Essential oils have become increasingly popular. Many of them smell good, but are they good for you? Many people use essential oils to treat ailments in an effort to avoid using over-the-counter or prescription medications for fear of their side effects. However, many are unaware that essential oils can also have toxic effects. It is important to note that essential oils are very concentrated so ingesting or inhaling a small amount of some types of essential oils may cause harm.
Essential oils claim to treat everything from insomnia to headaches through their use in aromatic diffusers, massage oils, or therapeutic baths. Essential oils are different than liquid plant extracts, which are made differently and use more in cooking and perfumes.
While some individuals may have favorable outcomes from using these oils, it is very important to research and make sure that you are using them properly. If you are thinking of using essential oils on infants or young children, even in a diffuser, consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider for guidance first. Breathing in the vapors of essential oils may worsen some respiratory conditions.
Some essential oils may cause harm if ingested, applied to the skin, or exposed to the eyes. Here's what to keep in mind:
The safety and efficacy of essential oils are not subject to review by the U.S Food & Drug Administration and therefore require users to be knowledgeable of what they are using and how they are using it.
Special precautions should be taken when essential oils are being used around young children. Accidental ingestion or exposure by children may be prevented by following these tips:
What do you do with an essential oil exposure or unintentional ingestion? If ingested, do not induce vomiting, and instead call Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 for free, step-by-step expert recommendations and guidance. It is unlikely that a trip to the emergency room will be necessary. Most exposures can be managed at home with the guidance of our Toxicology Specialists, who are expertly trained nurses and pharmacists.