Confused about how to use essential oils safely and effectively? If you are new to oils you may be scratching you head wondering when to use them and how to apply the oils to receive the most benefit.
Let me first clarify what grade of essential oils I am referring to. I am talking about essential oils that are 100% pure, therapeutic grade. They do not contain any pesticide residue, unwanted chemical pollutants, extenders, or chemicals to enhance their aroma. These higher quality oils can be applied safely in three different ways!
Most but not all therapeutic grade essential oils can be applied directly on the skin. This is referred to as “neat” in aromatherapy terminology.
However, there are some proponents of aromatherapy that believe all oils be used with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil. Even though I disagree with this point of view I do recommend you use a carrier oil if your are applying the oils to infants, the elderly or individuals with sensitive skin.
I recommend that you don’t use the oils on children until you become confident in using them on yourself. When working with young children or infants I suggest you add one drop of essential oil to a quarter sized amount of a carrier oil. Massage this combination of oils into the bottom of the child’s feet. Be careful about using the oils around a baby’s face. For some infants the aroma of the oils is too strong.
I also suggest you put socks on your baby after you have applied essential oils to its feet. You don’t want the baby to rub his feet with his hands and then rub his eyes.
Some readers may be wondering “What is a carrier oil?”. A carrier oil is simply a natural plant oil that contains fatty acids and is mild to the skin.
Here is a suggested list of different carrier oils. I personally use almond oil. It is simple to use, isn’t too greasy or heavy and is not expensive.
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Vegetable oil
It is a good idea to us a carrier oil if you are covering a large area of the body like the lower back or abdomen. You can also use a carrier oil to help prevent the essential oil from evaporating too quickly.
You also need to use a carrier oil when you are using any of the so called “hot” oils like oregano or cinnamon.
A convenient way to apply oils is to use a roller bottle. Add your carrier oil of choice to a small roller bottle and add several drops of your favorite essential oil. For example, if you use lavender oil to help you relax and get to sleep at night put a few drops of lavender oil in a roller bottle along with your favorite carrier oil.
At night before you go to bed simply roll this mixture on your temples and the back of your neck. This is a simple and easy way to apply the oils. Roller bottle are also convenient to use when you are at work, shopping or are traveling away from home.
How to Apply Essential Oils for Emotional Issues?
You may be asking yourself, if I am using the oils for emotional issues, how do I apply them correctly?” Here is my suggestion; if you are suffering from a break up with someone you would apply the oils to that area of the body that is in pain. In this case the heart. Simply rub a couple of drops on the surface of the skin above your heart.
If you are dealing with a situation that has your stomach tied up in knots then you would apply the oils on the skin over the stomach.
Maybe, your young children are having a bad day and are driving you crazy. You would apply the essential oil on your temples or on the back of the neck.
When you apply oils topically it is a good idea to take the time to massage the oil into the affected area. This will help drive the oil deeper into the tissue and will increase its effectiveness by 80% or more!
Where to Apply the Oils?
Some of you may also be asking yourselves, “where do I apply the oils on my body?” That is an important question. The rule of thumb is apply the oils to the areas of the body that hurt.
If you are looking for relief from indigestion massage the oil on your stomach. If you have a headache apply the oils to your hand and rub into the temples or back of the neck; in other words wherever it hurts!
If you are using the oils for a more general application simply apply the oils to the bottoms of your feet. You may ask, “why on the bottom of my feet?”. The answer is simple because the feet have large pores and the oils will be easily absorbed. Within 20 minutes the oils will have circulated throughout the entire body.
Suggested Essential Oil Dosage
These oils are very concentrated substances. For example, it may take a lavender farmer 600 plants to produce just one gallon (128 oz) of lavender oil! One drop of oil can have up to one trillion molecules! There are enough atoms in that one drop to service every cell in the human body.
The standard recommended essential oil dosage is just one drop. Again, you may want to use a carrier oil when working with young children, the elderly and individuals with sensitive skin. Unlike drugs and over the counter medications you can apply the oils frequently in order to get the desired results.
If you take aspirin for a headache and an hour later you still have your headache you may take some more aspirin. If in another hour your headache has still not gone away you might hesitate to take more aspirin for fear of overdosing. However, you can reapply essential oils frequently without the danger of taking too much.
To benefit from the oils aromatically you can use a glass spray bottle, a commercially available diffuser or simply inhale the aroma of the oil directly from the bottle.
I use a 4 ounce cobalt blue spray bottle filled with spring water and a few drops of my favorite oils. I recommend a glass spray bottle because the citrus oils in particular will leech the petrochemicals from a plastic bottle. You don’t want to be spraying chemicals back into the air. What you are trying to do is get rid of them.
Diffusing oils also kills air borne pathogens and bacteria. If you use a water diffuser the oils mix with the water droplets and they will stay suspended in the air for up to two hours. When these droplets fall to the floor or hard surface they disinfect those areas as well.
At night before I go to bed I spray a mixture of wild orange oil, On Guard and lavender mixed with spring water in my room. This not only cleans the air in my bedroom but the lavender helps to relax me so I can go to sleep. I always make sure to turn down the sheets and spray above my bed and pillow. This particular oil and water combination leaves a light, refreshing fragrance when I am done.
Use essential oils internally only if there is a supplement label on the bottle. Some essential oils and oil blends should not be taken internally. Follow label instructions if it says on the bottle not to take internally then don’t!
Some aromatherapists tell you never to take an essential oils internally. Again, I disagree with this way of thinking. If you find an oil that has been third party tested for purity it should be safe to take internally as long as the label on the bottle says “safe to take internally”.
Here is how you can take essential oils internally:
- Simple place a couple of drops under your tongue. Don’t use this technique with the so called “hot” oils like oregano, clove, cinnamon, or peppermint oil.
- Place a drop or two in a glass of spring water. Use a glass made out of glass not plastic. The citrus oils break down petro chemicals in plastic.
- Add the essential oils to a vegetable cap (Hydroxypropyl Methyicellulose) size 0. Use within 24 hrs. as the oils will dissolve the capsule. You can add the oil to the capsule directly from the plastic dispensing insert already in the bottle or you can remove the insert and use a medicine dropper to fill the capsule.
- If you have trouble filling a capsule simply drip a couple of drops of essential oil on a small piece of bread and then eat it.
Try the technique that best meets your and your family’s needs!