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Using Essential Oils Safely

From essential oil ingestion to safe dosage for children and babies, get tips on aromatherapy safety.

| September/October 2016

  • Essential oils provide a variety of benefits, but safe dosage is important.
    Photo by Fotolia/dusk

Ingestion Question

For humans, one drop of essential oil is roughly equivalent to 30 cups of tea. Because of this intense concentration, taking essential oils by mouth can overstimulate the phase I and II liver detoxification pathways and lead to liver damage. Ingest essential oils only under the direction of a trained physician. In France, a physician sends orders to a compounding pharmacy for internal (oral, rectal or vaginal) essential oil prescriptions. Usually physicians prescribe essential oils for a maximum of 14 days.

Kids & Babies

Only a handful of essential oils are safe for babies and young children in any form. Children and babies should never ingest essential oils.


Rose, lavender, Roman chamomile
Dosage: 1/6 adult dosage

18 months to 4 years:

The above plus mandarin, tangerine, tea tree, Eucalyptus radiata (not the more common Eucalyptus globulus, which is a stronger, more stimulating oil)
Dosage: 1/4 adult dosage

5 to 12 years old:

The above plus spearmint and citruses (e.g. grapefruit, orange)
Dosage: 1/2 adult dosage

Learn more about Using Aromatherapy Oils in Salves, Misters and More.

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