Essential oils have powerful healing properties, so they should be treated the same as any other medicine you have in your cabinet. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Some people eat or drink recipes with essential oils in them, but it is important to note that there are different qualities of oil. If you are planning to make recipes for human or pet consumption, you need to use ‘food-grade’ oils. We suggest paying a bit more for the certified Kosher oils because they would be produced to the very highest standards.

It is also important to source your aromatherapy supplies from the European Union, the US, or Canada to make sure they are of high quality in terms of both ingredients and manufacturing standards. Cheap oils and candles from other parts of the world can be impure and full of chemicals used to process the oils that will in fact make them a lot less effective, and even dangerous.

Note that certain oils can be dangerous to consume even in small doses, such as pine. Keep your oils out of reach of children and pets, and the items you use the oils with, such as potpourri, drawer sachets and so on. They may smell great to your dog or cat but eating them can be a disaster.

In terms of other important safety tips when it comes to essential oils, they should be stored in colored glass bottles, not clear, and kept in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. Your essential oils should be used within a year of opening, with the exception of oils derived from citrus fruits such as orange or lemon. Those should be used within 6 months.

In addition to all of the healing properties of essential oils for personal use, they can also enhance the atmosphere of any home. Certain essential oils are excellent for cleaning, such as lemon, pine and orange. They can be used to create a seasonal atmosphere, such a cinnamon or pine during the holidays. Be sure to follow the instructions for diluting in order to keep pets and children safe as their noses and lungs will be more delicate.

If inhaling essential oils for mood enhancement or relief from congestion, experts suggest they should be used no more than three times a day directly from the bottle in order to avoid sinus infections. Sprinkle a drop or two on a cloth instead. Do not put the bottle up into your nostrils, as this can cause infection, contamination of the oil, and perhaps even chemical-type burns in the sensitive mucus membranes.

Another option is to use an atomizer to spritz diluted essential oils onto your pulse points at your throat or wrists in the same way you would use perfume. You can also create a roll-on for this purpose. Dilute lavender with alcohol for a relaxing effect each time you inhale. Or try grapefruit to curb hunger pangs if you are trying to lose weight.

Be careful with any citrus-based oil such as lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or bergamot if you plan to go out in the sun within 2 hours of using it. It can make the skin photosensitive, that is, sensitive to sunlight, and cause sun burn or changes in skin pigmentation. If you are going to gift any items with these oils in them, you might wish to add a little safety note about this issue as part of your gift.

Essential oils are not just powerful on their own, but when blended together. Keep all of your blending supplies such as bottles, jars and funnels clean at all times.

Some essential oils come in bottles with squeezable dropper tops, but they are generally not recommended because the rubber can break down very easily. Essential oils and products made with a high proportion of essential oils, such as beauty treatments, should not be put in plastic containers because they can burn right through the plastic. Always use glass bottles and jars.

If you are concerned about the safety of having glass in the bathroom, you or your gift recipient can place a small amount of whatever you wish to use in a small plastic container, take it to the bathroom, and then use immediately. Or, use quilted ball jars in small sizes such as 4-ounces, which can be gripped more easily even if your hands are wet.

Finally, wash your hands thoroughly before and after any occasion when you are using your pure undiluted essential oils. Washing prior to handling them means you will be less likely to contaminate them. Washing your hands after will make it less likely you will ingest undiluted oils or transfer the oil where you do not wish it to go, such as on countertops or pet fur.