How to Use Essential Oils

How to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants. Aromatherapy uses essential oils in a variety of conditions from stress and anxiety to skin problems and back pain. They are extracted from dozens of different plants and also can be extracted from flowers, seeds, roots, leaves, fruits and resins.

Modern aromatherapy uses around 50 essential oils and all of them have several different properties. Some essential oils are analgesic and can be used to relieve muscular aches and pains. Some can be stimulating and some are relaxing, and many are antibacterial and antiviral.

Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy massages, in hot or cold compresses or in aromatic baths. Also be used in steam inhalations and in aromatherapy diffusers.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Massage

When essential oils are used in an aromatherapy massage, they are always blended with carrier oils before applying them on skin. Carrier oils (also called base oils) are cold-pressed vegetable oils, such as sweet almond, grape seed or sunflower oil. During an aromatherapy massage the small aromatic molecules in the essential oils are absorbed through skin into the bloodstream and circulated in the blood to different parts of the body.

The best way to enjoy an aromatherapy massage is to book a treatment with a professional aromatherapist. They know how to choose the right combination of essential oils for each individual.

Making a Compress With Essential Oils

To relieve a headache, try a cold compress on the forehead with Peppermint essential oil or Lavender essential oil. For period pain, try a warm compress with Lavender oil on the lower back.

To make a compress with essential oils, add a few drops of your chosen oil to a small amount of hot or cold water depending on your needs: cold is best for headaches and warm for back pain. Soak a cloth or a towel in the aromatic water, squeeze it to remove the excess water and place the compress on the affected area for at least ten minutes.

Aromatherapy Baths With Essential Oils

An aromatherapy bath is an excellent home remedy for body aches and pains, sleeping problems and stress. Add up to six drops of essential oil(s) to two teaspoons of carrier oil (cold-pressed vegetable oil) and add the blend to a warm bath just as you’re about to step in.

Lavender oil is a good, safe essential oil to use in an evening bath for better sleep, to relax muscles and to relieve stress. For a single bath, use up to six drops of Lavender oil blended into two teaspoons of carrier oil.

Steam Inhalations With Essential Oils

Inhaling hot steam is a traditional home remedy that can be used to relieve congestion caused by colds and coughs. Add a few drops of a decongestant essential oil, such as Eucalyptus or Pine, to a bowl of steaming hot water. Then cover your head and the bowl with a large towel and inhale the steam for up to ten minutes. Together the hot steam and the oil vapors can relieve nasal congestion and coughing.

Using Essential Oils in Vaporizers

Essential oils can also be used in essential oil burners or vaporizers. When using an aromatherapy burner, a few drops of essential oil are added to a small amount of water and the dish that includes the water is placed over a candle. The aromatic vapors then scent the room. There are also several types of automatic aromatherapy diffusers and vaporizers on the market. The essential oil of Citronella can be used in vaporizers as a natural insect repellent.

Tips for Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils should be diluted before applying them on skin. Pregnant women should stay clear of most essential oils. Anyone with a serious health condition (including allergies) should consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils.