This is Part One of a two-part series. Here are five examples with direct quotes (excuse grammar) from our new Injury Report, scheduled to come out in February 2015. These are short quotes from the report. This is not the report nor are these quotes our words. You will be able to see the details of each entry we’ve received when the report comes out. Most if not all of these cases are due to bad advice and misinformation. This is why we believe that education is the key to safety.

We love our essential oils and our fellow humans. We want to help put an end to dangerous and unsafe practices. Most if not all of these cases improved once those affected discontinued use of the oil(s).

Here is a list of the 10 Worst Adverse Effects we’ve received this past year. We’ve included a summary with direct quotes from the testimonials.

10. Undiluted oils applied to a small sore. “Blend/frankincense” was used and the next day, her skin turned red, bubbled up, and peeled. When she voiced her concerns, she was told it was “detox, that there’s no way to be allergic or have a bad reaction to the oil since they are natural.”

Most qualified aromatherapists will not acknowledge the “detox” claim to be true. Dr. Robert Pappas has busted this myth on this page. Read it here.

9. Undiluted oils on wrist. Someone used two drops of Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang on their wrists several times a day for about 10 days. Their wrists started itching, broke out in red blotches that turned into blisters, which spread to an area of approximately 3 cm x 4 cm. After a month with no oils and jojoba, it cleared up. “Lesson learned: Always dilute your oils and never use neat oil application to the skin.”

8. Undiluted oil on mouth sores. “Between 25-35 drops of essential oil on canker sores in mouth on tongue after being told it was safe. This resulted in a trip to ER because of racing heart, panicking, gagging, dry heaving, extremely hot, fever, dizzy and sick and high blood pressure … I thought I was going to die.” 

It is so heartbreaking to read these sometimes. But it is our mission to spread this information so that we don’t have any deaths due to misuse.

7. Undiluted long-term use leads to sensitization. One person had been using essential oils since 1997. By 2005, she started having small reactions. Finally, by 2014, this person found help in understanding sensitization and the safe use of essential oils. Now she can only use oils in low dilutions (if at all) and has turned to hydrosols & flower essences. “Now have A LOT of sensitivities and allergies to a wide range of fragrances and EOs.”

Though we can become sensitized to a single oil, we can also become sensitized to many single oils and blends. By overusing oils now, we deprive ourselves of being able to use them in the future. Remember the saying, “Less IS more.”

Read more about sensitization.

6. Oral use: Due to ingesting a “lot of” oils—multiple drops multiple times a day—of Lemon and Grapefruit in water, one person now has been diagnosed with stomach problems, chronic digestive upset, and is looking at possible gallbladder removal. 

How sad it is to read these stories. People are looking for alternative health care, possibly to save money or avoid surgery. Then they make things worse themselves or their families, simply because they didn’t know better.

Knowledge is power. Never forget that it is in your hands. 

Read Part Two here.

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