Essential Oils Safety & FAQs

“The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journeys for people are all different. If I can help one person vibrate at a higher frequency through vitality; every person’s path they cross will also be affected in a positive way because that person will have a better sense of health, love and gratitude and that state is contagious”  – Dr. Debrah Zepf

Rules for Essential Oils Safety by Dr. Debrah Zepf PhD IMD

  1. Essential Oils MUST be diluted with some type of vegetable oil. Oils and water don’t mix.
  2. Essential oils must NEVER come in contact with mucous membranes and sensitive skin areas
  3. NEVER add undiluted essential oils to bath water. Always blend with milk and/or bath salts
  4. Never go into the sun with any citrus oil. It may cause skin sensitivity or burns. Some essential oils are light sensitive.
  5. ALL essential oils are flammable. USE CAUTION.
  6. Ensure that your essential oils are of impeccable quality for internal use and use under the direction of a qualified practitioner.
  7. ALWAYS keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  8. ALWAYS close all essential oil bottles tightly after use and ensure that the bottles have a reducer to avoid accidents. The oils are volatile and will evaporate into the air quickly.
  9. Children under 30 months should NEVER HAVE MENTHOLS used near the throat, neck or mucous membranes.
  10. ALWAYS have a carrier oil (veggie or olive) of good quality, available for emergency dilution of an essential oil.
  11. Generally, people with allergies and/or sensitivities, must be very cautious with essential oils. The least sensitive area for almost all people is the SOLES OF THE FEET, so try a patch text of the essential oil there first.
  12. Some essential oils have strong caustic/phenol characteristics and should be used in a diluted form. e.g.: savory, clove, cinnamon.



Essential oils and safety


Are all essential oils ingestible?

Absolutely not! As per the FDA’s Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) list, only certain essential oils are safe for ingestion. These include Bergamot, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clary Sage, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Peppermint, Pink Grapefruit, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Basil, Sweet Fennel, Sweet Orange, and Clear Mind. However, it’s crucial to follow safe practices. The remaining essential oils should not be consumed. Stay informed and prioritize your well-being!

Do all Essential Oils cross the blood brain barrier?

No! Only Sequisterpenes – meaning very small fat-soluble oil – can pass through.  Not all oils have the same size molecule, and larger molecules are simply too large to get into the brain’s environment.

Were essential oils used in Biblical times?

No.  During that era, aromatic products would have been of a crude solvent extracted from nature by using fats and pressed oils and would not have been concentrated like today. They would have been used for fragrance in goose fat, olive oils and other concoctions.

If you develop a rash on your skin from using a pure essential oil, you are only detoxifying, right?

Wrong! Let’s imagine you rub poison ivy on your skin and develop a rash — are you detoxifying? Nope. Like most people, you have sensitivity to it. A detox is when the body has something taken something, not added. ALWAYS DO A PATCH TEST TO DETERMINE SENSITIVITY. Follow the rules for safe usage, please!

You can add essential oils directly to your drinking or bath waters.

False! Mucus membranes are sensitive and should never have undiluted essential oils on or near them.

Are all lavenders the same?

Unfortunately, no. Too many companies create blends with lavandin, a cheaper lavender, and call it pure lavender. This is why the various lavender essential oils smell different. The best lavender is lavendula angustifolia from France or Bulgaria, not the USA. It has to be grown at high altitudes for the healing properties to occur.

There’s No Such Thing as “Therapeutic Grade” Essential Oil

False – Many standards claim to be “therapeutic grade”, but the challenge lies in deciding which one to trust. These standards are primarily meant for internal use and have been developed by companies selling oils. However, it’s important to note that they may or may not undergo quality control by a third-party lab. Assessing the quality of essential oils goes beyond the expertise of chemists and equipment. It demands years of experience in odor evaluation and an understanding of the specific minor components that make an oil desirable, rather than solely focusing on the major components.

Will pure, unadulterated essential oils with no synthetics added last forever?

No. It is true that these oils will last longer than most; HOWEVER, all oils will eventually go bad due to oxidation reactions that are unavoidable UNLESS you could somehow store them in an oxygen free atmosphere.

  1. Most oils degrade with age due to oxidation BUT there are some oils such as sandalwood, vetiver, and patchouli that actually get better with age!
  2. It’s typically the heavier oils that are high in sesquiterpene alcohols that improve with age.
  3. CITRUS oils are best to finish within a year, because their components oxidize quickly!

Can everyone use essential oils the same way, including pregnant people, young children, and the elderly?

Absolutely not. There are safety rules for use with special groups which are available in my book, in my online course, or from your local aromatherapy practicioner. See the Safety Guidelines above for some of Dr. Zepf’s important rules.

All Essential oils are equal in purity.


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