Critical Caveats of Essential Oils
Generally regarded as safe, (GRAS ) essential oils are listed in books as well as online. Essential oils that have significant benefits and are used in products are not on the GRAS list. There are potential toxicology-related issues associated with specific chemical components of specific essential oils. Oils containing more than 5% methylsalicylates, such as wintergreen and birch, should have child-safety caps. There have been records of wrongful ingestion of essential oils, but these are very rare and isolated medical cases. These case reports are much less frequent in comparison to medical drug errors of wrongful drug administration or adverse drug reactions.
Sense of smell can be affected by medications or vitamin deficiency, causing a loss of sense of smell known as anosmia. All classes of medications from A to Z, whether they are antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-Parkinsonian drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants can cause anosmia. It is noteworthy that vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of loss of sense of smell, though this is reversible with supplementation of vitamin A. Some oils are light-sensitive and can cause pigmentation of the skin after exposure to the sun.
Therefore, certain oils, such as lemon, should not be worn on skin exposed to direct sunlight within a certain time frame, even as long as six to twelve hours. Those oils with high phenol content, such as clove oil, can cause contact dermatitis, sensitivity, or irritation, especially if you work in them constantly. For example, there are a few reports of workers in the essential oils industry, such as perfumers and aromatherapists, who developed contact dermatitis from constant exposure to concentrated tea tree oil.
You can perform a personal skin test using the patch test technique, which is helpful to determine if you could have an adverse reaction to any given product or oil.
Take a 1% dilution and apply the solution to the skin.
Observe over six to twelve hours to evaluate the response.