Disclaimer: The information below is a sharing of our own research, professional training and personal experience. It is a resource of information presented for educational purposes and is not intended to individually diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions. Kindred Self encourages you to make your own informed health care decisions, and always recommend working directly in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Disclaimer: The information below is a sharing of our own research, professional training and personal experience. It is a resource of information presented for educational purposes and is not intended to individually diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions. Kindred Self encourages you to make your own informed health care decisions, and always recommend working directly in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Essential Oil Safety

First of all, it's important for us to mention that the information below applies to any brand of 'pure essential oils' including local and 'Multi-level Marketing' (MLM) products. All authentic and pure therapeutic essential oils, no matter what the brand, should be used with care.

Let’s start with ingestion…

We don't recommend ingesting (swallowing) essential oils for therapeutic purposes unless under the care of a Certified Aromatherapist or qualified health practitioner who is experienced in this area. They can be regarded as a pure plant medicine and we believe there are only a few circumstances that would call for swallowing essential oils and this would be in a very small single dose, not on an ongoing basis. Please act responsibly and consult a qualified health professional who has prior experience in essential oil ingestion if you are thinking of using essential oils in this way.


Essential oils in water?

Do we recommend putting essential oil in water to drink?
Our answer is no and here's why...

Essential oils are awesome if used safely, but can be dangerous if not, and drinking essential oils in water on a daily basis just doesn't make sense to us and crosses over into dangerous territory.

There's something we all learnt in school - oil and water don't mix, and when you put essential oil in a glass of water it floats on the top! We certainly don't want to expose our sensitive lips and precious mucous membrane in the mouth and esophagus to a daily concentrated hit of essential oil. Overtime this can burn, cause redness and irritation and may even cause internal damage! We also don't want to run the risk of building up a sensitivity to an oil which would mean we couldn't use it anymore!

The way we recommend ingesting essential oils on a daily basis is via inhalation (a diffuser) or through the skin when they are correctly diluted in a nut or seed oil first. This is the safest and most beneficial way to use EOs. We only recommend you consider orally ingesting essential oils for a very short-term and targeted treatment, while working alongside a health professional, weighing up all options, and knowing about the health of your microbiome (gut).

If adding essential oils to a drink is something you already do or want to try (like lemon oil in water) then please please mix the oil first in honey or agave syrup to help emulsify the oils into the water before drinking. Doing this will help to protect your precious mucous membrane. Also consider how much essential oil you are exposed to that day - if you have already used them on your skin and the diffuser is running, then you could probably skip the drink. Be careful not to overdose - each individual way that you ingest essential oils all adds up to a bigger dose!

Peppermint Bliss Balls

Essential oils as a food flavouring?

A very high percentage of essential oils produced globally are actually used for the food industry. Any product with 'natural flavour' listed in the ingredients is likely to be a food grade essential oil. Oils produced as 'food grade' for the food industry have some of the chemical components removed to make them safe for consumption so they are not the same as essential oils for therapeutic use.

Essential Oils cannot be directly substituted 'drop for drop' for flavourings or food grade essences, as they are more concentrated and stronger in flavour. If you do decide to use a pure essential oils like lemon, orange, lavender or peppermint as a food flavouring, use only 1-2 drops and ensure they are properly emulsified in a fat ingredient of the recipe first so they are correctly dispersed.

Dilution - 3 reasons to dilute essential oils

Here are our 3 main reasons to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil (nut/seed oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil) before applying directly to the skin...


Have you ever questioned why EOs are sold in such tiny bottles? It’s because they are so so potent / highly concentrated! When you use Essential oils undiluted you expose yourself to the risk of the gradual build-up (or a sudden) skin sensitivity. When diluted in a carrier oil, it is so much easier to evenly spread the oils across the skin to a larger area that needs it most. This makes total sense. Your body will absorb the therapeutic properties of the oils better without your Liver shouting ‘Alert alert, we’ve got 1 kg of orange peel entering the blood stream, all systems must be in full operation to metabolize all this orange somehow!”

Over time our body can reject oils if it’s simply too much - and this can be an accumulative thing and even happen when using gentle oils like Lavender. Signs of sensitivities are a rash, blisters, nausea headaches, a warm or burning sensation etc - this does happen! It would be a big shame if it does happen to you because it could possibly mean you can’t use that oil again ever or for many years! An immune response / sensitivity could be triggered from that moment onwards when you are using the oil in question. We do on occasion use Lavender and Tea Tree undiluted for a specific cut, sore or scratch, but that’s about as far as we go.


Essential oils are a volatile liquid which means they can quickly evaporate in the air and on the skin. If you dilute them in a carrier oil first, this will prevent the precious oils from evaporating and therefore they will stay on your skin for longer and have the chance to absorb as intended. Remember to keep the lids on your bottles and tighten after use to prevent oxidisation and evaporation.


Essential oils are so precious and highly concentrated, it is truly mind boggling how much plant matter and the natural resources it takes to produce a 12-15ml bottle of oil. We are mindful that climate change and the global consumer demand driven by large MLM companies could over time result in some precious oils becoming rare or unavailable if we don't act responsibly now. Sustainability is top of mind and one reason why we encourage diluting essential oils and simplifying the home kit keeping it replenished with oils you will actually use. Diluting oils makes them go so much further without compromising their therapeutic value. And you get better value for money too!

When you consider what it takes to produce these tiny bottles of preciousness, it becomes obvious these are not products that you simply just splash around on a daily basis. If we treat them and our planet with respect then this plant medicine will be around for generations to come.


It’s really not enough to simply say “dilute before use on the skin” – you also need to know which dilutions are safe and how to calculate them. Use a chart like this as a 'guide' for accurate and safe dilution, and at the same time consider each oil being used, how strong they are, and who will be using the blend. For example, if using strong oils like cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, then lower the dilution/drops overall.


1% dilution would be used on children aged 2-6, pregnant women, elderly adults, those with sensitive skin or compromised immune system or serious illness, or when massaging over a large area of the body.

2% dilution would be used for most adults and most situations. This is also a good dilution for basic skin care issues and for day to day use.

3-10% dilution is best for short-term use for a temporary health issue, such as muscle injury or respiratory congestion. Up to 10% dilution is fine depending on the health concern, the age of the person and the oils being used. Using oils neat (undiluted) should only be done if absolutely necessary, as some individuals can experience irritation or sensitivity. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat, when needed, but only for short-term use. A bug bite, burn or wound might be a good reason to use Lavender undiluted.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

If you wish to use pure essential oils when pregnant and/or breastfeeding, it is best to take the following precautions:

  • Only use one drop of essential oil at a time

  • Keep it simple by using single plant oils rather than blends

  • Try not to use one particular oil for a long period of time, such as every day for several weeks

  • Dilute the essential oil by mixing the drop with at least a teaspoon (5ml) of a base oil before you add it to a bath or smooth it over your skin

  • You can add drops of the oil to a diffuser, but don’t leave it on for longer than 15 minutes in each hour. If you leave it on for too long, the smell may become overpowering and make you feel nauseous

  • It’s best to start using essential oils once you are past the first trimester. If you use them in the first trimester, always consult an aromatherapist who’s trained in treating mums-to-be.

To keep things simple, some of the safe oils that you can easily use yourself when used at a 1% dilution in a nut or seed oil:
Lavender, Frankincense, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Sweet Orange, Lemon, Mandarin, Tea Tree and Peppermint.

Please avoid the following essential oils while you are pregnant:

  • Nutmeg, which may have hallucinogenic effects and react with pain-relieving drugs in labour.

  • Rosemary, which is thought to increase blood pressure, and may cause contractions.

  • Basil, which is thought to contribute to abnormal cell development.

  • Jasmine and Clary Sage, which may trigger contractions.

  • Sage and rose, which may cause bleeding in your uterus (womb).

  • Juniper berry, which may affect your kidneys.

  • Laurel, angelica, thyme, cumin, aniseed, citronella and cinnamon leaf should also be avoided as they could stimulate contractions.

*Clary Sage can be a great way to get labour started if used by a trained midwife for a mum who is overdue. (Don’t use this oil yourself, as overuse can make your contractions too powerful.) Peppermint may cause reduced milk supply in some women so use caution when breastfeeding (fine to use during pregnancy).

Children & Essential Oils

  • It is not recommended to use essential oils before the age of 6 months

  • Diffuse oils rather than use topically for children 3-6mths

  • 0.25-.5% dilution for 6mths-24mths, 1% dilution for children 2-6 yrs, 1.5-3% dilution for 6-15+yrs

  • Hydrosols are an extremely safe and effective option

  • Keep it simple by using single plant oils rather than blends

  • Introduce oils slowly one at a time - you can test sensitivity by doing this

  • Keep essential oils in a place where young children cannot reach them, and never let them handle essential oils bottles. Seek immediate medical attention if your child happens to ingest essential oils.


Peppermint and eucalyptus are two fo the most effective essential oils for respiratory infection and congestion, but too  much can be dangerous for young children. The 1,8-cineole in eucalyptus and the menthol in peppermint can cause slow breathing and neurological problems in some children.

According to the Tisserand Institute, peppermint should be avoided altogether with children under 3 years, and can be diffused with care (about two drops in a diffuser) or applied topically at a concentration of 0.5% for 3-6 years. For eucalyptus, this can be diffused around children, or if used topically a 0.5% dilution for children under 3 years, and a 1% dilution for children aged 3-6 years.

Always honour what feels right for you…

At Kindred Self we really encourage you to always do your own research about the safe use of essential oils and to follow your own instincts... if it doesn't feel right then simply don't do it. Remember that every single person responds differently to essential oils so basing everything on only one person's experience is not the wisest considering our unique bio-individuality. What might be OK for one person doesn't mean it's good for everyone. There's a bucket load of info out there - and you will definitely find 2 schools of thought on topics like oral ingestion, dilution etc... It's an interesting path of learning that's for sure!

The good news is, there are many plants that can be used for the same purpose. For example if you don’t like Lavender then don’t stop there because there are other plant oils available with the same healing properties. What works for one person may not work for you, so follow your instincts (and nose) noticing how they make you feel and do what feels right for your situation. When we respect essential oils for the chemical compounds that they are and follow a few safety guidelines then they can benefit our emotional and physical health in so many ways. Of course, if in doubt seek the support and guidance of a trusted qualified health care practitioner / Aromatherapist.

Finally, for independent information about essential oils we recommend The Tisserand Institute - http://tisserandinstitute.org. It's an excellent resource to get you started and find information that isn't delivered with a sales or marketing message attached!

Simple Recipes to Get You Started

Diffuser Blends

2 Drops Peppermint
2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Rosemary

3 Drops Peppermint
3 Drops Orange
2 Drops Rosemary

2 Drops Lemon
2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Peppermint

2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Frankincense
2 Drops Lemon

2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Tea Tree
2 Drops Lemon

3 Drops Lavender
3 Drops Frankincense
2 Drops Lemon

2 Drops Eucalyptus
2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Tea Tree

2 Drops Clove
2 Drops Orange
2 Drops Eucalyptus

D.I.Y. Roller Bottles (10ml roller bottle topped with nut/seed oil)

5 Drops Lavender
5 Drops Lemon

2 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Peppermint
2 Drops Rosemary

4 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Peppermint

3 Drops Lavender
3 Drops Frankincense

5 Drops Lavender
5 Drops Tea Tree

8 Drops Frankincense

2 Drops Lemon
2 Drops Orange
2 Drops Rosemary

2 Drops Orange
2 Drops Eucalyptus
1 Drops Clove

Aromatherapy References

This is a selection of useful links, information, and podcasts that may be of interest. This list will continue to be updated so visit again.

Free eCourses

Aromahead Institute
Intro to Essential Oils

Tisserand Institute
How Essential Oils work in the body


The Case Against Fragrance - Kate Grenville

Essential Oil Safety - Robert Tisserand

The Heart of Aromatherapy - Andrea Butje

The Fragrant Pharmacy - Valerie Ann Worwood

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy - Salvatore Battaglia