Essential oils are natural, concentrated liquids that can be used to treat a range of ailments. From soothing skin problems to boosting your immune system, essential oils are one of nature’s most powerful tools and can be used in a variety of ways. The most popular methods are inhalation, topical application, and ingestion. In this guide, we’ll explore how to use essential oils—including how to use them with a diffuser and around the house, how to use them on your skin, and even how to ingest them safely.
How to Use Essential Oil Diffusers
The primary method of using essential oils is inhalation. The sense of smell is so powerful that it promotes feelings of relaxation and calmness, and can take even you back in time. When you inhale essential oils, the molecules travel up your nose to the olfactory bulb. That bulb sends signals to the limbic system, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus, which store memories and emotions.
Aromatherapy diffusers are a great way to fill a room with therapeutic aromas. Simply fill your diffuser with the appropriate amount of water (check the instructions on your model) and add 5-10 drops of your chosen oil. Next, turn on the diffuser and enjoy the refreshing aroma as it permeates throughout your home or office space. Diffusing essential oils is great for reducing stress and anxiety levels while also providing a pleasant scent in any room.
If a diffuser is not available, you can also drop essential oils onto cotton balls, put them in a bowl of water, inhale essential oils directly from the bottle, or add a few drops to a pot of boiling water and enjoy the steam.
Adding essential oils to baths is another way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy. Bath salts combined with essential oils make for a luxurious way to enjoy the benefits of both. Just add around six drops of essential oil to 1 cup of bath salts and mix.
How to Use Essential Oils on Your Skin
Essential oils can be used topically, or applied directly to the skin. Before applying essential oils, always make sure to dilute them in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. This will help avoid irritating your skin and prevent any allergic reactions. It’s also recommended that you test the essential oil on a small area of skin before applying it to larger areas.
When using essential oils topically, you can either apply them directly or use a compress or massage oil. For direct application, put 2-3 drops of the diluted oil in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. You can also make a compress with essential oils by adding 4-6 drops of the diluted oil to a bowl of cool or warm water and soaking a cloth in it.
Relieve your muscular discomfort, tightness, and stiffness by applying essential oil on the affected area of skin in a massaging motion. It’s also great for a soothing foot massage. You can also use essential oil for relaxation and meditation, by massaging the oil on the temples, wrists, and third eye — all proven pressure points that bring a sense of serenity and ease.
How to Use Essential Oils Internally Safely
Many people ingest essential oils through teas, supplements or simply by placing a couple of drops onto their tongue. When ingested correctly these powerful little liquids can have profound effects on our body from fighting off a cold and flu to improving digestion and reducing stress levels. However, it is important to note that not all essential oils are safe for ingestion. Remember, some oils can be highly dangerous and should never be ingested, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, or wintergreen.
To be safe, only use essential oils that are labelled as “Therapeutic Grade” or “Food Grade” and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using them internally. If you have any doubts, consult with your doctor prior to ingesting essential oils.
Some oils oils like Orange, Bergamot, Clove, Cardamom, Caraway, Anise, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Ginger, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Sage, and Ylang Ylang are “generally regarded as safe for internal consumption” by the The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and supporting research. The FDA also has a list of essential oils that classified as safe.
How to Use Essential Oils in Different Ways
Room Sprays with Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used to create natural air fresheners or room sprays. By combining essential oils with water and a emulsifier such as witch hazel, you can create a safe and natural way to scent any space. We suggest 3-5 drops per one ounce of distilled water. Once made, simply spray the mixture throughout any room for a delightful aroma.
Insect Repellents with Essential Oils
Essential oils can also be used as an effective insect repellent. Many essential oils like citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass offer a pleasant odor while keeping bugs away. When making your own insect repellent, it’s important to understand the dilution ratio and use the proper amount of essential oil.
How to Use Essential Oils for Cleaning
Common household cleaning products are often filled with dangerous chemicals known to cause a range of adverse effects, including respiratory ailments, weakened immunity, and even fertility problems. As an alternative to toxic and harsh chemical cleaners, essential oils are friendly for both people and the environment. For example, adding several drops of tea tree oil to a bottle of dish soap can help purify the dishes and make them smell great. When making homemade cleaning supplies, start with distilled white vinegar and combine it with essential oils of your choice. Some of the most powerful essential oils for cleaning are lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and rosemary. This is a great way to keep surfaces clean and free of germs while masking unpleasant odors.
DIY Beauty Products with Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used to make natural beauty products such as body lotions and face creams. Essential oils can even be used to add scents to your favorite store-bought beauty products. Additionally, by adding essential oils to sugar or salt scrubs, you can create your own hydrating and restorative scrub. Remember to follow the precautions above for topical application.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely
While essential oils are non-toxic, there are a few safety precautions you should take when using them.
First, never apply essential oils directly to the skin without diluting them first. Always keep essential oils out of reach from children and pets as they can be toxic if ingested. Additionally, some essential oils can cause photosensitivity and should not be applied to skin prior to sun exposure.
When using essential oils, it’s always important to follow safety guidelines. Most experts recommend avoiding essential oils if you’re pregnant, and have asthma or allergies. You should also patch test any new essential oil before using it, particularly on sensitive skin.
When in doubt, always consult with your doctor prior to ingesting or using essential oils.
Read the Label
Do your research before using essential oils and be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Knowing how to use an essential oil appropriately is important. This is why it is crucial that you choose a good company and read and follow the label on your essential oils. If it says to dilute…dilute. If the label says not to ingest…do not ingest. If it says you should not use an oil if you have a seizure disorder, don’t do it. There are plenty of other oils you can choose from that are safe and just as effective.
Finding High Quality Essential Oils
When looking for essential oils, look for those that are 100% pure and unadulterated. This will ensure that you’re using the most potent and effective oils possible. Additionally, seek out organic or wildcrafted sources as these will be the most natural and pesticide-free options available.
Now that you know how to use essential oils safely and effectively—diffuser, skin application, scenting a room, ingesting—you’re ready to start enjoying their many benefits today. Remember though that just like anything else related to health care, whether conventional medicine or natural remedies, it’s important to consult with your doctor before beginning any new treatment regimen so they can advise on what’s best for you individually. So go ahead and take control over your health today by exploring all that natural remedies like essential oil have offer. With the right knowledge, essential oils can be used safely and successfully.