Essential oils and absolutes are the concentrated essences of various flowers, herbs, fruits and plants. They have been used since ancient times in food & cosmetics and for aromatherapy, spiritual or medicinal purposes. There are many ways to use essential oils for either their fragrance or therapeutic properties. The proportions given below for diluting essential oils are just a guideline and you can adjust them to your preference. Remember, because of their high concentration, a little bit goes a long way! One drop of essential oil is often equal to one ounce or more of the actual plant. Safety precautions must always be considered before using essential oils. The user should be knowledgeable about essential oil properties and actions before any use. Most essential oils may cause skin irritations if not diluted in a carrier oil. Some oils may be toxic if taken internally or used in excessive quantities. We do not advocate taking essential oils internally. Proceed carefully and with guidance from a trained aromatherapist if any of the following situations exist: pregnancy, breastfeeding, high blood pressure, epilepsy, open wounds, diabetes, rashes, neurological disorders, or if taking prescription medications or homeopathic remedies. Keep out of reach of children and pets! Listed below is a list of possible uses for essential oils.We highly recommend reading an aromatherapy book to determine the uses, differences and ratios of the different oils. At the very least, check out our Essential Oil Safety Page. Essential Oils can be found under Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Blends. Carrier Oils can be found under Carrier Oils. Additional products may be found in Bodycare Ingredients. Enjoy!
A very popular way to use essential oils is to breathe in their fragrance through diffusion. It is one of the easiest and most rapid ways to gain benefits from aromatherapy. Diffusion is the volatilization, or evaporation of the aromatic components of an essential oil into the atmosphere through the use of accessories, such as Electric Diffusers, Aromalamps, Scentballs or Lamp Rings. A diffuser in your home or office will keep you vivid and alert. One next to your bed will help loosen tight muscles and bring deeper relaxation. The most effective diffusers are electric and use a glass nebulizer to continuously disperses minute particles of essential oils into the air. The oils are broken down into a very fine, invisible mist for smoother absorption through the sense of smell. It also makes the oil's usage highly efficient and economical. A great selection of diffusers can be found under Diffusers.
Massage is one of the most effective methods of using the essential oils by combining their properties with the therapeutic power of touch. The oils should never be used undiluted but should be added to a carrier oil. Create your own massage oil by adding up to12 to 25 drops of an essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (such as Jojoba, Grapeseed or Sweet Almond Oil) or to a lotion base. Start with 12 drops of essential oil per ounce (a 2% dilution) for overall body massage. Increase to 20 to 25 drops per ounce (a 5% dilution) when applying to a single targeted area. Use half the amount for sensitive skin. For children, reduce your blend to 6 drops of an essential oil per ounce. The massage oil can be used for a full body massage or spot massaged at pressure points for a quick effect. A great selection of premade Aromatherapy Massage Oils & Lotions can be found under Massage Oils & Lotions or if you prefer to make your own, carrier oils can be found under Carrier Oils.
A full-body or foot bath combines the benefits of essential oils with hydrotherapy. Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to the bathtub or spa just after the warm water is drawn right before getting in. Gently stir in a figure 8 motion to fully disperse the oil and enjoy a relaxing 15 minute soak while you inhale the vapour. You can first add the essential oil to an emulsifier such as a carrier oil, bath gel, honey or milk before adding to your bath, if you prefer. Pure essential oils can be added to jacuzzis or hot tubs without leaving harmful residues behind. Essential oils can also be combined with a carrier oil to make a delightful bath oil by adding up to12 to 15 drops of an essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (such as Jojoba, Grapeseed or Sweet Almond Oil). Bath & Body Oils can be stimulating when applied to moist skin after your morning shower or relaxing when added to your bath before bedtime. The oils are rich and nourishing, keeping your skin soft, smooth and young looking. A great selection of premade Aromatherapy Bath & Body Oils can be found under Bath & Body Oils.
Another popular way to use essential oils is to breathe in their fragrance through steam inhalation. Fill a pot with 2 to 3 quarts of very hot water. Add 5 to 8 drops of essential oil or a synergistic blend. Position your face, eyes closed, about 10 to 12 inches above the water. For a better inhalation, drape a towel over your head and around the sides of the basin. Relax, breathing in the steam for several minutes. Add an additional 2 to 3 drops as needed. You can also add 4 to 8 drops of your favorite essential oil to the water of your humidifier.
The fastest and simplest way to use essential oils is to breathe in their fragrance through simple inhalation. Start with 2 to 3 drops of essential oil applied to a handkerchief, tissue or pillow case. Hold under your nose and breathe.
Add 8 to 10 drops of an essential oil to a bowl of 8 ozs. of hot or cold water. Submerse a cloth in the water, wring it out and place it on the area needing healing. Hot compresses are useful for muscular pain and cramp relief and cold compresses are useful for swelling or headache.
Topical applications can be applied several different ways. A limited number of oils, such as Lavender or Tea Tree can be applied neat to a small area of skin for a cut, bruise, or blister, etc. Compresses or massage treatments can also be given (see above). Essential oils can also be added to lotions, alcohol or vodka for a brisk rub.
Make your own natural perfumes by blending different essential oils to Jojoba Oil or a grain alcohol base. Most commercial perfumes use mainly synthetic ingredients that causing headaches, respiratory problems and allergies. Try experimenting with different combinations and design your own distinctive scent! Most perfumes are done in a 10% dilution (50 to 60 drops of essential oil per oz. of carrier). A great selection of our own natural perfumes can be found under Earth Celebrations.
Create effective, all-natural fresheners to enhance moods or freshen the air at home, work or in your car. Add 25-30 drops of an essential oil to 2 ounces of distilled water in an atomizer spray bottle. Shake well before each use, spraying into the air to mask unpleasant odors and introduce pleasant, enjoyable and healthy aromas. A few drops of Vegetable Glycerine will preserve the scent and act as a fixative. For atomizer spray bottle, check out our Supplies.
Add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil to a potpourri that has lost its scent or create your own potpourri by adding 20 to 30 drops of an essential oil to dried flowers and other botanicals. Mix together in an airtight container and store for several days to allow the potpourri material to absorb the essential oils. Stir occassionally to keep from molding. Fill a bowl or basket with the finished potpourri and let the scent take over your room! Add a few drops of oil the next time you are burning potpourri in your potpourri pot.
Add 2 to 3 drops of an essential oil to your rinse water the next time you do laundry. Add a few drops to your vacuum bag or to some baking soda to sprinkle on your carpets or to put in a closet. Add a few drops of Lemon or Tea Tree to your household cleaner or to your garbage cans before putting in a new liner. Put a few drops of Cedarwood on a wood block to scent your drawers or closets. Try new essential oils and experiment with blended oils to create the special environmental fragrancing that you desire. The sedative properties of Lavender, Chamomile, or Marjoram are excellent for use in the bedroom. The woodsy, clean scents of Spruce, Fir Needle or Pine are perfect for use in the bathroom. The refreshing qualities of Citrus, Cinnamon or Peppermint help eliminate food and cooking odors in the kitchen. The mental stimulants of Rosemary, Basil and Grapefruit are great for your home study or office. The calming, meditative properties of Sandalwood, Frankincense and Myrrh are perfect for that Yoga or Massage Space or when the mind just needs quieting and introspection. The exotic scents of Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose or Ylang Ylang can "scent the scene" for romantic evenings. You are only limited by your own imagination! For some inspiring blends and recipes, check our our great selection of Aromatherapy Books.