How To Use Essential Oils
This is a comprehensive guide to using essential oils. It provides detailed instructions on how to use essential oils safely and effectively to restore and enhance your health and well being.
In This Article
10 Different Ways Of Using Essential Oils
- Inhaling Essential Oils – straight from the bottle
- Diffusing Essential Oils
- Bathing With Essential Oils
- Local Topical Application Of Essential Oils
- Taking Essential Oils Internally
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Steaming Essential Oils The Old Fashioned Way
- Cooking With Essential Oils
- Using Pre-Blended Essential Oil Products
- Spotting Essential Oils On Your Pillow
- Bonus: Applying Essential Oils To Your Clothes
Diluting Essential Oils
10 Different Ways Of Using Essential Oils
There are many different ways in which to effectively use essential oils, but the most common method is inhalation.
1. Inhaling Essential Oils
There is nothing like inhaling deeply from an open essential oil bottle for instant results. We can very quickly influence our emotional state by inhaling aromatherapy oils directly from the bottle.
Essential oils affect our mood in different ways. Some aromatherapy oils reduce anxiety and depression, some help balance our hormones, whilst others relieve tension and inflammation, restoring relaxation and focus.
There are many essential oils which can positively impact mood. Some of the most common essential oils for uplifting our spirits are:
- Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- Geranium Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Organic Lemon Essential Oil
- Copaiba Balsam Essential Oil
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- Spearmint Essential Oil
- Organic Rose Essential Oil
- Vetivert Essential Oil
*Please note, there are many varieties of the essential oils listed above in the Wild As The Wind Shop. As well as Organic, Ethically Sourced and Wildcrafted variations there’s also six different types of Lavender Essential Oil, five different types of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, four different Mint Essential Oils, three Rosemary, two Vetivert, but only one, rather amazing Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil!
Re-Sensitising Our Olfactory Nerves
There is even a scientific basis for inhaling essential oils directly from the bottle to recover a loss of smell, aka anosmia.
Research using the following essential oils determined that repetitive use, several times a day, will restore olfactory nerves to proper function in many cases.
- Organic Lemon Essential Oil
- Clove Bud Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Organic Rose Otto Essential Oil
As Organic Rose Otto Essential Oil is prohibitively expensive for many it is possible to use a small bottle of FACIAL OIL No. 2, which contains Organic Rose Otto Essential Oil, lending it it’s prevailing scent.
- Keep your training kit easily accessible throughout the day.
- Open one of the oils and hold it close to your nose. Sniff for about 20 seconds and focus on what you are doing. If you’re smelling lemon, try to recall your experience of lemon.
- After finishing the first one, move onto the rest of the oils, repeating the process.
- Repeat several times a day.
“Smell training is not a far-fetched notion,” explains Nancy Rawson, a cell biologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center: “It is based on years of learning how the olfactory and nervous systems work, and specifically, how nerve cells — and especially olfactory nerve cells — are generated or maintained.”
When working with the Rose Otto aroma in FACIAL OIL No. 2, simply place one drop of face oil on your finger tips and rub them gently together, directly beneath your nose, and inhale deeply for 20 seconds. Then apply to your face.
2. Diffusing Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils has grown in popularity immensely in recent years.
Hopefully this marks a permanent departure from such a strong reliance on harmful synthetic chemicals and fragrances to fumigate and scent our homes.
Caution is advised around pets, however. Cats are intolerant of essential oils owing to the absence of an enzyme needed to assimilate essential oils, and dogs have issues with certain essential oils as well. Please read Essential Oil Toxicity For Pets for more information.
Please be aware that, whilst certain essential oils are not suitable for use around cats and dogs, there are no synthetic fragrances which are suitable for use around your pets, your children, your partner, and yourself. They are toxic to everyone.
Using A Diffuser
Using an essential oil diffuser is very straightforward; simply add water and a few drops of your favourite essential oils and switch on.
Essential oil diffusers vaporise your essential oils after you have placed them with a good amount of water in the reservoir inside your diffuser. Essential oil diffusers also ionize the atmosphere.
The beauty of diffusers is that you can add several different aromatherapy oils at one time, making it preferable to inhalation if you want to work with more than one essential oil at a time.
Because essential oils can be antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, diffusing them means that these properties are carried to the nooks and crannies of your home, helping to keep infectious elements under control.
3. Bathing With Essential Oils
Most people believe that adding ten or so drops of essential oil to your bath, as you are drawing it, will do the trick. This isn’t the case.
By the time you enter your bath most of the essential oil will have gone up in a puff of steam. This is why I advise people to add their essential oils to their bath once they are in it.
But that’s not all. You need a good organic base oil to anchor your aromatherapy oils to ensure they deliver their benefits to your skin. Plus, most essential oils are not suitable for topical use until they are properly diluted.
Please refer to Diluting Essential Oils below for more information.
4. Local Topical Application Of Essential Oils
Applying concentrated aromatherapy dilutions to small areas of the skin is a great way of remedying certain topical and internal conditions.
Using a 3% dilution of Peppermint Essential Oil, within a good carrier oil, to rub into your abdomen to help ease indigestion is ideal. Switch to Oregano if parasites or bacterial infection is suspected. Learn more here :: Organic Nigella Sativa Oil
A 5% dilution, of something like Thieves 2020 Essential Oil Blend, is ideal for use on smaller areas of skin, to disinfect a wound or help with a bacterial or fungal infection etc. Switch to Lavender Aromatherapy Oil for small cooking burns etc.
5. Taking Essential Oils Internally
A good number of essential oils can be taken internally, but some aromatherapy oils absolutely cannot! Do not use essential oils internally until you have a good working knowledge of essential oils.
Citrus essential oils are some of the safest for internal consumption. I advocate adding a drop of Organic Orange Essential Oil to your drinking water 20 minutes before a meal to aid your digestion. It tastes delicious too.
But there are many conditions which benefit from the internal consumption of essential oils. Please refer to Essential Oils For Internal Consumption for more information.
6. Aromatherapy Massage
Using relaxing oil blends for full body massages, or partial body massages, are an ideal way to absorb the healing benefits of the essential oils used.
Because massage oils are used over broad areas of the body it is usual to restrict them to a 1% or 2% dilution.
7. Steaming Essential Oils The Old Fashioned Way
Adding 4 or 5 drops of essential oils to a near boiling bowl of water before placing your face about 12 inches / 25 centimeters above the bowl, with a towel over your head, is ideal if you have a cold or flu, a headache or sinusitis.
8. Cooking With Essential Oils
Most people have used the odd citrus essential oil in their baking but many haven’t ventured further than this.
However, using a drop of Citronella Essential Oil or Lemongrass Essential Oil instead of the spice is a quick workaround which works really well.
The same is true of using Rosemary Essential Oil. However, when it comes to using Thyme Essential Oil and especially Oregano Essential Oil caution is advised. These oils are tremendously potent and can easily overpower a dish. Sometimes it’s a lot safer and, to be quite honest, better to use the actual herbs and spices rather than essential oils.
If you are determined to experiment, however, it pays to research your recipe well before reaching for your aromatherapy oils.
9. Pre-Blended Essential Oil Products
Much of what is written in point 4, re the local topical application of essential oils, applies here. The only difference is you don’t have to worry about getting the dilutions of essential oils right. Plus pre-blended essential oil products come with usage instructions and so there’s less scope for misusing them than with your own blends.
the drawback is that pre-blended oils tend to be more expensive than the cost of the ingredients, and you may only need a small amount of the product which can lead to waste and unnecessary expense,
On balance, it is far better to blend your own essential oils as and when you need them, but a good solid basic understanding of blending oils is vital. But don’t worry, it’s all pretty straightforward. It really isn’t rocket science!
10. Spotting Essential Oils On Your Pillow
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways of working with essential oils. And, it’s great for kids.
Dropping a single drop of Lavender Essential Oil onto a child’s pillow at bedtime will really help them relax and fall asleep.
Pure Lavender Essential Oil will not stain your pillowcases. Because aromatherapy oils are made up of volatile oils many of them evaporate leaving no trace. This is certainly true of a pure Organic Lavender Essential Oil.
However, another aromatherapy oil which is very popular for aiding relaxation and sleep, Vetivert Essential Oil, is viscous and very dark in colour. This resinous oil will stain if you use it on your bed linen. It always pays to check which essential oils will stain and which ones won’t prior to applying them to pillows and clothing.
11. Bonus: Applying Essential Oils To Your Clothes
Patchouli Essential oil is as popular as ever for it’s seductive aroma. Many of us remember that ‘Bikers’ used to put Patchouli Essential Oil on their leather jackets back in the 70’s and 80’s, but this practice still continues to this day… And, it’s not just bikers… many woman apply this oil to their handbags, and men add it to their wallets and the lining of jackets made of fabric. (Patchouli Essential Oil stains.)
Diluting Essential Oils
Essential oils can seem a little pricey until we realise that all we need is a 1% to 5% essential oil dilution to achieve the health giving benefits of any essential oil.
But, what is diluting essential oils all about?
Aromatherapy oils need to be diluted in a good Organic Carrier Oil before it can safely be applied topically. Some pure essential oils will actually burn our skin if applied undiluted, and others cause sensitivities and allergic reactions.
Using undiluted essential oils on our skin can sensitise us to these essential oils over time. Sensitisation means that we become intolerant to these essential oils and cannot safely use them in any form after sensitisation has taken place. This must be avoided at all costs!
Some essential oils are so antibacterial that they will kill antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. For this reason alone it is important to use aromatherapy oils with respect, and avoid sensitisation… one day you may need them to save your life!
Besides… essential oils are costly. The making of essential oils requires the use of a lot of plant matter, and so there’s an environmental cost to making aromatherapy oils. Why would we want to waste our money, as well as potentially cause negative environmental consequences, by using excessive amounts of essential oil, even if it were safe to do so?
Using a sparing amount will do the job perfectly!
Essential Oil Usage Rules Of Thumb
It is always best to follow the instructions on your essential oil bottles as directions can vary from one essential oil to another. However, it also pays to refer to a trusted reference book or website for additional information on blending specific essential oils.
For example, it is only safe to use Organic Rose Otto Essential Oil in very small amounts owing to it’s Eugenol content, but other essential oils, like Tea Tree Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil are much safer to use in higher amounts.
Useful Guidelines For Essential Oil Use
1 ml of essential oil = 20 drops of essential oil
The maximum safe dilution of essential oils to carrier oil is a dilution of 7%
The following measurements are based on the teachings of Jen O’Sullivan, who always makes it clear her measurements are not treatment advice, and are simply a statement of safe usage of essential oils.
It is safe to use 12 drops or less of any combination of essential oils per day.
Up to 40 or 50 drops of any combination of essential oils can be used acutely for one or two days without adverse effects, but then must be stopped.
One drop is usually considered a single serving of essential oils.
What works for one person may not work for another… so, it’s important to experiment within the bounds of safety, as detailed above.
Making Massage Oil
When blending an oil for topical use on a large area of your body it’s important to aim for a 1% dilution or less. This means that the resultant massage oil will be maximally 1% essential oil to 99% carrier oil.
Making Face Oil
When blending an oil for the exclusive use on your face you should aim for a 2% dilution or less.
However, the Wild As The Wind FACIA OILS are blended using some very healing, but very expensive essential oils, as well as several nutrient dense expensive base oils. Buying the ingredients separately would cost you several hundred pounds, and would leave you with ingredients which you wouldn’t be able to fully use before their ‘use by’ date was reached.
My advice where face oils is concerned is this:
It’s great to make your own massage and treatment oils, but it’s best leaving the making of your face oil to the experts.
Ointments & Salves
When treating a small area of your skin, or finger and toenails etc, you can mix an oil blend containing up to 5% essential oil content.
No oil blend should exceed a 7% dilution, meaning no more than a 7% essential oil concentration.