When I first started working with essential oils, I had absolutely now idea how to use them. All I knew was that I was tired to taking one pill after another. It didn’t matter if it was a supplement or my regular medication, I was sick of the cost, time, and side effects. I wanted another option that didn’t interact or cause me to feel worse.
After taking to my doctor (which I would highly recommend before you change any medical protocols), I decided to see if essential oils could tackle the low hanging fruit of my issues like headaches, digestive problems, and that pesky one every middle-aged woman eventually deals with when her body is changing – mood swings.
To my surprise, essential oils actually were really effective. They worked so well I was headache free, able to eat spicy foods, and finally able to get a good night sleep after only a very short time.
Curious how the heck this stuff works, I did a little investigating. Before I started using essential oils I’d tried everything for migraines including getting painful shots that turned my face puffy and bright red – not attractive at all. Nothing was working until I tried using essential oils in an inhaler. Talk about a game changer.
What I learned was that essential oils are effective because they are about 70 times more concentrated than the whole plant. Also, since they aren’t swallowed and absorbed in the intestines, they have more bio-availability. Essential Oils travel into circulation and nerve pathways from the sinuses and into the central glands of the brain, which control emotional, neurological, and immunological functions. Simply translated – our brain chemistry is changed when we smell them.
Essential oils can also be absorbed through massaging them with a carrier oil onto the skin.
Before discussing the top ways to apply essential oils, there are a few things to remember:
- Do not use essential oils internally.
- Do not apply directly to skin; always dilute with carrier oil if they haven’t been already.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Avoid direct contact with eyes and mucous membranes.
- Do not use citrus oils before exposure to UV light.
- Use only pure essential oils; avoid synthetic fragrances.
- Do not use essential oils on infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, or those with serious health problems, without consulting a health care practitioner
- Avoid prolonged exposure without ventilation.
- Store essential oils and carrier oils properly to avoid degradation and rancidity.
Remember, essential oils can be expensive because of the volume of material it takes to make just one bottle. You want to make sure you are using them as efficiently as possible to maximize their healing powers and get the most for your money.
There are may different options for different health issues to transport essential oils into your system. Below are how to use essential oils for each of your health care needs.
Here are the top ways to apply essential oils for best results:
- This distribution of essential oils is on hot compresses, in diffusers, or in hot water for inhalation.
- Standard dose is 3-5 drops.
- Benefits: Respiratory, sinus problems, and headaches.
- Caution: prolonged inhalation of concentrated essential oils can cause headaches, vertigo, dizziness, and nausea.
- The best way to use essential oils in the bath is to add them first to salts such as besom salt or an emulsifier like sesame oil. Without salts or an emulsifier, drops of essential oils will float on the water and then get directly on the skin which, combined with the heat of the water, can overwhelm and potentially burn the skin.
- Benefits: Baths infused with essential oils are great for skin problems, circulatory problems, respiratory symptoms, stress and anxiety, insomnia, muscular, and menstrual pains.
- Caution: Overuse of essential oils in the bath can cause irritation. Start with a few drops in hot water and increase as needed.
- Soak cloth and wrap hot water with 5-10 drops of oil
- Benefits: Good for bruises, muscular aches and pains, and skin problems.
- To steam face, cover head with a towel over a pot of hot water with 1 – 5 drops of oil
- Benefits: Excellent for opening sinuses, coughing, lung issues, headaches, and as a skin treatment.
- Dilution 5-10 essential oil in massage oil and apply liberally.
- Benefits: Relieves muscle tension, stress, and anxiety.
DIRECT PALM INHALATION
- Apply 1-2 drops of oil to the palms, rub together gently and inhale deeply.
- Benefit: Excellent method for a quick and easy exposure for acute issues or for immediate results. Must be repeated regularly to get greatest effect.
- Caution: Never use this method with pure oil. Make sure oil has been diluted with a carrier to insure safety.
- There are many different types of diffusers on the market. Below are different options. Consult product directions for proper application of oils.
- Benefit: Long term use of oils or use for needs of multiple people. Example: If a family member is sick, it is best to diffuse antimicrobial, antiviral oils in the house for overall health of all members.
- Advantages: inexpensive, simple to use, provides light, fragrant.
- Disadvantages: Does not produce strong concentration for therapeutic benefits.
ELECTRIC HEAT DIFFUSERS
- Advantages: Easy to use; minimal maintenance; can diffuse thicker oils.
- Disadvantages: Heat damages some aromatic compounds.
COOL AIR NEBULIZING DIFFUSERS
A nebulizing cylinder serves as a condenser, allowing the smallest particles of the essential oil to be received into the nose when inhaled.
- Advantages: Strong diffusion maximizes therapeutic benefits in respiratory conditions.
- Disadvantages: Diffusers need to be cleaned regularly.
Remember, not all essential oils are created equal. Never use an oil that has been synthetically created or that has not been diluted with a carrier oil to insure safety.