Essential Oils 101


Essential oils are not greasy. They are volatile and aromatic and their molecules are relatively small. Because of this they are able to easily penetrate the skin and travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes when applied topically. Research has found that essential oil molecules can cross the blood brain barrier and the central nervous system (1), and can be obtained by several means, including steam or hydro-distillation of plant material. This plant material can come from seeds, bark, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems or roots.

They are extremely concentrated as any professionals state that essential oils are 50 to 70 times more potent than dried herbs or the plants they are derived from. Not only can they help us fight infection, but can aid in tissue regeneration.

Essential oils have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. They are a perfectly balanced blend of complex chemicals created by a God ordained mix of the sun, air, water and soil. Because of this it is impossible to synthetically reproduce a true essential oil; and modern science is finding out more about essential oils on a daily basis.



Essential oils are absorbed quickly throughout the body by applying to the skin. The most common place to apply essential oils is to the bottoms of the feet. When you apply essential oils to the body, always use carrier oil. Please see "General Dilution Guidelines" below, and the "Applications" tab of the oil or blend you are wanting to use. We also have a handy dilution chart for your convenience.

**Please do not ever put essential oils in your eyes or ear canal.**


Essential oils can be inhaled directly from the bottle, in a diffuser or by putting a drop in your hands, rubbing them together and cupping them over your nose and mouth and breathing deeply.


It is not advised to take essential oils internally unless under the guidance of a licensed physician who is also certified in aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion. It is important to remember the extreme concentration of essential oils, and never use them undiluted. "Using essential oils by rubbing them into the skin or via inhalation is in many cases more effective than oral delivery" (Schnaubelt 96).


Carrier oils are greasy unlike essential oils water-like consistency. Their molecules are larger and do not penetrate skin as easily. Examples of carrier oil are sweet almond oil, coconut oil or avocado oil, just to name a few. We use carrier oils to dilute essential oils (to prevent getting too much at one time) and to slow their evaporation process.

To view carrier oils, go here.  To view dilution guidelines, go here.


Yes.  Essential oils are natural and made in nature, but not all natural things are good for you.  You wouldn't rub poison ivy on you and not expect a reaction, would you?  Nah.  Same with essential oils.  If you are allergic to lavender - don't use lavender essential oil!  If you suspect you are allergic to an oil or blend, please stop using it immediately, and consult with your licensed physician.   

Also, did you know that using essential oils undiluted could increase the risk of an adverse reaction over time? (For examples, look here.)


Just like anything else, some essential oils might not work with your individual body chemistry. If the first oil you try does not produce the results you are desiring, our advice is, don't give up! We recommend using an essential for at least 7 days (Only if you are not showing any negative reaction). If it still doesn't seem to be working for you, try another essential oil. 

**If you have an allergic reaction, stop using the oil immediately!**


Using essential oils undiluted could increase the risk of an adverse reaction over time. (For examples, look here.) Because of this, we have created an easy-to-use chart explaining exactly how to dilute your essential oils based on age or health condition.  We cannot express enough how important it is to dilute your essential oils before use. 

Please click here to check it out!



If for any reason you get essential oils in your eyes, put carrier oil along the eyebrows above the eyes and on the cheekbones below the eyes.


Please do not put essential oils inside your ear canal. Always only apply essential oils (with carrier) to the bone behind the ear.


"The continued use of the same oil may also, over time, lead to irritation not experienced when the oil was first tried out." (3) Please use caution when using oils for extended periods of time, as you may develop a skin irritation or sensitivity to the oil. When using oils over an extended period of time we recommend taking a break for a few days and / or changing the location of the application of oil. Please see "General Topical Guidelines" above for proper dilution guidelines, or go to this chart, here. It is always a good idea to dilute an essential oil before applying to your skin, and test it on the inside of your elbow for any sensitivities before using.


All cold-pressed citrus oils and blends that contain cold-pressed citrus oils will become photosensitive when applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight. Use caution applying these oils and blends to skin that will be exposed to the sun. Avoid direct sunlight for several hours after applying.


Click here to see the online health issues listing for adults. 

Click here for a printable pdf of the adult health issues listing. We recommend printing this list and keeping it in a handy spot.


Click here for our blog post on essential oils and pregnancy and lactation health topics. 

Click here for a printable pdf of pregnancy and lactation health topics.

There are many different schools of thought about what is safe and what is not for baby and mother during pregnancy and lactation.  At Selah we have decided to follow the advice given by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young in their book, Essential Oil Safety (2nd edition), for many reasons.   They are very conservative on their allowances, they have based their reasoning on sound research and testing and their information is the most up-to-date, as this book was published in 2014.

These are the Selah Essential Oils and Blends that should be avoided and used with caution during pregnancy.  Remember, we are following Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young's safety information that can be found in their book, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition (2014) on pages 152-156.

PLEASE NOTE: If you use another brand of essential oils, check their safety before using.  This list only applies to the items Selah Essential Oils carries in their store. There are more essential oils to avoid and use with caution than just what we have listed here

Selah Essential oils that should be AVOIDED throughout pregnancy and lactation:

Anise, Birch, Carrot Seed, Cinnamon bark, Dalmation Sage, Fennel, Hyssop, Myrrh, Oregano, Spanish Sage, Tansy, Turmeric.

Selah Essential Oil Blends that should be AVOIDED throughout pregnancy and lactation:

Anchor, Ancient China, Armor, Armor Spray, ART2C, Butterflies, Brenda's Blessing, Clarify, Cloudburst, Comfort, Determination, Dude, Ease, Family, Helichrysum Blend, Indigo, Inhale, Joyous Noel, Liver Cleanse, Love, Mighty Fortress, No Cedar, Pins & Needles, Resistance, Regulate, Transparency, Tummy Troubles

Selah Essential oils that should be RESTRICTED during pregnancy and lactation:

Lemongrass, Melissa 

Selah Essential Oil Blends that should be RESTRICTED during pregnancy and lactation:

Cleanse, Power

Selah Essential Oils that CAN be used during pregnancy and lactation:

Balsam Fir, Basil, Bergmot, Black Pepper, CajuputCardamom, Cedarwood, Cistus, Citronella, Clary SageClove, Copaiba, Coriander, Cypress, Dill, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Radiata, FrankincenseGeraniumGerman Chamomile, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lime, MarjoramOrange, PatchouliPeppermintPine, Roman Chamomile, Ravintsara, Rosemary, Rosewood, Spearmint, Tea Tree, Thyme Linalool, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang

Selah Essential Oil Blends that CAN be used during pregnancy and lactation:

Anchor, Bond, Bothered BellyBreathing, Breeze, Citrus, Clarify, Cootie Buster, Focus AttentionFrankincense BlendHead Hurt, IndigoItch No MoreLili Beth, Lovely, Ouchies, Pain & Strain, QuiescentResting, Resting, Jr.Sandalwood Blend, SickiesSigh, Skin Help, Sniff & SnortSoft, Tick'd Off

A note about Peppermint oil and Pregnancy:

We have found that several professionals recommend that peppermint not be used by pregnant women.  However, Tisserand and Price both categorize peppermint as OK.  In an effort to give you only the best information possible, we contacted Mr. Tisserand and asked his opinion regarding peppermint essential oil and pregnancy.  This was his reply:

"I have always believed that if peppermint oil was risky in pregnancy there would need to be warnings on peppermint-flavored gum and candy. There is evidence that menthol is safe in pregnancy (p 592 of my book) and there's none that I am aware of that either menthol or peppermint poses any risk. If others think differently, I don't know what their thinking is based on."

Some additional guidelines:

*Never take essential oils internally when pregnant.

*Never use an essential oil topically without dilution. 

*Never apply essential oils directly to the stomach when pregnant.

*Only use the following suggestions with the approval of your doctor.

*Be sure to always follow your doctor's advice.

A note about photosensitivity and pregnancy:

"Although photosensitizing oils are not a major problem in aromatherapy because possible ill effects are ineffective within 2 hours of administration, pregnant women should take extra care as they have an increased production of melanocytic hormone, which may make them more prone to being affected if the minimum waiting period of two hours is not observed before going into direct sunlight."

(Price, p.239)

Dilution guidelines: Click here for a handy dilution chart.



Our Selah Kids line of essential oil blends are safely pre-diluted and are safe for use during pregnancy and lactation.  Click here to learn more.






Click here for a handy printable of our babies and essential oils guidelines.

Click here for a printable pdf of our babies and children health issues listing.  We recommend printing this and keeping it handy!

We highly recommend you purchase Valerie Worwood's book, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child. It is an excellent resource for using aromatherapy on your child.

Some guidelines to remember when treating babies and children:


*NEVER put essential oils in eyes.

*NEVER put essential oils in ear canal.

*DO NOT add UNDILUTED essential oils to the bathwater of babies or children.

*ALWAYS keep essential oils out of reach of children.

*NEVER apply essential oils to or near a child's (or baby's) face.

*NEVER use essential oils on premature infants.

*NEVER place essential oils or preparations containing them into the nose of a baby or child.

*DO NOT expose children of five years or less to strong essential oil vapers.

*NEVER attempt to treat serious illness without referring to a medically qualified practitioner.

*Call your medically qualified practitioner in any case if conditions do not improve within 24 hours.


*ALWAYS follow your doctor's advice.

Dilution guidelines:

newborn to 6 month old: 1 drop essential oil to 30ml (1fl.oz) carrier oil.

6 month old to 12 month old: 2 drops essential oil to 30ml (1fl.oz) carrier oil.

for ages 2+, click here.

We Now offer safely pre-diluted essential oil blends 

just for kiddos aged 2+, pregnant and nursing mothers and elderly!

Click here to check it out!






Always test your application on yourself first and then on a very small area on your baby to be sure their skin will tolerate it.

Oh no!

If there is not enough dilution, the baby's skin may redden and become irritated.  You can add more carrier oil to lessen this effect.  Please note that water does not reduce the effect but could actually intensify it.


The best place to apply (diluted) essential oil is to the bottoms of the feet.


Diffusing the oils in the baby's room is a great way for the baby to inhale the essential oil molecules.  Essential oils provide antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal properties.  There is no need to overload the air with essential oils.  We recommend running the diffuser so that when you walk in, the essence of the aroma is noticeable, but does not overpower you. 

Lengthly Illness:

If you will be applying the oils for a length of time for a chronic condition, please use more dilution.  Essential oils are processed and leave the body within 2 hours so for an acute illness it is a good idea to reapply every 2 hours. After diluting, it is best to apply to the bottoms of the feet and cover with socks. 


The best places to apply (diluted) essential oil is to the baby's chest and back. (Avoid face and neck!)


These are the Selah essential oils and blends that are safe for ages 2+ and 6+.  

These oils are used only with proper dilution. For proper dilution ratios, please click here. 



Anchor Blend

 ART2C Blend

Baby Kit


Balsam Fir

Armor Blend



Black Pepper

Bond Blend
Bothered Belly


Breathing Blend


Breeze Blend



Clary Sage

Cinnamon Bark

Cootie Buster




Clarify Blend


Cleanse Blend


Eucalyptus Globulus

Eucalyptus Radiata


Focus Attention


Lovely Blend

Frankincense Blend



Mighty Fortress Blend

German Chamomile

No Cedar Blend




Power Blend

Head Hurt

Itch No More Blend

Tummy Troubles Blend

Juniper Berry

Transparency Blend


Sigh Blend



Lemon Eucalyptus










Pain & Strain





Quiescent Blend


Resting, Jr.

Resting Blend




Roman Chamomile




Skin Help
Sniff & Snort
Soft Spray




Tea Tree

Thyme linalool



Ylang Ylang


(1) Connie & Alan Higley Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2012, p. 10
(2)Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD., The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011, p. 29
(3) Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD., The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011, p. 81
(4) Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD., The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011. p. 132-133
(5) Shirley & Len Price, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 2012. p.136-137
(6) Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD., Advance Aromatherapy, 1995. p. 96
AromaTools. Modern Essentials, Fifth Edition, (2013).
Berwick, Ann. Holistic Aromatherapy. (1994).
Buckle, Jane. Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Practice, 2nd Edition. (2003).
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy An A-Z. (2000).
Harrison, Jimm. Aromatherapy. (2008).
Higley, Conie & Alan. Reference Guide to Essential Oils. (2012).
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. (2013).
Price, Shirley & Len. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. (2012).
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. (1999).
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book. (1992).
Schnaubelt, Kurt Ph.D. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. (2011).
Schnaubelt, Kurt, PhD. Advanced Aromatherapy, (1995).
Tisserand, Robert & Young, Rodney. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. (2014).
Worwood, Valerie. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (1991).


The choice of the process used in application of Selah Oils products is the sole responsibility of the user. We do not make any therapeutic claims for any Dietary Supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act and FDA regulations. Selah Oils and any of its directors, employees, representatives or those involved in blending and bottling the oils will not be liable for damages arising out of or in connection with the use of their products. This is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, income or profit and claims of third parties. We disclaim any liability if the user uses or prescribes any remedy or essential oil, natural or otherwise, for him/herself or another. Please consult a licensed healthcare professional should a need be indicated. 

 While we believe essential oils are helpful, we do not believe that they are the only medicine. Essential oils are simply a tool in the toolbox of optimal health. For example, essential oils are no replacement for diet change, exercise, and good choices.