It amazes me when I hear people say that because their essential oils are 100 percent pure therapeutic grade, or certified pure therapeutic grade or organic that they are 100% pure they are 100% safe. Well I’m here to tell you that even water can kill a person if they drink too much (like a fu*kTon of it) but still there have been people that have overdosed on water…. and Essential Oils are a lot more concentrated and powerful than water people. A lion is 100% pure and natural, but you wouldn’t want to cuddle with a hungry one would you?
The bottom line is that I don’t believe that substances are safe, or unsafe. I believe that people create safe and unsafe situations with substances. Aaaand that’s why it is important to talk about dilution. Dilution is important for a number of reasons. Sensitization doesn’t happen overnight, it is a reaction that your body develops as a result of overexposure to substances multiple times. One day you wake up and start breaking out in a rash from your beloved Jazmine oil, but it wasn’t that day that caused the problem. It was all the times before that, when you put a very powerful (too powerful) substance on your body neat, your body became more and more irritated with the invader (jazmine in this case) until it finally said enough is enough. Sensitization is a great reason to dilute, you don’t want your body to get rid of your favorite scent do you?
People argue all the time that if you diffuse it, it isn’t being diluted… well when you diffuse it, the droplets are being broken down into micro droplets, so although they aren’t diluted you aren’t getting nearly the same quantity of drops.
So what is proper dilution?
Experts Say that depending on the age and size of the person the dilution rate ranges from 2-5% of Essential Oil to carrier oil. An easy way to remember this is that if you mix in a 5ml roller ball (find out why I prefer 5 ml roller balls in a later post), 1 drop of essential oil is the equivalent of 1% of essential oil in the mixture when you top the bottle off with your carrier oil. This is in very simplistic terms but it is a far cry from the way my essential oil educator told me to put between 30 and 50 drops in a 10ml roller ball (thats about 3 times more than what experts recommend for an adult looking for therapeutic benefits). And My oils last so much longer,,, I wonder if that is why so many people say to apply them neat,,, it uses more oil? Costing you more $, and making them more $?
So one of the crazy things people ask is how can I make a 1% roller ball of a recipe that calls for 3 different types of oils. Trust me I struggled with this a little bit too.
For Example one Children’s Migraine Essential Oil Blend calls for:
- 4 Drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
- 4 Drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 6 Drops Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
- 6 Drops Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
- 6 Drops Spearmint Essential Oil
- 6 Drops Bergamot Essential Oil
- 6 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Well I’m glad you asked because the answer is not to just put 1 drop of each in the roller ball and hope for the best even though that is what some oily people will tell you. The answer is that you mix the essential oils together in a different container ( I love using sample vials for this) and then put the appropriate number of drops of that mixture into your roller ball and top with carrier oil This method is better for 2 reasons.
- The first reason this is that you know you are always being safe and not potentially developing a sensitivity.
- The second reason is that individually your essential oils have great qualities, however together, their therapeutic qualities magnify. — that is the definition of synergy. And I didn’t make it up, It is actually from pg 11 of The Complete book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy .
With little people that can’t tell us any different I would go with less is more and always err on the side of caution. Here is what Worwood says on the topic, and she is the most thorough source I can find. Not to mention her ratios are the most conservative which is where I would start with my children. In addition to giving the dilution ratios, she gives a list of oils that are safe to be used at each stage of development, which makes total sense because as their bodies are developing, they may not be able to process or assimilate all the oils.
- Children 2 weeks to 2 months can have 1 drop in 2 Tablespoons of Carrier Oil of Essential oil of german or roman chamomile, lavender or mandarin. (That’s 1 drop total, not one drop of each).
- 3-6 Month old infants can have 2 drops of Essential Oil in 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil or Camellia Seed carrier oil of German or roman Chamomile, Coriander seed, geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Melaleuca. Again that is 2 drops total of any of these oils, not 2 drops of each of them.
- 7 Mont old to 2 year old infants can have 3-4 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons of sweet almond or camellia Seed oil of the following oils: German or roman chamomile, Coriander Seed, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Manuka, Sweet Orange, palmarosa, Ravensara, Thyme Linalol
- 3-5 year olds can have 4-6 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil of: German or Roman cahmomile, Frankincense, Geranium, ginger, Lavender, mandarine, Manuka, Palmarosa, Ravensara, Ravintsara, Rosewood, Spearmint, Melaleuca
- Children 6-8 Years can have 5-7 drops diluted in 2 tablespoons of Sweet almond oil: Roman or German chamomile, Clary Sage, Coriander Seed, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fragonia, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Ho Wood, Lavender, mandarin, Manuka, Niaouli, Sweet Orange, palmarosa, Petitgrain, Ravensara, Ravintsara, Rosemary, rosewood, Spearmint, Tangerine, Melaleuca, Thyme, Ylang Ylang
- Children 9-12 years can have 6-8 drops diluted in carrier oil of choice
That’s it for now. I hope this helps you dilute on a more consistent basis, and even if you are ok with applying neat, just remember before you tell someone else it is fine remember that they might be more sensitive than you, their physiological make up is different than you and just because it is good for you, doesn’t mean that it is good for them. It is so much better to be safe than sorry.