The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Essential Oils by Someone who Knows

by Valerie Graham, Certified Aromatherapist

Being a certified aromatherapist for over 15 years, I get asked “what’s the best essential oils,” “where should I buy essential oils” and most often, “have you ever heard of this company?”  When I started using oils back in 1997, the majority of the US hadn’t even heard of essential oils, let alone knew how to use them.  Fast forward to today and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of them. It seems every day there’s a new aromatherapy company out there!

Essential OilsBut with using essential oils comes responsibility. They are not just smell good perfumery. If you are going to use essential oils, know how to use them safely and how to determine a good quality oil. I just read a terrible story of how a woman put undiluted peppermint oil on her 13 month old baby’s feet at the advice of an untrained aromatherapist from a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) company and the infant had a seizure, spending 2 weeks in the hospital. So please, I encourage everyone to take essential oils seriously, use them correctly and with caution.

How to decipher the good from the mediocre?  Here’s some things everyone should look for:

  1. Dark bottles – all essential oils will spoil when exposed light and air so they should be sold in dark glass containers. Store them away from light; and you can even store your citrus oils in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.
  2. You want to buy based on the latin species name of the plant.  Eucalyptus, for example, has over 900 species, with about 20 being used in the essential oil realm.  E.globulus is your common Eucalyptus species but should not be used around anyone with Epilepsy.  E.radiata is good for long term use with chronic respiratory infection and works well on viral or bacterial infections.  E.smitthi is child safe where E.globulus is not. So the actual species is the type of essential oil you want to buy, don’t just go by the English name – you may not know what you’re buying. (Side Note: Some experts say Eucalyptus Globulus can cause choking or even death in infants and any Eucalyptus should not be used on a child under 2 years of age. E. globulus is a very strong Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Smithii is the mildest of all and safe for children and the elderly. E. radiata is another good choice recommended by some well known aromatherapists.)
  3. In addition, the plant part used in the distillation process should be indicated in the English name (“leaf,” “bark,” “flower,” “stem”) if appropriate.  There is a difference between Cinnamon Bark and Cinnamon Leaf essential oil so again, be aware of what you are buying and what each can do for you.
  4. Buy 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils.  For the most part you want therapeutic medicinal grade essential oils unless you are making perfume.  As an example, Lavender perfume grade essential oil may only be distilled 15 minutes.  Therapeutic grade may be distilled 1 ½ hours ensuring all the chemical constituents are present in the oil.  Both are “Lavender oil” but the chemical content may not be the same and the therapeutic value you are looking for will definitely not be the same!
  5. Price – if it’s cheap compared to other companies for the same oil, (i.e. same latin species name) then there’s a reason!  You get what you pay for, to a point.  Is the most expensive oil better?  Not necessarily, but neither is the least expensive.  Sometimes these are adulterated or diluted with carrier oils.  Aveda, for instance, dilutes all of their oils in a carrier oil so you technically are buying a diluted oil, not a pure 100% strength essential oil.  If that doesn’t matter to you, fine, but be aware of what you are buying. Diluted oils will always be cheaper.
  6. On that note, you should ALWAYS dilute your essential oils or blends in a carrier before using on your skin.  The only 2 exceptions are Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil which can be used “neat” or undiluted on adult skin.  How to dilute?  It can be a carrier oil (Olive, Jojoba, Evening Primrose, etc), Milk for a bath (whole is best, but not skim, you need the fat), Bath Salts, Lotion, etc.  Look up the dilution ratios for the amount of carrier you wish to use.  As a rule, 1 Tablespoon of carrier should have 3 to 6 drops of essential oil.  If you wish to use undiluted essential oil on adults, a drop or two can be massaged on the bottom of your feet.
  7. When using on children or the elderly, you need to use caution!  With infants or children, use a .05% dilution at the MOST.  For older children or elderly, up to 1%.   I make a bath oil that can be used on infants and children to prevent diaper rash with 12 drops of essential oil to 4 oz of Jojoba oil – that’s a .05% dilution ratio.
  8. “What about the Multi Level Marketing (MLM) companies out there?  Are they any good?”  I get asked this a lot.  With any company, certain oils will be better and stand out than others.  I find oils from MLM companies to be on the expensive side.  Can you find a better deal, absolutely!  Are they the best out there?  Probably not.  Don’t forget there’s a bunch of people in that chain making money on you.  I also don’t find the information coming out of them to be that reliable and accurate, but that’s your call.
  9. Essential oil companies need to have knowledge of the distillery they purchase from or rely on reputable suppliers who do. You need to know the distillation methods are safe.  Essential oil distillation should be done with low or medium pressure steam to respect the integrity of the plant oil.  No chemical additives or dilution with alcohol or other oils should take place, nor should the essential oils be decolorized.  A good aromatherapy company tests their oils regularly using gas chromatography or mass spectrography to ensure purity and quality.
  10. “I bought the same oil from the same company but it doesn’t smell the same!”  This is actually good!  If the oil consistently smells exactly the same then chances are that company is adding chemicals, many times synthetic, to achieve the same smell profile.  While the chemical constituents of an oil may remain the same, the ratio of each will not.  There are many things that will influence the scent. The amount of rain the crop received, the air temperature, length of the growing season, the soil content, etc.  Think grapes and wine….from year to year the same grape varietal, grown in the same location, from the same producer may yield a vastly different tasting wine.
  11. What to do if you are having a skin reaction to essential oils?  Essential oils are not water soluble so reach for the olive oil and rub that on your skin.  Don’t try to wash the reaction off with water because it won’t have any effect.
  12. Companies I like:  There are many out there but Oshadhi is one of the companies I respect and have always found to have top quality oils.  Their quality control is impeccable and they also differentiate between traditional growing & harvesting (no fertilizers or chemicals but no organic certification either) vs. wild-crafted (found in nature, no organic certification) vs. certified organic (ECCOCERT certification) vs. wild cert (wild grown, certified organic).  I also like Sunrose Aromatics and have dealt with them for years. POOFY ORGANICS now also has organic, pure essential oils too.
  13. My best advice – buy some really good quality 100% pure therapeutic essential oils and see what they should smell like, then you’ll be able to judge the good from the mediocre too!  And remember, if the price is too good to be true, it is!

What Oils are Best for Children? This question gets asked often. Here is my answer! My recommendation depends on the age of the child. Diluted Lavender and Roman Chamomille are good choices for infants, but they must be diluted under 1% in a carrier. Once a child reaches six to 12 months, you can add diluted Tea Tree and some citrus oils like Mandarin or Neroli. I don’t ever advocate the use of peppermint or cinnamon for young children and even for adults it should blended with other essential oils in very small amounts. For More Info, also see Essential Oil Safety for Kids.

Essential Oils Collage

A NOTE ON THE ‘STUDY’ WARNING NOT TO USE LAVENDER OR TEA TREE ON BOYS – It’s pretty bogus! It wasn’t even done using pure essential oils, but on man made chemical versions, which you shouldn’t be using anyway. You can read more here:

Valerie Graham, from Long Island, NY is a Certified Aromatherapist & Licensed Esthetician, TheraVine™ Skincare Rep and owner of Solaire Wear™ Sun Protective Clothing. Visit me at or FB “Solaire Wear”.  For skincare, visit me at

Recommended Reading: If you are looking for a book to help you understand blending, dilutions, and natural remedies, try “Aromatherapy, a Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils” by Valerie Gennari Cooksley. She is a registered nurse and offers many recipes in this book. However, her recipes state the generic essential oil name and don’t go into the nuances of the various types & species available. So, you will need to dig a little deeper to understand the exact species you will want to use.

About Raising Natural Kids

A mother of three looking to raise awareness about the everyday issues that parents face, focusing on raising children holistically.
This entry was posted in Alternatives to Medicine, Essential Oils and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

234 Responses to The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Essential Oils by Someone who Knows

  1. Karla says:

    Yesterday I purchased Eucalyptus Globulus for my daughter’s cough & diluted it with almond oil & rubbed it on her feet :/ from your post I see it’s bad for kids ?

    • yes, that’s right, I’ll get more info for you…

      • Valerie Graham says:

        Let me add why….some experts say Eucalyptus Globulus can cause choking or even death in infants and any Eucalyptus should not be used on a child under 2 years of age. E. globulus is a very strong Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Smithii is the mildest of all and safe for children and the elderly. E. radiata is another good choice recommended by some well known aromatherapists.

  2. Monica says:

    What about DoTerra?


    • I do not want to speak negatively about any particular company. I will say to do your research (using the guidelines in this post) and know that they are a multi level marketing.In addition to whatever you find, i will say that I do not use them, one reason being that MLM companies are usually overpriced due to the massive amounts of payouts to salespeople. They hide this by saying that their products are better than any other, more pure, etc.

      • Laura says:

        I am thinking about starting Essential Oils and among all the other things I’m doing to be more healthy, I won’t have time to research as much as I would like, upfront. We have a DoTerra Rep who hosts a weekly class on using essential oils. I was thinking about attending, so that I could learn the safe way to use them and how to incorporate them into daily life. Wondering if you believe that their products are at least safe and of good quality, even if they are overpriced? Sometimes, paying more at the beginning, if you are getting something in return, makes it worth it. What are your thoughts?

      • Valerie Graham says:

        That’s not a bad idea to get some background on the oils but I would find out something about the rep first. How long has she been using the oils, where did she gain her experience from and if she has any training in essential oils before becoming a rep. This could be a good experience or a bad one and I wouldn’t be able to comment on that. If you try it, check the reliability of what you are told in class vs. information on reputable sites like www. or Robert Tisserand (Facebook ).

      • Kristina says:

        Some MLM’s are more pure. Young Living starts with a non-GMO SEED. Where do you find that, ever?! How about growing plants in mineral depleted soil or dousing them with chemical pesticide…does that matter? Yes, and because of Gary Young’s knowledge of horticulture and naturopathy I now know what I put on my body goes IN my body and it all matters. I’m grateful for the MLM! I resisted the product for a year because I dislike, or disliked, the MLM structure and passionately. The MLMs have brought essential oil mainstream. And AMEN! No matter what kind of business you talk about SOMEBODY is getting a massive payout. At Young Living it’s not just one dude at the top. As a distributor, I am also sort of like a stockholder. I have a vested interest in keeping the company successful, and we are doing it the right way, top to bottom, including paying everybody–not just the elite. As an aromatherapist I appreciate your input, but speaking from experience you sound naive if you think an MLM is a bad thing. It’s just different.

  3. Valerie Graham says:

    If you are looking for a book to help you understand blending, dilutions, and natural remedies, try “Aromatherapy, a lifetime guide to healing with Essential Oils” by Valerie Gennari Cooksley. She is a registered nurse and offers many recipes in this book. However, her recipes state the generic essential oil name and don’t go into the nuances of the various types & species available. So you will need to dig a little deeper to understand the exact species you will want to use.

    I was also asked what Essential Oils are good for children….and my recommendation depends on the age of the child. Diluted Lavender and Roman Chamomille are good choices for infants, but they must be diluted under 1% in a carrier. Once a child reaches six to 12 months, you can add diluted Tea Tree and some citrus oils like Mandarin or Neroli. I don’t ever advocate the use of peppermint or cinnamon for young children and even for adults it should blended with other essential oils in very small amounts.

  4. jennifer says:

    I’ve used peppermint oil for years (sparingly) at night time to clear my sinuses and help me sleep…I picked up the idea in college from a roomie, and just copied her. Didn’t research at all. I have put 2-3 drops in my hands, rubbed them together, and inhaled the fumes…I sometimes touch my pressure points, and back of the neck. My question is, if I dilute it in a “carrier oil” as suggested, are the fumes as strong? I have never had a skin reaction. Ever. I don’t put it on my children (thank God, now that I actually read up on it!) The worst “reaction” would be watery eyes, if the fumes were super fresh.

    • Jennifer, since you’re inhaling the oils, using them neat (undiluted), is fine. You can use them full strength in a diffuser or even a few drops in pot of boiling water with a towel tented over your head (however, this is not good for asthmatics as it can cause an asthma attack or worsen it). And since you are only touching pulse points with no reaction, you are fine. Besides, you already know you get watery eyes if you touch your skin too close to your eyes. A burning reaction can be caused whenever you touch a mucus membrane too, such as your nose, mouth, etc.

      Oils that typically cause a skin reaction besides peppermint are cinnamon, oreagano, eucalyptus, thyme and rosemary. Peppermint is very stimulating so it’s not usually suggested before bed but if it works for you, that’s what counts.

      If you need trouble sleeping, try a few drops of Marjoram on the bottom of your feet. Your hands and feet actually have an extra layer of skin not found elsewhere, the stratum lucidum, which makes them a little thicker so it’s ok to use “a few drops” on adult hands or feet. Just remember to wash your hands afterwards so you don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth and start burning!

      You can check out my older blog posts on wordpress or for some natural skincare tips (mostly for adults unless stated) too!
      – Valerie

  5. Savanah Lappin says:

    what about the E.radiata for children? is that safe?

    • Valerie Graham says:

      The best Eucaluptus for small children is E.smithii, say 2-5 yr olds, but E.radiata is fine for children a little older. Just not E.globulus, please!

  6. Savanah Lappin says:

    oh and what would be a good choice of EO to help bring down fever or for use on infants/toddler/child with a virus or bacterial infection? Please let me know… would be very interested.

    • Hi Savanah, when dealing with infants/toddler/children, your use of oil choice is restricted. A combination of Tea Tree and Lavender will give you antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, provided the child is old enough for it. You must use the proper dilution ratios as well. You can refer back to my original article, we added a section on oils for children along with proper dilution ratios and age appropriate oils.

  7. Nicole McKee says:

    What are your options or thoughts about young living oils? I’ve used them for ten years but never heard of the two that you mentioned. Thanks.

  8. Megan Knapp says:

    Just wanted to add a note here about your #6 point. There are several different schools of thought in Aromatherapy. The British guidelines say never to use neat, but always use heavily diluted. The French has used neat, undiluted oils in many, many different applications and have found them safe and effective when used wisely in this manner (and not just Lavender and Tea Tree Oil). I use Young Living essential oils neat (undiluted) on me and my children in a wise manner with nothing but positive, supportive results. A careful study of these different standards in use of essential oils will help you better understand how best to use them for your specific needs. Young Living is an MLM, but you can visit their farms, watch and participate in the whole process from planting to distillation and talk to anyone who uses them or helps produce them and you will see why they are the world leader in essential oils. Their oils are completely safe for topical, inhalation, and internal applications, and are the only brand of essential oils to my knowledge that have been approved for I.V. use as well. The only reason Gary Young chose a MLM platform on which to sell the oils was because he understood the power of passing the information on by personal testimony and an honest, caring heart. God has given us a great resource in essential oils. Thank you for this great article!!

    • Stephanie says:

      I am not even a YL fan, I use doterra. But I back this person up completely. If an oil is pure you should have nothing but amazing result applied neat. I even put a drop of cinnamon oil, neat, on my 9 months old feet when she was losing weight from a horrible virus and the doctors just sent us home to wait it out. Within minutes she was doing better. Of course with a hot oil you have to follow precautions, such as socks perhaps or diluting excessively for any other body part, but you can use oils neat. The child who had a seizure must have been predisposed or the oil was incredibly impure. Also I disagree with your asthmatics comment. The only thing that has improved my daughters asthma, drastically I might add, is putting 2 drops of the oil blend Breathe into her nebulizer instead of albuterol (with a small amount of water to make it equal the same amount of liquid). My husband also uses peppermint in his mouth or breathes Breathe for his asthma attacks. He explains a different feeling of opening up his lungs with the oils vs albuterol. Also, after learning from a scientist who is an expert in essential oils, Dr Sam Pappas (he has a website that collects hundreds+ eo studies), I learned that mass and gas tests are both extremely important and should both be performed on all essential oils as well as it being important that certain tests be done on the plants as they are harvested to ensure that they have been harvested and the proper time. Its all incredibly complex and I don’t pretend to be an expert. I agree that knowledge is key when applying oils, but if you have a pure oil you shouldn’t dear using it.

  9. LaCosta says:

    Are you familiar with NAN ((Native American Nutritionalists))?? I’m currently a Young Living EO user – but have been recently introduced to NAN. And while doing a little research, I stumbled upon this:

    I do love YLEO – but want the best of course!!

  10. Valerie Graham says:

    I read that too, and while her take is interesting, there are thousands of essential oil companies, maybe tens of thousands across the world, so it is impossible to know every one! What I’d like readers to take away is – THERE IS NO ONE COMPANY THAT IS “THE BEST”. There just isn’t and you’d be foolish to believe there is. I owned my aromatherapy company Valerie Graham Essentials, LLC for years, starting in 1997 and winding down in 2011. I still consult, I still lecture when requested, I still do private label signature blends for companies and I still meet with private clients. My business was mostly wholesale because it was a part-time endeavor for me at that point and wholesale was lot easier than trying to manage retail, or one oil at a time sales.

    I sourced my oils from global distributors I knew and trusted and still do. They source the oils directly from farmers all over the world and I know each of them has relationships with the growers and distillers so if they trust their sources, I can too. Now we’re into the age of testing, but those tests are not necessarily the end all be all. Next came the perfume industry boom which went back to its origins and began using natural essential oils in perfumes since consumers were boycotting synthetic fragrances. As we learned though, perfume scents don’t need to be distilled the same way or for the same amount of time as essential oils you’d like to use medicinally. Now you really need to trust your sources.

    With seemingly hundreds of essential oil companies cropping up yearly ( I can probably name 100 off the top of my head) and the perfume industry vying for oils, the price and quality of essential oils became very volatile and unstable. From purchase to purchase, and I’m purchasing large quantity not 1 oz at a time, the price could jump $100’s of dollars. So it became impossible to keep the cost of my oils stable. As I said, essential oils are like wines and may differ from batch to batch depending on season, soil, growing conditions, rain, etc. Sometimes I used High Elevation Lavender, but if that got too expensive, I’d source a True Lavender from a different supplier or even a Standard Lavender. While the latter two are not as intoxicating a scent as the higher grown lavender, they were fine in my blends. But these inconsistant prices are what led me to wind down my business because my retailers could probably find cheaper sources for oils, maybe not all as good, but consumers weren’t willing to pay the prices we needed to charge and everyone tried to talk be into becomming a YL rep! Sorry, no thank you, I have my own company!

    This is why larger companies, like Young Living, that source from their own farms can keep the costs somewhat consistant. However, oils come from particular plants worldwide, and each oil will have a top country of origin for the source of that oil, be it Australia, NZ, Africa, China, Italy, France, etc. So unless you have a farm in each country, I’m not sure how they are all originating from your farms! As I said, there is no one company that gets it “The Best” across all their oils. And if the scent is consistant from purchase to purchase, they are most likely profiling that scent and adding or increasing constituents for consistancy.

    Also, the FDA regulates essential oils like perfume or cosmetics, mostly. If you want to make claims that an essential oil will “cure” an ailment, then it becomes a drug and must be regulated as such with FDA approval. There are no essential oils that are regulated as drugs to my knowledge. This is my beef with some of the information coming out of these larger companies, such as “Raindrop Therapy” which is touted to “cure” scoliosis and spinal curves, etc, by realigning the spine and muscles. I doubt any essential oil will actually do that.

    Some of the greats who have put forth much effort into the area of aromatherapy are Robert Tisserand, Jeanne Rose, Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, Michael Scholes and Dr Malte Hozzel. They are some of the founders of our modern age aromatherapy. They all have essential oil companies and offer certification classes, and are well known in the aromatherapy community. So please don’t take everything you’re told as verbatim and look for knowledge outside the scope of one company. Find some reputable authorities on aromatherapy and consider what they have to say as well. You’ll be glad you did!

  11. When it comes to diffusing essential oils, what is the best way to go about that? I am new to e.o.’s and wanted to use something in my son’s room. He is 10 months and has a horrible head cold (lots of congestion, runny nose and cough). Is there anything I can use (either ON him or via diffusing) that will help him breathe easier while sleeping? Thanks 🙂

  12. You can use either a diffuser that gently warms the water + essential oils with a tea light candle or you can purchase an electric diffuser. The electric ones vary, some you add water + essential oils, some you just add a few drops of E. O. to a pad and insert into the diffuser.

    If you use the candle type, you fill the bowl with water and add a few drops of essential oils. Around adults no more than 10-15 drops are needed. Infants and small children, you can cut that amount in half. You could try a mix of 2 drops Eucalyptus Smithii, 2 drops Tea Tree and 2 drops Lavender essential oils. For the electric diffusers, same amount of drops would apply, but you’d need to read the instructions for the one you purchase.

    • Heidi says:

      Heating the oil changes the oil…….. I would never recommend that to someone. Oils are distilled at a certain temp for a certain time. Cold air diffusers are the way to go.

  13. MamaE says:

    Hi, what are your thoughts on “oil of oregano” ? I’ve been putting it on the feet of my child (since she was about 2) at the first signs of sickness…it’s been amazing! (Of course ive combined with other remedies as well) but I do believe it has helped avoid many a virus from becoming full blown. I use the Hedd Wyn brand that is diluted olive oil (4parts) to 1 part organic wildcrafted oregano oil . Would his be safe on infants or younger children?

    • Oregano is a very strong oil, but this particular brand is diluted in the 1:4 ratio as you said. They actually recommend diluting it further for children 7 years or younger, one drop to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil which will give you less than a 1% dilution (3-4 drops of this diluted oil per teaspoon of carrier would be 1%). Is it safe for children to use on their feet if one follows these dilution guidelines? That is a personal choice. Probably, but again this Oregano oil is very strong. I personally am very cautious using oils with young children since most people don’t follow the rules. If I craft a blend for a young child, I make sure it’s highly diluted and Oregano is usually on my adults only list, but it is a very effective oil for viruses and colds. You’ve used it with success and since it is diluted, it should be fine, but you can get similar results with Tea Tree which is considered child-friendly.

  14. Christina says:

    Just wondering if you could comment a bit more or point me to some resource that would further talk about when to put on the feet, inhale or diffuse? Does it matter based on the ailment or just preference of the user? Or is age a major factor?


    • Heidi says:

      Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern is an excellent guide from Pregnancy, childbirth, child use and up till age 10.

    • Sorry, I guess I missed this comment along the way! You can always use 2-3 drops neat (undiluted) on the soles of adult feet or a small amount of diluted oil on the bottom of children’s feet. Inhalation is best for respiratory/sinus/bronchial conditions if you do not suffer from Asthma. Diffusion is a great mood enhancer/sets the mood of a room/kills germs, etc. Age doesn’t matter so much as using child-safe essential oils. For more info and instruction, visit my website

  15. Jeffrie says:

    Is clove bud oil diluted in olive oil safe for a teething 6 month old? What do you recommend?

  16. Jessica says:

    What about garlic oil for the use of ear infections in infants? Is that safe?

  17. Kim says:

    Wondering your thoughts on using essential oils for cleaning… I have made a all purpose cleaner using water vinager and tea tree oil or peppermint oil. Is there a right or worn in your opinion?! Thanks

    • Tea Tree and Lemon are great for cleaning! I have a client who always makes cleaning products using Lemon essential oil since she first heard me say that in an intro to aromatherapy class I taught MANY years ago! Making your own is certainly something I advocate. My only caution would be to make sure it is diluted since essential oils undiluted can eat through plastic, paint, etc.

  18. Suzy says:


    My daughter is 2 months old, and has a cough and runny nose. I want to use eucaluptus e.smithii as I have read this is the best for small children, and I would be using it in my cool mist humidifier. My question is, is this the best oil to use for her? And if so, do I have to dilute it? AND, how much of it do I use?


    • I would chek the instructions on the humidifier first and see if they mention adding anything to the water. First thing to remember is essential oils and water don’t mix, they will float on top of the water. You’d need something to make the oils water soluble or a separate pad, or area where you could place a few drops of the oil and the “mist” fan would blow over it to gently diffuse the oil into the air. Also remember that straight essential oils can eat through plastic, so I wouldn’t want to damage a humidifier.

      As far as oil choice, Lavender and Roman Chamomille are best used on or around infants, but diffusing a few drops of e.smithii into a room would be ok too, since you are not using it directly on your daughter.

  19. Katherine says:

    It is really nice to see someone address essential oils intelligently, and not for the sole purpose of draining their wallets It’s unfortunate there is so much misinformation spewed by people trying to suck others into the MLM mess. Here is a very good website explaining what is wrong with MLMs.
    There are lots of great essential oil companies that aren’t MLM and provide their laboratory testing right on the product pages.
    Thanks again for a breath of fresh air.

  20. Rachel says:

    I’m looking for an essential oil to help my 7 month old daughter sleep and after reading this post, I’m questioning my ability to choose the correct oil and use it properly. She enjoys the noise of the humidifier so I was hoping for an oil that I can diffuse and a diffuser that will make the same type “White Noise”. Is there anything I should be careful of if I’m just diffusing it? I was thinking chamomile, sandalwood or lavender. Or should I look at oils to massage her with rather than diffuse. She isn’t hungry or uncomfortable she just seems restless. Thank you for all the information you’ve provided!

    • Hi Rachel- that would be a great blend, I make one very similar! You can leave the humidifier on for the white noise and make your own room/linen mist with your blend.

      Buy a 4 oz. glass bottle with a mister spray top and add 1 teaspoon of alcohol or vodka to the empty bottle. Add a at least 18 drops but no more than 36 drops of a combination of Lavendar and other child safe oils to the bottle and shake to mix (essential oils will not mix directly with water, they just float on the surface). Fill with distilled or purified water and shake again. Mist the room and/ or sheets with 3-4 sprays before bedtime.

  21. Kimberly Cook says:

    I used an essential oil blend deep blue from doterra on my 5 year olds arm… Heavily diluted with coconut oil. He had a stroke when I was pregnant with him & he suffers from hemiplegia, which is weakness of his right side, especially his fingers & hands. Someone had told me they tried it on their child & had seen some changes….. I was wondering if you knew if this was safe for him. Thanks so much!

  22. Tara says:

    Is thieves oil safe for a 14 month old?

    • Thieves is a blend of some very strong essential oils ( clove, cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus radiata, & lemon). I would use it cautiously on teens & adults but not on children.

      However, you could diffuse it Into a room around children and that would be fine. Each oil has a “half life” of how active it remains in the air after diffusion. For cinnamon it’s 2 days, meaning it is still active up to 2 days later and killing germs!

      • Tara says:

        Thank you! Are there any oils safe for her age that can be used to boost her immune system?

      • Valerie Graham says:

        Tea Tree and Lemon would be fine for a young child to help boost her immune system a bit, Tea Tree is antiviral, antibacterial, anti fungal as well as child safe. Lemon is great to help the immune system.

  23. Pallu says:

    What would you say about Eucalyptus citriodora, how safe is it for children, is it strong or mild compared to the other Eucalyptus species you discussed?

    • While e. citridora is sometimes called “lemon Eucalyptus “, it should really be called citronella eucalyptus! Citridora is high in the chemicals that make up citronella oil and is a good insect repellent. For that reason, it’s not my choice to use on children for medicinal purposes. The properties are quite different from other types of eucalyptus. In this case it’s not “stronger or milder” just very different.

  24. Dennise says:

    i loved all your information, I am fairly new to this but I had a question on making this oil for my nephew since he is four and has Asthma I am making an oil blending lavender and Frankincense with olive oil will this help him?

    • Dennise,
      Frankinsence is very good for Asthma, generally, but each person is different so you’ll have to try it and see if your nephew reacts positively to it. Lavendar is a synergistic oil, meaning it enhances the effects of other oils. Since your nephew is 4, you’ll need around a 1% dilution and since Olive oil is a volatile oil, meaning it can turn, don’t make too much on your first try.

      In a 1 oz blend (2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil), you’ll want to use about 6 drops of essential oils in total for a 1% dilution ratio. So something like 3 to 4 drops of Frankincense and 2 to 3 drops of Lavender or whatever mix you’d like to use.

      You can rub a very small amount on your nephew’s chest and/or on his feet. If by any chance he doesn’t react well to the blend, remove immediatly with soap. Good Luck!

  25. Jenna says:

    I have been using young living oils for a few years; including on my kids. I dilute them and use mainly the common ones; but have used eucalyptus on them as toddlers 😦 I just used the radiata on my 1 yo this week for her cough. A cold blend I made with eucalyptus, lemon, lavender and 1 drop peppermint, she stops coughing within minutes but am now worried I shouldnt use it.

    • Jenna, the blend you’re making of e.radiata, lemon and lavender is fine. If the addition of 1 drop of peppermint hasn’t bothered your children then continue, but peppermint doesn’t add much to a blend for coughing. I do a cough blend of Eucalyptus Smithii, Lemon, Lavender, and Sandalwood, with a touch of Helychrisum for older children and adults. Highly diluted of course. You may want to try switching out your drop of peppermint for a drop of sandalwood, which is a bit more child friendly and good for dry coughs, respiratory infections, and bronchial issues.

  26. Dennise says:

    Thank You for responding Namaste

  27. J Urlage says:

    I would like to know if there is any essential oil that will help with gout? I have heard drinking Lemon oil will help. You talk about using oil “neat” but did not mention taking it internally.

    • I’ve never heard of using Lemon oil or taking it internally for gout. I have heard of using Juniper or Rosemary topically, diluted in a carrier oil either in a bath or massage to ease the pain. Juniper is supposed to break down the uric acid crystals and it is a diuretic so it has detox properties as well.

  28. Mrs. VanderLeek says:

    Do you happen to have a source for the caution against E. globulus? I’m really interested in reading up on that!

  29. Philecia bell says:

    Thank you for the informative article. I signed up with do terra in October this year and attended a couple classes about essential oil usage. Since I started using the oils and oil blends, we have not been sick except for a stomach bug. My husband, who is a dentist, didn’t like the way one of the blends smelled, so he started doing Internet research. Now he is freaked out and won’t allow me to use the oils on my kids. The kids are 3,6,8, and 11. My older 3 have allergies and 2 of them have asthma. For us to stay well through the first half if winter is a miracle. I am willing to change brands of oil, but I truly believe they work. I use the on guard blend on the soles of their feet nightly…it has wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. And if they are stuffy I have used the breathe respitory blend with laurus nobilis leaf, eucalyptus , melaleuca, citrus lemon peel, and ravensara. Are these blend safe diluted topically?

    • Philecia – diluted topically, in a 1% dilution ( 6 drops to 1 oz or 2 Tablespoons of carrier) they are fine for your 3 older children. I thought Breathe has peppermint oil in it too, which I wouldn’t use on a 3 year old. Stick to Tea Tree, Eucalyptus Radiata or Smithii, and Lemon.

  30. hannah bruce says:

    I see most of the risks are referring to using oils ON children, what about diffusing or using oils in an all purpose cleaner (where children may touch surfaces, or on toys)? For instance, I make my own “thieves” type blend, using cinnamon bark- clove- rosemary- eucalyptus globulus, lemon. I use this only for diffusion or I add a few drops to vinegar & water for an all purpose cleaner. I often use this cleaner on countertops or even toys. But now I am concerned about using it AROUND my 20 month old, even if I never use it ON her.
    Thoughts on safety of diffusing or using oils around children, that are otherwise not child safe?

    • Hi Hannah, I personally think that’s fine as long as you dilute in a burner with water and dilute cleaners. Even with the all purpose cleaner I assume you are wiping it off and not leaving it on the surface, but if you did, it should be fine. I like cinnamon bark in a diffuser blend with some tea tree and spruce during the winter. It kills germs and cinnamon stays in the air active for 2 days after burning. However, it isn’t something I would burn in a child’s bedroom either.

  31. Marianna says:

    I have a 11 month old and a 4 year old who recently started showing symptoms of flu and cold. Here in Texas there have been several cases of H1N1 that has claimed several lives, which has totally freaked me out. I previously made a rub with a few drops peppermint, basil, eucalyptus diluted in mango butter and coconut oil rub, about 4 oz. I didn’t measure the EOs and I didn’t write down exactly what I put in the rub (I know I should have, I guess I thought I was going to remember). I originally made it for me and my 4 year old earlier this winter when we got sick and since it worked so well on us I started using it on my 11 month old. I also was burning eucalyptus oil along with lavender oil in my oil burner. I did this all last week and when things seemed to go back to normal I stopped. Within a day or so both of them had more congestion than before. I started doing some research and found out how dangerous eucalyptus is for babies and now I am terrified. I made a new oil to rub on their chest, back and feet containing virgin olive oil, lemon, lavender and tea tree oils. I even added some lavender buds and chamomile buds to the oil and put up the other rub. I am so scared I really did something bad concerning the health of my baby. What should I be looking out for in regards to if I caused any damaged to my 11 month old?

    • Hi Marianna,
      I’m glad you made the new blend, it sounds great for what you want and safe for everyone in the family. Since your original oil blend was diluted, I’m sure your children will be fine, but the new blend is much safer and should serve the same purpose. If you’re burning a blend in a diffuser with water, use no more than 10 drops into the water filled bowl of an aroma burner around young children.

  32. Vicky says:

    Hi, which EO would be good to add to a homemade toothpaste?

    • Clove and Mints (peppermint, spearmint, cornmint) are the typical essential oils you’d find in toothpaste, but you could also use any of the citrus oils and I would add a drop of tea tree or since that has great broad spectrum germ killing abilities.

  33. vbekker12 says:

    Hi, which EO would be good to add to homemade toothpaste for kids? I’ve heard orange essential oil could work.

  34. Jennifer Larson says:

    I have a 10 month old who has chronic ear infections. They are talking about putting tubes in her ears. I would really like to avoid this. I have heard so much conflicting information through big companies. What is a good oil remedy for baby ears

  35. Favorite Aromatherapy! Aromatherapy reduces muscular aches and pains and increases muscle relaxation and tone. That’s enhancing your performance and feelings of happiness.

  36. candice says:

    Im in a panic Im so stupid!! I just put a drop of breath undiluted on my 51/2 month olds feet and nose!!!! Her eyes started pouring and nose started running. She has a cough and I thought that would help. My friend just started selling doterra and gave me samples I’m freakingniut reading that a 13 month old had a seizure and died. Let alone my 5 month old!!!! What do I do!!!!?????? Help please!!! I don’t ever want to touch another oil again!!!

    • it will take a while to get an answer here – if you ask this on our FB page, you can usually get someone who knows to answer pretty quickly.

    • Candice, for the future remember oils are not water soluble so they need to be removed/counteracted with oil. Any oil will do like olive, most people have that readily available in the cupboard. You’d need to apply some to the same spots you applied the original oil, then wipe off or wash off the oil. Everyone should remember this in case of a reaction – water does nothing to remove/dilute the oil.
      Lesson learned on why I keep saying essential oils need to be highly diluted when used on children, sick, or elderly. It was probably the combination of the peppermint + bay laurel+ eucalyptus (even though it is radiata) near the mucous membrane of the nose that caused her eyes to water and nose to run. Also – you would need to wash your hands well after using the oil before touching your child if you use it undiluted anywhere because the oil is still on your fingers/hands. NEVER apply peppermint or Eucalyptus undiluted to skin even in adults, and especially near eyes or nose.

  37. Stephanie Sacco says:

    Hi, I am curious to know your thoughts on putting a couple drops of lavender oil on babies pajama pants (waist area) at bedtime to help relax and calm due to teething…. it’s aura cacia organic…. thanks for the info!

    • Lavender is fine for infants, you can use it neat on children in small doses especially if you aren’t applying it directly to the skin. You can also make a calming mist and lightly spray the crib or room before sleep time. Lavender, Tangerine or Orange, and Chamomille are calming oils. You want to do a 1% or 2% dilution at most in the spray mist and remember to shake well before misting since the oil will separate from the water when it sits.

  38. Can you recommend somewhere that one may get certified in aromatherapy or other holistic treatments? Is anything available for online learning?

    • There are many courses online and more showing up at accredited Universities and schools. They run the gamit on pricing so seek out something that works in your price range and then research the instructors to make sure they are reputable.

  39. Tulip says:

    I have been getting a lot of suggestions from people for applying thieves oil on my 28 month old to Increase her immunity. She has just started school and has been down with cold cough, ear infection and therefore a lot of antibiotics (as much as I hate giving her those, I fear not following doctors advise and making things worse).
    In one of the posts I read you advising against using thieves for kids.. Can you please suggest any other oil which is safe and effective to increase the immunity of my 2.4 year old ? Also would I need to dilute it with the carrier myself or do we get it ready made. I live in singapore.

    • Hi – Tea tree is a great infection fighter, and Lemon is great to boost immunity, plus a little lavender for synergy would work. You can even add a bit of eucalyptus smithii or radiata when your child is suffering from cough/cold symptoms. You will need to dilute if you purchase pure essential oils, a 1% dilution in a carrier oil is recommended. So 6 drops per 1 oz (2 Tablespoons) of oil (olive oil, jojoba, etc).

  40. Kayla Corn says:

    My daughter is 4 months old, and has a cough/runny nose/congested. I want to use eucaluptus e.smithii as I have read this is the best for small children, and I would be using it in my cool mist humidifier. My question is, is this the best oil to use for her? And if so, do I have to dilute it? AND, how much of it do I use?


    • Hi Kayla,
      Eucalyptus smithii in a diffuser would be a good choice, or a blend of Lavender and e. smithii. First though, essential oils are not water soluable, meaning they will float on top of the water and not actually mix with it. Probably easiest to dilute the essential oils in a little alcohol & shake, then add that to the humidifier. As for the dilution, that would depend on the amount of water, so maybe something like 1 teaspoon essential oils per Quart of water, that’s aprox. 100 drops. But again, make sure you dilute the oils in something to mix it with the water first!

  41. Riley Tubbs says:

    Can I use Eucalyptus G in a rub for my 8 month olds cough if it is well diluted? I live in a small town and cannot find the Eucalyptus S. Do you have other suggestions? Also what exactly is Eucalyptus Blue?

    • I personally use only E. smithii or E. radiata on children. If you can’t find either, you can try ordering online, is a great source. Eucalyptus Blue Gum is yet another species of Eucalyptus, actually there are hundreds, but it isn’t recommended for children either.

      If you can’t find a suitable eucalyptus, try a blend of Tea Tree, Lemon, Sandalwood and Lavender, something like 2 dropsTea Tree, 1 drop each Lemon, Sandalwood, and Lavender in 2 Tablespoons of carrier oil. Make sure you use a 1% dilution rate or less, so no more than 6 total drops of essential oils per 2 Tablespoons (1 oz) of carrier.

  42. Tara says:

    I have emailed oil companies and a couple other pages looking for some help, but nobody will get back to me! I am hoping you can help!
    My 17 month old has a very dry scalp and an eczema like rash on her body. We rub her down with coconut oil after her bath every day, but has some stubborn dry patches. Would it be ok to add french lavender and tea tree oil to the coconut oil and rub onto her scalp and body? If so, how much should I add, and how often may it be applied? Thank you so much!

    • Jenn says:

      Native American Nutritionals answers my questions within the day! Try going to their website under contact us! Shannon is great!

    • yes, you can – even my crunchy pediatrician recommend a mix of tea tree and coconut oil! you only need the tea tree with it – one or two drops!

    • Hi Tara,
      Sure, you can add Lavender and Tea Tree, but I would use more Lavender than Tea Tree since Tea Tree can be drying and that’s what you are trying to avoid. I formulate an eczema/diaper rash/dry skin blend that works wonders for all ages. It’s a combination of Lavender, Chamomille, and Sandalwood in Jojoba. .Jojoba is not really an oil, and is non-allegic and does not go rancid, yet it’s close to the sebum in skin. Make sure to use unrefined, cold pressed organic jojoba if you choose to formulate with it for your child.

      • Is the lavender anti fungal Valerie? That’s why the tea tree is a good option, as cradle cap is actually fungal.

      • Yes, Lavender has been studied in the past few years for its anti-fungal properties for conditions related to hair, skin and nails, so perfect for cradle cap, though I didn’t realize it was actually caused by a fungus. I guess that’s why this blend worked!

  43. Jennifer Larson says:

    What do you suggest as an immune booster for babies. My daugternhad three ear infections in a row. Now we have been able to control the ear infections and she gets strep throat. She is almost a year and I am at a loss why she keeps getting sick.

    • Does she drink/eat dairy? Elderberry Syrup is great to give every day as well as vitamin D. Also a probiotic.

      • Jennifer Larson says:

        She is still on formula. That’s the only “dairy” she has. I will get some syrup. I started a baby probiotic the other day. I feel horrible this is the fourth month with a round of antibiotics.

      • The dairy in the formula could certainly be the culprit! SInce she is almost a year anyway, you can switch to a milk substitute, like almond or coconut and water, making sure she gets the nutrients she needs from her food.

  44. Bonnie Butler says:

    Great article Valerie! It actually was refreshing to read a blog post where someone is giving their honest opinion and not trying to sell you what they are suggesting to be the best EO. I’ve literally been on line for the last 3 days researching companies and I’m so confused and put off more now with the MLM companies. I commented above regarding taking a certification course with one of two schools but I also have another question. You mention that the oil should be “100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils”. I purchased two bottles yesterday from the Better Health Store, brand name Now Essential Oils, just to get some idea of the smell (Rosemary and Lemon) and what the bottles should say. I see the words 100% Pure but nothing about being therapeutic grade. Should it state 100% PTG? I just wanted to be sure. Thank you again!

    • Hi Bonnie,
      Thanks for the kind words. In a nutshell, no the label does not have to say Therapeutic Grade but it does need to say 100% Pure. From a reputable company, that should be fine.

      In the oil world, there are fragrant oils (which are 100% synthetic man made), nature identical, natural oil blends amd 100% pure. Nature identical can be either constructed of 100% aroma chemical constituents or essential oils enhanced with chemical aromatic compounds. Either way, there are “chemicals” added that did not originate from the oil extraction process of the plant itself.

      Not to say that the chemical component is not a part of the essential oils’ profile, just that the end result has been altered to achieve either a less expensive oil or a particular scent. So you can construct a rectified blend from scratch using natural but sometimes synthetic chemical compounds to mimic an essential oil, or you can start with an essential oil and enhance the chemical profile to suit a manufacturer’s needs. We the consumer won’t know if the Linalool added to a nature identical Lavender is natural, being extracted and isolated from Lavender plants or man made. Also, in aromatherapy we believe the essential oil as a whole to be the “lifeblood” of the plant and when you chemically enhance or construct you are missing that “energy” from the oil. That’s why nature identical is considered a good frangrance alternative to essential oils, say for perfumes or to scent cosmetics, but it is not considered “therapeutic” in usefulness.

      Natural oil blends can either be essential oils diluted in a carrier, like 3% Rose diluted in Jojoba or it can be a mix of essential oils, but they are usually all natural in their holistic form (different from nature identical isolates).

      Rosemary and Lemon are interesting choices to try for smell or scent. If you want to email me at we can take this offline and chat further…Thanks! Valerie

  45. new@this says:

    Hi Valerie
    I have never used essential oils before and only heard of them quite recently. I have been really interested in organic skin & body care for a while though and I am thinking of using coconut oil for all my skin and body products and using it as a carrier oil for when I add essential oils. I am hoping to buy lavender, chamomile and lemon essential oils to add to my coconut oil for face and body use every day. I see you recommend the Oshadhi brand but there are so many different types on their website of each of the oils I have listed, so I don’t know which type of e.g. lavender, to buy. Please help me choose as I don’t know where to start.
    Thank you!:)

    • Hi there new@this – One of the reasons I like Oshadi is that they do have an abundance of oils. On the same hand, that can be very confusing when you’re starting out so I will try to guide you. First off, it must be Lavender, true lavender so not Spike Lavender (which is not the same as Lavender) nor Lavendin (again, not the same, this is a hybrid). With Lavender and Eucalyptus you need to go by the species name so look for lavandula angustifolia or lavandula officinalis. If you want to sample what truly beautiful lavender should smell like, then you probably don’t want Lavender Standard or Lavender 40/42, which is blended Lavender. You should sample say a High/Elevated Lavender, so from Oshadi I would start with the Lavender Highland and whether you want organic or not is up to you.

      The Lemon is pretty straight forward, you just need to decide if you want organic or not. As for Chamomille, I am assuming you want Roman Chamomille (this is similar to Chamomille Tea) and is golden yellow in color. Blue Chamomille is entirely different, that is very deep blue in color and has very different uses than Roman Chamomille. Starting out, you don’t want Blue or German Chamomille. Oshadi actually have pure oil “blends” so you might see Blue Chamomille, Wild Blue Tansy. Those are 2 different essential oils blended together, again, not what you need.

      On Oshadi’s Roman Chamomille, they offer a “regularly harvested” version, an organic version that is harvested using organic farming methods and follows the “organic principles” set forth for organic certification requirements and lastly they offer wildcrafted Roman Chamomille. Wildcrafted is grown in nature without the use of pesticides, etc. and harvested according to wildcrafted protocols. This is all a matter of personal choice. I personally will always opt for Wildcrafted if available, even above organic because organic does not mean grown without pesticides, it just means you can only use allowable chemicals and pesticides from the “approved list of chemicals and pesticides”. I personally want my oils harvested as close to natures’ own as possible so for me, that is wildcrafted. Again, a personal option.

      Lastly, I do offer my own brand of essential oils, Valerie Graham Essentials, and I do sell to individuals and businesses. So if you’d like to source from me, drop me an email at and I’ll send you a price list. Sorry, working on getting them on my website, but I’m not there yet!

  46. Joy says:

    I have been interested in using essential oils for years now but have avoided them because I’m afraid I’ll misuse them or buy the wrong type. I found this article very informative and love all the feedback on the comments and the time your taking to answer questions is great! My 22 month old daughter has night terror, I’m wondering if there are any EO that you can recommend to help with this. She had always been a terrible sleeper. I’ve heard lavender could help but is there anything else. Is coconut oil a good carrier oil and the kinds at wall mart will those be good to use? Thank you

  47. Hi Joy,
    I would think EO’s can help your daughter, they can have a very callming effect on children. I make a “dream mist” which is useful to aid sleep for anyone of any age, infants to adults! On infants, the scent I use is a proprietary blend I call “Children’s Lullabye”, a combination of Lavender, Chamomille and Sandalwood, but I’ve been experimenting with replacing the Sandalwood with Vetiver because Sandalwood is a precious oil, super expensive right now and is being harvested unsustainably. It can take a thousand years to grow a huge Sandalwood tree.

    You mist the air around the crib/bed and you can mist the sheets as well. In that same scent I do a bath and body oil, again for “any age” which helps condition the skin, fight diaper rash, eczema, skin conditions, etc. It’s also very calming for kids and you can rub a few drops on the kids feet at bedtime. My nephew used to always ask his Mom for some of “Aunt Val’s Sleep Medicine” before bed. I use Jojoba, because it’s non allergenic and is actually a wax, not an oil and is great for skin.

    Coconut Oil is very good too, however for this application you probably don’t want virgin coconut oil. You may want to try fractionated coconut oil if you can find it. So you don’t want the thick, solidified coconut oil, you’ll need something in an oil state.

    • MM says:

      My 4month old had a bad cough and fever that spiked to 103. While I never applied Eucalyptus (radiata) directly on his skin, I had been diffusing it. I also rubbed a drop on my nursing bra while he nursed. We suctioned his nose as often as we could and it really seemed to help his congestion.

      However, when his fever spiked to 103 in the middle of the night I immediately called our doctor. While we waited for his call back I applied a cool wash cloth to help bring the fever down and used 1drop peppermint in a rollerbottle filled up the rest of the way with coconut oil. I applied 1 dab on the bottom of both his feet. Within 15min his fever was already coming down. We did a total of two applications and by the morning he was doing much better.

      I am researcher at heart researched extensively before ever using EO on my family. There is so much info out there that all seems to contradict one another which makes it very difficult to decipher through. Are you saying I should not have used in this manner? Feeling frustrated and confused. I am about ready to throw in the towel. : /

      • Hi MM,
        The good news is you diluted the Peppermint in coconut oil! Kudos for that, I assume you did 1 drop to at least a Tablespoon or more of carrier ( this would be a 1/2% dilution rate). You are correct the information out there is confusing and contradictory. That comes from the fact that there are so many essential oil companies and very few trained aromatherapists in the US, who knows who is putting out information. The FDA does not regulate essential oils, nor does any other government agency. You need to know and trust your source of information and not just believe anything you read.

        Here’s my explanation on the use of Peppermint. Peppermint oil in its true distilled form can be up to 80% menthol. That being said, the US is one of the largest growers and consumers of Peppermint oil for flavorings. For this use, the essential oil is usually recitified to reduce the amount of menthol, which brings up other issues. Peppermint oil contains the ketone methone, which is a pesticide. Menthol poisoning/overdose in infants and young children is pretty well documented, so while you may not find anything about “peppermint overdose/poisoning” if you research menthol instead, you will find much to read. Putting that altogether, I prefer to err on the side of caution and tell my clients to avoid the use of peppermint in infants and young children.

        I know I will get asked about Eucalyptus next, since many associate menthol with Eucalyptus. However, Eucalyptus contains no menthol, its smell is actually from 1,8 cineole (aka eucalyptol) and alpha-pinene. Both of these chemicals are found in Rosemary essential oil too, but Eucalyptus and Rosemary have very different smell profiles. So just knowing the “therapeutic uses” of essential oils doesn’t always give you the entire story.

        I hope you continue with your aromatherapy studies and don’t throw in the towel. There are many great benefits to using the oils, when used correctly and with caution in certain cirumstances. You just need to know when and whom to trust for your information.

        I’m thinking I should do a part 2, 3 and 4 to address some more issues! Look for part 2 coming soon…..
        Thanks for your post!

  48. Johnb460 says:

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks kebackadekcd

  49. megan says:

    Great info! I recently signed up with doTerra (to use and share with my family and friends) and find myself frustrated by the overuse of neat oils especially on infants and toddlers that is often “taught”. At what age is peppermint ok for a child? Is DoTerra’s melaleuca the same as tea tree? When would you recommend blends such as Breathe or digest zen? What essential oils would be helpful to reduce fever in babies and toddlers since peppermint shouldn’t be used?

    • Hi Megan,
      Peppermint is really not “child safe” at all, so the age would probably be around 12 when you can move into the full oil range BUT that depends on many factors and is not a hard and fast rule. A small frail 12 year old would not be considered “adult status”. So you need to use your judgement as to height, weight, etc.

      Yes, Melaleuca is the same as Tea Tree oil.

      In babies and toddlers, you really need to stick with Lavender, Tea Tree, Roman Chamomie, Mandarin, Eucalyptus Smithii, Lemon, but not too many others are recommended. For fever, you may want to try a Lavender & Tea Tree blend, but then depending on what is causing the fever, you can add in a bit of E. Smithii or something else geared toward the cause of the fever as long as it is not contra-indicated for children.

      You can find out much more information on my website and look for aromatherapy/essential oil for info and dilution ratios.

  50. MrsBrooks says:

    What about using E.Smitthi with saline in a nebulizer to relieve an 8yr old’s sinus congestion?

    • Hi,
      Most nebulizers are plastic and any essential oil will eat through plastic unless it PET plastic so I’m not sure adding E. Smithii is a good idea. It is a good thought though! You’re probably better off diffusing it into the air or even adding a drop or two to simmering water in a glass bowl and tenting a towel over the child’s head and inhale the steam. As long as the child doesn’t have asthma, since the inhalation could aggravate an asthma conidition.

  51. Casey says:

    What do you think of Dr Adorables organic essential oils?

  52. shannonclark954113852 says:

    Excellent article on essential oils. Thank you!

  53. Kristi Oaf says:

    Help! I purchased RC essential oil for ny brother. He is 60, non-verbal and has 3 seuzures a montb. I need to get rid of his lung congestion. He is drowning in it he hss to go to ER prodically for suctioning He suffers from nyoclinic jerks and some seizures. He is the love of ny life. What can I use for him

    Kristi Oaf

    • Hi Kristi,
      Make sure you DO NOT use hyssop, sage, fennel, thuja, rosemary or eucalyptus globulus (these are the common oils but there are more) on or near your brother since they can aggravate seizure disorders. Essential oils can affect some seizure prevention medications so you really would need to sit down with a full history and list of medications with someone knowlegable about both. Like an integrative medicine doctor who is knowledgable about essential oils and any medications your brother may be taking, then form a cohesive plan of action.

      I would not feel comfortable recommending something here. Sorry, wish I could be more help, but my suggestion is try to find a holisitic practioner to discuss the nuances of your borther’s condition with.

  54. Charla says:

    I think the only way this article could be enhanced would be if you added a essential oil chart. Would be an easy quick way to figure out dos and don’ts?

  55. Crystall Dalton says:

    My 10 year old daughter has mild headaches which seem to be hormonal. She is beginning to develop and likely prepubescent (sp?). Someone recommended using peppermint for her headaches. We tried it and it works every time. We applied it neat to the back of her neck. I just found this article and now am worried we have been doing something dangerous. It’s amazing how it gets rid of her headaches but I don’t want to do something that may harm her. Can you please advise on this? Thanks!

  56. Michele Kemper says:

    I would like to hear feedback on this. It has made me avoid MLM essential oil companies because I feel that they are being deceptive about their product.

    Also, I am curious about feedback from this company.

    • The 1st article is an interesting read! Though I don’t really have anything bad to say about the MLM oils, as I haven’t much experience with them, I’d like to keep it at that. I use oils that I trust and have no need to switch over to ones that I really don’t… because I can’t trust companies who claim their oils are the best. There is not just 1 or 2 companies with the best oils. I still have to look at the 2nd link…

  57. Jashley says:

    What about the company Native American Nutritionals? Are they good quality?

  58. Nicki says:

    Hi, I have a 3.5 month old (will be 4 months on the 19th) who has some major congestion in his nose and ocassional coughing, but when he does cough its bad. It sounds deep and he coughs at least 6-8 times in a row. I just got over a sinus cold and I think it moved to him. I’ve been reading a lot about the safety oils (thanks for your info) so I havent given any eucalyptus or peppermint at all. Have been diffusing lavender by itself and lemon by itself, is it ok to mix these and diffuse ? Ive also mixed 1 drop cedarwood w 2tbsp of coconut oil and rubbed on chest back and feet about 5 times a day. I want to get tea tree but isnt one meant for kids or can u use the stronger one just highly diluted? Also is there anything else I can diffuse that will help? What ratios should I use to get the .05% ratio you talk about? Also I would love to diffuse thieves or purification , anything really to get this bug out our home, but is it safe w the baby and my 2.5 year old? Thank you so much for any and all advice! !!

    • Hi Nicki,
      If the cough persists you may want to see a physician to determine what is causing the cough. Infants can be sensitive or allergic to milk/formula, so consider that as well.

      Diffusing the oils into the air is fine, and yes, you can mix lemon and lavender. Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) does not come in “strengths”, just make sure that is what you are using and dilute it. You may mean Niaouli vs. Tea Tree, which are similar in properties, but from different plant species. You’re safe with Tea Tree, just dilute it for topical application, but you can diffuse into the air to clear the germs and help everyone feel better.

      If you go to my website you’ll find a page called “How to use Essential OIls” and there is a dilution guide that starts at .05 (1/2%). You can use that to figure out the dilution ration based on the amount of carrier oil you want to use for a topical application.

      You may want to try Eucalyptus Smithii (just make sure that is the species of Eucalyptus) which is safe for children and add a drop of that to the diffuser or chest rub.

      I’d say with an infant that young, diffusing a mix of Lavender, Lemon and Tea Tree with maybe a drop of Eucalyptus SMITHII should help purify the air and be safe around the children. Tea Tree is anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal so it works broad spectrum on lots of germs.

      • Nicki says:

        Thank you so so much for the quick response! I dont have time now, but will respond more later. Again, thank you!! 🙂

  59. Mim Lauridsen says:

    Great info! In regards to # 4 let’s keep in mind there is no grading for essential oils “therapeutic grade”is actually a trade marked phrase and carries no informational value

    • Absolutely correct Mim! Thanks for point out there is no “rating” of nor “grading” essential oils. Since the public in general has gotten so used to the phrase “therapeutic”, it’s all anyone looks for. I don’t use the word on my label, it just says 100% pure.

      I use it here to differentiate “perfume” use oils from “medicinal” use essential oils. Most people aren’t aware that there is a difference between the two or that you may be buying “nature identical” essential oils which are chemically constructed, sometimes with synthetic chemicals to resemble a specific essential oil chemical profile.

      I have a broader explanation on my website — Thanks for enjoying my post!

  60. Sarah L says:

    I would like to make a homemade insect repellant spray and have purchased peppermint essential oil to add to it. The ingredients for the recipe are 4oz witch hazel, 4oz water plus 30-50 drops of essential oil. would this be safe to use on my 2.5 month old son? would you recommend another EO instead?

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for posting….Please never use peppermint oil on or around an infant! You can use Tea Tree oil and mix in some Lavender. In 8 oz of carrier, you would use a maximum of 24 drops. You can find more info on the dilution ratios on my website

      On to the carrier – if you are misting the air or the baby carriage, playpen, etc, the witchhazel and water ratio is fine. If you want to apply to your child, you may be better off with a carrier oil or lotion, such as jojoba or coconut.

      You can also add the essential oils to 1 Tablespoon of witchhazel, then add your 8 oz of water for a mist, but be very careful to mist only baby’s clothing, arms, and legs.Take care to not get it near baby’s face, eyes, mouth, etc.

  61. Sarah L says:

    Thank you so much for the info, and the quick response!

  62. Kelly says:

    Hi I have a few questions. I recently purchased YL oils and while I have loved them and found that most of them have worked well, I have been looking into other companies because of the high price of YL and because of all the caution I am seeing on the internet about internal consumption, which YL says is ok with certain oils.
    1. I looked into Poofy Organics, the company you suggested, and didn’t see that they have 100% pure essential oils. I am assuming I may be missing something since that is one of the requirements on your blog but just wanted to ask to be sure.
    2. What do you know about Mountain Rose Essential Oils?
    3. Do you know what the best oils are to use on my 9 year old son for psoriasis on the scalp?
    4. I have made a nasal spray to try and replace my son’s Veramyst. It is made of distilled water, pink Himalayan salt, lavender, and frankincense. After reading warnings on internal consumption, I’m concerned this isn’t safe for me to give him or my husband who also has allergy problems.
    Thank you for your article and any help you can provide!

    • Hi Kelly, let me start by answering the ones I know off the top of my head as I type with one hand while nursing lol. I have heard good things about Mountain Rose. As far as Poofy, yes, they are pure, undiluted. They are 100% organic and are sourced from around the globe based on where the particular plant thrives. The nose spray should still work fine without the oils, as most natural sprays are basically salt and water. I have read a lot about Neem oil for psoriasis. As far as essential oil, diluted tea tree.

      • Hi Kelly,
        I am going to add to the RNK reply. Do you really mean “psoriasis” or do you mean eczema? They are not the same thing, though symptoms are similar. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and more common in adults while eczema is a skin condition caused by dermatitis, many times from an external allergy. Roman Chamomille works very well in both cases, or a combination of Roman Chamomille and Lavender. You could use coconut oil, jojoba, or Pomegranate oil as the carrier and if you need help on the dilution ratios you can check my website for more info.

        While Neem oil is used to treat skin disorders in adults, it is also used as an insecticide and in cosmetic formulation as a preservative. I personally don’t recommend the use of Neem with children, unless it has been formulated in a specific product in a very small dose. It has a very strong odor too, which many people don’t care for. You’ll be safer using Roman Chamomille or Lavender if you wish to formulate something yourself.

      • Kelly says:

        Thank you both so much for your quick replies. Valerie~ my son was diagnosed with psoriasis on his scalp at age 5. We’ve been fighting it since he was 4 and he is about to be 9. The dermatologist has given him 4 different medications for it that we are supposed to use at the same time and I am just not comfortable with him being on this much medication. 2 of them are steroids which make me very uncomfortable. We haven’t used any of the meds except the oil that they prescribed which we use occasionally when it gets really bad, being about once every month. Right now we just use T-gel shampoo, which doesn’t clear it up but does seem to keep it from getting to painful for him. I’m wondering if you know of a natural shampoo that would be good to possibly mix essential oils into for daily use on top of putting the oils with a carrier oil directly on his skin less frequently. For a 9 year old boy, lathering his scalp with oil every night isn’t ideal, but if its the best way then we will try it. He was also diagnosed with mild eczema over his body. It doesn’t seem to flair up often but his skin just has a leathery feel to it. We currently use a dry skin lotion made by Melaleuca called Renew, which works pretty well, but if you have any suggestions I will try them! This is also my child with rhinitis. It isn’t severe but I do wonder if there is something he is eating or a vitamin deficiency that is causing all these conditions. We are pretty healthy eaters but are not gluten or wheat free. I’ve heard these conditions have been linked to a gluten or wheat allergy but we’ve not taken that “plunge” yet on such an extreme diet change. All doctors so far have told us they aren’t connected, but I still think they might be. Thanks!!

      • yes! diet is KEY, especially to MOST cases of eczema! Really, people have been writing in about their success with the Ciao Eczema Lotion in addition to diet with eczema (and psoriasis). No cream will heal eczema fully as eczema is the symptom. The cause is usually diet (gluten and or dairy and sugar makes it worse), though it can be from something like laundry detergent as well. (poofy has a great detergent here as well. )There’s a well written post to read here about eczema causes… and you can find the eczema lotion under the Body Essentials tab here:

      • Hi Kelly,
        See if Poofy Organics has a shampoo like you’re looking for, but if not, I do recommend O’Beehave ( you can find them on Facebook “O’Beehave”). Jeanine has formulated an amazing all natural organic Shampoo and Conditioner that is unscented and you can use your own combination of essential oils to achieve your desired results. I just did some proprietary scents for O’Beehave Shampoo & Conditioner to send along to the stars of the TV show “Southern Charm”.

        For a carrier oil to apply to skin & scalp, I would recommend you try Pomegranate oil. It’s on my website, under the “n’atural” line, it’s a “dry” oil, meaning it absorbs quickly into the skin and won’t leave you feeling greasy. It is highly anti-inflamatory and is recommended for eczema & sunburn, so that may be a good option for your son’s scalp. You can add essential oils to the unscented version.

        If you’re having all those issues, chances are something in his diet is causing it and you may want to try Dawn’s suggestions to modifying dairy & wheat for a while to see if there is any change. People that I know see a huge difference pretty quickly when they eliminate them their diets.

  63. noemi says:

    Hi my son is 18 months old and diagnosed with partial/complex seizures he is currently on medication and still have some seizures. I bought some oils from young living essential oils. I plan on using Frankincense on him, do you recommend that I dilute it? Should I use it at night or during the day? I read I should apply it on his bottom of his big toe

    • Hi – It is very important to dilute any essential oils used on young children, infants and toddlers. For a child of 18 months, you’d need a 1/2% dilution rate, and certainly no more than a 1% dilution rate. If you’re unsure of drops to carrier, you can find that information on under the aromatherapy section.

      On to the choice of oil. Lavender and Clary Sage (salvia sclarea) are both anti-convulsant oils. Lavender is child safe, and blending in a small amount of Clary Sage would be fine. Both of these oils are high in Linalyl acetate and linalol, which are most likely the chemicals that act on the seizure disorder. If you want to add a drop Frankincense go ahead. You can apply the diluted oils to the bottom of your child’s feet. I hope this helps you.

  64. Jennifer says:

    I have a couple questions on two different issues and oils. I have a 3.5 year old son, who is dealing with Mollescum currently. He’s itching it, thus spreading it, so I’m not comfortable to let it run it’s very long course. I’ve researched and researched and it seems the best bet is to use Tea tree oil. It is recommended to dip a cotton swab in the oil and dab on the Mollescum once daily. I’m curious as to this now that I’ve stumbled upon your article.
    Second, he has issues with hyperactivity and aggression. I have been told by many to try lavender oil. I was under the impression to use it undiluted, but I’m not sure where to put it on him. The diffuser may work in the house, but with it being summer, we are outside for the majority of the day. What would be your recommendation for this?
    Thank you.

    • Jennifer, since I replied via email, I’ll add my response here as well for others to follow. Tea Tree and Lavender oils are the ONLY oils you can apply directly to skin in adults or children, though for infants you still need to dilute these oils.
      That said, I would do a mix for your son of 2/3 Tree Tree to 1/3 Lavender and apply it to the mollescum. The Tea Tree is anti-viral, antibacterial and antifungal, while the lavender is an analgesic. Both are healing to the skin. However, if he is itching to a point of causing an open wound or cut, then the undiluted essential oils will sting, so I would dilute the blend in Jojoba oil, Coconut oil or even Olive oil. You could follow the directions on my website for a 2% dilution rate since you’re working with the 2 oils that can be used directly on skin, so it can be a little stronger than I would normally recommend.
      See if you notice a difference in his behavior using the Lavender daily on the mollescum. When the mollescum clears, you could rub a drop of lavender on the bottom of his feet daily. That is usually a good spot to apply in youngsters. You can also add a few drops to your child’s bath. The essential oils won’t mix with the water, so you can add a few drops of essential oil to a small amount of milk and swish the milk around the bath. The lactic acid in milk is great for skin, whole milk is better than skim milk for this purpose.
      You can also try adding in some Roman Chamomile which is very relaxing for children or some Vetiver, which has been found to help with Autism and ADHD. Another oil to try is Mandarin, (different than Orange ) which is relaxing like Lavender and anyone who does not care for the smell of Lavender usually loves Mandarin. See what he responds to best. You can always make a blend of the ones he seems the calmest with and add it to the bath daily or use it in the morning, bottom of feet, when you’re dressing him.

  65. snow says:

    I was introduced to peppermint by a doterra user a few weeks ago. A drop or two under the tongue relieves nausea very well. As I’m a college student I obviously can’t afford doterra and recently bought some lavender and peppermint oil (therapeutic, 100% pure) from NOW foods. Since I have no real experience, I don’t really know what to look for specifically other than pure and dark bottles and I’m a little unsure about injesting the peppermint after this article. Do you have any pointers to look for in essential oil companies, or do you know if NOW foods is a decent company?

    • Hi Snow,
      I think people have a misunderstanding of what happens when you “ingest” essential oils vs. using them topically. You can get the same benefit by using them topically and you don’t need to be as cautious as taking them internally. Here’s my explanation — When used on the bottom of the feet neat (undiluted) or topically on the skin (diluted in a carrier), the essential oil is absorbed through the skin, enters the blood stream and is metabolized by the liver so you are “using essential oils internally”, just not through ingestion. When you ingest directly, the liver can be overloaded quickly and if you have impaired liver function, you may not be able to metablolize the essential oils correctly. For instance cats can’t metabolize essential oils, even topically, but dogs can.

      With topical application you get the same benefits at a slower rate of speed, so it’s pretty safe for everyone. The skin only absorbs so much and then it can’t absorb anymore so you aren’t at risk for an overdose. I do not know anything about NOW foods essential oils so I can’t comment on them. However, if it is a quality essential oil, you should have the same results by rubbing 2-3 drops on the bottom of your feet. Since Peppermint is very strong and can cause skin reactions, I would not recommend diluting it and using on skin. Bottom of feet in the morning should do the trick, and wash hands thoroughly with soap afterwards so you don’t irritate mucous membranes like your eyes and nose.

      • snow says:

        I’m a little confused since the feet are covered in skin, so applying anything to them would be topical application which apparently can cause irritation. Furthermore I only use peppermint when I’m nauseous, which, thankfully, is not everyday, so I’m unsure why I would apply it everyday and how fast it would take effect through topical application. I’m pretty inexperienced, sup could toy explain that ina bit more detail?

      • Hi Snow, Sorry to confuse you! The skin on the bottom of feet is thicker than anywhere else on your body because it has extra layers. So you can apply essential oils to the soles of adult feet undiluted, and it should not cause any irriation.

        You are correct that you would only need to use the peppermint when you are nauseaous, so not everyday if it doesn’t occur everyday. The oils should absorb through the feet and take effect in 15-20 minutes of application. You could try 2-3 drops on the bottom of each foot next time you are feeling queasy and see how the results compare to when you took a drop under your tongue.

  66. Jenn says:

    Just to clarify, you do not recommend using peppermint oil around infants at all or just topically? Our pediatrician recommended a drop or two rubbed around the rim of our 5 month old’s humidifier to aid with clearing congestion, but reading this, I wonder if it is a bad idea? Thanks for your knowledge and advice!

  67. Alice says:

    Can you tell me what the reasoning is for diluting? I use tea tree oil on my ten year old. Also use lavender oil. Both undiluted. Is that bad? Lavender I use to stop itching from mosquito bites. Tea tree oil I use for diaper rash as he still uses nighttime pull ups. It hasn’t really been working though. Can’t find anything that will keep the rash away.

    • Hi Alice,
      Especially in children, all essential oils should be diluted so skin is not sensitized or irritated. Essential oils are very strong and concentrated, 100s of times more concentrated than the plant itself, hence the reason for dilution.

      If you apply essential oils directly to skin undiluted and have a reaction, the skin becomes sensitized and you can develop contact dermatitis which could take a long time to go away. Once skin is sensitized, it remains that way whenever you come in contact with the sensitizer, just like any other allergy. For this reason I recomment that essential oils be properly diluted before use which will limit the chance of a skin reaction.

      The dilution ratio I recommend is 1/2 % for infants, 1% for children, frail and elderly, 2% for a full body application in adults (like a massage) and no more than 4% for a localized body application. If you need more information on what the dilution ratios mean, there is a handy chart on my website under the aromatherapy section.

  68. Lisa says:

    I had whooping cough about 2 years ago and at times I don’t cough as much but at times I still have this lingering cough for periods of time that I can’t seem to find anything to help calm it. Do you know of anything?
    I was treated with 2 rounds of antibiotics for Pertussis and then 6 months later when I still had the cough somewhat the doctors tested me for just about anything imagineable and couldn’t figure out why I still coughed so I just gave up going to drs. and have continued to live with this cough. Like I said it’s not bad all the time but it’s still there.

    • Hi Lisa,
      You could try a drop of Lemon and a drop of Hyssop essential oil, rub on the bottom of your feet daily and see if that helps. Lemon will boost up your immune system and Hyssop may help with the cough. If you have trouble finding Hyssop, you could try Eucalyptus Radiata or Rosalina as alternatives. See if you notice and difference. The other thing that comes to mind is allergies so you may want to consider doing some elimination trials and seeing if anything changes. The obvious are milk & dairy, or wheat. I hope this helps you!

  69. Mary Beth Kengla says:

    I just bought essential oils from Edens Garden. From as far as I can tell, it seems like a good company. However, the prices are low. Have you heard of this company and can you comment towards the quality of their oils?

    Thank you
    Mary Beth

    • Hi Mary Beth,
      Sorry, I have not heard of Edens Garden. I did look at their website and the prices do seem very reasonable. That being said, I will caution you to look at the botanical species name for items before you order because some are not the species you might expect. If you are familiar with essentials oils and what they should smell like, viscosity, etc. and you try them, you’ll know if they are a quality oil or not. Sorry I couldn’t offer you more help.

      • Mary Beth Kengla says:

        Thank you for your reply. Do you know anything about Robert Tisserand’s oils?

      • Ah yes….I love Tisserand’s oils! In fact when I first started out in Aromatherapy back in ’96 they were some of the first oils I used. Robert is considered to be one of the “fathers” of the modern day aromatherapy movement. He is on top of the latest information and I believe still acts as a consultant to Tisserand Aromatherapy oils, ensuring quality. You won’t go wrong with any Tisserand oils and Robert is very well respected in the aromatherapy community.

  70. Brooke says:

    Hello! A dear friend of mine has a two month old daughter who recently started having seizures. She was diagnosed with Infantile Spasm Syndrome. Just wondering if you have any testimonials or general oil advice that I could suggest to them. She is on a very expensive injection (ACTH), and hasn’t really responded the way they were hoping.

    • Hi Brooke,
      Essential oils are very strong and many certified aromatherapists will tell you not to use essential oils with infants or children under 2 yrs old at all. If it was an adult having seizures then I could suggest some oils to try, but with an infant 2 months old there really are not any options. Some essential oils can even cause seizures especially in children so it is a tricky thing to work with. I have a bath oil of highly diluted Lavender and Chamomile in Jojoba that is intended to prevent diaper rash which I feel is ok to use in a bath with infants but that is about all I ever recommend and I’m not sure it would have any effect on the seizures. Sorry, wish I suggest something but in good conscience I cannot.

  71. Holly Kelly says:

    Thank you for being a voice educating people about essential oils! I field a lot of questions about essential oils on facebook for my husband’s company. It’s scary how people take a little bit of knowledge and run with it. So many people think that consuming essential oils is completely safe, and when I tell them be cautious taking essential oils internally, they lash out.

    • snow says:

      I recieved a recommendation from an experienced EO user to place a drop of peppermint under my tongue to relieve nausea. It relieves nausea instantly and prevents me from throwing up (nausea is not from overeating or being sick, just from how my stomach handles stress and certain foods at certain times). I was told from this site that it is bad to do that, but I’m still unclear about why a drop is dangerous. Would it be acceptable to dilute it with water or tea for internal use?

      • Hi Snow,
        My personal recommendation would be to use a very good Peppermint tea and make it strong (use double the tea bags or double the amount of loose tea) and see if that relieves the nausea. One drop of essential oil is the equivalent of drinking 30 drops of herbal tea and the essential oil when ingested will go immediately to your liver, putting liver function on overload instead of making its way to the liver slowly as when used topically.

  72. Jamie says:

    Hi, really great info and wish I had read this before I added about 20 or so drops of Eucalyptus G. to my load of laundry which included bedding and towels (I have young children). Is it necessary to rewash everything again and if water and oil don’t mix, what should I use to help remove the excess oil? Thanks.

      • Jamie says:

        yes! i’ve rewashed the items a few more times and it’s mostly dissipated.

      • Hi Jamie,
        You were probably fine, but better to re-wash. I assume you added the eucalyptus with the detergent part of the wash cycle. If so, the soap would have helped dilute the essential oils even though they will not mix with water alone. Since gallons of water run through a washer during the wash and rinse cycles, 20 drops is a relatively small amount. So for next time, try Tea Tree & Lavender as a nice mix, Orange or Mandarin and if you really would like to use a Eucalyptus just make sure it is Radiata or Smithii to be on the safe side.

      • Jamie says:

        thanks so much!

  73. For those of you who would like to follow me further, I have a webcast show Mondays at Noon called “Natural Bliss with Valerie Graham” on where we’ll talk about Natural, Holistic, Health, Wellness, and Skincare topics. Videos can be seen anytime after airing. Thanks!

  74. Rebecca says:

    I just bought my first diffuser and I put 4 drops of eucalyptus and 4 drops of lavender in it. I believe it was about 4 ounces of water in the diffuser. Is that to much oil? I’m new to this and want to make sure it’s safe for my family…It’s smells wonderful! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Rebecca – That’s perfect! I usually tell people to start out with @10 drops of oil in the diffuser and you can go to 15 depending on the oils you use and how much scent you want. Some oils will be stronger in scent and require less oil and others will be lighter in scent and require a few more drops. Eucalyptus and Lavender is a great combination! It’s killing germs and purifying the air. Good luck with your next combination!

      • Rebecca says:

        Thank you so much for the quick response! I will turn on my diffuser back on since I turned it off (worried that I had too much in there)! LOL
        Looking forward to learning about essential oils & all their benefits!

      • Rebecca says:

        Oops…I just realized it was peppermint and not lavender. Does that make a difference?

      • Hi Rebecca,
        You should be fine. You never want to use peppermint topically on children but you can diffuse it into the air as long as you don’t have infants. Just know that peppermint is a stimulant so it can keep you and your children awake! You’re best with 1-2 drops of Peppermint in a diffuser since it is a very strong oil and can easily overpower others when blending. To give you an idea, I did a lavender -peppermint hand wash in a large volume and used 100 drops total, 90 Lavender, 10 peppermint and you can still smell the mint. So diffuse what you have made during the day, but not at night, and next time keep it to no more than 1 to 2 drops of peppermint as a daytime blend.

  75. Holley says:

    Can you please tell me what EO, if any, really work on helping a child (5yrs) with ADHD

  76. Holley says:

    Also I wanted to know if using EO would have any contribution to a 5 year old child urinating himself several times at night since using the oils

    • Hi Holley – There are scientific studies that have been conducted using Vetiver on children with ADHD with positive results. I have not personally used it to treat ADHD in children, but have read the studies and along with Lavender essential oil, may have a calming effect on your child. As far as the urination goes, I can’t really say if essential oils would contribute to the situation. Some essential oils have diuretic properties so that could play a factor. Make sure if you are using any oils topically on a 5 year old that they are diluted to no more than a 1% dilution ratio. If you need more information on what that means please see my website for a chart. You may try diluting further to a 1/2% ratio. If you are diffuising in the air, again, you may want to decrease the amount of oil you are using in the diffuser.

  77. Lana says:

    Thanks for the great info! I got my first oil from a naturopath, the next 2 were from the local organic store, then the 2 after that came from my DoTerra friend. I was really getting into oil, but hated the prices of DoTerra and Young Living, so I did research and read reviews to find 100% pure therapeutic grade and ingestible oils. I bought Frank from Plant Therapy and don’t think it’s as good as the one I got from the naturopath years ago, but it’s not terrible. Then I bought about 7 from Eden’s Garden that I’ve been happy with. Are you familiar with either Plant Therapy or Eden’s Garden and what are your thoughts? I was added to a YL facebook group to feel it out and am amazed at how much money these people will spend. I’m enjoying being a spy and learning about what oils to use for different issues. I just act like I have YL, I’ve never lied. 😉 I would be interested in buying from the companies you listed, but wanted to know what you thought first about the 2 I mentioned.

    • Hi Lana,
      I personally have not heard of Plant therapy and I have not tried Eden’s Garden. There are so many companies out there now that it’s impossible to try them all! I agree that YL is very pricey on all their oils. So let me digress a bit – “Therapeutic Grade” has literally no meaning since there is no regulating agency that “grades” essential oil. It’s a trademarked term by one of the MLM companies that has become popularized by the public. When I use the term, I use it to mean a non-synthetic oil and that my oils are not “nature identical” which can include some synthetically produced chemical constituents in them.

      Ingesting – yes, many people feel they should be taken internally. I don’t personally advocate the use of essential oils internally because when ingested, the oils will go straight to your liver for processing and overload the liver all at once. If you have impaired liver function you can do more harm than good.

      When essential oils are used topically, they are absorbed into the blood stream and wind up being processed by the liver but at a much slower pace. Just because you use an oil externally doesn’t mean you do not have any effect internally. You can get the same end result in a gentler way.

      There are many great essential oil companies out there, and you can check for my Valerie Graham Essential Oils on my website I only list some of the essential oils I offer on the site, but you can always hit the “Ask Valerie” button and send me an email with oils you are looking for. I’ll send you back a price quote.

      You can also check out my webcast show “Natural Bliss with Valerie Graham” on I’ll be doing some segments on upcoming episodes in the near future. Thanks!

  78. Stephanie says:

    I’ve just started using EO, I use YL thieves for my daughters cold. She is almost 4 years old. I’m wondering if it could be making her cough worst. I used it in a diffuser at night in her room.

    • I personally don’t use YL oils, but just be aware that if your daughter is allergic or sensitive to one of the ingredients in the blend, that could be causing an issue. Thieves blend contains some very strong essential oils. For instance, I prefer to use Eucalyptus Smithii which is more child friendly when dealing with young children, Thieves contains e.radiata. Cinnamon is very strong and remains present in the air over 24 hours after diffusing so when I use it in a blend it is in a very low %. Rosemary is another strong oil that I tend to avoid around young children and 4 is very young. As a trained aromatherapist, I would introduce these oils to a much older child. or adult I have no idea how much of these oils are present as a percentage of the Thieves blend. Lavender, E. Smithii, Roman Chamomille, Mandarin, Lemon, Sandalwood and Tea Tree are more child safe oils and you can get similiar results with a synergistic blend using Tea Tree and any of these oils.

  79. Nikky says:

    Ive been using eo’s very sparingly for 3 years, and finally signed up with DoTERRA. I was very confident in their products when I signed up because my friend who signed me up has a masters in nursing and has been using them for 4 years or so. I have used only a few nest on my almost 7 year old with great success and no problems, and also have used citrus oils in my water to drink, with no problems. But I mostly use them in cleaning products and just a few recipes, my question is if I have not had any problems with them as of yet can I still continue to do so as I am.

  80. Taylor says:

    If I inhaled thieves oil is it safe to breast feed my daughter? All I did was smell it for about 7-10 seconds. Can it go through to my milk supply just by inhaling it?

  81. Kelli says:

    Ok, I have several questions. Is this mostly for topical use? I like to diffuse cinnamon in the fall just because I like the scent. Is that bad? I have a 2.5 year old. Also, I had read that i should diffuse peppermint for colds, would that be harmful? What about putting peppermint in a carrier oil for headaches/fevers for an adult or child?


    • Hi Kelli,
      You can diffuse cinnamon into the air, it’s great for killing germs and the effects will actually last 2 days. For colds I prefer Eucalyptus Smithii or Eucalyptus Radiata and you could add in some Tea Tree. Peppermint may help clear up a stuffy head or sinus congestion but if you have upper resp. going on, I like Eucalyptus oil. Not Eucalyptus Globulus though if you have children. You can use a drop of peppermint and even a combo with Lavender diluted in carrier for adults to relieve headache, but not in children. They probably need to be at least 12 years old before I would advocate the use of peppermint oil in kids.

  82. Michelle V says:

    Hi Valerie. My question isn’t medical, I had a bath tonight with Spearmint, Japanese Mint, Tea Tree and Wintergreen (a few drops of each). I noticed when I got into my acrylic bathtub what seemed to be a film on the bottom in small areas of the tub. I thought nothing of it and had my bath anyway and noticed my skin in one spot felt like it was burning, so I drained the tub and realised i’d been sitting on a spot of that ‘film’ which was actually the surface of my tub blistering. My skin I know I can clean in the shower and rub some oil on it to help with the very minor burn, but as for my tub… Do you know which of the oils is most likely the culprit? I’ve used oils in the tub before and not noticed any problems but don’t recall if i’ve used any of these before specifically. I will have to repair my tub (brand new!!) in several spots but would like to know. I suspect the spearmint or wintergreen as the area smelled strongly of that.

    • Michelle V says:

      Actually I just found a manual from a manufacturer of acrylic tubs that specifically says not to use Wintergreen oil in the tub… For future reference, do you know of other oils that could be equally as damaging in just one bath?

  83. Michelle, you learned just how strong essential oils can be! First, essential oils are not water soluble, meaning they will only stay as a slick or film on the water (in this case the bottom of your tub). Any time you want to use essential oils in a bath is is recommended that you dilute them first, either by applying them to bath salts and then dissolving the salts, or adding them to a carrier like jojoba oil or milk (regular liquid or powdered works too). Then add the carrier with the oils to the bath and mix, this way the oils will mix with the water and not stay in one spot.

    Wintergreen would have been my answer, though wintergreen is not an oil that is used very often in aromatherapy. Even spearmint needs to be used sparingly and any of the mint or the wintergreen could have caused the burning you experienced. Tea tree would not have been the burning culprit.

    Any essential oil can cause damage. But it’s usually the stronger oils (oregano, thyme, rosemary, birch, etc), especially if not diluted. I once drove home with a friend after working all night and to stay awake we added a few drops of rosemary oil and a drop of peppermint to a cotton ball, then stuck it in the air vent of his new car so it would diffuse into the car and keep us awake. When we removed the cotton ball it had eaten away the paint on the air vent! Your best bet is to dilute before use and be careful if you spill them! They can strip wood furniture and have the same effect as nail polish remover. Even lavender will eat away plastic hard plastic. Make sure to use glass or ceramic containers for mixing the carrier plus essential oils.

    So a word to all those who want to use them internally – think about this story!

  84. Susan M. says:

    Hello Valerie, I was wondering if you knew which essential oils are used to duplicate the wonderful cinnamon smell I am addicted to on the pine cones they sell around the holidays . I have read that you can do this yourself by putting some drops onto the pine cones then shake in a plastic bag and keep them sealed in there for a week or so. Now after reading all of your information, I am second guessing everything I thought there was to know about oils. I had no clue how harmful they could actually be! Thank you for this information by the way. Anyway, I would love to have that smell in my house all the time, especially with my dog around. And my teenage son loves the smell too and took my last year’s basket of Christmas pine cones in his room. Which was actually a great thing!! Teenage boy’s rooms should definitely smell like cinnamon instead of “teenage boy”. So do you have any advice on how I can duplicate that smell on the pine cones and refresh it throughout the year? I am wondering if the oils will eat through the plastic bag now. And I did smell a couple cinnamon oils out in stores and they did not smell like the Christmas pine cones, not even really like cinnamon at all. I want that Cinnamon Gum smell, like Big Red or something. I don’t know if it’s mixed with Clove, or some others? Any advice?

  85. Annie says:

    I was wondering,it seems that they don’t have the same names for everything but what oils can be used on my 2 yr old son with cerebral palsy? he has stiff muscles

  86. Allie says:

    I’ve heard differing opinions on using thieves on children. Do you know if it’s safe for babies?

  87. Melissa says:

    What is your advice on the use of eucalyptus in a diffuser during pregnancy (esp. 1st trimester)?? Thank you very much! I would like use a synergy blend – eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and lemon

  88. Holly says:

    I have a 3 month old baby girl and want to diffuse oil to help our immune systems for the winter. I purchased Veriditas Essential Oils Peppermint, Oregano, and Lavender and was going to mix them and diffuse them in the house. Is this safe with a 3 month old around? Not going to put it on her skin at all just use in a diffuser.

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  90. mimse2 says:

    Hi, not sure if this has been addressed…..I am interested in obtaining a cold diffuser and eucalyptus oil. I need to prepare for this upcoming flu season. I had polio as a child and want to protect my respiratory system as best I can. I have a cat and am wondering if these oils are pet friendly. Thank you so much!

  91. alicia says:

    Hi, I have lavender and frankincense, and wanted to know if the two combined in a humidifier would be OK? It’s for a 5 and 7 old? Also, what would be best to prevent cold/flu for kids? What to use when they get a sore throat? We take elderberry and sometimes coolidial silver. Thank you.

  92. Christina says:

    I was putting Eucalyptus oil onto cotton balls to place around the house. I didn’t wear gloves and was just pouring it on the cotton balls. The smell was way too overpowering so I left the house for an hour. I had a stomachache afterwards and just had a feeling of unease and could smell the oil during sleep. I am 20 weeks pregnant. Could this effect the baby?

  93. Ashley says:

    I am very new to essential oils. I have a friend that sells them and has been trying to get me to use them, while I’m intrigued I’m also a little scared not sure she knows how to use them properly. I have 4.children 13, 2 year twins, and a 5 month old. It seems like we are always sick with someone especially this time of year. My daughter age 2.has been fighting a virus of some sort for a few days diarriah, vomiting, and today a rash appeared on her belly and lower extremitties. Doctors say it’s just viral and will run its course but I’m desperate to help her feel better. What oils are safe for her that will help? Thanks

  94. Susan says:

    Hi Valerie, I have been worried that my 6 month old may have contracted scabies after visiting a friend who’s son caught it (I did not realise at the time) but later found out he had it. Since then I have been extremely worried and stressed out and just yesterday noticed a few tiny red/bite like dots and I believe thats how it starts. I have been researching long into the night trying to find natural cures because I am not 100% certain at this point she has it so I don’t really want to treat her with the harsh cream usually prescribed (permethrin) but at the same time I don’t want to leave it to get worse if she does. I have 1 major concern at the moment though, I just purchased a spray for killing mites with 0.03% clove oil, 1.0% peppermint oil, 1.3% sodium laurel sulfate. I sprayed this around the house and on bedding and now I am very worried after reading your post warning against peppermint oil because having sprayed it in the bedroom where my baby is sleeping, the smell of peppermint is very strong and I am worried she could be inhaling it. Should I be worried? Is this very dangerous for her to be breathing in? Should I move her into another room? I also added a few drops of peppermint, clove and tea tree in the washing which had her bed sheet in it, is this dangerous also? I am just so worried at the moment. Also on the note of scabies, I have read clove and neem oil kills them and maybe tea tree. But I am not sure how to apply these, or how to combine them, if I were to use these EOs could you recommend how I could dilute them so they would be safe enough to use on my 6 month old? And if, they are actually safe to use. Thank you in advance.

  95. Ann says:

    Hello I suffer from panic/anxiety attacks and I have ocd and right now either my ocd or my panic attacks make me have negative thoughts that everything will hurt me I dont want to take medication cause of the side effects but I heard about oils and wanted to try those do you think it could help me with the negative thoughts and panic attacks and what oils would I use can it make my panic attack worse and can I use them just in my home or something til I get used to them sorry for all the questions just trying to find something to help me thank you

  96. mamab26 says:

    I used eo on my 2 1/2 year old, I did not dilute it and applied it to her feet. She was having issues with congestion and coughing. She is still coughing 8 hours later and I’m freaking out that I did not dilute it. I washed her feet and applied olive oil and washed it off. I’m so scared I did something horrible to my child while trying to help her naturally

  97. Sofia says:

    hihi.. Appreciate your advice. . Is the brand Young Living good? I want to try to make perfume but don’t know where to buy the jojoba base Oil (I read somewhere that it’s most lasting). but there is so many online website in singapore. may I know which is good? thanks in advance

  98. paula says:

    I just read this wonderful article. Thank you. I just signed with young living. I really like the oils. And as the one person several post ago said. I valued the idea that you could visit the farms, see the process, ect. But with that said, I see the other side of the coin. I’m part of a fb group also and these women do use it for everything. I only use it for making a nice sleep cream things for headaches and beauty products. Now I can’t help wondering if I got caught up in the excitement of the quality. I do believe that EO are helpful and I research on my own. I guess I’m saying I don’t just listen to yl literature. I guess my question now how do we really know what is best?

  99. Annie says:

    Hello, I was wondering if putting a few drops of peppermint oil and tea tree oil in my toddler’s humidifier was safe. I read that tea tree oil helps keep it clean of fungi and that peppermint is good for clearing sinuses when you have a cold. Is there also a time limit for using peppermint? One week or less, for example? I know that It’s dangerous to use directly on their skin but what about diffused in the room through vapour?

  100. Elizabeth says:

    I applied lemon essential oil directly toy face, I tiredly did this without thinking even though I know I shouldn’t. Anyway, now I have a headache and am not entirely sure what to do? How do I flush my system? Or do I just try and remove it with another oil? Is it quote serious?

    • Shae says:

      I’ve been reading a lot about EOs and children lately and I understand that rosemary oil is one to avoid. I use Forces if Nature acne and pimple control oil blend on myself but I was curious to know if it is safe for me to be wearing it around my 4 year old son being that we sleep in the same bed and the oil is rather strong. The ingredients listing on this blend: Certified organic silicea 6X HPUS, certified organic calendula officinalis 6X HPUS .
      Also Contains: Mediterranean rosmarinus verbanone*, French lavandula super*, Himalayan cymbopogon martini*, Australian melaleuca alternifolia*, Madagascar pelargonium graveolens.


  101. jessica says:

    Hi there

    Is lavender oil and peppermint oil safe for use on my baby of 4.5mths old? I’m planning to drop2-3 capful of oil into diffuser for use in the home? Is that OK?

  102. Marci Blevins says:

    I have been rubbing a few drops of lavender eessential oil from Doterra on my feet at night. I’ve noticed a rash in my groin area and also a spot rash here and there like on wrist and bend of arm. Coincidence?

  103. Sarah George says:

    My son is 15 months and has reactive airway disease, his only symptom is a persistent cough. For months we treated it with the nebulizer and inhaled steroid 1-2 times a day. Then I heard that RC from YL might work! I haven’t used the steroids/neb since we started diffusing 3-4 drops for about 1 hour in his room at nighttime. I have been researching like mad when I found out it is not recommended for children under 10 bc it has the e. Globbus oil in it. Is your recommendation that I do the same but switch to the e. Smithii oil? And what brand do you recommend? Thank you!

  104. Tom says:

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if you know anything about Quinessence oils. I wanted to get Frankincense from Doterra, but it was £63! Quinessence is about £13. I was wondering if Doterra is much better quality compared to Quinessence, or the price difference is more down to paying premium prices due to MLM company?


  105. Lauren says:

    Great article, thank you! If I use a carrier oil and diluted to .05% would lavender, calendula, st. John’s wort, and bergamot be safe to use as a lip balm on my baby?

  106. Brandi says:

    This is one of the best and authentic articles I have read for EO – so thank you. I have a friend who is dealing with many autoimmune issues and I wanted to offer her some advice on essential oils to start with… do you have any suggestions? I’m passing along some dietary info I have, but thought EOs could be a benefit as well. She’s on a lot of prednisone right now and would prefer not to be!

  107. hamster110 says:

    Hello! thank you so much for the info in this article. what would you recommend I use for my 3 year old who has a persistent cough? He had a flu over the last few days, and now the cough persists. Thank you in advance

  108. Chris Owens says:

    Can you recommend any oils to help with my 3year old’s IBS? I’ve read that peppermint oil is awesome for it, and I’ve rubbed it into her abdomen twice now in the past few days. However, I see that I shouldn’t be using it. Yikes!

  109. melanie says:

    hi, do the oils have the same risks when diluted in water for use as a anti bacterial spray? I have children and using ongard diluted in water for a spray ( i dont apply to the kids, only on surfaces which are dried before use. thanks

  110. Alijandra says:

    Is it ok to mix coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree, and eucalyptus together for use on my scalp for dry itchy scalp?? Would you recommend a recipe and what oils I can mix to get the best mix for really bad dry itchy scalp?? If you know of a book for medicinal remedies with essential oils..

  111. I’m so upset! I just spent $60 on essential oils and a diffuser and now i’m reading all this really scary stuff about how it can make you dizzy, nauseous, unable to breathe if you have asthma… I also read in one place I could diffuse lavender overnight, and another said it’s dangerous to diffuse for more than 15-20 min. Help! 😦

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  113. Sarah says:

    So I ignorantly put one small drop of spearmint essential oil in my ice cream today, after eating other things. My throat is a bit dry, but I was wondering if I will be alright if I just let it be, or is there something else I should do?

  114. amanda says:

    Is French lavender safe for kids or does it have to be plain lavender?

  115. Susan says:

    Ok so I’ve used a combo in layering vetiver, Texas cedar wood, and lavender on bottom of my nine year old sons feet , straight from the bottle , should I be diluting these before applications, and is the lavender a issue for a boy.

  116. Kamara says:

    I am anxious for feedback asap since my barely 9 year old son has bad congestion so I applied what I though was diluted blend to his chest to help him breathe, but shortly after, he called me alarmed saying’Mom, I don’t feel good I’m dizzy.’ & wanted to lay down. He was sweaty & clammy from head to foot but had no fever & his face & tips of fingers were very pale. About an hour later he was getting back to normal & feeling back to normal; but tonight the spot I’d applied is cool to the touch, almost cold, & he seems to have rapid heartbeat. I’m afraid I may have put pure peppermint oil on him by mistake since they are doTerra oils & both the Breathe blend & peppermint have blue dots- shame on me for not being more vigilant. I’m scared at possibilities since I googled possible harm & found your blog most helpful. Is there any chance of long term damage? I am anxious for feedback & feel awful about possibly having made such a bad mistake!

  117. noemi says:

    My feet are always cold so I was wondering if I can apply Valerian oil on my feet to help with circulation.

  118. CamiCakes says:

    I knew lavender could be applied topically but I’m realizing I put WAY too much on my baby’s diaper area tonight. I mixed it with coconut oil but I was using a EO bottle with no dropper so it came out super fast and just put it on her anyway. Anyway, do you offer your recipe for the diaper rash oil you make? We cloth diaper so no major issues but baby is very sensitive and gets a little red if it’s a hot day or from not enough airing out. I’d love to either purchase your formula or make it myself. Thanks!

  119. sheri says:

    thanks for all this info, my father has had asthma for 40 plus years, I am new to oils and just got doterra breath, I was going to make a roller bottle for him, he is 74, how many drops are safe per 1/3 ounce of carrier oil for the bottle? Also can i add a few drops of lavender?

  120. Sekena kellar says:

    Is there a way i can buy calming for kids with adhd,adjustment disorder,odd,ptsd,autism oil already made

  121. Marilyn Alcorn says:

    I used peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil,sandlewood oil,and lavender oil n water with two green tea bags to detox face..can I use a little of that solution in a dropper in my ear where I hear buzzing

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