The ways a person can use Essential Oils are as vast as the mind can imagine.
Essential Oils can be placed directly on the skin in areas that would benefit the most from the absorption of the oils (ex. basil oil on sore muscles) or in areas that would make the passage to the blood stream easy (wrist and neck).
Oils can and should be combined with carrier oils (jojoba, grapeseed, etc..) to dilute the strength before applying directly to the skin as most beneficial attributes of oils are obtained through low doses.
Essential oils can also be added to massage lotions or creams to create a wonderful fragrance and healing property while performing massage. Practitioners and massage therapists should ask their clients prior to adding fragrance to their lotions in case the client has scent sensitivity or a personal disdain for a particular scent.
Certain oils such as tea tree oil and lavender oil can be placed directly onto an affected area at full strength such as a bug bite or minor skin burn to help the skin regeneration process move more quickly, but always be careful and test a small area first before applying a large amount.
Essential Oil rubs can be a most blissful event for newborns and children. When creating a blend or oil for a child or infant, consider their age. Newborns would benefit from just one drop of essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil. Also, be cautious as some types of carrier oils can cause an allergic reaction such as almond oil if a nut allergy exists. Choose a less allergenic oil such as grapeseed oil with children and massage away!
For use as a liniment, refer to the above section regarding applying directly to the skin. The term liniment is used to indicate a medicinal topical treatment. Essential Oils make some of the greatest topical treatments and are regularly utilized by the commercial and drug industry as in the cream "arnica gel" and cold remedy "vicks rub". The problem with some of these commercial topical treatments is the chemical additives.
When creating an essential oil liniment, combine 10-30 drops of essential oil with 10ml of carrier oil and massage into the affected area. Sweet Almond oil makes an excellent carrier oil for liniments.
Inhalation of essential oils has a mainly psychological effect through the limbic and neuroendocrine systems that help regulate our moods, feelings, mental functions and energetic levels. This type of essential oil use should not be undermined as the effects and benefits are extremely dynamic.
To use, simply place 1-3 drops of desired essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale through the nose until the desired effect is obtained. (ex. a few inhales of lavender while in bed will promote deeper sleep). A cotton ball scented with essential oils can also be placed inside a ziplock bag and kept in a purse or car for a breath of treatment throughout the day.
Steam inhalation can also benefit your immune system and sinuses along with your psychological self. To use, simply place almost boiling hot water (to invoke the steam) into a heat-safe bowl and combine with 2-4 drops of essential oil of choice. Place a towel over your head and place your face CAREFULLY over the hot steam. Inhale and experience a clearing of your face and head like never before. (try eucalyptus and peppermint during a cold).
Shower inhalation can be extremely beneficial to energize your morning or relax your evening. It can also be a moment of meditation for some. To use, simply place 3-5 drops of essential oil directly on your hot washcloth and place over your face to inhale. (enjoy this one).
A bath can be one of the most enjoyable experiences to use essential oils. Essential oils can be dropped directly into the bath, but why, that takes away the fun of adding some other skin softening agent such as milk or coconut oil. To use, combine 10-20 drops of essential oils to carrier oil of choice (ex. milk or coconut oil) and swish into hot bath.
A sitz bath or foot soak can also be created in this same manner by simply reducing the large bath size into a smaller bucket or sink to reduce water waste for such a small area of the body. Soak feet or bottom for 10 minutes or more. This method is great for babies with diaper rash who need soothing relief but remember to reduce the essential oil drops to 1-5 drops.
Diffusers and Nebulizers can carrier scents throughout your home, office or car if you are so lucky as to find a travel diffuser. For use in diffuser, place 3-8 drops of essential oil into the water and turn on (if electric) or light a candle below to activate the heat source. For use in a nebulizer, place 3-8 drops inside specialized chamber and turn on to enjoy unadulterated, pure essential oil fragrance in your home.
Perfumes and colognes are a great way of adding essential oils to your daily life. Just ask my mother! She makes the most wonderful patchouli and lavender perfume and everywhere she goes, women will tell her how great she smells. Because she uses the perfume not only on her body and clothes, but also around her home after cleaning for that extra touch, when people enter her home, they are immediately under the patchouli spell!
To use, simply combine 20-40 drops with distilled water or witch hazel (or a combination of the two) into a glass spray bottle and shake vigourously before every use. Spray everywhere!
Essential oils can also be added to your favorite lotion for application throughout the day as perfume. Just add 1-3 drops in a spot of lotion or premix by adding 1-20 drops of essential oil in your fragrance free lotion upon opening and shake vigoursly.
Using essential oils can be extremely beneficial for anyone and additional education should be sought by persons ready to start incorporating them into their lives. As with any of nature's gifts, careful consideration should be taken.
To prevent skin irritation or sensitization, do not use essential oils directly on the skin undiluted unless used during spot application as in a bug bite or muscle sprain. Avoid contact with eyes and other mucous membranes at all times; if contact occurs, rinse away with water.
Never take essential oils internally. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children and beware that children and infants are more sensitive to the strengths of essential oils. Always check with your health practitioner of choice before using essential oils during pregnancy, postpartum or with specific medical conditions such as epilepsy as essential oils can produce undesired effects in extremely suseptable people.