly to consumers as a commodity. Therefore, in order to expand their profit margin, some American essential oil companies push their customers to sign up for monthly deliveries and to use their brand of essential oils in large quantities. They also encourage their consumers to use their essential oils to make homemade hair products, face masks, lotions, baths, body mists, diffusers, linen spray, household cleaners, etc. Why? So that the customer uses the product up more rapidly and needs to buy more. Their focus what is best for their company—a large profit margin—and not what is best for the plants the essential oils are made from or the people who use them.

We live in a culture where ‘more’ tends to be associated with ‘better’. I believe with essential oils, that is not always the case. There is a balance to be struck so that you receive the healing benefits of these plants and don’t overuse them to such a degree that a sensitivity to them is developed. Even though they are beneficial phytochemicals, they are still chemicals. If you are balanced in your usage of diluted and straight essential oils (no dilution) and you are listening to your body, you will be able to experience all the best that these plants have to offer. Also, by using the oils in a conservative way, you are not only doing your body a favor, but the planet a favor as well….and your pocketbook too! It’s a win-win-win!