Essential Oil Safety Pages

Welcome to the Tisserand Institute Safety Pages.

Essential oils can be safely used to enhance well-being, as part of a healthy lifestyle. They are used by millions of people every day, most of them without incident. However, essential oils are powerful substances and can be harmful if not used with due care and diligence. The essential oil in a bottle is 50-100 times more concentrated than in the plant, and safety issues apply to essential oils that may not apply to the whole plant or herbal extract. The rise in popularity of essential oils together with, very often, insufficient information on safety precautions in using them, coincides with an increased prevalence of adverse reactions, and it is likely that these are linked.

Which is why the Tisserand Institute has these Safety Pages, to help you use essential oils in an efficient and safe manner.

Our Main Safety Guidelines Page

Dilutions, baths, children, asthma, adverse reactions and more.

Essential Oil Safety Masterclass

with Robert Tisserand

This six-part online certification course will show you how to evaluate risks against benefits and make informed decisions about safety for yourself as well as for your family and friends. You will learn the science behind safety, and the reasoning behind safety guidelines. Whatever your current level of knowledge, this certification masterclass will further enable you to safely apply essential oil preparations according to current evidence and best practices.

Adverse Reaction Database

The Tisserand Institute’s Adverse Reaction Database, or ARD, is a collection of self-reported adverse reactions to essential oils. Each report has been verified by personal contact and is accompanied by images where possible.

The ARD was created to underline the potential dangers that do exist when essential oils are used inappropriately. It should be emphasized that most people never have an adverse reaction to essential oils. However, inappropriate use does increase risk.

You can browse the reports, search by individual oils or types of reaction, or add a report if you yourself have experienced an adverse reaction.

Essential Oil Safety Textbook

by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young

Essential Oil Safety is a one-of-a-kind textbook which provides over 600 in-depth profiles for different essential oils or their constituents, providing the only comprehensive, evidence-based guidance currently in publication to safe formulations and use of an encyclopedic range of essential oils.

The textbook is 784 pages long (also available digitally) and provides a rational basis for an analysis of hazards and risks based on current scientific understanding of their biological actions.

Other Safety Resources

The following are various resources of additional information relevant to essential oil safety. These include safety-related blog posts, pages and infographics.

Why safety is important
Robert Tisserand on the current and past challenges of safe use of essential oils

New survey reveals the dangers of not diluting essential oils
A summary of findings of a survey the TI conducted on the use of cinnamon bark and cassia essential oils

Essential oils and the “detox” theory
A blog post by Kristina Bauer

Proof of safety
A downloadable PDF of Robert Tisserand’s presentation on safety

Bath Safety
How to use essential oils safely in the bath

Skin irritation and allergy
Why dilution is important, and how to avoid skin reactions

The difference between hazard and risk
It’s really useful to understand the difference!

Balancing risks and benefits
Finding the sweet spot can be a challenge

How to talk to people about safety
Some basic principles we believe make for a constructive exchange of opinions