, substances which contain the aromatic essences of various plants, can be used medicinally and therapeutically to naturally help with physical troubles and ailments, such as headaches, skin rashes, symptoms of PMS, and more. They can also be used to enhance mood and concentration, or to calm your body, your mind, or your space. Essential oils can contain a surprisingly large amount of plant matter concentrated into a small amount of oil, so they are very powerful and a little can go a long way. However, it is also important to follow certain precautions with essential oils, as many of them are so concentrated that they will irritate the skin if applied directly without dilution. The following includes many of the uses of essential oils, as well as suggestions of blends and techniques that we have found to be particularly effective!Medicinally
Please refer to a qualified practitioner before using any essential oils internally. Many essential oils can be used internally when diluted in water, but many others should never be consumed, so consulting a licensed doctor or alternative medicine practitioner is recommended before consuming essential oils. However, in very small quantities and diluted significantly with water (one to two drops of oil in 16 oz of water, to be safe), essential oils such as Grapefruit can be very helpful to the internal organs. Clove oil has been used in traditional medicine in very small quantities as a numbing agent and an antibacterial to purify internally. However, in too high a dose, clove oil can cause digestive troubles, so again, be sure to consult a professional before consuming any essential oils.Aromatherapy
This is the most popular use for essential oils and can be traced back to earliest recorded history, when people would burn certain plants in order to produce certain spiritual and mental effects. The safest application of essential oils is through aromatherapy, which is simply the process of placing essential oils into water in an oil burner or other gentle heating device, thereby filling a room with a very clean, smokeless scent. Essential oils can also be diluted with natural carrier oils, such as almond oil, and applied directly to the skin.
Different scents can have drastically different effects on the mind and body, and can be used to great benefit. As an example, releasing lavender oil in to the air or applying a few drops to a handkerchief and placing it near your pillow at night can help to relax and calm the mind and is also very helpful for headaches. Diffusing lemongrass essential oil can help revive the mind and decrease anxiety, and is very energizing. This also has the added benefit of repelling insects!Oil Burners
Essential oils are so concentrated that a few drops can be placed into a warm oil burner filled with water to release wondrous scents into any environment. This creates a very clean, smokeless scent and is an all-natural alternative to incense. While inhaling the smoke from petroleum candles or low quality incense can be hard on your lungs, inhaling air scented with the very essence of a powerful plant will only support your health!
The added benefit of essential oil burning is that the essence of the plant is also released into the room, and this can help with anxiety, tension, insomnia, can clear stuffy noses and heads, can repel insects, and so forth. Remember that vaporizer when you were sick as a child? A few drops of eucalyptus oil placed into an oil burner can be as powerful decongestant as one of those store bought units! Diffusing grapefruit or bergamot essential oil can help with headaches, stress and depression. Bay oil clears up confusion and clarifies. Clary Sage oil inspires the mind and spirit and uplifts the mind to beautiful levels of creativity and receptivity. Frankincense oil calms and centers the mind and is a wonderful aid for meditation and all kinds of spiritual practice by showing us our inner clear light. These are just a few of the many essential oils available, and every one has a unique and amazing effect when released in to the air.Massage Oils
Essential oils are so concentrated that a few drops can be placed into the carrier oil of your choice to create a powerful massage oil that can calm, relax, invigorate, and heal. When manually making your own massage oil to be applied to the skin for various ailments, simply add a few drops at a time to your carrier oil until you find a concentration that is most pleasing to your senses. We have found that about 1/4 oz of essential oil (about a quarter of one of our bottles) in a full bottle of one of our carrier oils is perfect!
Making your own massage oil is incredibly fun and inspiring because both the carrier oil you choose and the essential oil you mix it with will change the positive qualities of your massage oil. As an example, safflower oil absorbs well and has no noticeable odor, meaning it will not conflict with any essential oils you use. It also contains many nutrients which are absorbed in to the skin, clarifying and enlivening it. Mixing this oil with cinnamon or clove oil will create a beautiful, natural rubefacient to treat arthritis and sore muscles.
Essential oils can also be applied topically to various pressure points in order to immediately release tension and produce a powerful effect. Again, be very careful when applying undiluted essential oils to the skin as some can be very irritating. However, applying a tiny dab of lavender to the point just between the eyes can almost immediately relieve a headache. Apply peppermint oil to the temples in order to clear sinuses and release tension.Bath Oils
Essential oils are so concentrated that a few drops can be placed into a bath, creating a soothing experience that can more effectively calm, relax, invigorate, or heal. Most bath therapy products or bath salts are simply sea salt mixed with either fragrance oils or essential oils. When making your own bath salt blends, you know the quality of the ingredients you are using, and you can make every experience tailored exactly to your own preferences. One of our favorite bath salt blends simply contains sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, cedar or pine essential oil, and bergamot oil. This cleanses and calms the mind, lifts the mood, and pulls toxins out of the skin, leaving a tingling, sparkling feeling after the bath.Home Improvement
Many essential oils also have powerful antiseptic and cleansing effects and can be used in an endless variety of ways to clean the home and repel pests. If you want beautifully scented laundry, rather than using commercial dryer sheets that contain dubious ingredients, apply five drops of your favorite essential oil to a small dish towel and put it in the dryer with your clothing. Essential oils can be added to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, let set for a day, and then sprinkled over the carpets before vacuuming. This will eliminate pretty much any nasty scent that has gotten in to your carpet.
If you want to scent a cabinet or a drawer, simply put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and put that in the location you want to scent. Essential oil can also been added to a spray bottle of water as an air freshener. And lemon oil can be added to a wet towel to sanitize bathroom fixtures or to sanitize dishes in the dishwasher! These are just a few of the endless uses for essential oils around your home, and the more you explore, the more you will find!Safety Precautions
Always be sure to get advice from a medical professional before consuming essential oils internally or applying directly to the skin, as certain essential oils can cause discomfort and harm if used in this way. Keep them out of reach of children, as with any other medicine, as many essential oils can be very dangerous if ingested in large quantities or if they come in contact with the eyes or sinuses.
Citrus oils, such as lemon and bergamot, can cause a rash if applied to skin that is then exposed to direct sunlight. Be very careful not to get essential oils near the eyes or the ears, and be sure not to handle your contact lenses when you have just been using essential oils. Oils such as cinnamon, clove and lemongrass can cause a great deal of eye irritation.
Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before using essential oils, especially those which contain hormone-like elements, such as sage and fennel. Epileptics and individuals with high blood pressure should similarly consult a doctor before working with essential oils.
If you are going to apply essential oils to the skin without dilution, try them out on the bottom of the feet, first, as this is one of the safest places to apply essential oils and you can see if your body reacts negatively. And if you are advised by a professional to take certain essential oils internally, be very sure to dilute them in a liquid such as soy milk that is oil-soluble.Have Fun!
No matter what you want to learn from essential oils, you are sure to have fun doing it! There are so many fascinating uses for these precious plant essences, and so much information available out there to explore! Enjoy working with these beautiful gifts of nature, and follow your heart and your instincts, and you will be sure to find the best essential oil applications to improve your life!