Top 10 Worst Injuries from Essential Oils of 2014—Part One

Top 10 Worst Injuries from Essential Oils of 2014—Part One


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.

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Sensitized

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Sensitized

Remember that song by Waylon Jennings: “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks. Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such.”

Well, right now, the problem isn’t that your children will grow up to be cowboys. The real issue is that they’ll be doctors and lawyers with severe sensitization to essential oils. The doctors can treat others from the same generation, while the lawyers can start a class action lawsuit suing the sales reps and companies promoting dangerous use. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? And why haven’t you heard about this issue before? It is well documented in the industry that certain oils cannot be used on the skin without risk. Additionally, one can develop an allergy from the overuse of any essential oil. It is an allergic reaction created by overuse. See these references on sensitization here and here; see here for more safe use info, including an Injury Report.

Unfortunately, so many well-meaning moms go onto the Internet and find blogs that instruct them to apply all sorts of undiluted aromatic formulas to their kids. This can be for everything from the sniffles to ADD, ADHD, and more. The scary part is, these blog writers and groups often have no training or safety data information, yet they’re giving harmful advice about essential oils to anyone who reads their posts.

Do Your Research

I know now what drives moms to take advice on medicating their children without seeing if it’s safe. It is possible that they were looking for alternative ways to help children, and oils can help in some cases. But essential oils are potent. Just because they’re “pure and natural” doesn’t mean they can’t be harmful. It is dose-dependent, as the links above state. If you were to put undiluted essential oils on your children’s feet (like many mommy blogs instruct), besides lifelong sensitization, your children can develop an aversion to smells like Peppermint and Clove. One mom reported her child said, “No more feet, mommy!” This made her stop. Please listen, and stop hurting your own child on a sale rep’s advice. Before doing something recommended, ask is it safe, look at the sites above, or send me an email! Here is a condensed page for a quick reference on safety.

What will this do to the next generation? Besides hurting the children instead of helping them, this practice also strips aromatherapy of its healing properties. By repeatedly applying undiluted essential oils to your children, or allowing medical professionals like chiropractors to do so, will you create a generation of children who are overly sensitized to essential oils as gentle as Lavender? As an aromatherapy expert who has repeatedly seen the healing power of these oils, it’s tragic to me that so many will not be able to benefit from their effects.

Why is this happening?

So, where does the push to use undiluted oils for every type of ailment come from? You might be dismayed to know that it comes from essential oil companies who hope to sell their products by making every kind of claim possible. In reality, diluted oils are more efficacious and way more cost-effective, which is the point of using natural products. By saying the oils are “natural and pure” and can be used undiluted daily, these companies are selling tons of oils while actually increasing sensitization in their customers.

As someone who has put so much time and effort into practicing safe, healing aromatherapy, this makes me very sad.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?