• – Jacklyn Fernandez, RHN

Essential Oils: Take precaution!


An essential oil (EO) is the extraction of a plant’s aromatic essence – most commonly done by steam distillation, or by expression (cold-pressing or expeller pressing, usually used for citrus oils). Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their perfumes and for their medicinal properties.

The essential oils in a bottle can be 100-times more concentrated than in the plant itself, therefore safety must be followed for their proper use in order to avoid reactions, including headaches, nausea, rashes, vomiting, and other irritations.

  • Never add EO’s to a bath and then step into it, as EO’s do not mix with water and float atop.

  • Do not ingest EO’s or add them to baking. Use food-grade extracts for this purpose.

  • EO’s are never to be used by pregnant or women who are nursing, and they are also highly hazardous to children under two years of age. Consult a professional before use.

  • Never apply undiluted EO’s to your skin. For safety, always dilute using a carrier oil such as Jojoba or Grapeseed, at a rate of not more than 0.2 to 1.5% max., depending on each EO’s dermal limits (seek professional help prior to use).

  • Some EO’s increase photosensitivity and can cause serious skin burns, while others have clinical interactions. Certain oils, like wintergreen, can be deadly if ingested – always consult with a professional prior to purchase and use.

  • Many EO’s can be toxic or even deadly to our animal friends! These include (but are not limited to) wintergreen, pine, ylang ylang, cinnamon, eucalyptus, tea tree, to name a few. If bathing dogs, choose an unscented, pet-specific dog wash (see article below).

  • When using a diffuser, do not exceed 30 minute intervals, otherwise it can actually create stress on the nervous system.•

WARNING: AIR FRESHENER TOXICITY

Many air fresheners claim to work by “trapping” odour molecules, removing foul scents from your furniture and sports gear. This is false – the odour is still present, your nose just cannot perceive them because you’re smelling the chemical product instead, which always has a scent.

Although the manufacturer of one popular air freshener disclosed that their product only contained 3 ingredients, research done by EWG (Environmental Working Group) revealed the product had over 87 ingredients, many of them known to cause allergies, respiratory effects, immunotoxicity, reproductive system toxicity and more. This toxicity enters your endocrine system, storing itself there for years to come.

Bottom line is, remove odours by cleaning your home, opening windows and doors, baking citrus peels or vanilla bean and using more natural products like baking soda, vinegar, and diluted essential oils – save yourself the high cost of buying toxic fresheners.•

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