WAYS TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS
There are four effective application methods for use with Essential Oils. Within each method, there are other applications.
The four application methods are:
- Inhalation (Aromatic)
REMEMBER: Different oils are used in different ways. Some are safe to use directly on your skin, but some need to be mixed with a carrier oil which will reduce the risk of skin irritation and/or any adverse reactions Some are safe to use during pregnancy or internally, but not all.
Essential oils are extremely potent and powerful. Be sure to do your research, read the bottle for precautions, and ask questions regarding any safety precautions.
You can contact me at the email listed at the bottom of the page if you have questions or concerns.
Using Essential Oils by Inhalation (also called Aromatic)
This is the most common and well-known way to use essential oils. Almost everyone knows essential oils smell good and make your home smell fresh. What few people know is that along with a pleasing aroma, essential oils have many health properties, from fighting infects and boosting the immune system, to helping ease anxiety and depression. As we inhale, our bodies are getting all the positive therapeutic properties that the oils themselves possess.
Methods of Inhalation:
Diffuse: the oil is evaporated into the room
- Vaporizing diffuser: Releases a vapor with the oil molecules. Once airborne the molecules can last for several hours. (most popular)
- Atomizing diffuser: Your essential oil bottle is attached directly to the diffuser and sprayed.
- Evaporative diffuser: A pad or filter with essential oil on it has air blown through it sending the air with the evaporated oil into the room.
- Heat diffuser: Uses heat instead of a fan to evaporate the oil into the air.
Direct inhalation: breathing in the aroma
- Open the bottle and holding a few inches from your nose, breathe in the aroma.
- Put 2 or 3 drops in your hand, rub them together, then cup them over your nose and mouth to breathe in the aroma. Some oils need to be diluted before using this method so, as use caution and know about your oil.
- Place 2 or 3 drops on a cotton ball and inhale from an inch or two from your face.
- Mix a few drops of essential oil (or a blend of oils) with distilled water or alcohol (vodka works well). Spray in the air, on your body or counters, etc.
Steam Tent: used with respiratory issues
- Add 2-3 drops of essential oil (ex. Peppermint or Eucalyptus) to a pot of heated water, put a towel over your head, lean over the pot and inhale.
Using Essential Oils Topically
Topical use means being applied directly to your skin where the oil is absorbed and then enters your bloodstream. When the oil is applied directly, without a carrier oil, this is a “neat” application. There are oils that, unless you have sensitive skin, should be fine to apply neat, for example, lavender or Roman chamomile. With many oils, you will need a carrier oil to dilute the potency application. This reduces the chance of skin reactions or irritations. Some citrus oils are phototoxic, avoid direct sun or tanning bed exposure for at least 12 hours after application. Doing a patch test on a small area of your inner arm if important if you have sensitive skin.
REMEMBER: Along with reducing the chance of any skin issues diluting an essential oil does not decrease how effective the oil is, will give you a greater coverage area and will help with absorption as it prevents evaporation. Always check the bottle for precautions.
When diluting with a carrier oil, it is important to follow the generally suggested ratios:
Infants: 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil
Children: 1 – 2 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil
Adults: 3-6 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil
Methods of Topical use:
Bath: this mixes inhalation and topical methods
- Add 10-15 drops to a warm bath.
- Add 10-15 drops to a warm bath with Epsom salt for a detox bath.
Body lotion: particularly soothing after a bath or shower
Mix (based on the dilution chart) your favorite scent or a blend of your favorites with a carrier oil. I use a mix of frankincense and orange that I love. I am not a big fan frankincense’s scent, so I use orange with it, but I love that it has so many therapeutic properties (sleep aid, boosts the immune system, kills germs and bacteria, to name a few). I use the same blend in a diffuser also.
- Apply to the reflex points of your hands, feet and/or ears.
- Soles of your feet – awesome!! The soles of your feet contain no sebaceous glands (your palms don’t either). These glands secrete sebum, an oily substance that helps waterproof and lubricates your skin. With no sebum, the feet are better able to absorb your oil. I won’t mention how wonderful it feels.
Compress: hot or cold
- Use a wet towel or cloth (warm or cool), add a few drops of essential oil then apply to the area. For muscle aches use a little peppermint oil.
Personal Care: make some DIY recipes
- Body lotion
- Facial moisturizer
- lip balm
- Shower gel
Using Essential Oils Internally
The key word to be used here is CAUTION. Many oils are not to be used internally. Follow the product directions and if you are not sure, use topically. If you have any health issues, consult your healthcare provider. Many essential oils are safe to use internally, but it is important to remember that it depends on the person and their health issues, the oil and the dosage. Some oils, like wintergreen, should never be taken internally. Peppermint, on the other hand, can be taken in small doses, a drop or two twice a day.
Many believe essential oils should not be taken internally unless a physician recommends it. It is important to note that for thousands of years Chinese medicine has used essential oils therapeutically. Also, there are many articles and research studies showing the health benefits when essential oils are used internally.
REMEMBER: Caution is key. Do your research, read your bottle information and ask questions.
Methods of Internal Use:
- Use 1 drop (maybe less) of rosemary, oregano, even lavender in recipes.
- Mouthwash: Add a drop of peppermint to some water for a refreshing mouthwash.
- Teeth: Add a drop of fennel to your toothbrush to cut your sugar cravings.
- Teeth whitening: Add a drop to your toothpaste of orange or rosemary.
- Place a few drops (based on oil used) into a capsule. Swallow with a glass of water.
- Place a drop or two in honey, water, almond milk or coconut oil and drink.
Using Essential Oils Externally
Essential oils are a great way to not only clean but detoxify your home. Many have antibacterial and antiseptic properties; they can even repel bugs.
All around room deodorizer and freshener: Diffuse lemon, orange or rosemary.
DIY Essential Oil products:
Household cleanser: Add 7 drops lemon and 7 drops tea tree oils to an 8 oz spray bottle of warm water.
Insect repellant: Mix 5 drop each of citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint and tea tree oils in 1/2 cup of witch hazel in a spray bottle. You could also add the same to 5 teaspoons of a carrier oil. Either can be applied to the arms, legs and face. Avoid ears and eyes.
Mold: Diffuse tea tree oil in the room.
Vegetable cleaner: Use a few drops of lemon oil mixed with water.