With the popularity of essential oils these days, many hear about essential oils and get excited, but forget to do their due diligence. Over the past couple years, as I introduced new oils in my routine, I’ve made some mistakes. Thankfully, I haven’t personally experienced any essential oils disasters, but I heard many people talking about essential oil mistakes they made and I am hoping that you can avoid getting hurt by reading this list of essential oil mishaps.
Now, let me start by making a statement everyone should know: dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil before using. There are very few oils and occasions when using an oil neat (straight out of the bottle) is acceptable.
Essential Oils Disasters
Over the years I saved all kinds of disasters people shared on FB and I’m sharing them here to help you stay safe.
Peppermint Oil Mistakes
Keep a jar of this Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil handy fore those times when you make a mistake. Use it abundantly! As you probably know, peppermint oil is a hot oil and should never be applied directly to skin, and never around your eyes.
- I put a very low dilution of peppermint on my young son for a headache. He started panicking and couldn’t catch his breath! (peppermint oil is not recommended for children younger than 10, for this exact reason: it slows their breathing significantly)
- I dumped a bunch of peppermint oil in a bath when I had severe poison ivy all over my body and was looking for some relief. Peppermint up in your private parts is NOT fun. (always add your oils to Epsom salt before using them in your bath)
- I used peppermint for a headache, and forgot to wash my hands: then took my contacts out. Ouch!
- I was excited to receive my first batch of oils, which included peppermint oil: I used it all around my sinuses, then jumped in the shower. NOT a good idea!
- I used undiluted peppermint to the temples for a headache. Immediately my eyes started burning (way more than my head was hurting!).
Oregano Oil Disasters
Another hot oil, oregano essential oil should never be used undiluted. Yet, so many (including me in the past) don’t use caution.
- I used oregano oil neat on a mole (3 times a day), and I thought my whole damn skin was going to burn off!
- I gargled with oregano water. Yikes! I thought I had singed my throat. It was soo awful!
- I put three drops of oregano undiluted under my tongue on the advice of lady at the local health store. Ugh! I felt like I was dying and I couldn’t taste anything for two weeks.
- I used oregano essential oil neat on a skin tag close to my husbands eye, and it looked like he was pepper sprayed 🙁
- When I had a tooth ache my “advocate” told me that if I put a few drops of oregano on a spoon with a little honey it would help! WORST ADVICE EVER!!!! My throat burned for days!!
Tea Tree Oil Mishaps
While tea tree oil is one of the more popular oils without many side effects (when used properly), some experienced excruciating pain when using it undiluted: DON’T make the same mistake!
- I used a cotton ball soaked in tea tree oil (without ANY dilution) to a ringworm spot near my eye, and it literally burned the skin! (No more ringworm at least :P)
- I put tea tree under my tongue to help with a cold, on the recommendation of a trusted friend, and I thought I had poisoned myself (the taste was horrible and it burned)
- When I had a yeast infection and the itching was unbearable, I heard tea tree oil would help, so I soaked a tampon with the oil and inserted it. WOW! Talk about pain! It not only burned my skin, but it gave me bleeding rashes
- Using tea tree on our pets to help with fleas! I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to use them around cats!
More Mistakes Made With Essential Oils
- I slathered lavender and chamomile oils neat on my 6 months old. It caused a minor burn and I felt awful for taking someone’s suggestion without researching further. Remember to always do your research, especially before you use essential oils on your children!!! This is a must have book for every parent.
- Used my homemade bergamot perfume then went out for a day at the lake! Photosensitivity is NO joke, had horrible rash & sunburn all over my neck & chest
- I applied undiluted lemongrass oil to my sinuses because I couldn’t find my carrier oil while on vacation. WOW! My cheeks started turning red and burning: what a pain!
- Using 10 bazillion drops of lemongrass oil in homemade deodorant. Literally burned a layer of skin off my armpits. Ouchhhhh!
- I asked my husband to give me a massage with coconut oil and to add “some oils”. He added several drops of cinnamon bark in the blend, and my body was on fire for hours!
- I had no idea Cinnamon Bark would cause me to hack and feel like I couldn’t breathe so learning to switch to Leaf or use only a drop was good! Hated to waste oil but I thought I was dying as throat closed off! This happened to me too: I made a room spray with cinnamon bark and went crazy spraying everywhere. I had to leave the house for a few hours.
Essential Oil Safety
Essential Oil Safety:
A Guide for Health Care Professionals It’s important to use caution when using essential oils. Learn all you can about the oils you have, BEFORE you start using them: it will save you from making mistakes you’ll regret later.
Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
Don’t ever use oils in your eyes, ears, or other body orifices.
Do not ingest essential oils.
If you accidentally use an oil that you react badly to, use a carrier oil to dilute it. Wipe, and do it again, until the oil is completely off your skin.
I hope you’ll stay safe!