Essential Oils are highly concentrated extracts of medicinal plants, very powerful in their effect and should be used with moderation and great care.
Essential oils used for massage: general instructions for dilution
If used other than for ambient diffusion, i.e. for massages, essential oils should always be diluted in good quality vegetable carrier oil before applying to the skin (i.e. sweet almond, sesame, jojoba, olive oil, etc.). The standard dilution for adults is 1–3% essential oil, or about 3–10 drops of essential oil in 15 ml (= 1 tablespoon) of vegetable oil (20 drops = 1ml). For children, sensitive skin and during pregnancy the dilution should be 0,5%-1% (1-2 drops in 10 ml). For a full bath use for adults 5–15 drops and 3–5 drops for a footbath. The essential oils should be diluted with some carrier oil, a little cream or honey to help them disperse in the water.
Specific oils requiring higher dilution
Essential oils of Clove bud, Cinnamon (leaf or bark), Oregano, Savory, Thyme (thymol and borneol) can irritate the skin, use only highly diluted (0.5%—1% dilution). For sensitive skin care should also be taken with Aniseed, Fennel, Lemongrass, Melissa (Balm), Peppermint, Sage, Wintergreen, and sometimes also Basil, Ginger, Lemon and Bitter Orange (1 - 3 % dilution).
Some precautionsThese oils (except the citrus oils) should also not be used for children under 2 years and during pregnancy.
If pregnant avoid in addition: Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Juniper, sweet Marjoram, and Myrrh.
If applying photo-sensitizing essentials oils like Bergamot, Orange, Mandarin or Lemon to your skin (even in dilution) do not expose your skin to direct sun for several hours afterwards (to avoid pigment spots). The furocoumarin free Bergamot is ok.
In case of high blood pressure Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme (thyme) are contra-indicated; a gentle massage with relaxing essential oils however is very beneficial.
In case of Epilepsy do not use the essential oils of sweet Fennel, Hyssop, Rosemary and Sage.
If you have a medical condition we recommend that you seek the advice of a Maharishi Ayurveda practitioner or aromatherapist.