In order to get the most out of aromatherapy and to avoid injury, you must take ownership and use essential oils safely. Essential oils can be very effective when used correctly. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to use them safely. You can find information on my website to help you learn some important safety guidelines. Often, misinformation is given regarding safety which can lead to injury. The latest injury report (2018) is now available.
Why an injury report is valuable
Regrettably, some companies want to keep injuries that have been reported away from the public. These companies have untrained sales representatives who are not professionally trained. The largest number of reported injuries are from MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) companies. The essential oil industry has produced sales reps that do not fully understand how to use essential oils safely. I do not feel these individuals realize the information they are regurgitating is not safe. This can be dangerous to their customers who have relied on the information. Some of the guidance given to consumers is downright harmful. Noteworthy! The reports from 2014 – 2018 shows only the self-reported injuries and has no way of knowing how many actually go unreported.
Where Does This Information Come From?
Sylla Sheppard-Hanger took on a big responsibility from the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). It seems the association had been collecting reports of essential oil injuries, but, at some point, discontinued the collection of data. Sylla Sheppard-Hanger realized the importance of this information and took over the responsibility. This is a huge benefit to the aromatherapy community and Sylla deserves an enormous thank you. Aromatherapy United now works with Sylla’s school, Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, to continue providing yearly reports of essential oil injuries that are reported by individuals through their own testimonials. The reports can be found on Aromatherapy United. You will also find forms for reporting injuries you may have experienced.
I have found it is easiest to download the 2018 report, or any year you wish to see, and then print it. You can then take it to an office center to have them printed out in a large size, 11” x 17” works well. This way you can see the actual injury claims and also see how safety guidelines were not followed.
A quick safety refresher taken from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) brochures. You can also find great essential oil information on both of these websites.
Essential Oil Safety
- Keep out of the reach of children/pets.
- Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes.
- Use pure essential oils, avoid synthetic and fragrance oils. Ensure all essential oils you purchase are authentic essential oils.
- Use for external application only.
- Use lower concentrations with children, women in pregnancy, or serious heal conditions before commencing treatment.
- Patch testing is advisable.
- If irritation occurs, discontinue use.
- Store essential oils properly to avoid oxidation. Air, heat, and light degrade essential oils. Store in dark bottles, in a cool, dark place, tightly capped.
- Store carrier oils properly to avoid rancidity.
- Before using a new essential oil, become familiar with its properties, method of application, toxicity, precautions, and contra-indications.
- Essential oils of known phototoxicity should be avoided prior to exposure to UV light (sunlight/tanning beds).
- “Natural” does not mean “harmless”.
- If irritation occurs, discontinue use.
- Use essential oils in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid internal or undiluted use unless you are working with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare practitioner.
How To Find A Trained Aromatherapist
You can find Certified Aromatherapists in your area on both the AIA and the NAHA website. You can find Registered Aromatherapists in your area (currently there are only six in Florida, I am pleased to be one of them) on the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC). I can also be found on AIA, NAHA, and ARC links. If you have questions, please contact me. Safety is the pathway to successful use of essential oils. They have so very much to offer!
It is always a good idea to work with a professionally trained aromatherapist who is qualified to make individualized aromatherapy blends for your unique situation. Professionally trained individuals have dedicated themselves to hundreds of hours of study to make your aromatherapy experience worthwhile. I, personally, have a little over 500 hours of study in aromatherapy. I look forward to hearing from you to make your aromatherapy journey all that you wish it to be.