Healthy Beginnings

Letter to the Editor: Take care when mixing essential oils, not all is safe

Dear Editor,

I am writing to Healthy Beginnings in regards to an urgent concern of mine that revolves around the lack of essential oil safety in your publications.

I will not pinpoint what article to which I am referring, as I do not want to hurt anyone’s business, reputation or feelings. However, the lack of essential oil safety does not look good, as I know thousands of people in the community read this magazine.

The particular article I read stated to add peppermint oil to mixtures to help deter bugs and also talked about using eucalyptus oil as a deterrent in the recipe that was used in the article.

There was no following statements that stated how those oils should not be around children under the age of 12 years old due to the “1,8 cineole” content — “1,8 cineole” is a major chemical constituent, apparent in Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils, that has many precautions and contraindications.

Individuals with asthma should not use peppermint and eucalyptus (or use a specific high dilution rate) as the constituent may trigger an asthma attack. Individuals on homeopathic remedies should also steer clear of Peppermint oil, as the strong odor of the constituent “1,8 cineole” is very strong and can counteract with the homeopathic remedies.

Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should not be regularly exposed to peppermint as it is said that it can lower milk production. These oils are also too potent for developing respiratory systems and other developing bodily organs.

I wanted to write this so hopefully you produce a second thought on articles in regards to essential oils and the lack of safety knowledge and information provided by contributing writers.

I would hate to see people who aren’t educated on this manner unknowingly cause harm to themselves or their family by using oils in an unsafe manner. If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this major safety concern.

I am a Certified Aromatherapist recognized through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, and we are taught to speak out when we see unsafe advice given to the public to help prevent misuse of essential oils. It is in our shared code of ethics.

Thank you.

Stacey Shaffer, a Portola, California, resident, is a Holistic Health Practice Student, Certified Aromatherapist and Owner of Reno-based Native Roots Apothecary.