Essential oils have become common in homes, in jewelry, and on the skin. With the different scents, all-natural ingredients, and abundant benefits, there’s good reason they’re popular. While they are all natural and beneficial, there is still excess essential oil.
Since they are used and sold so frequently in many stores, you might not think they could be unsafe. However, overuse of them presents many health risks, despite their easy access. They are highly concentrated and must be treated as if they were medicine.
The consequences of using too much essential oil can be life-threatening in extreme cases. Even in minor cases of essential oil overexposure, you can still feel uncomfortable and in pain.
However, when used correctly and safely, they are very beneficial. They can be used for depression, anxietyeczema, insomnia, Hair growthand many other conditions. However, it is important to know the risks involved so that you know what to be careful about.
What happens if you use too much essential oil?
Scientists have made intensive investigation on essential oils to determine how they affect the body. It has been determined that in many cases, when too much essential oil is used, the body is adversely affected. Many of the plants from which the oil is extracted are very toxic and their oil is highly concentrated.
It is important to understand what can happen if you use too much essential oil. This way, you can plan and take precautions in the future. All of these things vary in severity, but they must all be taken seriously.
It may sound crazy that you can overdose on something all natural, but it is possible. Since the oils are highly concentrated, exposing yourself to too many can be extremely harmful.
An essential oil overdose can occur from inhaling or consuming too much or applying too much to the skin. Some of the things that can happen when you overdose on essential oil include the following potential results:
- acne or burn
- nausea or vomiting
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- feeling weak
- liver malfunction
- hallucinations or other altered mental state
2 – Allergic reaction
While this isn’t exactly a problem with too much essential oil, it can fall into the same category. Some people may not react when exposed to a small amount, but when too much has been used, it can trigger an allergic reaction.
Try to introduce only one new oil into your home at a time. Then when a new one is used, watch everyone to see if a reaction occurs. Make sure to keep an eye on your pets as well, as they can have allergies too.
3 – Photosensitivity
Citrus oils often cause sensitivity to the sun, so it is important to avoid exposure before going outside. It can cause severe sunburn with blisters very quickly. You will experience pain, swelling, and potentially irreparable skin damage.
If you know they will be outside, try not to touch them at all. These oils include:
4 – These products can interfere with prescription drugs
Some essential oils can interfere with essential prescription drugs when used too much or not at all. Your best option is to discuss the oils you are using with your doctor. In this way, you can determine whether the oils may interfere with any of your medications.
If you want to start using a new essential oil, wait until you can talk to your doctor. You don’t want to cause major health problems by combining things that should not be mixed.
5 – Skin irritations
Too much essential oil can cause serious skin irritations. Before applying any oil to your skin, you need to make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include jojoba, coconut, and almond oil.
Generally, you should use a teaspoon of carrier oil for every 3 drops of essential oil. Once it is diluted, test it on a small patch of skin for two to three hours before applying to a larger area. If irritation, itching or redness develops, do not apply the mixture to any other part of your body.
Skin irritations caused by essential oil can also vary in severity. Some of them can be mild, while others can cause a severe rash or loss of pigmentation.
6 – Asthma attacks can be triggered by too much essential oil
When someone has asthma, too much essential oil can trigger an attack. An asthma attack can also occur if the diffuser is left on for too long, so remember to turn it off after half an hour.
7 – Headaches and migraines
Being exposed and inhaling too much essential oil can cause a headache or migraine. This often happens if too much was placed in the diffuser. Interestingly, some essential oils can relieve Headaches, instead, however.
8 – Pregnancy complications and decreased milk supply
Pregnant and nursing mothers pay attention to what they eat and drink, but they should also pay attention to the oils they use. Not all oils are safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
When you are pregnant, the oils can cross the placenta and affect your baby. Essential oils enter the bloodstream and contaminate the milk, causing your baby to consume the oil. Oils to avoid include:
- Wormwood essential oil
Nursing mothers should also avoid peppermint essential oil. It can dramatically decrease your milk supply and it can be difficult to get it back.
How much is too much essential oil?
Knowing how much essential oil is too much can be confusing because it is different for each oil. It also depends on whether you are spreading it, applying it topically, or ingesting it. It is best to have that information on hand, just as you would with a dosage table for a prescription.
Normally, it is safe to assume that a couple of drops of essential oil are sufficient for one diffuser. This will allow the fragrance to enter your home and activate the medicinal benefits.
Some oils are not safe to ingest, so even a little bit can cause a problem. These oils include sage and eucalyptus, which can cause seizures when consumed.
When there is an allergy, even a little can be too much. As stated above, only introduce one new oil at a time into your home and watch out for any allergy symptoms.
If you are applying the oil to your skin, be sure to dilute it first. Then test the mixture on a small area of your skin to make sure it doesn’t react.
Special note on essential oils and children
If you have a child at home, you must take special care. Since your skin is still so thin, the essential oils will be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly. It is important to keep them away from children at all times.
Store oils in a place where children cannot reach them. If possible, keep them with the medicine so you have all the potentially harmful things in one place.
When diffusing essential oils with a child in the room, consider making a smaller amount than you normally would. However, before spreading anything, be sure to check if the oil you are using is safe for children.
How You Can Avoid Using Too Much Essential Oil
Now that you know the risks of abusing these products, it is important to know how to prevent them. Prevention is key when it comes to safety, and you won’t have any negative results this way. Some recommendations include these measures:
- Keep dosing information for each oil available
- do not use the full dose several times a day
- use only high-quality essential oils with no added chemicals
- know the intended use of each oil and use them only for that
- talk to your doctor about which oils to use to avoid drug interference
- dilute the oils
- prevent spillage by placing diffusers in a safe place and closing oil containers
- use carrier oil on your skin if accidental exposure occurs. Water can make it worse
- don’t turn on your diffuser all day
- keep essential oils in a safe place, away from children
- never apply oils to the skin of a child or pet
While they are amazing when used correctly, you need to be careful not to use too much essential oil. Using too much can cause serious health problems, cause allergic reactions, and have other negative impacts.
This information is not intended to take you away from natural products. It is simply a guide to using them safely and knowing what can happen if you use too much essential oil.
If you follow the intended use and dosage guidelines, you will be on the right track to use them safely. Remember to keep them in a safe place and avoid any leaks or spills.