5 Ways to Use Your Essential Oils

Harness the power of essential oils…

Essential oil alchemy is a fun, simple way to practice self-care and creativity. Fortunately, there are many beautiful ways to use essential oils to transform your home into a sanctuary and improve your general wellbeing. From the simplicity of a few drops on a handkerchief to the sensual indulgence of an aromatic bath, here’s a list of just some of the ways you can immerse in the therapeutic benefits of your essential oils…

1. Inhalation

Handkerchief

One of the easiest ways to inhale essential oils is to simply place 10 drops on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale the aroma as required! Place the handkerchief next to your pillow at night, carry it in your handbag or keep in your office drawer for an instant aromatherapy uplift or wave of calm.

Vaporiser/Diffuser

Using a diffuser can help create the ideal atmosphere in your home or workplace! Remember to always follow the instructions of your specific diffuser carefully for optimal performance. Ultrasonic diffusers are ideal as no heating element is used so that the complex chemical constituents of the oils are protected. They work on high frequencies that work to disperse a very fine essential oil-infused mist into the air.

Steam inhalation

Another way to enjoy the benefits of essentials oils (a way that is particularly good for of clearing stuffy head colds) is by breathing the essential oils in via steam inhalation. Add about 10 drops of essential oil to 100mls of hot water in a basin. It is best to place a towel over your head and the basin to capture the maximum steam. Breathe deep and enjoy the benefits.

2. Bath

Essential oils truly elevate your bathing experience to a level of luxury and ultimate therapeutic benefit.

To make an aromatherapy bath blend begin with 10-15 drops of Essential Oil Solubiliser. Add 5 drops of essential oil or a blend you have previously concocted.

Add this bath blend to your warm bath and disperse vigorously or run under the running water to disperse thoroughly and enjoy the bliss.

By using a solubiliser you ensure that the essential oil disperses and dissolves in the water properly. Foot or hand baths may also be prepared by adding the bath blend to a bowl of warm water.

Enjoy approximately 15 minutes soaking in the fragrant bath, taking deep inhalations of the pleasant aromas to soothe your mind and nervous system, while your skin absorbs the natural healing oils.

3. Massage

Essential oils are concentrated and are rarely massaged onto the skin without first diluting. A cold-pressed vegetable oil such as apricot kernel, almond or wheat germ oil is used as a base and is referred to as the carrier oil. The standard ratio of essential oils to carrier oil to use is as follows:

Whatever the quantity of carrier oils in ml is, half that number and that is the number of drops of essential oil you add. For example, you add 50 drops to 100ml of base oil or 5 drops to every 10ml of base oil.

4. Compress

A compress is water and essential oils/herbs applied externally to the body with a cloth. Compresses can be hot or cold, depending on the condition. A hot compress should be as hot as tolerable and a cold compress should have ice in it.

Hot compresses are very useful for the relief of rheumatic and muscular aches and pain, relief of headaches, relief of menstrual cramping and for drawing out boils. Alternating warm and cold compresses may be used to help speed healing in pulled muscles, sprained ligaments and bruises.

Use 5 drops of essential oil in 200ml of water. Place a cloth, un-medicated gauze or cotton wool into the water, wring out and then cover the area being treated. Place a plastic wrap around the compress and then a towel or blanket on top. Leave the compress on for several hours.

5. Get Creative

Essential oils can also be added to DIY perfumes, cleaning products, balms, face, body and hair care preparations!


*Using Essential Oils with Care

It is important to point out that because essential oils are natural substances it does not automatically mean that they are safe. A number of hazards do exist and users of essential oils are most likely to do harm through ignorance of these hazards. As long as the following guidelines are observed aromatherapy will be considered safe:

  • Do not apply the pure essential oil directly onto the skin or take internally unless advised by a qualified practitioner.
  • Never exceed the recommended dosages.
  • Do not use the same oil all the time. For maximum benefit, use a blend of oils or alternate the essential oils from week to week.
  • Use less than the recommended dilution when making massage oil blends for children and people with sensitive skin. Use only a 1% dilution, i.e. 2 drops to every 10 ml of carrier oil.

The following can be used as a guide to the possible contra-indications that may occur when using essential oils:

Pregnancy

Many aromatherapists consider it sensible to avoid the use of the following oils during pregnancy – aniseed, myrtle, basil, clary sage, sweet and bitter fennel, hyssop, juniper berry, sweet marjoram, myrrh, rosemary, sage.

High blood pressure

Many aromatherapists consider it sensible to avoid the use of the following oils for anyone with hypertension – hyssop, rosemary, thyme, Dalmatian sage.

Photosensitivity

The following oils may cause the skin to burn when exposed to strong ultra-violet light from sunlight or from a sunbed – angelica root, bergamot, grapefruit, cold-pressed lime, lemon.

Skin irritation

The following oils may cause skin irritation to people with sensitive skin. Sensitivity varies from person to person and from oil to oil – cinnamon, clove bud, melissa, lemon myrtle, lemongrass, lemon verbena, oregano, savory, tea tree, red thyme.