Are You Using Essential Oils Responsibly?

Essential Oils, Safety, Dilution, Certification, Aromatherapy

Do you LOVE essential oils? Do you make essential oil blends for others? When choosing an essential oil for a blend, what are you basing your decision on? An infographic? A recommendation from a facebook group? Aroma? A gut feeling? But do you really know them? More importantly, do you know them well enough to use them responsibly?


Some have been taught that if an oil is PURE then dilution is not necessary. Unfortunately, this is a popular MYTH. It is not the purity of an oil, but the chemistry that determines whether it needs to be diluted or not. You can use a PURE oil but its chemistry still demands that it be diluted. The chemistry does not lie.

“Poison is in everything, and nothing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” ~Paracelsus

Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile substances. As we have already discussed, although they are natural, they are quite powerful. And that power needs to be kept in the forefront of our mind when blending with essential oils.

Are you aware of factors to consider when choosing a blend? Such as (1) age (2) the purpose of your blend (3) the location of concern (4) the chemistry of the oils you are using and how these contribute to the success of a therapeutic blend.

"Essential oil dilution is important for two safety reasons. One, to avoid skin reactions: irritation, sensitization and photo-toxicity. Two to avoid systemic toxicity, such as fetotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and neurotoxicity. Adverse skin reactions are obvious when they happen, but systemic toxicities may not be.” 

~ Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety, 2014

Safety & Contraindications

Do you understand why the chemistry of essential oils important? And how important its role is in creating an effective blend? Safety & contraindications are based on CHEMISTRY. Are you aware of how important factors such as (1) age (2) allergies (3) pregnancy or (4) even certain medications may affect the outcome of your blend and the effect it may have on the user of the blend.

If we don’t know the chemistry, we don’t know the oil. It should be our goal to get to know our oils better by gaining a better understanding of their individual chemical makeup. Mastering the chemistry  gives you the amazing freedom to not only be able to use essential oils responsibly but the confidence to reason on evidenced-based information to make an accurate decision when making a blend.

*Enough emphasis cannot be placed on safety and contraindications when making a blend.

Essential Oils, Essential Oil Safety, Dilution, Certification, Aromatherapy

Professional Aromatherapists Do Things Differently

  1. A professional is careful to choose a primary and secondary focus of a blend. Making sure the blend is focused and does not encompass too many concerns within one blend.
  2. They know how to choose essential oils that are complementary in therapeutic activity and chemistry.
  3. They keep the number of oils in a blend to 2 – 4 oils to be sure the blend remains high in active constituents.
  4. The carrier oil is of equal importance as part of the synergistic blend.
  5. They know how to choose proper dilution for a blend and proper application for the treatment.
  6. They are aware of the psychological effect that the aroma of the blend will have on the client. Making sure it will contribute and not detract from the synergistic potential and assure compliance of the client.

These basics barely scratch the surface. There's really so much more to consider. A professional custom blend based on an individual's specific needs can never be compared to a ready-made blend on any shelf. If you truly LOVE essential oils, love them enough to invest in yourself, by educating yourself in order to use them responsibly.

The Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy offers online and in-person NAHA approved comprehensive aromatherapy certification programs and essential oil classes. If you would like to learn more about the aromatherapy certification programs the Institute offers, visit our Courses page.