Just because essential oils can be bought over the counter from pharmacies and just because they are natural does not mean that they cannot be harmful if not used as they should be. They should be treated with respect.
1. Never use directly on the skin (especially on children) unless otherwise prescribed by a fully qualified aromatherapist
2. Essential oils are for external use only. They should not be ingested. Not enough research has been done to know their full effect on the digestive tract.
3. Leave out of reach of small inquisitive hands. Their beautiful and attractive smell makes them more dangerous than most medicines
4. When dealing with essential oils less is more. So follow instructions carefully.
5. Some Citrus essential oils are photosynthetic. So never use citrus essential oils on the skin if you are going to be exposed to UV. Pigmentation will occur
6. Keep oils in a cool dry place and always buy oils that are stored in amber bottles.
7. Essential oils have a shelf life of approx 2 years. After that they lose most of their therapeutic effect but can still be used in a variety of ways around the house.
8. Do not use essential oils if you are pregnant unless otherwise prescribed by a qualified aromatherapist.