Dilution refers to mixing our essential oils with a suitable carrier oil.
Usually we will use a 2.5% dilution when mixing our essential oils with a carrier. As mentioned earlier, we would only use a 1% dilution for children, pregnant women, the elderly or frail or convalescing.
An average dilution would be:
2-3 drops for 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
7-8 drops for 1 tablespoon of carrier oil
15 drops for 1 oz. of carrier oil
All drops are not created equal. Depending on which oil is chosen and the viscosity of the oil the size of the drop will differ. This will make little difference when working on a personal blend but will make a bigger difference if blending a larger amount of your mixture.
For larger projects you may wish to purchase a few droppers from your local pharmacy for greater accuracy but for small blends the orifice reducer that should be on your essential oil will suffice.
The dosage of your blend is very important, and there are a few things to take into consideration. First at all, the following table offers you a safety guideline but these amounts may vary depending on a variety of reasons.
If you need your blend to act fast, you may consider adding 5 more drops than mentioned on the table
If the person has skin sensitivity, is pregnant, or is a child, please divide the amounts in the chart by 3 or even 4. DO NOT use any essential oils on women during their first trimester of pregnancy or with children less than 3 years old without medical advisement.
Some essential oils should be used in less dosage than others, between 1 and 3 drops: Rose, Jasmine, Chamomile (German and Roman), Helycrisum, St. John’s Wort, Melissa, Lemon Verbena.
There are also different dilution rates based upon how the oils are going to be used.
Using Essential Oils in the Bath
Normal dilution for a bath would be approximately 7 drops. If you have sensitive skin, or you are trying a new oil, mix the oil with a small amount of carrier oil or shampoo before adding to the bath.
For children between the ages of 4 and 12, as well as for elderly people, only add 4 drops of oil per bath.
For children between 1 and 4, as well as for pregnant women, add only 2 drops of oil per bath.
Due to evaporation rates, it is best to add the oils to the bath and mix with your hand instead of adding it to the running water.
Adding Essential Oils to Creams or Lotions
When you blend essential oils in a plain, unperfumed cream or lotion base (available at your local pharmacy), it adds the therepeutic qualities of the oil(s) to your cream or lotion, as well as providing a great, non-oily way to apply essential oils to your skin.
The total percentage of essential oil to a cream or lotion should not exceed 2%. You should also ensure that you mix the oil thoroughly into the cream or lotion and that you are not allergic to the essential oil(s) you have chosen.
The mixed cream or lotion should be kept in a closed container and in a cool area.
Adding Essential Oils to a Massage Oil
When you utilize essential oils for a massage, first dilute them with a suitable carrier oil, due to the fact that essential oils are too concentrated to use undiluted on the skin.
Dilutions for Massage:
|Amount of carrier oil||Amount of essential oil|
65 years +
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Ages 12 – 65
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Children 6 – 12
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Children 4 – 6
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Children 1 – 4
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Under 1 year of age
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
|Approx. 1.5 Tbsp|
Essential Oil Safety Guidelines
Important Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils
Using essential oils is a great way to relax and feel good. You can invigorate your mind and your body with a few of your favorite oils. However, there are some important safety rules you should know before you start using any essential oils. The following are important safety tips that will ensure that you are using essential oils with the proper care.
Never apply any essential oil to your bare skin: This is a very important rule for anyone interested in using essential oils. If you put undiluted oils on your skin, it will cause burning and irritation. While essential oils can certainly help you when used correctly, it can cause plenty of problems when used incorrectly. Instead of putting it on your skin undiluted, you will want to get some good carrier oil and mix it in the right amount. This will ensure that you are using it on your skin safely.
Essential oils are flammable: You must remember that all essential oils are flammable. You should NEVER use essential oils over an open flame and this includes candles. There is a method of using essential oils with candles, but extreme caution will have to be use. You will light the candle and allow some of the wax to melt. Then, extinguish the candle and add the essential oils to the wax that is melted without allowing it to touch the wick. You can then relight the candle. Never leave them unsupervised. Make sure you are watching it all times.
Watch for allergic reactions: Just as with any product you use in your home or on your skin, you will have to watch carefully for allergic reactions. It is not too uncommon for people to have allergic reactions to some types of oils. These can include strong oils such as cinnamon. In order to find out whether or not you are allergic to the oil, try adding just one drop to a small amount of carrier and then put it on your skin. If you do not see a reaction after several hours, then you can continue using the oils. This is the best way to make sure that you do not have allergies.
Use caution around pets, children and pregnant women: Interestingly enough, while essential oils are all natural products, care must still be taken when used around pets, children and those who are pregnant. There are some essential oils that can induce premature labor. In addition, essential oils should never be ingested. You should never put the oils where children and pets can get into them. You should also never put the oil on your pets. They could lick it off and it could cause illness.
Watch for interactions with medications: When you take prescription medications or have some type of medical conditions, then you should use care when using essential oils. Those who suffer from asthma and other upper respiratory infections may have trouble using certain essential oils such as rosemary, fennel and sage.
The bottom line is that you should be very careful when using any type of essential oils to ensure your safety.
Essential Oil Contraindications
The following oils should be avoided during pregnancy: Basil, Birch, cedar, Clove bud, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Juniper Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
These oils may irritate the skin, and should be diluted in a Carrier Oil before applying to the skin or used in a bath: Basil, Cinnamon, Clove bud, Fennel, Siberian Fir, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melissa, Peppermint, Thyme, Tea Tree, Verbena
These oils can cause skin sensitivity in the presence of ultraviolet light and should NOT be used before exposure to direct sunlight: Angelica, Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon, Lime, Petitgrain, St. John’s Wort, Verbena
High Blood Pressure
The following oils should not be used by anyone with high blood pressure: Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme Skin Allergies
If one is suffering from dermatitis or other allergic skin conditions then these oils should be avoided: Benzoin, Rose Geranium, Jasmine, Pine, Ylang Ylang
These oils should be avoided: bitter Almond, Mugwort, Mustard, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sassafrass, Southernwood, Tansy, Wintergreen
If you suffer from epilepsy or a seizure disorder these oils should be avoided: Basil, Fennel, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage
Essential Oil Safety Guidelines For Babies
You can start baby massage at around 2 months, but avoid it for a week or two before and after a baby is vaccinated.
For babies this young, and until they are a year old, use just 1/2 percent dilution, and not more than 1 drop of essential oil in total at any one time. Only use Roman Chamomile, Neroli, Lavender, Mandarin or Rose with young babies-avoid all other essential oils.
For baby massage, mix 1 drop of essential oil in 2 tsp (10 ml) of base oil, then gently massage the arms, hands, legs, feet, back, chest and stomach. If a baby shows signs of wanting you to stop, then do so, but most babies enjoy being massaged. It is unlikely that you will use up the full massage mixture, so keep what is left over in a dark glass bottle. You can use this the following day for another massage, or in the baby’s bath.
Use only diluted essential oils in the bath. Baby skin is very sensitive, and babies have a habit of putting their fingers in their mouths and rubbing their eyes.
If a baby is restless and agitated, use Roman Chamomile or Neroli for massage or in the bath. To help a baby sleep, use Lavender in the bath or for massage, or put one drop on the baby’s sheet or pyjamas. If a baby has a tummy upset, use Mandarin in gentle massage over the baby’s abdomen.
Essential oil safety for babies information is from “The Aromatherapy Bible” by Gill Farrer-Halls.
Dangerous Essential Oils
|Ajowan (Trachyspermum copticum)||toxic thymol, powerful irritant|
|Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis var amara)||toxic cyanide (prussic acid) present in unrectified oil – only use FFPA grade|
|Boldo Leaf (Peumus boldus)||very orally toxic|
|Calamus (Acorus calamus)||carcinogenic oral toxin ß-asarone, methyleugenol; FDA banned from flavorings|
|Camphor, Brown or Yellow (Cinnamomum camphora)||carcinogenic safrole|
|Colophony (Pinus spp.)||stong sensitizer|
|Costus (Saussurea costus)||strong sensitizer|
|Croton, Cascarilla (Croton tiglium)||methyleugenol, blistering agent|
|Elecampane, Allantroot (Innula helenium)||strong sensitizer|
|Fig Leaf absolute (Ficus carica)||phototoxic sensitizer|
|Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)||severe irritant allyl isothiocyanate|
|Jaborandi (Pilocarpus jaborandi)||neurotoxic pilocarpine|
|Massoia Bark (Cryptocaria massoia)||strong irritant|
|Melaleuca bracteata||almost pure carcinogenic methyleugenol|
|Melilotus (Melilotus officianalis)||orally toxic coumarin|
|Mustard (Brassica nigra)||severe irritant allyl isothiocyanate|
|Ocotea (Ocotea cymbarum)||carcinogenic safrole|
|Parsley Seed (Pertoselinum sativum)||hepatotoxic apiol|
|Peru Balsam, Balsam in any form (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirea)||strong sensitizer, can lead to systemic reactions to common spices|
|Rue (Ruta graveolens)||orally toxic, irritant, photosensitizer methyl nonyl ketone|
|Santolina, Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus)||orally toxic santolinenone|
|Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)||carcinogenic safrole|
|Savin (Juniperus sabina)||neurotoxic|
|Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)||methyl salicylate|
|Southernwood (Artemisia arbrotanum)||neurotoxic ß-thujone|
|Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)||87% neurotoxic ß-thujone|
|Turpentine, Terebinth (Pinus palustris, Pinus spp.)||orally toxic, irritant turpentine|
|Tea absolute (Thea sinensis absolute)||strong sensitizer|
|Thuja, White Cedar, Cedarleaf (Thuja occidentalis, T. plicata)||neurotoxic alpha-thujone, ß-thujone|
|Tonka Bean (Dipteryx odorata)||orally toxic coumarin|
|Verbena, Lemon Verbena (Lippia citriodora, Verbena triphylla)||powerful sensitizer, phototoxic|
|Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)||methyl salicylate|
|Wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides var. anthelminticum)||orally toxic|
|Wormwood (Artemisia absinthum)||neurotoxic alpha-thujone, ß-thujone|