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Adverse events can happen

I was recently asked to consult on an aromatherapy adverse reaction case. A consumer contacted a colleague of mine after an adverse reaction - the incident, in short, was a matter of contact dermatitis after using an essential oil blend.

Whilst it was easy to place blame on the essential oils, we needed further information from the consumer about their health, their skin integrity, what medications they were on, and a raft of other questions. This is what we are taught as aromatherapists - to gather further information. Not jumping to conclusions. Analysing the oils, the client, their health, the person as an individual.

Cases like this are happening more often but they rarely show up in an reports collated by professionals, educators or schools. The individual generally is told by well meaning friends that it is a detox reaction and to add more oils to help heal.

Adverse reactions can happen even with the most mild of oils. It can happen through misuse, overuse or under educated use. It can happen when people put oils on their bodies before going into the sun. It can happen when their body is tipped out of balance from the cumulative amount of oils they are using.

We don’t need to be scared to use our oils but we do need to use with caution and care at all times.

If you are ever in doubt, speak with an appropriately qualified aromatherapist for independent advice and feedback.

As for the adverse reaction case, we are still working through the process to determine what happened, why and how we can use it to educate others moving forward.

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