Aromatherapy can be useful in a variety of situations. It may be used to expand your current care, provide options for relaxation, or help relieve chronic tension. If you’re thinking about experimenting with aromatherapy for the first time, here are some of the guidelines you’ll want to follow.

1. Throw away your old essential oils.

Pay attention to the expiration dates on your essential oils. Some products last longer than others, so there isn’t a specific rule to follow about when to throw them out. You can sometimes tell if your oil has “gone bad” when the color or odor changes. Old oils can be used as insect or pest repellants outside, so they don’t go to waste.

2. Never place essential oils in the mouth.

Essential oils are powerful. Some oils are based on food products, such as oranges, lemons, or herbs. You might be tempted to put a couple of drops into something that you’re making. Don’t do it. All essential oils are meant for external use – no exceptions.

3. Watch for skin reactions.

Aromatherapy diffuses the essential oils into the air that you breathe. Essential oils created from plant, fruit, or vegetable compound always offer a chance that an allergic reaction may occur. Even if you’ve had successful aromatherapy sessions before, pay attention to your skin. Watch for reactions. On new oils, test a drop on your skin in a carrier oil and wait 24 hours before using it in a diffuser.

4. Only use essential oils for aromatherapy.

A new trend of offering products called “aromatherapy oils” is going around. These oils are basically cooking oil with an added fragrance. For most people, these oils will do more harm than good. Only use pure essential oils with aromatherapy, following all directions when a carrier oil is required. Cold-pressed and distilled essential oils are your best options. 

5. Children shouldn’t use aromatherapy.

Children are more sensitive to environmental changes when compared to adults. That means there is a greater chance that an allergy, or an unexpected reaction, will occur during a session. Before using aromatherapy to treat congestion, coughing, or other unwanted symptoms, speak to your pediatrician to get their okay.

6. Keep essential oils away from children.

You should treat your essential oils as you would your chemicals if there are children in your home. Just a few drops may create a dangerous situation that could affect the health and wellbeing of a child. Invest in a locked box to store your essential oils for best results. As an added benefit, locking the oils away will help to preserve their quality longer.

7. Keep aromatherapy products away from open flames.

Essential oils are combustible. They could never come in contact with an open flame. It is possible to ignite an entire bottle if exposed to too much heat. Even if you purchase aromatherapy candles with essential oils, this rule still applies.

When you treat your essential oils with care, then your aromatherapy sessions can help you find the personal benefits you want. You’ll also limit the risks of a setback as you go about your day.