We need to talk about essential oils!
Did you know that just 2ml of eucalyptus oil is enough to cause severe poisoning in a child? (1) and that ingestion of essential oil has only been ‘a thing’ since the very recent rise of multi-level marketing companies. Essential oils have been used for over 6000 years. (2)
In my clinic I am seeing an exponential rise in ‘injury’ from ingestion and incorrect topical application of essential oils in children and adults.
The Western Australian Poisons Information Centre (WAPIC) has recorded an increase in poisonings as a result of essential oil ingestions in children. (3)
Most people mean well and want the very best for their children, family and friends however, I can’t imagine you would take medical advice from your shoe salesman nor ask your cleaning lady to file your tax returns!
Why accept medical advice for chronic and complex medical conditions such as eczema from a sales person with the best intentions but no formal training, qualifications or even a basic understanding of organic volatile compounds, contraindications and cytotoxicity of essential oils?
What are symptoms of essential oil toxicity?
Essential oils are rapidly absorbed orally and symptoms can develop as quickly as 30 minutes after ingestion (some individuals experience delayed symptoms up to 4 hours after exposure). The severity of toxicity is dependent on the type of oil and the amount ingested. (4)
Children are particularly susceptible. As little as 2mL (less than half a teaspoon) of eucalyptus oil can cause significant poisoning in an infant. Symptoms of toxicity include:
Who can I call for help?
In Australia, only ‘Suitably qualified practitioners may prescribe the ingestion of essential oils providing the essential oils are combined with other non-essential oil ingredients which are included for therapeutic use and product is listed or registered on the TGA ARTG. The prescribed level of essential oil should be regarded as safe. That is the level of prescribed oil should be less than the maximum levels established by the Australian National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee.’’ (5)
For more information on the safe use of essential oils can be found here https://www.iaama.org.au/about-aromatherapy.html#essential-oil-safety The IAMMA are a not for profit! No profit in mind…
And, as always seek professional advice! Australian registered aromatherapists can be found here http://www.ifaroma.org/us/find-an-aromatherapist/
And here https://www.myhealth1st.com.au/?skin=branded-atms
and here http://www.australiannaturaltherapistsassociation.com.au/practitioners/find_health.php?S=&Therapy=Aromatherapy
3, 4 http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Essential-oils
The poisons record is a record of decisions regarding the classification of medicines and chemicals into Schedules for inclusion in relevant legislation of the states and territories;
Skilled in unravelling complex patterns of ill health, Sarah Penrose is a qualified, registered and endorsed natural health professional specializing in homeopathic medicine.