WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the fragrant, highly concentrated natural constituents that are found in plants. They are what give the plant its characteristic odor and contain the healing power of the plant from which it was extracted. When used correctly, essential oils bring a wide range of health benefits since unlike modern drugs, they have no side-effects.
HOW DO I USE ESSENTIAL OILS SAFELY?
Traditionally, certain essential oil application methods have been preferred or used exclusively. However, as the research surrounding essential oils continues to develop, a greater understanding of application methods is now understood. All application methods are safe when used appropriately, including aromatic, topical, and internal methods. One or multiple application methods can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:
The sense of smell is a tool that can elicit powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behavior, and memory. For this reason, essential oils have an especially powerful effect via aromatic application.
Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Diffusers that use cold air or water are ideal. However, using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices.
You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand that is then cupped around the nose as you breathe deeply.
Additional aromatic uses For Essential Oils Include:
Apply oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle
Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
Add oil to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets
Use in household surface cleaners
Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localized benefit.
Although essential oils are readily absorbed, there are many ways to increase absorption. Using a light massage will increase the blood flow to the area of application, in turn improving distribution throughout the body. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption, especially in skin that is dry or flaky as it helps moisturize the skin and slow evaporation of the oil.
To decrease the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, especially on young or sensitive skin, it is advisable to use a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) to dilute more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time. The recommend dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.
It’s always advisable to use several small doses throughout the day rather than a single large dose. Start with the lowest possible dose (1–2 drops). A topical dose can be repeated every 4–6 hours as needed. Because every individual is unique, the dose will vary for each individual based on size, age, and overall health status.
Beneficial Areas You Can Apply Essential Oils
Forehead and temples
Chest and abdomen
Arms, legs, bottom of feet
Other Effective Methods of Topical Application
Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding essential oils, and then applying to the desired area
Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin
Sensitive Areas to be Avoided:
Some facial areas, such as the skin around the eyes
Eyes and inner ears
Broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin
Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh basil leaves to your spaghetti, you are actually consuming some volatile aromatic essential oil compounds.
Essential oil contributes many health benefits as well as flavoring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits. Internal use is a very safe and effective method of application because of the sophisticated physiologic processes of our bodies.
When ingested, essential oils directly enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.
The composition of essential oils is highly complex. Each constituent possesses a unique set of biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Although these mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated. However, the body is only equipped to handle appropriate doses of essential oils.
Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.
Effective Methods of Internal Application
Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices
Remember that essential oils are much more potent than dried or fresh herbs and spices, so start with a very small amount
For more potent oils, it may be better to administer them by toothpicks (dip the end of a clean toothpick into the oil and then add to the food) rather than drops
Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, or other drinks
Take essential oils internally in a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of applesauce or yogurt
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils interact with the body through the nose and they are also absorbed through the skin. There is also a benefit in just surrounding yourself with the energetic value of the oil.
There are many ways to use essential oils:
Essential oils can be used in a bath both for therapy and pleasure! Be careful not to use an oil that is sensitising or irritating on the skin. Add the essential oil added directly to the bath, or - better - it can be diluted in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of honey, or half a cup of milk. (Honey and milk are excellent emulsifiers and will help the aromatherapy essential oil to disperse in the water). The safest oils for everyone to use in the bath are Lavender and Camomile because of their gentle non-irritant qualities. If you want to experiment with others, watch out for oils that may be photosensitising when in direct contact with the skin. Remember that the oil is not dispersed and diluted in the water; it is at full strength, so go carefully, one drop at a time. Use up to eight drops of your chosen essential oil or blend. Run the bath as usual, and add the essential oil (or mixture) to the water. Keep the bathroom door closed to ensure that the aroma does not disperse. Swish the water around vigorously before getting in.
There are many essential oils which have a clearing effect and are recommended to support the respiratory system. Among these are Eucalyptus, Fir, Rosemary, and Lavender. Prepare a blend of 10-20 drops of essential oil in 30ml of carrier oil and rub on the chest and upper back.
A compress is a clean, damp, folded cloth that has been infused with essential oils and is then applied to the problem area. A compress can be either cold or warm, depending on the purpose. Fill a small bowl with water, add 2-5 drops of essential oil. Stir briskly, soak the cloth, wring, and apply. Repeat this procedure as needed.
You can completely transform the character of a room in just a few minutes using a few drops of a favorite essential oil or synergy blend in one of our diffusers. Aromatherapy diffusers are also ideal for cleansing and purifying the air. Aromatherapy diffusers disperse essential oils into the room in a number of different ways. The preferred method does not heat the essential oil, but uses a fan to pass cool air through a pad which has been impregnated with the essential oil. You can use 4-8 drops of essential oil on the pad, or use 3-5 drops with warming diffusers. Refresh as needed.
Some essential oils such as lavender and tea tree can be applied directly to the skin to soothe minor insect bites, scratches and burns.
Foot and Hand Bath
When your feet feel good, you feel good all over - and the feet are a very important area in aromatherapy. This is both because of their reflex points that affect every area of the body, and because the skin on the feet absorbs essential oils rapidly. The value of foot baths has been recognized for hundreds of years. They are a wonderful way to pamper yourself, and are very practical in situations where a full aromatherapy bath is not possible; for example for the disabled and elderly or for people who only have a shower. Hand baths can be soothing for people with aching joints. Use 2-4 drops of your chosen essential oil in a bowl of water. Cool water revives, and warm water relaxes.
First thoroughly mix the essential oil in a teaspoon of honey. Then dilute with warm water until the honey is dissolved. Gargle with a small amount and spit out. Use 1-2 drops per 30 ml of warm water.
Inhalation and Steam Inhalation
Sprinkle a few drops of an aromatherapy oil onto a handkerchief or tissue, and inhale as required. Alternatively add three drops of your essential oil to a bowl of steaming water. Cover your head with a large towel, close your eyes, put your face above the water and inhale deeply. Repeat as required.
Essential oils can be used internally, but this should not be done without proper knowledge. The French system of aromatherapy is based around using essential oils as 'medicines', but in that country being an 'aromatherapist' requires a qualification similar to being a medical doctor. So we recommend that you do not take essential oils internally without recommendation from a properly qualified therapist.
Aromatherapy massage is one of the best ways to experience aromatherapy essential oils, combining as it does the benefit of touch and the therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Massage relaxes muscles and improves circulation and lymph flow, soothes physical tension and relieves mental stress. Essential oils should always be diluted in a good quality carrier oil before applying to skin. The normal dilution is about 10-20 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil. Sensitive skin may require half this concentration, or even less.
The antiseptic and antibacterial effect of aromatherapy essential oils can be perfect for freshening the breath and to help maintain healthy gums, etc. Simply add a few drops of an essential oil to a cup of water, and swill around the mouth. Do not swallow.
To refresh the sauna and to enjoy the therapeutic effects of the essential oil, mix five drops of your chosen essential oil in one cup of water and pour over the hot rocks. Alternatively you may like to try one of our floral sauna blends. Simply pour a couple of undiluted capfuls over the rocks, lie back and relax .
One or two drops of an aromatherapy oil on a pillow case or on a tissue inside the pillow case is a wonderful way to enjoy the soothing and therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Take care not to get the oil in your eyes!
Essential Oils at Work
You can sniff oils direct from the bottle, or use a roller ball as required. The fragrance will have a direct effect, and also the associative memory will help you stay focused and relaxed. Who knows, it might even mellow out your boss too!
Essential Oils on the Road
Room Sprays help to make any hotel room a little more like home.