Can You Overuse or Overdose on Essential Oils?

Can You Overuse Essential Oils?

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to overdose on essential oils while dropping essential oils into your diffuser or lifting your aromatherapy bracelet to your nose, or ingesting essential oils, etc. ? 

 Most people never think about that possibility because these oils are natural and are sold openly in many stores as well as online.

They’re promoted as a healthy way to prevent and treat everything from anxiety and depression to eczema and hair loss. Is toxicity something that you really need to worry about?

Can You Really Overdose on Essential Oils?

The short answer is yes. Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and some are extracted from plants that are highly toxic when consumed in high concentrations.

While incidents of essential oil poisonings aren’t that common, this is an issue of which every user must be aware.

The information presented right here will deliver the education that you need to use essential oils safely.

What Happens When Oils are Overused?

According to the National Capital Poison Center, too much of some essential oils can cause the following complications:

  • Skin rash
  • Skin burns
  • Liver malfunction or failure
  • Hallucinations
  • Coma
  • Seizures

These complications can arise when you overuse an oil or when you ingest an oil that is unsafe for internal use.

For instance, peppermint oil is safe in small doses but may put you into a coma when consumed in toxic doses.

You may also experience negative interactions with prescription or over-the-counter drugs, and some oils become toxic when combined together or with other ingredients.

You can also experience milder side effects if you breathe in or swallow a toxic level of oil.

You may experience headaches, nausea, gastrointestinal distress, weak muscles, or even an altered mental state.

Continued exposure or consumption of the oil could lead to more serious or chronic complications.

This is why it’s so important to research all essential oils before using them in your home.

Understanding how they are intended to be used and when they may become toxic will help you enjoy the benefits without worrying about toxicity.

What Constitutes Overuse or Dangerous Consumption?

Can You Overuse Essential Oils?

This depends on the specific oils that you’re using and how you are applying them to your life. Some oils are unsafe for ingestion in any amount.

For instance, sage and eucalyptus oils can cause seizures if you swallow even a drop or two.

Other oils are safe for ingestion in small amounts but you can overdose on them if you consume too much, so limiting consumption is important.

Some people are allergic to essential oils just as they are allergic to natural plants or fruits.

You often won’t know when someone is allergic until you start diffusing the oil when they’re around, so pay close attention to everyone in your household when introducing a new oil to your environment.

This includes your pets and children because they can’t always tell you if they’re having a bad reaction to the oil.

When used according to package instructions, most essential oils are safe.

Keep in mind that just a drop or two is typically enough to add fragrance to your home or receive the medicinal benefits of some oils.

If you’re going to use an oil on your skin, make sure it is diluted. Start with application on one small patch of skin to check for an allergic reaction on the first use.

Children Who OverDose on Essential Oils 

Many of the essential oil overdoses reported each year involve children. These oils are highly concentrated forms of powerful plants, fruits, and berries, and they can have a devastating impact on a child if consumed in large doses.

Since children have thin skin, these oils can enter their bloodstream quickly, and their developing livers are more likely to suffer than that of a healthy adult.

Treat your essential oils just as you would laundry detergent, cleaning products, and other potentially toxic products that you don’t want children to handle.

Many oils have exciting smells that will get the attention of a toddler or even an older child, and some smell like citrus fruits and other foods that children may enjoy eating.

Most oils have child-lock lids, but it’s still best to keep them out of reach from the little ones.

It’s also important to understand the limits of each oil that you keep in your home. Some are safe for internal consumption while others are limited to external use.

Some are safe for direct application to the skin while others need to be mixed with a carrier oil first.

Knowing the nature of each oil will allow you to react quickly if a child does somehow dump a bottle on their skin or ingest some of the oil.

Are you kids older?

You should still inform them of the dangers of overusing or abusing essential oils.

If you think that your kids are smart enough to figure that out on their own, keep in mind that we now have teenagers willingly eating Tide pods for YouTube exposure.

Discuss the dangers of essential oils just in case.

How to Avoid Overuse or Overdose On Essential Oils

If you want to ensure that your use of essential oils is always safe, take some advice from the University of Minnesota:

  • Never go beyond recommended dosage for any essential oil. Keep in mind that oils have a cumulative effect over time, so even using the recommended dosage multiple times a day could cause negative reactions.
  • Invest in professional-quality essential oils that don’t include synthetic chemicals. Many essential oils add cheap ingredients to keep the cost down, and pure oil is often prohibitively expense. Just don’t assume that all oils are created equal and do your best to invest in the highest quality possible.
  • Do your research so you know how each oil in your home is intended to be used. Don’t use them for any other application even if it’s just a drop.
  • Talk to your doctor if you take medications or supplements that may interact with certain oils.

This information isn’t presented to scare you away from using essential oils. There are some amazing benefits that can come from including select oils in your life, but you have to take caution to use them safely.

Using less of each oil will actually save you money, allowing you to invest in higher quality oils.

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Can You Overuse or Overdose on Essential Oils?