Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils in Behavioral Health Practice

When using essential oils in behavioral health practice, it is recommended that you use inhalation as the method of application.

Aromatherapy is very individualized and everyone is different. Be prepared for any type of reaction.

You will want to use very minimal amounts. An example would be one drop of undiluted essential oil on a tissue or a cotton ball. The essential oil could even be pre-diluted to make the aroma less intense. To do this, take an amber glass bottle (10 ml size). Add up to three drops of essentials to the glass bottle and then fill the remainder with a carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil is a great choice and has the best shelf stability. Add one drop from the pre-diluted blend to a cotton ball or tissue. This would be a great way to experience safe and effective inhalation of essential oils.

As you’re using the essential oils by inhalation, you will not need to be concerned with topical dilution percentage rates and dermal maximums for the essential oils. That eliminates a lot of safety concerns. You can stick with essential oils that are generally safe to use by inhalation such as any citrus essential oil, lavender, frankincense, or vetiver.

Have excellent ventilation in your space. An added HEPA air filter that filters out VOCs is a good option for assisting with this.

Explore informed consent forms and other policies and procedures to have in place. I also recommend checking in with your insurance policy to see if it covers product liability for cosmetics or the use of herbal products (which essential oils fall under). Be specific and clear with them in how you’re planning to use the essential oils.