How do I use essential oils?
I’m new to essential oils. How are they used? –There are three basic ways to use essential oils (EO): topically (applied to the skin), orally (ingested by mouth), and as aromatherapy (directly inhaled or diffused). Each bottle of Young Living essential oil is labeled with directions for how that oil can be used.
How often can essential oils be applied? How much do I use?
Proper usage is indicated on each EO label. Please follow label instructions. The idea of “if a little is good, a lot is better” is not always correct. Essential oils are very potent and powerful– start low and go slow. In most cases 1-2 drops are adequate and using more may waste product. Depending on the EO, you can gradually build up to 3-4 uses per day if desired. Excessive use of essential oils may increase the risk for adverse reactions.
Can essential oils be used neat (without dilution) on the skin?
Some essential oils can be used neat on the skin. All label instructions should be followed. Our labels indicate when an essential oil should be diluted. If it is an essential oil that you have never used, dilution and a skin spot test is a good idea to ensure that you do not experience any sensitivity to that particular essential oil.
What is a carrier oil, what does it do, and why should I use it?
A carrier oil is a vegetable oil such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil that can be used to dilute EOs. A carrier oil ensures that EOs applied topically are comfortable. Dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the EO, and prevents waste due to excessive application. Vegetable shortening, butter, margarine or petroleum derivatives (petrolatum jelly) should never be used as carrier oils. Some consumers choose to avoid olive oil as a carrier oil because of its strong aroma and thick viscosity. YL V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex is an excellent carrier oil for all applications.
What is a hot oil?
“Hot oils” are oils that, when applied to the skin, can cause a hot or burning sensation. Examples of “hot” oils include cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, peppermint, oregano, thyme, Exodus II, and Thieves. These should be applied topically with a carrier oil.
YL recommends using a patch test procedure prior to first use. To perform a patch test, apply 1-2 drops of EO to a patch of skin, such as the forearm. Observe that area of skin over the course of 1-2 hours for any noticeable reaction; usually reactions occur within 5-10 minutes. If you experience a hot or burning sensation or if you develop a rash, add V-6 carrier oil to the affected area as often as needed.
Can essential oils be ingested?
Many essential oils can be ingested. All of Young Livings’s oils that can be ingested feature a white Supplement Facts box on the product label and dietary usage instructions online. Research indicates that some oils are more effective when taken orally. Only pure essential oils, proven safe and labeled as dietary supplements, should be used internally. Dilution and dosage is dependent on the age, size, and the health constitution of the individual. Follow the recommended dosage on individual product labels to ensure safety or seek the advice of a health professional before administering oils internally.
What’s the difference between Young Living’s traditional essential oils and Vitality™ essential oils?
Young Living’s large product line includes items that you can use in nearly any aspect of your life. These products are generally labeled for topical/aromatic, dietary, or cleaning usage. While all YL’s oils meet their Seed to Seal® promise and exacting testing for purity and safety, traditional essential oils are intended for topical/aromatic use, and the Vitality oils are intended for internal consumption. This distinction allows Young Living and its members to freely share the dietary and culinary benefits of our oils, thanks to Vitality’s clearly labeled dietary instructions.
What is the shelf life of Young Living oils?
Young Living’s essential oils do not expire and will maintain their integrity, efficacy, and beneficial properties virtually indefinitely, provided they are stored properly in a dark-glass bottle, upright and tightly sealed, out of sunlight, and in cool temperatures.
READ MORE: Essential Oil Storage: The Basics
Can I store essential oils in plastic containers?
YL recommends that members store essential oils in their original containers. However, if you would like to store your oils in different containers, YL recommends using dark-colored glass. Do not store undiluted essential oils in plastic containers because many essential oils are incompatible with plastic material.
Is it possible to be allergic to essential oils?
Essential oils do not generally contain the proteins responsible for allergic reactions, which minimizes the likelihood of an allergic reaction. However, individual sensitivities do vary, and people can still experience sensitivities to essential oils. When using a new essential oil, dilution and a skin spot test is a good idea to ensure that you do not experience any sensitivity to that particular oil.
Can essential oils be used in cooking?
You can add essential oils in your favorite recipes that call for dried herbs, spices, or fruit juices. Simply replace these ingredients with the equivalent essential oil. Keep in mind that essential oils have a much stronger flavor than dried herbs and spices, so a much smaller amount is generally sufficient. YL recommends starting out with small amounts of oil, and then increasing the amount according to your own taste. Also, remember that essential oils have highly volatile constituents and can be changed or altered during the cooking process, so it is best to avoid exposing them to extreme heat. This can be prevented by lowering your stovetop temperature, using essential oils in conjunction with extra virgin olive oil, or by adding oils after the dish has been removed from heat.
These ratios can also provide a guideline for how much essential oil to use in substitutions:
- Juice or zest of 1 citrus fruit = 10–15 drops of oil
- 1 liquid tablespoon or more = ½–1 drop of oil
- Less than 1 tablespoon = 1 toothpick swirl of oil
How does exposure to sun affect essential oil use?
Some EOs, especially citrus oils, contain natural molecules that react with sunlight (UV light) and cause a sensitivity reaction. All YL EOs and oil blends that contain these compounds are labeled with a warning to avoid sun/UV light for 12 to 48 hours after applying. Caution should always be used when starting to use a new oil: use patch testing (see above), dilute and apply the oil to skin that is protected from sun/UV exposure to reduce the risk of sensitivity. YL beauty and cosmetic products are formulated to remove sunU sensitizing agents to reduce the risk of sun sensitivity.
Can essential oils be used during pregnancy or while nursing?
As with any medical condition it is strongly recommended that, prior to use of essential oils, you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained health care advisor who is experienced in EO usage. It is generally recommended to avoid overuse and excessive use of Clary Sage (Salvia&sclarea), Sage (Salvia&officinalis), Tansy (Tanacetum&vulgare), Hyssop (Hyssopus&officinalis), Fennel (Foeniculum&vulgare), and Wintergreen (Gaultheria&procumbens) as well as the blends and supplements that contain these oils.
Can essential oils be used on children?
Many EOs are appropriate for use with children, and they should be diluted prior to use. Some YL products are pre-diluted with carrier oil as indicated on product label and are intended for direct application on children. Children generally respond well to EO, and use of a carrier oil is recommended. 1-2 drops of EO such as SleepyIze, RutaVala, Gentle Baby and Peace & Calming may be diluted in carrier oil and applied to the bottom of the feet.
What if I experience skin discomfort or irritation?
If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using the EO, and apply V-6 or other carrier oil to the affected area. Never use water in an attempt to flush the oil off the skin, as this may increase discomfort.
If a rash occurs this may be a sign of detoxification; drink adequate water to encourage the release and removal of body toxins. Toxins present in petrochemical based soaps and skin care products, detergents and perfumes may trigger some of the detoxification reactions. Consider discontinuation of these agents if a reaction occurs. Before using the EO again, perform a patch test (see above) and dilute with carrier oil as needed.
Water drives oil into the skin and the eyes. If EO gets in your eye, flush with V-6 carrier oil to alleviate any discomfort. Discomfort should be alleviated within minutes. If eye discomfort does not subside within 5 minutes, please seek medical attention. Be aware that some documents suggest diluting the oil with water. YL suggests that you dilute with carrier oil to ensure that discomfort is alleviated as quickly as possible.
Can essential oils be applied to sensitive areas?
YL recommends that you avoid contact with EOs and sensitive areas such as eyes, ears, genitals and mucous membranes. If you choose to use the oil in any sensitive area, dilute 1 drop of the essential oil to 5-10 drops of V-6 carrier oil.
Can essential oils interact with prescription medications?
If you have a disease or medical condition, or if you are using a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with a health advisor who has experience with EOs prior to using an EO. Seek the advice of the prescribing physician and a pharmacist about potential interactions between the medication(s) and the essential oil(s).
Wondering what makes Young Living Essential Oils so darn special?!