I’m a firm believer that we each have the innate ability to heal ourselves. To empower ourselves with natural solutions, instead of succumbing to life-altering chemicals. There’s a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but it shouldn’t be the first answer, nor the only form of treatment. ~Heba
One of the great things about essentials oils that I absolutely love is their incredible versatility and ease of use in every day life. Each drop is packed with a punch and that means I can use them in my daily routine to improve my health and wellbeing.
Forget the old notion that essential oils can only be used on a burner to make a room smell nice. In fact, I never burn my essential oils because that may ruin their therapeutic properties and I don’t need the fumes in my home. Instead, I diffuse my therapeutic essential oils for a plethora of health benefits, more on that in a bit.
It’s really fun to learn how to use essential oils and trying them out in different ways but you need to use them properly to get the best results. Because they are so powerful, they need to be diluted before you can use them safely and effectively. When used appropriately, essential oils are safe for the entire family. As with all things in life, just apply common sense and you should be fine!
So let’s talk about dilution a bit before we delve into the different ways to use essential oils…
Diluting an essential oil in a carrier oil slows doesn’t make the application less effective, it’s quite the contrary. Dilution allows the essential oil to take longer to enter and pass through the stratum corneum which is the outermost skin layer composed of dead keratinized cells surrounded by intercellular glycolipids. This layer is great at keeping out things we don’t want in our intracellular matrix such as water, dirt, and microbes. However, the chemical constituents of essential oils have unique properties that allow them to easily pass through this outer layer. Not only that, but the carrier oil helps hydrate the skin which increases the integrity of the skin. Good carrier oils act as a metabolizer and help drive the oils deeper into your tissue with more efficiency.
Here’s the takeaway message: the best way to get a localized, longer-lasting effect from applying essential oils topically is to dilute.
I’m of the school of thought that it’s always good to dilute any essential oil even on adults and most definitely on children or young adults. I think it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry so I adhere to the more conservative approach of diluting whenever applying essential oils topically. No matter how safe anything is, anyone will have a reaction and I never want it to be on my watch. I have experienced and have witnessed first hand how a very small amount administered the right way can bring profound impact. I have seen people getting photo-toxic reactions to oils that are not considered photo-toxic. Not only that, but some individuals can become sensitised to oils applied neat if they are applied repeatedly neat so to avoid that sensitisation from happening, it’s best to dilute. Now don’t panic if you apply a drop or two of Lavender or Tea Tree oils neat once or twice on a cut, burn or insect bite – that’s completely fine! I am talking about repeated use of essential oils undiluted which may bring about some degree of sensitisation.
At the end of the day, this is your journey and never ever underestimate the magnitude and truth of your own personal experience. Consider my opinion, take it into account, but know it is not gospel, make choices that are best for you, and enjoy the journey.
I hope to however influence you to find the biggest impact from the smallest dose possible. Dilution means my oils last longer, which means I am able to afford a wider range of essential oils, essential oil products, supplements and essential oil accessories, thus enhancing my essential oil usage – because I truly LOVE my essential oils lifestyle!
So now that we’ve got some safety guidelines in, let’s talk about all of the ways we use essential oils on a regular basis.
Essential oils can be easily absorbed by the skin due to their complex molecular composition. Applying essential oils topically can provide immediate, localised benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties hence can be used effectively with massage therapy. Topical use means applying directly where it is needed on our body, neat or diluted preferably and especially when it is a hot oil that should always be diluted. For example, if you pulled a muscle, you would apply the essential oil right on location of the pulled muscle. When in doubt, apply essential oils to the bottoms of feet as that is where all the nerve endings are and can help target specific areas in our body. Never apply any oils in the eyes, ears or nose and if that happens inadvertently, then use a carrier oil – never water – to wash it off (diluting it).
This typically means putting a few drops of an oil such as Peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball or tissue, or in a small bottle of dead sea or Epsom salts, and inhale for a time, as needed. Inhalation of the aromatic molecules of essential oils is one of the easiest routes to experience a moment of pleasure; the pure simple enjoyment of a basic sensory experience. Inhalation is also as simple as opening a bottle of essential oil and inhaling directly from the bottle or putting a few drops on the palm of your hand, and then cupping your hands over your nose & mouth and inhaling. I love to add a few drops of oil to a steaming bowl of hot water (not boiling) and inhaling the vapour in a steam-tent.
Most pure essential oils, with the exception of Oregano – can be diffused, emitting a wonderful healing aroma. Our mind creates powerful connections between scent and our emotions, surroundings, and memories. Diffusing essential oils is a simple but effective way to access those connections. It can also help build new and positive memories and experiences. Because diffusion distributes essential oil molecules into the air so effectively, it’s an excellent way to maximise the beneficial properties of essential oils. There are different ways to diffuse; direct inhalation is one of them. The most effective method of diffusing is using a cold-air device because heating essential oils using aroma lamps or candles can hinder the therapeutic benefits. So it’s always best to invest in a good ultrasonic diffuser (uses water) or nebulising/atomising diffuser (no water required and they are considered the most powerful type of diffusers).
Essential oils have a powerful effect on wellbeing. When we understand their healing properties and how our bodies naturally respond to them, we can use essential oils to promote a superior state of being. Massage or an oil touch technique provide a way to use these gifts in order to maximise emotional and physical wellbeing. Selecting particular essential oils, mixing them with a good quality carrier oil such as Almond, Grapeseed, Coconut Oil or Jojoba Oil and using it for a massage or body rub can be both healing and heavenly!
This is such a great way to replace chemically-laden room fresheners. The anti-viral, anti-bacterial benefits, as well as the mood-enhancing aroma make these a GREAT way to use essential oils in your home! Benefits of room sprays include:
Stay tuned for lots of DIY recipes from me in this area, I have lots under my sleeve as we love sprays in our home 🙂
Adding essential oils to a bath is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils, but needs to be done in a responsible way. Since essential oils may irritate the skin and mucus membranes, you can first dilute the essential oil in a suitable carrier oil or my favourite: Epsom salts, baking soda, and a bit of honey. The essential oils provide antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory benefits while the other ingredients help to flush impurities from the body by allowing it to sweat out toxins. It’s truly the ultimate relaxing gift you can give yourself, so carve out that alone time and give yourself some of that TLC 😉
You can make your own beauty and hygiene products by adding several drops of selected essential oils to pure organic lotions, nourishing organic body oils, organic shampoos & conditioners, homemade deodorants and more. With the essential oils, it’s easy to create a very effective low-tox way of life and reduce the amount of harsh every day chemicals in your life.
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements to support a variety of health conditions. Many essential oils are GRAS (generally regarded as safe) for dietary use, but some oils should never be taken internally. Always check the labels for a supplement facts label and only take oils internally that are clearly labeled for personal consumption. Oils bought in supermarkets or health food shops, unless clearly indicated, are not considered safe to take internally.
Simply use a couple drops of the essential oils I use and trust in a glass or stainless steel cup of water or beverage. Do not use plastic as citrus oils will break down the plastic leeching out harmful chemicals into your water. I’ll be blogging soon about how I like to use essential oils internally, how often and which oils in particular.
Many cuisines and cultures around the world integrate therapeutic plants in almost every aspect of their meals. Perhaps the ancients understood the important that food plays in maintaining wellness and vitality, because the addition of these ingredients goes beyond just flavour enhancement, but it’s also proved to support the body in its natural function as well. So don’t be afraid to add essential oils to your food, usually after it’s been cooked, or as an added flavour in dressings, sauces, icings and more!
The soles of your feet have a tremendous amount of sweat glands which are different from pores and I would like to address the fact that essential oils are percutaneous which means they do not require pores or an incision on your skin to enter your body. There are benefits to applying essential oils on the soles of your feet however. The main benefit is that it’s a safe place to apply essential oils because the skin on the soles is less sensitive and almost everyone can apply oils there with no adverse reaction.
So each morning, after showering, go ahead and apply your chosen oil or oils for the day to the soles of your feet; 1-2 drops will work wonders and your feet will thank you!
Fragrances can be very emotionally stirring that aromatherapists believe you can put their subconscious messages to work for you, expressing your moods and influencing those around you. In other words, the perfume or cologne you wear can actively affect your life.
Anyone who buys commercially prepared perfumes will testify that the cost of even small amounts can be astronomical. You don’t have to pay out large sums of money for fine fragrances, however: You can make your own perfume using pure, therapeutic essential.
Essential oils can be blended with vinegar, water, borax, and liquid castile soap or organic household cleaner concentrate and create a powerful cleaning solution that is not only effective but safe for the whole family, pets and the environment. You can make simple, inexpensive non-toxic cleaners and never have to buy any commercial ones ever! Ditch those rubber gloves and start green cleaning!
Essential oils destroy microbes and seasonal & environmental threats. You can simply add a few drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water to create a simple, effective and natural cleaner. You can use this to clean counter-tops, sinks and other areas in the bathroom, kitchen and throughout the home. How simple is that?
You can also add some drops of essential oils to water to clean the floor or to other natural cleansers, such as baking soda, vinegar, washing soda and borax. Add one type of essential oil or create a blend from a few different scents and say ‘goodbye’ to those nasty chemical cleaners.
DISCLAIMER: None of the statements on this page have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent disease. If you have serious medical conditions, or have questions about your health and the use of essential oils, please consult your physician.