How to use essential oils?
I’ve been interested in Essential Oils since I was in high school. I loved the way they smelt and made me feel.There is nothing more uplifting than taking a drop of your favourite essential oil in your palm, rubbing your palm together and breathing it in deeply That’s heaven right there.
These days I know they are so much more than just great smells. They capture nature’s living energy in a cute little bottle. But as an aromatherapist I get concerned when I see some of the social media posts about how to use essential oils, so I thought I would write this post.
First things first – Always read the label before using an essential oil. It will tell you how to use it. For example if it is best diffused or needs to be diluted if using it topically. It will also let you know if there are any safety concerns.
The following methods are some of the ways you can use essential oils and experience their wellness-enhancing benefits:
Inhaling essential oils heightens the senses and can trigger numerous desired responses in the body. This is where the term aromatherapy comes from. It is a complementary therapy using aromas.
Our sense of smell can influence our state of mind, mood, cognitive function and overall wellbeing. Because of their composition and volatility, as soon as you open a bottle of essential oil, the oil mixes with the air you breathe. This means you can absorb their benefits through your lungs very quickly and easily.
When you breathe in essential oils, their odourant compounds (what makes up their aroma) reach your alveoli, along with the oxygen in the air. You have about 700 million alveoli in your lungs; they are thin filters that transfer oxygen from your respiratory system into your bloodstream. Since alveoli are so thin, essential oil molecules get absorbed very easily from your respiratory system into your blood and then travel quickly to all parts of the body! Whether you breathe it in from the bottle or use a cold air diffuser you will experience the amazing benefits.
Below are some suggested ways that essential oils can be used for inhalation:
1. How to use essential oils without a diffuser – Inhale directly from the bottle—simply smell them.
2. Diffuse the oils using a cold air diffuser, which disperses the oil in a micro-fine vapour into the air. The diffuser will not heat the oils, thus ensuring full benefits, as extreme heat can damage important constituents in the oil.
Diffusing essential oils
Let’s talk about diffusing essential oils. When we heat essential oils in burners or wax warmers the different components within the essential oil flash off at different rates. This really means they evaporate. The lighter molecules, which are usually the ones which give an essential oil its smell flash off fastest and we aren’t breathing in the entire essential oil, just parts of it. This makes it less effective than if we were to simply breathe the essential oil in from the bottle and this can be one reason why people often get a head ache from it.
Other reasons could be because the essential oil they are using is adulterated or the wax melts have harmful chemicals in them that are released when they are heated.
This is why I use a cold air diffuser. They have an ultrasonic plate in the bottom of them that vibrates. This turns the essential oil and water in to a microfine mist that is then absorbed in to the air making it easy for us to inhale. They are cold air so won’t burn you or your children. They don’t have steam like vaporisers, which can cause mould to grown on walls, under furniture and around windows. You can even get ones that just diffuse the essential oil without adding any moisture to the air. These ones are great for rooms where you might already have mould and don’t want to add any more moisture to the air.
Replace air fresheners in your house, bathroom, office and even car by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil to a cold air diffuser and leave it running. Our cold air diffusers turn themselves off when they run out of water so you aren’t risking a fire. Learn more about the Young Living diffusers here.
Topical application of many essential oils is safe and can offer an enjoyable, relaxing experience. However, once again I suggest reading the label before use to check if the essential oil needs to be diluted or has an contraindications for use. For topical application, follow these simple steps:
1. Carefully tip the oil bottle on a 45 degree angle and drip 2–3 drops in the palm of your hand or directly on the desired application area with or without a carrier oil (as suggested above it is always advisable to check this on the label before applying).
If dropping oil in your hand, rub palms together in a circular motion and then massage oil onto the desired point of application. If applying directly to the desired area, use your hand to massage the oil in a circular motion into the skin. Repeat if desired. You can create your own massage blends by mixing 2-3 drops of your favourites with 10mls of a carrier oil such as V-6™ Enhanced Vegetable Oil Complex, sweet almond oil, macadamia oil etc.
2. If you are new to using essential oils, are using them on children, have skin sensitivities, health challenges or the bottle says to dilute, then make sure you dilute, dilute, dilute. Dilution of means adding them to a carrier oil so that they are not quite as irritating on the skin. Carrier oils help to carry the essential oil in to the body and contrary to what some people believe they do not inhibit their effectiveness. In most cases, using a carrier oil with your essential oils is the best way to apply it topically as it allows you to cover a much greater area with a smaller amount of the oil.
Where should I apply this essential oil?
The answer is different for everyone, because we each have different physical and emotional needs, and all of our bodies are genetically and chemically different. Keep reading for some simple application points for essential oils.
From head to toe, here are some of our favourite essential oils to use and where to use them:
Caution when using essential oils
Essential oils are very potent and some may be irritating to the skin. If irritation occurs, immediately apply pure vegetable oil such as V-6™ Enhanced Vegetable Oil Complex to the area to dilute. Reduce the quantity for children, if you have a medical condition and during pregnancy. Please read label directions for each individual oil before using.
Photosensitivity – Citrus oils can increase sun sensitivity. Avoid sun for 12 hours after applying. Please follow all directions and cautions on individual product labels.
Want to find out more about Essential Oils?
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