Essential oils are the natural substance extracted from plants. It is the concentrated liquid containing the volatile aroma compounds of the plant. Many oils are steam distilled, while others are considered resins. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and natural skin care products. Essential oils are not fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are chemicals derived in a laboratory where essential oils are a natural distillation of plants. Cloverleaf Farm never uses fragrance oils in their products because they are never natural.
Essential oils are very powerful and in most cases should be properly diluted in an oil before use. Be sure to do a patch test on a small area of skin before you using any product extensively. You NEVER ingest essential oils. Be sure to never apply to eyes or other sensitive areas.
Neat Application of an essential oils means to use it undiluted on the skin. There are just a couple of oils in which this is safe to do. Lavender is the one most commonly used neat. Under certain conditions you can use Tea Tree, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang.
As with any natural substance just because it is natural does not mean it is safe to use. There are precautions when using essential oils. Certain essential oils should be avoided by people with certain health related issues. For example, those who have epilepsy should not use Camphor, Fennel, Hyssop, Sage or Rosemary for any reason. Those who have thyroid issues should not use Lemon Balm. Be sure to check any products you may be using for these ingredients. You should consult an aromatherapist before using essential oils for health.
Pregnant women should avoid most essential oils, but they especially should avoid using the following essential oils: Angelica, Anise (Star), Aniseed, Basil, Bay Laurel, Catnip, Cedarwood (ALL types), Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cumin, Cypress, Fennel (Sweet), Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Spanish Sage, Tarragon and Thyme. Many of them are considered emmenagogues which cause uterine stimulants and can cause a miscarriage.
Those who have high blood pressure, or have a tendency towards high blood pressure, should avoid essential oils of rosemary, sage, thyme and hyssop. People who are diabetic should stay clear of angelica.
Phototoxic essential oils accelerate sun-damage on exposed skin. Care should be taken to use them carefully. A few that are phototoxic include Bergamot (except for Bergapten-Free types), Cumin, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Lovage, Mandarin, Orange and Verbena. These oils should be used carefully.
Many essential oils can cause dermatitis to some individuals. These include Aniseed, Basil, Black Pepper, Cajeput, Caraway, Cedarwood (ALL types), Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Parsley, Peppermint, Pine Needle, Thyme, and Turmeric. These oils should be diluted to three times the normal dilution. If you are sensitive to these you should not use products that contain them. Again, always do a patch test.
Certain essential oils may cause skin sensitization, in which the skin becomes easily irritated. If your skin has a tendency to become irritated easily, you should avoid basil, bay laurel, cedarwood, chamomile (both kinds), or citronella. Garlic, geranium, ginger, jasmine, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, orange, tea tree, thyme, vanilla, and Ylang-Ylang are among others that can sensitize skin.
These warnings are not complete and are provided for your information only. It is written in hopes that you can expand your own personal knowledge of the products you are currently using.
The following is a list of Essential Oils that Cloverleaf Farm will never use, and the reasons why.
- Rue -Skin Toxin
- Tansy – Risk of Liver Toxicity
- Pennyroyal – Immuno, Liver, & Kidney Toxicity Risk
- Sassafras -Risk of Toxicity to liver function.
We recommend avoiding any products that use these four items above unless a well trained professional can provide a great reason to use them and detailed instructions on their usage.
Essential oils can be extremely beneficial when used properly and are always a better selection than chemical based fragrance oils. Look for more information on our blog for additional articles on essential oils and their proper usage.