There are oodles of reasons to incorporate the use of essential oils into your lives; they smell amazing, they have an absolute myriad of uses and they are completely 100% natural. Here on our wonderful Jersey Lavender Farm we produce absolutely fantastic lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil and also blend them into a range of lovely farm-made products. But if you haven’t used essential oils before what are some of the simple tips that you need to know before you start?
Remember that essential oils are potent
As the name suggests, essential oils contain the very essence of the active part of the plant which is stored at very high concentrations. Even though an essential oil may look innocuous they are actually extremely potent and should always be handled with care and respect. It is always wise to err on the side of caution when using essential oils and if you are ever in any doubt seek clarification for a qualified aromatherapist.
Essential oils break down quickly when they come into contact with air
It is always a good idea to only make small batches of any recipe that uses essential oils as the active elements (volatiles) tend to evaporate quickly when they are exposed to the air. Using small storage bottles will help to limit exposure to air and keep your oils in top condition for longer.
Essential oils can be sensitive to light
Photovoltaic particles from sunlight can cause essential oils to disintegrate so it is always best to store them in dark coloured glass bottles. It is also worth remembering to use glass instead of plastic as some oils can degrade plastic and thus become contaminated.
Dilute, dilute, dilute
Although there are some essential oils that can be used neat on the skin (such as lavender or tea tree) it is worth remembering that these should only ever be used sporadically and in very small amounts. A good rule of thumb is to always use essential oils diluted into a base or carrier oil, such as olive , coconut or sweet almond, and always start with a the lowest dilution possible and then if necessary work up. A mixture of 1 drop of essential oil into 1 teaspoon of carrier oil will create a 1% solution which is a good place to start.
Do not use essential oils on babies and young children, or if you are pregnant
As we have said essential oils are potent and so should be used with extreme caution. Their active ingredients may be able to cross the placenta and can be difficult to correctly metabolise in babies and young children. If in doubt, seek the opinion of a qualified aromatherapist.