Latin Name: juniperus communis Alternative Name: enegro, gemeiner wachholder, geneva, gin berry, ginepro, gin plant. Forms Available: essential oil, berry, twig
Juniper – juniperus communis – A Druid sacred tree, Juniper is an evergreen tree or shrub with needle-like leaves in threes and berrylike cones that ripen to blue-black in their second or third year.
Primarily a diuretic, the berries help digestive problems, gastrointestinal inflammations, and rheumatism. The berries are taken as a tea -simmer two teaspoons per cup of water for ten minutes; take up to one cup four times a day, or taken as jam or syrup in water, mild, or herb tea. The dry berries can be chewed; three a day is sufficient.
Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Acne; Dermatitis; Eczema; Hair Loss; Hemorrhoids; Wounds; Tonic for Oily Complexions; Accumulation of Toxins. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac; Purifying; Clearing; Depurative; Nerve Tonic; Reviving; Protective; Restorative.
Other Uses: Probably one of the earliest incenses used by Mediterranean Witches. Its berries were used with thyme in Druid and grove incenses for visions. Juniper grown by the door discourages thieves. The mature berries can be strung in the house to attract love.
Thought for the day:
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. – By Moliere
Latin Name: lavandula. lavendula officinalis Alternative Name: elf leaf, nard, nardus, spike. Forms Available: essential oil, absolute, bud, powder, flower
The Lavender plant grows to about one meter in height and produces long thin purple- blue flowers. The entire plant is covered with oil glands, which are in the star shaped hairs that cover the plant. Lavender has been used since ancient times, and the Romans added lavender to their bath water, hence the name from the Latin lavare, ‘to wash’.
Indigenous to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean areas, Lavender is also grown throughout the world including the United States, Australia, Southern Europe, France, India and other parts of Asia.
Lavender and Lavender essential oil have roots deeply vested in the historic healing of human beings. For more than 2500 years, Lavender has been used for therapeutic, culinary and beauty benefits in the cosmetic and personal hygiene industry.
Lavender – lavandula spp. – There are 28 species of these aromatic, evergreen, shrubby, perennials, all with small, linear leaves and spikes of fragrant, usually purple or blue, two-lipped flowers. Aromatic oil glands cover all aerial parts of the plants but are most concentrated in the flowers. The flowers flavor jams, vinegar, sweets, cream, and Provençal stews, and are crystallized for decoration. Dried flowers add long-lasting fragrance to sachets and potpourri. Flower water is a skin toner useful for speeding cell renewal and is an antiseptic for acne. Flower tea treats anxiety, headaches, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, and halitosis.
The essential oil is a highly valued perfume and healer. It is antiseptic, mildly sedative, and painkilling. It is applied to insect bites, and treats burns, sore throats and headaches. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have consumed up to 10 cups of lavender water a day to relieve migraines.
The oil is used for intestinal gas, migraine, and dizziness. Being antiseptic, lavender is added to healing salves. A tea of the leaf allays nausea and vomiting. Use two teaspoons per cup of water and steep for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day. Steep lavender blossoms in white wine and strain to make a natural antidepressant beverage. Lavender and rose petal vinagar is applied to the temples and brow to ease headache. Lavender oil is added to footbaths, eases toothaches and sprains, and is used as a rub for hysteria and palsy.
Other Uses: Lavender is strewn into bonfires at Midsummer as an offering to the Gods and Goddesses. An ingredient of love spells, its scent is said to attract men. Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing. The essential oil is included in health and love.
Thought for the day:
Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher. -by William Wordsworth
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that geraniol be limited to 5.3%, which translates into 17.5% Geranium oil (about 105 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Geranium is a hairy perennial shrub, often used in hedgerows, and will stand up to about one meter high (3 feet) with pointed leaves, serrated at the edges and with flowers that range from red to a pinkish white. Geranium plants originated in South Africa, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco and were introduced to European countries in the 17th century. The petals are used in gourmet jellies and confections, and the oil is widely used in scented topical applications.
Geranium Essential Oil is steam distilled from leaf. Sweet, heavy aroma, somewhat like rose with a minty overtone.
Geranium and its essential oil have been used in numerous alternative medicinal practices for healing wounds and fractures. It is said that the ancient Greeks used Geranium for treating skin problems. Egyptians used Geranium oil for enhancing the beauty and radiance of their skin.
This plant was grown around homes in the ancient times to keep away from evil spirits. Traditionally, Africans used Geranium oil in the treatment of cholera and tumors. Native American tribes in North America used Geranium tea prepared from the root powder to enhance the body’s immune power, and to treat ulcers and dysentery.
There are 250 natural species and thousands of cultivars and hybrid varieties of the Pelargonium plant family, in the genus Geraniaceae and the most popular ones are Egyptian Geranium, Reunion or the Geranium Bourbon and the Moroccan varieties. Most of the varieties have a similar structure of chemical constituents with Citronellol and Geraniol being the prevalent components.
Geranium Bourbon essential oil is certified with GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as Geranium oil is mild and tested safe on individuals on a normal prescribed usage level.
Using Geranium oil in a concentrated form or beyond the safe level of use might cause adverse skin reactions like mild irritation, sensitization (lower risk), rashes, allergy, irritation of the eyes and contact dermatitis. Geranium oil is non-phototoxic in nature.
The primary chemical constituents that are held responsible for the adverse skin reactions of Geranium oil are citronellal and geraniol, where citronellal is reported to exhibit mild irritant effect along with sporadic sensitization and skin irritation and Geraniol is claimed for skin sensitization.
The safe dermal usage level for this oil is 17.5% by IFRA (International Fragrance Association) and this safety report is based on the 30% Geraniol content, which has a maximum dermal limit of 5.3%.
Always blend Geranium essential oil in carrier oils like Olive oil, Jojoba oil or Coconut oil before using it topically. This is because organic and pure essential oils are extremely concentrated liquid substances that may impair the skin surface, when used in an undiluted form.
Essential oils are recommended only for external use and never ingest essential oils as it can cause serious health hazards. When administering Geranium oil orally in studies, acute dermal LD50 has been witnessed in rabbits. This may also cause possible drug interactions with antidiabetic medicines and the enzyme, CYP2B6 inhibiting effect of geraniol causes drug interaction metabolized by CYP2B6.
A recent study has witnessed this by testing alloxan-induced diabetic male rats with Geranium oil for about a month. The level of blood glucose was decreased by glibenclamide and the concentration of hepatic glycogen was significantly augmented.
As there are no evidenced reports on the safety of Geranium oil during pregnancy and lactating, it is safe to avoid this oil for it may have an impact on the hormonal fluctuations during these special moments. It is better to keep away Geranium oil from babies, either as a massage aid or for inhalation as it can harm their sensitive and tender skin.
Among its reputed aromatherapeutic properties are analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, cicatrisant, diuretic and insecticide. Calms anxiety, lifts the spirit, assists with depression. Useful for all conditions of the woman’s reproductive system as an inhalant and massage application, beneficial for PMS. May assist with menopausal problems such as vaginal dryness and heavy periods. Assists with breast inflammation. Helps clear the body of toxins and this may be helpful with addictions. Stimulates the lymphatic system which keeps infection at bay. Eases neuralgia. Indicated for all problems of the nervous system such as anxiety and nervous fatigue. The oil is a diuretic and a lymphatic stimulant which can help relieve congestion, fluid retention and swollen ankles. Useful for all skin conditions as it balances sebum. Good for oily skin. It’s an excellent remedy for burns, wounds and ulcers. Blends well with basil, bergamot, carrot seed, jasmine, lavender and rose.
Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Geranium Oil:
While there are no regulatory restrictions on the use of Scots Pine oil, the oxidation products of alpha-pinene and delta-3-carene can cause skin sensitization. Pine oil should be stored in dark bottles and cool locations to avoid oxidation. The use of antioxidants in formulations containing pine oil is also advised.
Originally from around the Mediterranean basin, this evergreen tree can grow up to 25 – 30 feet and the bark is a reddish-brown that is deeply fissured with needle-like leaves that grow in pairs, and pear-shaped cones. Historically it has been used in steam baths and massage oils.
The essential oil of Pine Scotch is said to cause mild skin irritation, contact dermatitis, sensitization, allergic reactions and irritation of the mucous membrane. It has been certified as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FEMA (Flavouring Extract Manufacturers’ Association). The chief chemical components responsible for the adverse skin impacts of Pine Scotch oil are α-pinene, delta-3-carene and limonene, mainly due to their autoxidation effects.
As Pine scotch oil has the tendency to irritate the lining of the mucous membrane during inhalation, it is good to avoid this oil if you have asthma, allergies in the respiratory passages and bronchial disorders.
Never use Pine scotch oil in an undiluted form and make certain that you always blend essential oils with gentle carrier oils like coconut oil and olive oil, as organic essential oils are very concentrated and may cause negative effects on the eyes, skin and the body. Stay safe by using diluted Pine scotch oil and avoid using it on allergies, damaged skin, eyes and inflammatory skin conditions.
It is better to avoid the use of Pine scotch oil if you are pregnant or nursing as there is insufficient information on the safe use of this oil during these sensitive times when the system experience enormous changes in the hormonal functions.
These possible skin issues are applicable only for leave-on products like creams and lotions and not for rinse-off products like soaps, shampoos and other bath preparations.
Maximum dermal use level: 0.7% to avoid phototoxicity
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Lime oil be limited to 0.7% (about 4 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions used on skin exposed to sunlight. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Lime is a small evergreen tree that produces a small, sour fruit very similar to Lemon. The fruits themselves are green in color with a fleshy interior. Historically, limes were used to prevent sailors from developing scurvy.
Lime is indigenous to Asia and is now cultivated in numerous countries like America, West Indies and Italy. This evergreen tree bears white flowers and glittering green fruits. India is the largest Lime oil producing country in the world and Lime was introduced into Europe initially by the Moors and was then spread slowly to America. Lime essential oil is extracted by cold press method from the peel of the fruit.
The leaves of the Lime tree were used in the prehistoric period for treating poisonous bites and swellings. Apart from its medicinal uses, Lime has been used in making pickles, sauces, desserts, jams, confections, sorbets, marmalades, beverages, squashes, perfumes, household cleaners, detergents, soaps, cosmetics and other beauty products.
Lime essential oil has a photosensitizing effect that can cause irritation of the skin, allergic reactions, burning sensation, phytophotodermatitis, hyperpigmentation (change of skin color, visible especially in people with white skin complexion) and certain other effects. The photosensitizing effect can last up to 12 hours after application.
The primary chemical constituent responsible for the photo-carcinogenic, skin sensitizing and other topical effects of the essential oil of Lime is Limonene and certain other furanocoumarins.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives reveals about a skin condition called as phytophotodermatitis, induced by Lime, where a 24-year old nurse came up with red demarcated tender patches and crusted vesicles after squeezing fresh limes and going out in sun on a bright day.
Phytophotodermatitis is defined as a nonimmunologic eruption of the skin that occurs after its contact with phototoxic components in certain plant varieties and is then exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation through visible sunlight.
Few other studies also witness the effects of photosensitization of Lime and Lime-based products containing psoralens, paving the way for burns, blisters, bullae, eruption, erythematous vesicles, rashes, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. It is also been said that in certain severe cases, systemic toxicity come with the rashes, which includes nausea, vomiting and fever.
Lime oil has also been reported to promote tumors, when tested on rats where most of the papillomas were benign and few were malignant.
The safe dilution level of Lime oil is 0.7%, which is 4.2 drops per ounce of any carrier oils as per the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This safe dilution level applies only for leave-on products like lotions and creams and is not applicable for wash-away products like soaps, shampoos and other bathing products.
Lime oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’status by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European regulatory body, essential oils with furanocoumarins must be used in such a way that the level of bergapten should not go beyond 15ppm (parts per million) in ready to use cosmetic products after which the skin is subjected to exposure of direct sunlight and this does not apply for wash-off products. The level of bergapten should be 1 ppm in bronzing and sun protection products.
For your information, Furocoumarins are also used in healing practices on par with long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for treating vitiligo, psoriasis and mycosis fungoides.
Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lime Oil:
Maximum dermal use level: 2% to avoid phototoxicity
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Lemon oil be limited to 2% (about 10 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions used on skin exposed to sunlight. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Lemon essential oil is among the photosensitizing citrus oils that may cause burning sensation, irritation, hyperpigmentation (discoloration of the skin surface) and other changes due to its effect of stimulating the photosensitivity of the skin, when exposed to visible light from the sun within 12 hours of use. The primary reason is the reaction of the photoactive chemical components that absorbs light and leads to toxicity via molecular alterations in the skin.
The chief chemical component accountable for the skin sensitizing and other dermal effects of Lemon oil is Limonene and few other furanocoumarins.
Certain studies (like the 1994 study on the ‘Occupation Contact Dermatitis from Citrus fruits’ and a 2006 study on ‘Skin Diseases in Workers at a Perfume factory’) on the adverse skin reactions of using the essential oil of Citrus limon reports few cases, including the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis with the use of Lemon rind oil in the workers of the perfume industry. Patch testing also witnessed certain allergic effects on using Lemon rind oil.
Research reveals that Lemon oil has furocoumarin derivatives like oxypeucedanin and bergapten; however the phototoxic effect of oxypeucedanin was just 1 quarter of that of bergapten. It is also stated that these components are the major cause of concern behind the phototoxicity of Lemon essential oil. This study also states that oxypeucedanin educes photo pigmentation on the skin of colored-guinea-pig prior to visible erythema.
It is also stated that the quantity of these 2 phototoxic components in Lemon oils from various countries differed by about a factor greater than 20 (bergapten, 4-87 ppm; oxypeucedanin, 26-728 ppm (parts per million), with a wavering ratio.
The safe dilution use level of Lemon oil, a potential phototoxic essential oil is 2%, which is about 12 drops per ounce of any carrier oils, according to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This applies only for products employed for dermal use to prevent phototoxicity and is not valid for wash-off items like shampoos, soaps and other bath products.
Lemon oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’authorization by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European decree, essential oils containing furanocoumarins can be used provided the aggregate level of bergapten does not exceed 15 ppm in cosmetic products that are ready-to-use on the skin, which is prone to be exposed to direct sunlight sans wash-away items and 1 ppm in bronzing and sunscreen products.
On a lighter note, Furocoumarins are also used in remedial practices along with long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for treating psoriasis, mycosis fungoides and vitiligo.
Referred to as ‘Golden Apple’ in the Indian subcontinent, Lemon is a traditional remedy for many health disorders and is often called as a panacea for its ability to heal the mind and the body in manifold ways. The essential oil of Lemon is cold pressed from the external rind or peel of the Lemon fruits.
Known as Nimbuka, Jambira and Dantashata in Ayurveda, Lemon is a popular Ayurvedic remedy that is used in medicine, food and also in the process of purification. It is used for stimulating the nervous system, improve concentration power, enhance immunity, purify blood and support digestion.
Lemon and its essential oil is a popular ingredient of many Ayurvedic weight loss remedies and lemon juice taken with lukewarm water in empty stomach in the morning is said to reduce fat deposits and eliminate toxins from the body.
Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lemon Oil:
Maximum dermal use level: 4% to avoid phototoxicity
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Grapefruit oil be limited to 4% (about 24 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions used on skin exposed to sunlight. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Grapefruit oil has photosensitive effects if oxidized, contributing to its phototoxic, photo-carcinogenic, sensitizing properties. The possible skin issues of using Grapefruit oil are hyperpigmentation, allergic reactions, irritation, sunburns, blisters and rashes. These reactions mainly occur when the skin is exposed to visible sunlight within 12 hours of use.
The underlying reason is the reaction of the photoactive chemical constituents in Grapefruit oil that attracts light and leads to toxicity through molecular changes in the skin surface. Certain studies state that Grapefruit oil promotes the formation of tumors on the skin of mouse, by the key carcinogen, 10-dimethyl-l, 2-benzanthracene.
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The primary chemical component responsible for the phototoxic and adverse skin effects of Grapefruit oil is Limonene, which accounts to about 90% of this oil along with few other furanocoumarins ( the non-volatile compounds like bergapten, bergamottin and epoxy-bergamottin.)
The safe dilution level of Grapefruit oil by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 4%, which is about 24 drops per ounce of any mild carrier oils. This is particularly to prevent phototoxicity in products used for dermal applications except for bath products like soaps, shampoos and other wash-off preparations.
According to the European decree, essential oils that contain furanocoumarins must be used preferably when the level of bergapten does not exceed 15 ppm (parts per million) in finished cosmetic products intended for use on parts of the skin that are in contact with sunlight (other than rinse-away products) and 1 ppm in bronzing and sun protection products.
Grapefruit oil should be used only for topical application, preferably blended with mild carrier oils (good for use after a patch test on your skin). Never use essential oils for ingestion, as internal use of essential oils might pose adverse health effects. Undiluted Grapefruit oil can cause skin irritation and this oil is claimed to be toxic to cats.
Studies state that ingesting furocoumarins may also cause phytophotodermatitis. It is better to avoid Grapefruit oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as the safety of this oil during carrying or nursing are not established.
In a much similar way like Bitter orange oil, Grapefruit oil is said to restrain important enzymes in the intestines and liver, leading to have an impact on the blood levels at the time of taking medicines that are antidepressant, antiviral, anti-anxiety, calcium channel blockers, steroids, anti-malarial, immune modulators, prokinetics, statins and on par with caffeine intake. The presence of furocoumarins has led to the term ‘Grapefruit effect’, which signifies the interaction between furocoumarins and enzymes that are engaged in drug metabolism, specifically cytochrome P450.
Use Grapefruit oil only after medical advice, if you are taking any other prescription medicines. Startlingly, furocoumarins are also used in different remedies along with long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for treatng psoriasis, mycosis fungoides and vitiligo.
The traditional remedial values of this oil are antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-tumoral, antioxidant, lymphatic, stimulant, tonic, diuretic, disinfectant, aperitif and fat dissolving.
Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Grapefruit Oil:
Maximum dermal use level: 0.4% to avoid phototoxicity
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Cumin Seed oil be limited to 0.4% (about 2.4 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions used on skin exposed to sunlight. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Black seeds or Nigella sativa is an annual flowering plant and is indigenous to southwest Asian countries. The earliest archaeological evidence about this medicinal herb is said to have been found in the ancient Egypt in many places including the Tutankhamun’s tomb, where the Egyptian Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty was entombed with Black cumin seeds.
Also known as ‘Black Seed Oil’, Black Cumin Seed Oil has been used as an all-purpose medicinal oil for centuries in Asia and Middle Eastern countries, especially for skin problems. According to a hadith of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed said, “… the black granules (kalonji) are the remedy for all diseases except death.”
The essential oil of Cumin is said to have phototoxic effects, which may lead to allergic reactions, mild skin irritation, sunburn, blisters and hyperpigmentation when the skin is exposed to direct light from the sun with increased use of dermal application of Cumin oil (more than the safe level) for up to 12 hours after use. The major chemical constituents held responsible for the adverse skin effects of Cumin oil are Cuminaldehyde and certain other phenols.
According to the International Fragrance Association, the safe and maximum level of dermal use of Cumin oil is 0.4%. Photosensitivity and other associated skin defects are said to occur when the safe limit of Cumin oil is exceeded and is used on the parts of the skin that are exposed to visible sunshine. This is applicable only for leave-on products like creams, massage blends, ointments and lotions and not for rinse-off products like bath preparations.
Never use Cumin oil in an undiluted manner and ensure that you always blend essential oils with appropriate carrier oils as pure essential oils are highly concentrated and might cause adverse effects on the skin, eyes and the system.
Cumin seed oil is prescribed safe only for topical applications and not for internal use. Certain animal studies have concluded that overdose of Cumin seeds proved anti-fertility activity. Cumin seeds, due to their emmenagogue properties were proved to exhibit mild abortifacient activity, when tested on rats with the gestational age of 8 to 12 days with aqueous cumin extracts.
These seeds were proved to cause anaphylactic reactions on overdose. Caution should be taken in using Cumin oil, if you have a history of irritation or inflammation of the kidneys. It is also said that Cumin seeds may also cause low blood sugar so it is best to avoid the use of Cumin oil prior to 2 weeks before and after any surgical conditions.
Avoid Cumin oil if you are pregnant or getting ready to conceive as Cumin oil has abortifacient and anti-fertility effects, when used more than the prescribed level can end up in miscarriage, stimulate menstruation or premature labor and might delay the chances of getting pregnant.
Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Cumin Oil:
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Cinnamaldehyde (the chief constituent of Cinnamon Bark oil) be limited to 0.05% (about 1 drops per 3 ounces of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions. Since Cinnamon Bark oil is approximately 75% Cinnamaldehyde, the recommended maximum for Cinnamon Bark oil is 0.07% (approximately 1 drop in 2 ounces of any other carrier oils). There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Cinnamomum zeylanicum originates in Sri Lanka. It is a tropical evergreen tree of the laurel family growing up to 15 m (45 feet) in the wild. The tree has a very thin smooth bark, with a light yellowish brown color and a highly fragrant odor. Its pleasant scent makes it, in small amounts, a spicy addition to creams, lotions and soaps.
Although it is an indispensable spice and herbal remedy, Cinnamon is reported for negative effects including possible skin issues like allergic reactions, irritation of the skin, stimulating menstruation, contracting the uterine muscles, skin sensitization, dermatitis and burning sensation.
It is highly advisable to avoid Cinnamon oil during pregnancy as it may shrivel the uterine muscles, cause indigestion, pain in the abdomen, contribute to premature labor and is completely unsafe for the development of the fetus.
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The major chemical components that are in charge for the potential skin problems and other adverse health conditions of Cinnamon oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. It may cause a burning sensation or irritation on the engaged parts when used in the form of skin care, oral hygiene (toothpastes and mouthwashes) and pain relieving products including ointments and rubs.
Cinnamon oil, with the presence of these constituents is said to cause subchronic and severe toxicity, when used beyond the prescribed level of use. The maximum recommended usage level of Cinnamaldehyde by The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 0.05%.
Though Cinnamon has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, The Council of Europe has fixed an ADI of 1.25mg/kg for Cinnamaldehyde, which is the same as an adult dosage of 115 mg of Cinnamon bark oil.
According to the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP) the presence of Cinnamaldehyde in any ready to use products should not surpass 0.1%.
Studies report severe burns in people due to the skin contact of undiluted Cinnamon oil and is commonly related to burning sensation in the skin, mouth, mucous membrane stomach and chest , intermittent blistering, nausea, dizziness and sensitization accounted to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde. This also applies to the use of Cinnamon oil in vapor therapy and dermal application.
Greener Life Diamond – Bio-Healthy Score => 3 – Possible Skin Issues:
Maximum dermal use level: 0.05%
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Cinnamaldehyde (the chief constituent of Cassia oil) be limited to 0.05% (about 1 drops per 3 ounces of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin.
Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon or Chinese cassia, originated in South China. This tree serves several purposes and is hence widely cultivated in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With its celebrated use in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cassia is regarded as one among the 50 fundamental herbs of China.
Cassia Essential Oil has a pungent, warm scent from its 1% to 2% volatile oil that is mainly responsible for the spicy aroma. It is a strong top note.
The key chemical constituents that are responsible for the possible skin and other undesirable health issues of Cassia oil are cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. These components have been studied for causing acute and subchronic toxicity.
Cassia oil may provoke debility, itching, irritation, insomnia, and depression in some people. This mainly occurs when the use of Cinnamaldehyde exceeds the maximum safe level of usage. The highest recommended level by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for Cinnamaldehyde is 0.05% for most leave-on products.
Undiluted or concentrated Cassia oil have been shown to cause severe irritation in rabbits in certain studies and few other studies involving consecutive patients with dermatitis, few people were sensitive to 2% Cassia oil on patch testing.
Always ensure to dilute Cassia oil in appropriate carrier oils before topical use and never ingest essential oil as they may be toxic to the system.
Ayurveda prescribes Cassia for the treatment of menstrual problems, nausea, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, depression, loss of libido, rheumatism, diabetes and indigestion. Cassia is botanically called as Cinnamomum cassia and is a member of the Lauraceae plant family.
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