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A standardized response created for Rocky Mountain Oils (also called Native American Nutritionals) on how to use essential oils.
There were several topics that customer service is often asked about, but the answers involve very detailed information. In addition, no customer service representatives have medical degrees and some questions could be considered requesting medical advise. All responses needed to be informative and accurate with a personal feel, but stay within strict legal guidelines. All hyperlinks were valid at time of use in 2014.
There are three ways to use essential oils: Diffusing, Topically, and Ingesting.
If you are using a diffuser, do not use more than 2‐3 drops per 100 mL. 3‐8 drops in 500 mL is typical for adults. Always start small and work your way up.
For topical use, blend any neat oil with a carrier oil. The tern “neat” describes an essential oil in it’s original form without any additives or blending. “Carrier” oil is an oil that helps manage the distribution of the neat oil.
Carrier oils are a must and should be chosen wisely. Always buy a cold pressed, vegetable, nut or seed oil. We here at Rocky Mountain Oils prefer Fractionated Coconut oil (F.C.O.) because it doesn’t stain, absorbs easily into the skin, has no scent, and is inexpensive. Grapeseed oil is another good one, but we don’t carry it. Usually a local health food store will have other carrier oils available to purchase.
The traditional mix is 4‐8 drops of neat oil in 1 tsp. of carrier oil. Many customers like a higher concentration which is why most of our blends, that have carrier oil in the ingredients, use far less carrier oil. It varies from blend to blend, but the average is around 7‐8 drops of neat oil in only 1/4 tsp. of carrier oil.
Be sure to get some empty bottles so you can store your topical blends in them. Just for reference, a 5 mL bottle is approximately 1 tsp. So many will add their drops that they desire in the empty bottle, add carrier oil, put the lid on, shake it, and then leave it in a cupboard overnight to allow the neat oil to distribute evenly through the carrier oil.
Many will use just 1‐2 drops of neat oil and apply directly to their skin. For some, even 1‐2 drops of direct application is too concentrated a dose and produces negative results. Always use your best judgment when choosing an application method.
The most common places to apply essential oils topically are: the feet, wrists, behind the ears, and back of the neck where it meets the skull, and occasionally the forehead. Always test a small patch of skin before using a new oil or blend on a larger area or a sensitive area of skin. If you have any negative reactions, don’t wash it off with water. Doing so may trap the oil into your skin. Use a carrier oil to dilute the oil and spread it over a wider area of skin.
If you experience a burning sensation, diluting it with a carrier oil will reduce the sensation to an unpleasant tingling that is tolerable until the effects wear off on their own. You can keep “washing” it with carrier oil until it is tolerable. I actually use the olive oil I have in my kitchen for this use. It’s the one that I know is always on hand and once I have it ‘washed’ to my satisfaction, I use dish soap and water to wash the olive oil off.
When we are asked about ingesting our oils, the answer is yes with reservations. It isn’t the most efficient method in my experience, and there are certain oils you should never ingest. Never ingesting the following oils is an industry wide recommendation, not just if you use Rocky Mountain Oils: Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, Wintergreen, Birch Bark, and Pennyroyal. For more info, check out this article on ingestion.
Many of our customers ingest our oils. If you take hot oils internally, you may want to supplement your diet with a probiotic. ‘Hot’ oils are mainly spice oils like Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, and Oregano. They can kill off the good bacteria in the digestive system even while they provide you the effects that you desire. The probiotic helps replace the good bacteria. I know many that just eat a daily yogurt cup if they casually ingest oils, ‘hot’ oil or not.
It is not recommended for children to ingest oils, especially under the age of 6. Some will still do so, but I know many sources that recommend against it. Always remember that treating children under the age of 12 is different than treating adults. Their small bodies need far less than a full grown adult. For some basic information on using essential oils with children, go here:
Your best bet is to follow the GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) listings put out by the FDA. Our product pages will list if an essential oil has a GRAS specification. You can also go to the FDA’s GRAS list and see the whole thing.
Always read up on an oil before using it. Know what it is used for, what precautions to take (if any), and when not to use it. If you don’t have an encyclopedia on oils, you can look some of the oils up on our sister magazine’s site here:
This is a lot of information and it can be a bit overwhelming when starting out. The number one rule is to err on the side of caution. Remember, we are here if you ever get lost or need some clarification. We’re happy to help, even if it’s only to point you in the right direction.