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8 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil creates a 1% solution
It's common for a mix or a blend to be between a 1% and 3% solution
Two tablespoons = 30 ml = 1 ounce = Six teaspoons
10 ml = approx 300 drops

Recommended Dilution: Any
  Do a small spot test on the skin in an inconspicuous place, perhaps on the foot or leg. Drop one drop of any oil listed here undiluted onto the skin. If you don't have a reaction to the oil then it should be ok to use it neat (no dilution) on the skin from time to time. Otherwise, dilute it with any carrier in any ratio that you prefer. The oils listed in this category are genrally thought of as being "safe" to use undiluted occationally. As with anything else, moderation is always a good idea! Some studies suggest that using essential oils undiluted on the skin repeatedly will lead to allergic reations to that oil and some authors believe that those allergic reactions and sensitivities can become permanent. In other words, according to some authors, if a person were to use Lavender oil undiluted on their skin repeatedly over and over, at some point that person may develop an alergic reaction to Lavender oil (due to over-exposure). Furthermore, according to some authors, that alergic reaction may become a permenant reflex - meaning that person would no longer be able to use Lavender oil. Whether or not this concept is true has yet to be "proven" and there is certainly a reasonable topic of debate here. In the case of Myrrh, I tend to agree with David Stewart (The Chemisty of Essential Oils Made Simple pg. 24). Yes, the individual isolated components of Myrrh oil have been shown to create health hazards but the complete oil of Myrrh was reported to have been used undilluted daily for 6 months by Esther in the Bible (Esther 2:12). We must remember, however, that each individual is unique as is each essential oil. Sally might use Lavender oil undiluted once and have a serious reaction to it while Joe can use it undiluted all day long and never once have a problem... In addition, synthetic essential oils (not authentic and genuine essential oils) could very possibly cause an allergic reaction if used undiluted! So, always seek out high quality therapeutic grade oils!! Yes, they will likely cost more but there is simply no substitute for the real thing!! Use moderation!

 
Grapefruit   Lavender (English)   Mandarin (Green)   Manuka   Myrrh   Orange (Sweet)   Tea Tree   Vanilla  



Recommended Dilution: Low
  Place 1  to 16 drops of any essential oil listed here into one tablespoon of carrier oil.

 
Bergamot
Bergamot Mint
Cajeput
Cardamom
Chamomile (Moroccan)
Chamomile (Roman)
Coriander
 Cypress
Eucalyptus (Citriodora)
Eucalyptus (Dives)
Eucalyptus (Globulus)
Eucalyptus (Radiata)
Fragonia
Frankincense
 Geranium
Heliotrope
Lavender (Spanish)
Lavender (Spike)
Lemon
Manuka (Lemon)
Marjoram (Sweet)
 Myrtle
Myrtle (Lemon)
Neroli (Portugal)
Niaouli
Palmarosa
Petitgrain
Rambiazana
 Ravensara
Rosalina
Spearmint
Tangerine
Yuzu
Zedoary



Recommended Dilution: Mid
  Place 1  to 10 drops of any essential oil listed here into one tablespoon of carrier oil.

 
Allspice
Ambrette Seed
Amyris
Anise (Aniseed)
Balm of Gilead (European)
Balsam Poplar
Basil
Benzoin
Calendula
Caraway
Carrot Seed
Cassie
Catnip
 Cedarwood (Atlas)
Chamomile (Cape)
Chamomile (German)
Citronella (Javan)
Clary Sage
Costmary
Cypress (Blue)
Dill Seed
Elemi
Fennel
Fingerroot
Fir (American Silver)
Galanga
Galbanum
 Ghandi Root
Ginger
Ginger Lily (White)
Grapefruit Seed
Helichrysum
Henna
Heracleum
Hop Flower
Horsemint
Horsemint (American)
Iary
Imphepho
Jamrosa
Juniper Berry
 Kanuka
Kewda
Khella
Kunzea
Lantana Leaf
Lemon Verbena
Lime
Linaloe Berry
Mastic
May Chang
Monarda
Myrtle (Anise)
Nagarmotha
Orris Root (Florentina)
 Osmanthus
Palo Santo
Patchouli
Pepper Tree Leaf
Peppermint
Perilla
Plai
Rhododendron
Rock Rose
Rock Samphire
Rosemary
Rosemary (Borneol)
Rosemary (Cineol)
Rosemary (Verbenon)
 Rosewood
Sagebrush (White)
Sandalwood (Australian)
Spikenard
Spruce (Black)
St. John's Wort
Strawflower
Tamarack
Tuberose
Turmeric
Vetiver
Vitex
Wild Verbena
Xanthoxylum
 Ylang Ylang
Zdravetz



Recommended Dilution: High
  Always dilute these oils - they should never be used neat on the skin!
Place 1  to 4 drops of any essential oil listed here into one tablespoon of carrier oil.
I imagine a couple of exceptions here might be possible... your tooth is aching so badly that your head feels like it's going to explode... ok, maybe a drop of Clove Bud oil is in order... you have an extreme fungal condition... ok, maybe a drop of Cinnamon Leaf... But, for the other times in your life, like 99% of the time, you should always dilute these oils!

 
Essential Oil Reason for being in the High Dilution Catagory

Angelica Angelica oil is said to over-stimulate the nervous system in higher concentrations. (Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art  pg. 176)   In addition this oil contains Bergapten which is responsible for photosensitivity.

Anise (Star) Star Anise has a high percentage of Anethole. High concentrations of Anethole will cause estrogen-type (Oestrone) imbalances in both men and women. It is said that high concentations of Star Anise will can cause nausea, vomiting, circulatory problems, and possibly coma.

Balsam de Peru High concentrations of this oil are commonly thought to be allergenic.

Bay Laurel The main cause for concern here is Methyl eugenol which typically occurs in Bay Laurel essential oil at about 12%.   Methyl eugenol is a phenol making it a skin irritant and toxic to the liver in high concentrations and with repeated use.   Any essential oil with significant amounts of phenols are best used in lower concentrations and for short periods of time so that the liver can have a chance to recover.

Birch (Sweet) Obviously if the Birch oil is synthetic, consisting of mainly Methyl salicylate, then we shouldn't even be using it! Finding literature on Birch oil is very time consuming and the oil seems to be somewhat controversial. I will leaving Birch oil in the "High Dilution" catagory until I can find some solid evidence that is is safe to move it in the "Mid" catagory. Research continues…

Birch Tar The Kiln method of extraction often yields an exceptionally concentrated oil.

Black Pepper High concentrations of Black Pepper oil should be avoided because one of its constituents, Piperine, which may cause a burning effect on the skin and mucus membranes. Concentrations by dry weight of Piperine in black pepper seeds normally occur from 6% to 9% but can be up to 15%. (Bo Jensen's Website)   The percentage of Piperine that actually makes it into the essential oil will vary depending on the initial amount in the seeds, and the method of extraction.

Blue Tansy Thujone exposure from both α-Thujone and β-Thujone is the cause for concern here.

Boronia 

Calamus Root The main cause for concern here is exposure to high amounts of β-Asarone.

Camphor (White) In several sources I have read that White Camphor should be used only in moderation and not be used in aromatherapy massage, though currently I do not have a concrete reason as to why this is the case. Many sources suggest that Camphor may cause sensitization in some individuals. Personally I have used White Camphor in very low concentrations (high dilution) without any problems - mainly for sore muscles usually the day after intense work-outs. However, I have only used White Camphor in low concentrations and for brief periods of time. One source says, "Epileptics and asthmatics, as well as people with fever, should avoid (White) camphor. Overdoses can cause convulsions and vomiting." (Aromatherapy Essentials  pg. 30)

Carnation Carnation oil is often sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated. Carnation infusion oils have a much lower concentration and do not require a high dilution.

Celery Seed Celery Seed oil is said to have hormonal type properties which is the main reason why I have it listed in the High dilution catagory. I might be pursuaded to move it into the "Mid" catagory if/when I find that those "hormonal type properties" are not a major concern. Until then, it stays here. In addition, some people are allergic to this oil.

Champaca Champaca is an absolute making it extremely concentrated.

Cinnamon Leaf This oil contains a large percentage of Cinnamic acid which is a known skin irritant. High concentrations of Cinnamon oil will burn the skin!

Citronella Citronella has high concentrations of Citronellal which make this oil a skin irritant.

Clove Bud Clove Bud oil is a skin and mucous membrane irritant in high concentrations due to its high Eugenol content. Eugenol is a phenol making it a skin irritant and toxic to the liver in high concentrations and with repeated use. Any essential oil with significant amounts of phenols are best used in lower concentrations and for short periods of time so that the liver can have a chance to recover.

Cumin Seed Cumin Seed oil generally has a very, very strong scent and high concentrations of it are over-powering.

Elecampane ---- I currently do not know enough about this oil to know if it is safe to use in higher concentrations. Email with any "hard data" such as clinical reports or trade journal articles or even GC-MS reports concerning this oil would be much appreciated.   jonnsaromatherapy@yahoo.com

Elecampane Root ---- I currently do not know enough about this oil to know if it is safe to use in higher concentrations. Email with any "hard data" such as clinical reports or trade journal articles or even GC-MS reports concerning this oil would be much appreciated.   jonnsaromatherapy@yahoo.com

Fir (Douglas) Fir oil commonly causes skin sensitization and/or skin irritation in high concentrations.

Fir (Siberian) Fir oil commonly causes skin sensitization and/or skin irritation in high concentrations.

Frangipani Frangipani oil is usually sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated, therefore requiring a high rate of dilution. Frangipani oil blends; for example a 3% blend in a carrier oil such as Jojoba oil is much less concentrated and less of a concern. Frangipani oil from maceration may be at a lower concentration as well depending on the methods employed.

Gaiac Some sources suggest that this oil should only be used under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner. In addition, Daniele Ryman (Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to Plant and Flower Essences for Health and Beauty  pg. 115) states, "As the oil has a hard consistency, it must first be dissolved. The provenance of the oil, too - the certainty that it is unadulterated - is vital, as treatment could be disastrous. The age and sensitivity of the patient have to be taken into consideration, and the dosage is very important. Research done by Dr. Perrot in 1971 found that doses that were too large could provoke colitis, enteritis, heavy bleeding in women, and severe dehydration as a consequence of heavy sweating."

Hyssop Hyssop contains Thujone which is a strong skin irritant and toxic in large doses.

Jasmine Jasmine oil is usually sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated, therefore requiring a high rate of dilution. Jasmine oil blends; for example a 3% blend in a carrier oil such as Jojoba oil is much less concentrated and less of a concern. Jasmine oil from maceration may be at a lower concentration as well depending on the methods employed.

Juniper Tar The Kiln method of extraction often yields an exceptionally concentrated oil.

Lemongrass Lemongrass has high concentrations of Citronellal which make this oil a skin irritant.

Lotus Lotus oil is usually sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated, therefore requiring a high rate of dilution.

Melissa Melissa is a highly concentrated oil and it's often sold as a 2% or 3% blend in a carrier oil such as Jojoba oil. Even as a 3% blend I still find it to be especially potent and commonly do not use more than 3-4 drops per tablespoon. I suspect that higher concentrations of this oil will cause headaches - at least I'm sure it would cause my head to ache…

Mimosa The USDA Forestry Service says: "Mimosa seeds and other plant parts of the sensitive plant contain mimonsine, an amino acid that is known to cause hair loss and depressed growth in mammals (Arora 1983). An unlikely large dose is necessary to cause problems, however."   Such an "unlikely large dose" is quite possible with a highly concentrated essential oil.

Mugwort Mugwort oil has a significant Thujone content - Thujone being a strong skin irritant and toxic in large doses.

Nutmeg Nutmeg oil is known to cause convulsions in high concentrations. In addition it can over-excite the brain and heart causing hallucinations and disorientation. I have also read in places that the effects of Nutmeg are cumulative so it's best to use this oil in small amounts and for short periods of time. For these reasons it is listed as an unused oil in some publications.

Oakmoss Oakmoss oil is usually sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated, therefore requiring a high rate of dilution.

Oregano Oregano oil contains a large percentage of Thymol which is a strong skin irritant and toxic in large doses.

Parsley Seed One main cause for concern with Parsley Seed oil is the fact that it contains significant amounts of Apiol.   Apiol is a phenol making it a skin irritant and toxic to the liver in high concentrations and with repeated use. Any essential oil with significant amounts of phenols are best used in lower concentrations and for short periods of time so that the liver can have a chance to recover.

Pine (Scotch) Pine oil commonly causes skin sensitization and/or skin irritation in high concentrations. For that reason it is normally not used for massage except when highly diluted. Pine oil works best via inhalation and is nice in a diffuser.

Rose Otto Roughly speaking it takes between 1.2 and 1.5 pounds of rose flowers to produce one drop of Rose Otto essential oil. So, 4 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil ( 1% solution ) is the equivalent of taking the essence from 6 pounds of roses and mixing them into 1 tablespoon of carrier oil - a bit more concentrated than most people would want…

Sage Sage oil should always be used with serious caution. There are reports of uterine contractions and excessive menstral bleeding (nearing haemorrhage) simply from using 5 to 10 drops of Sage oil in a bath or carrier oil for massage. Sage is typically high in Thujone and Thujone exposure is certainly one main cause for concern with Sage oil. Often aromatherapists will use Clary Sage as a great alternative oil.

Saro ---- I currently do not know enough about this oil to know if it is safe to use in higher concentrations. Email with any "hard data" such as clinical reports or trade journal articles or even GC-MS reports concerning this oil would be much appreciated.   jonnsaromatherapy@yahoo.com

Tagetes Tagates is on this list mostly from my personal experience. The oil is quite strong and I'm not sure why anyone would want to use more than 4 drops per tablespoon. Furthermore, Tagates is one of the most photosensitizing oils that I know of.

Tamala ---- I currently do not know enough about this oil to know if it is safe to use in higher concentrations. Email with any "hard data" such as clinical reports or trade journal articles or even GC-MS reports concerning this oil would be much appreciated.   jonnsaromatherapy@yahoo.com

Tarragon The main cause for concern here is Methyl chavicol which is a phenol making it a skin irritant and toxic to the liver in high concentrations and with repeated use. Any essential oil with significant amounts of phenols are best used in lower concentrations and for short periods of time so that the liver can have a chance to recover.

Thyme Thyme oil may contain a large percentage of Thymol which is a strong skin irritant and toxic in large doses. Be aware that there are several chemotypes of Thyme - some more potentially toxic/irritating than others. Thyme (Geraniol) and Thyme (Linalol) are gentler types of Thyme which do not require as much dilution.

Valerian Valerian has a repulsive scent which is reason enough to use it only in low concentrations. It is said that Valerian oil relaxes the brain, muscles, and nervous system and it has powerful sedative properties. (Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art  pg 210)   I suspect that large concentrations of Valerian oil may cause a comatose state, however, I have no concrete science to support this as of yet.

Violet Violet oil is usually sold as an absolute making it extremely concentrated - something like the plant essence of a zillion Violet flowers in a single drop... I have read that something like 600+ pounds of flowers are required to obtain 10ml of essential oil. So, 1 drop of Violet essential oil would have the equivalent of 2+ pounds of flower essence. How many Violet flowers does it take to make 2 pounds?

Violet oil blends; for example a 3% blend in a carrier oil such as Jojoba oil is much less concentrated and less of a concern. Violet oil from maceration may be at a lower concentration as well depending on the methods employed.


Wintergreen Obviously if the Wintergreen oil is synthetic, consisting of mainly Methyl salicylate, then we shouldn't even be using it! Authentic Wintergreen oil is said to be a significant skin irritant so that is one cause for concern. (Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals)   Finding additional literature on Wintergreen oil is very time consuming and the oil seems to be somewhat controversial. I will leave Wintergreen oil in the "High Dilution" catagory until I can find further evidence that is is safe to move it into the "Mid" catagory. Research continues…

Yarrow High concentrations of Yarrow may irritate sensitive skin and/or cause headaches. (Aromatherapy Essentials  pg. 99) I suspect that the high levels of Sabinene play a factor in this though I currently cannot confirm this with a reference source.



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All information, suggestions, and opinions shown on this website are for educational purposes only and do not replace
medical advice nor are they intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or health problems.
I am NOT a doctor and never, ever want to be one!         I am not responsible for any of your health choices!
Information given here has not been evaluated by the US FDA nor by any other U.S. governing body to the
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