Essential Oil Safety

Test your knowledge of essential oil safety based on research and evidence.

While essential oils are natural it doesn’t mean that they are inherently safe. Anything that has a therapeutic effect can also cause an unintended reaction. What determines whether you have a positive therapeutic result or unintended result is largely based on the exposure (dose and time) and method of use.

This short quiz is intended to help you discover a few of the reasonable cautions that should be followed to reduce the risk of an unintended result when using essential oils. To learn more and have a resource to guide you see one of Dr. Johnson’s books:

Which of the following essential oils contain enough 1,8-cineole to avoid use in children under the age of 3?


Which constituent in wintergreen is similar to aspirin making it important to avoid in children under age 12, particularly when feverish or sick with a viral illness?


Which of the following essential oils should be used cautiously or avoided when a person is taking an anticoagulant drug like warfarin?


This essential oil produces antidepressant effects via the monoamine oxidase (MAO) pathway, which suggests that it may interact with other antidepressants that work on the same MAO pathway.


Which of these essential oils has been shown in research to interact with antibiotics and antifungals?


What essential oil contains alantolactone, which is known to cause skin irritation when applied topically?


Which of these essential oils should be avoided or used very cautiously by people with epilepsy?


Which of these essential oils increases the risk of photosensitivity when applied topically and exposed to UV rays?


Which of the following essential oils may interact with caffeine?


Which book or books by Dr. Johnson contain(s) essential oils cautions and potential drug interactions?


This one habit could take years off your appearance

Most everyone wants to maintain their youthful appearance for as long as possible. So much so that the average American woman reportedly spends about $8 per day on facial care products. A variety of natural skin care products do indeed improve your skin’s appearance, but what if there was a cost-free habit that could promote healthier skin?

The visible signs of aging

Anyone who looks in a mirror regularly knows that there are certain signs of aging — wrinkles, crow’s feet, sagging — that appear as the years advance. These changes in the skin’s appearance are due to modifications to the layers of the skin. A thickening of the outer layer (stratum corneum) of the skin combined with a thinning of the deeper layers of the skin (due to collagen and fibrin loss) produce the tell-tale signs of aging.

Fine lines, dark spots, and drooping that occur as a result of aging — independent of sun exposure — have been accepted as inevitable. Potentially harmful plastic surgery was viewed as one of the few viable ways to reverse these age-related skin changes.

Exercise: The ‘Fountain of Youth’

Most studies focus on the benefits of cardiovascular (endurance) exercise to the heart, lungs, overall health, and even mood.  Scientists at McMaster University set out to determine if youthful skin could be maintained — or even reversed — by something as simple as aerobic exercise. The first arm of the study included 29 male and female volunteers aged 20 to 84 that performed at least three hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week. These individuals were compared against a group that exercised less than one hour per week.

The second half of the trial focused on sedentary elderly (65 to 86 years old) adults that participated in an acute exercise trial. This arm of the trial was intended to limit factors — nutrition, lifestyles, and genetics — that may skew study results. Elderly participants started with 30 minutes of cycling at 65% of their maximum heart rate (HRmax). The training program progressively increased 5% HRmax every other week until 75% HRmax was achieved, at which point exercise duration was increased 5 minutes every other week, peaking at 75% HRmax and 45 minutes.

Skin samples were taken from the participant’s buttocks in areas not exposed to sun before and at the completion of the training program. After analyzing the skin samples, the scientists observed a decrease in the thickness of the stratum corneum. Indeed, men and women over the age of 40 that exercised frequently had significantly healthier skin that more closely matched the composition of adults in their 20s and 30s. Remarkably, this marked reduction in skin aging (10+ years reduction) held true even for those in their mature years (over age 65).

Get moving to improve your appearance

The results of the study clearly demonstrate that aerobic exercise protects against the visible signs of aging and promotes a more youthful skin composition. You may be thinking about more than calories expended, but how much younger your skin will look, the next time you are on that treadmill at the gym.

Three powerful benefits of the elite superfood: Moringa oleifera

Loaded with 90+ nutrients, Moringa oleifera (also known as the horseradish tree, drumstick tree, or miracle tree) is the most nutrient dense botanical ever discovered. Native to the lowland dry tropical forests south of the Himalayan region in Arabia and India, this remarkable tree has received a considerable amount of praise and extensively researched for its extensive health benefits. Moringa contains so many nutrients that it is used to address malnutrition in underprivileged areas of the world. (1,2,3) Multiple parts of the tree (leaves, pods, seed) are used for both food and medicinal purposes.

Blood sugar balance. Moringa contains beneficial phytocompounds that have been shown to increase insulin secretion and reduce fasting blood sugar in clinical studies. (4,5)

Reduce inflammation. Preclinical research–combined with clinical experience–demonstrates that moringa reduces inflammation.(6)

Help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Preliminary clinical research demonstrates that moringa positively modifies cholesterol levels. (7,8)

Daily consumption of this miracle tree provides cumulative benefits that improve human health. Millions of people can testify that moringa improves their overall well-being and the list of devotees is growing every day.

Discover the impressive nutritional profile of moringa in the PDF below.

Nutrients in Moringa

[1] Kasolo JN, Bimenya GS, Ojok L, et al. Phytochemicals and uses of Moringa oleifera leaves in Ugandan rural communities. J Med Plants Res. 2010;4:753-57

[2] Mahmood KT, Mugal T, Haq IU. Moringa oleifera: a natural gift-A review. Pharm Sci Res. 2010;2(11):775-81

[3] Zongo U, Zoungrana SL, Savadogo A, et al. Nutritional and Clinical Rehabilitation of Severely Malnourished Children with Moringa oleifera Lam. Leaf Powder in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Food Nutr Sci. 2013;4:991-7.

[4] Kushwaha S, Chawla P, Kochar A. Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women. J Food Sci Tech. 2014 Nov;51(11):3364-9.

[5] Anthanont P, Lumlerdkij N, Akarasereenont P, et al. Moringa Oleifera Leaf Increases Insulin Secretion after Single Dose Administration: A Preliminary Study in Healthy Subjects. J Med Assoc Thai. 2016 Mar;99(3):308-13.

[6] Sulaiman MR, Zakaria ZA, Bujarimin AS, et al. Evaluation of Moringa oleifera Aqueous Extract for Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities in Animal Models. Pharm Biol. 2008;46(12):838-45.

[7] Kumari DJ. Hypoglycaemic effect of Moringa oleifera and Azadirachta indica in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The bioscan. 2010;5(2):211-4.

[8] Nambiar VS, Guin P, Parnami S, et al. Impact of antioxidants from drumstick leaves on the lipid profile of hyperlipidemics. J Herb Med Toxicol. 2010;4:165–172.