I see a lot of posts on the pagan tags that give spell and correspondence suggestions for essential oils (or herbs macerated in oil) but neglect to give any safety information.
Oils that are used improperly can cause a variety of issues, including irritation, permanent changes to the immune system (sensitization, you develop allergies), and ultra violet sensitivity (photosensitization). Some are reportedly carcinogenic. Pretty much all essential oils are not safe to use neat (undiluted) on the skin.
Please read the following.
The below holds true for essential oils
but may not for oils created via maceration. (I am uncertain of the potency and skin safety ratios for maceration.)and anything else made with these plants.
Some oils that are skin irritants:
Allspice, Bay Laurel, Bitter Almond, Basil, Cajeput, Caraway, Cardamom, Cassia, Cedar (Western Red), Celery Seed, Cinnamon (leaf and bark), Clove Bud, Fir Needle, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melissa, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Sage, Spruce, Sweet Fennel, Tagetes, Tea Tree, Thyme, Wintergreen
Some oils that cause sensitization:
Alant Root, Aniseed (Anise), Bay Laurel, Benzoin (pretty much any Styrax oil), Balsam of Peru (VERY HAZARDOUS), Calamus, Cardamom (suspect), Catnip, Cassia (often mislabeled as “Cinnamon”), Cinnamon Bark & Leaf, Citronella, Clary Sage (suspect), Clove, Costus, Dill Seed (not Weed), Elecampane, Fennel, Fig Leaf Absolute, Galbanum Resin (cross sensitizing with Peru Balsam),Hyacinth absolute (suspect), Jasmine absolute, Juniper (suspect), Laurel (bay laurel), Lemon (suspect), Lemongrass, Litsea Cubeba (suspect) Lovage (suspect), Melissa, Mimosa Absolute, Oakmoss, Orange (suspect), Opopanax (suspect), Pinaceae, Pines (suspect), Rose Absolute (if used in high concentrations), Rue, Spearmint, Star Anise, Tagetes, Tolu (balsam, VERY STRONG) Tagetes, Tolu Balsam, Turpentine, Lemon Verbena (The IFRA strongly advises against the use of Verbena oil in cosmetics or perfume products), Ylang-ylang (in very high concentrations)
Some oils that cause photosensitization:
Angelica, Bergamot, Caraway, Cassia (this is often falsely labeled “Cinnamon”), Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Grapefruit, Honeysuckle absolute, Laurel Leaf Absolute, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin Orange, Orange, (Bitter) Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rue, St. John’s Wort, Tagetes, Tangerine, Verbena, Yuzu. (Pretty much all “pressed citrus” oils are photosensitizers.)
Some oils that are carcinogenic:
Cade (Juniper tar), Calamus, Sassafras
Potentially dangerous oils that should be avoided:
Ajowan, Bitter Almond, Arnica, (Sweet) Birch, Boldo Leaf, (Spanish) Broom, Calamus, (Brown) Camphor, (Yellow) Camphor, Deertongue, Garlic, Horseradish, Jaborandi, Melilotus, Mugwort, Mustard, Nightshade, Onion, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sassafras, Savin, Southernwood, Stinging Nettles, Tansy (other than Annual Tansy), Thuja (Cedar Leaf), Wintergreen, Wormseed, Wormwood.
Do not use clove, cinnamon, or bay laurel if you are on blood thinners.
Some oils are considered abortificants or dangerous to people with high blood pressure or seizure disorders. The medical community has mostly dismissed these and holds that they are not dangerous for products that are put on the skin (oils that are ingested are another matter). If you have concerns, please research and decide for yourself what oils you feel safe applying to your skin. If you have any known health issues, please research and consult with a doctor before using oils, even if they are diluted.
General dilution rule of thumb: 2% EO to base for adults, 1% or less for children, elderly, or those with very sensitive skin.
If you have a bad skin reaction, just rinsing with water won’t get oil off your skin. Apply oil-based creams (cold creams) or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol before washing with conventional soap and water to help in removing oils from skin.
Please consult the International Fragrance Association for further safety information on oils and fragrance materials. (Their library contains safety documentation. Chemical compounds and essential oils are listed together, so you can scroll past chemical names you do not recognize and look for specific plant names.)
AromaWeb also has a list of essential oils that includes some safety information.
Also, please DO NOT FORGET ABOUT ALLERGIES.
Oils made from things such as Chamomile, Goldenrod, Coltsfoot, Cornflower, Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Marigold or Calendula can set off allergies for those with allergic reactions to Ragweed.
Dill, Fennel, Celery, Wild Carrot, Birch, Mugwort, and Cilantro may cause allergic reactions to those who are allergic to Carrots.
If you have an allergy to Aspirin, Willow of any kind may also give you an allergic reaction. So may Cranberry and Meadowsweat.
If you have fungal allergies, it might not be ok for you to use oils, etc, made from things like mosses, mushrooms, etc. Or anything that potentially looks as if it has been molded, or improperly stored, or past it’s expiration date (though if it’s passed it’s expiration date, hasn’t been properly stored, etc, you shouldn’t use it anyways).
Oats may cause reactions to those with Gluten allergies.
If you’re allergic to Sesame, handling anything with Rye or Peanuts may trigger an allergic reaction.
bounce, little shroomies:)
Part of Rachel’s solstice altar.
i feel very strongly about TWO ALIENATED TEEN WITCHES finding each other in their SHITTY SMALL TOWN or AWAY AT SCHOOL and EXPERIMENTING WITH THEIR POWERS DEEP IN THE WOODS and DESTROYING ALL WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY HARMED THEM
A fascinating little video about the “Whispering Witches” of Poland. Their work seems very similar to that of the English Cunning Folk. I am glad to see their practices are being preserved.
Use peanuts, Brazilian nuts, chestnuts, etc (basically shelled nuts and beans) for a few simplistic ideas.
Paint them as skulls, write the target’s name, and crush them to give out head splitting headaches.
Paint them as hearts, write the target’s on them and: soak them in spicy sauces to cause heartburn, crush them to break someone’s heart, or freeze them to make a person shut everyone out.
Write the name of the target on the shell and paint a tongue over the name, crush the shell to make someone spill their secrets.
Paint the shell to look like a brain, write the target’s name, and destroy the nut to cause the target to go insane.
Paint the nut to look like a generic face, on the back write the name of the target, smear an oil or cream (lard, Crisco, butter works) on the shell in a thin layer (so you can see the face), sprinkle salt over lightly to cause dry skin, itchiness, and acne.
There, my ideas. Have at!