How To Use Essential Oils

| September 10, 2011

How to use essential oilsThere are many ways to enjoy using your essential oils, and most of the popular methods are explained here, simply choose the method that suits your particular requirements. But to really experience the benefits and versatility of aromatherapy you should try them all if you can!

Baths

For a wonderfully relaxing experience at the end of a busy day, just add 4 – 6 drops of an essential oil to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Always agitate the water well before getting in. Choose from any of the relaxing oils such as Chamomile Roman, Clary Sage, Lavender, Marjoram Sweet or Sandalwood for a truly blissful experience. Alternatively you can use oils in the morning to give you an invigorating start to the day by simply choosing an appropriate stimulating oil.

If you use several oils together in the bath, ensure that you do not exceed a maximum total of 8 drops. When using a citrus oil in a bath never exceed 3 drops as they may be mildly irritating to some sensitive skins. Baths are particularly helpful if taken as well as massage, but always take the bath first and then apply the massage. For handicapped or elderly people a footbath is the ideal alternative to a conventional bath. Use only 3 or 4 drops of essential oil in a footbath.

Massage
This is one of the oldest and best methods to enjoy aromatherapy due to the added benefit the massage brings. Massage is also the most efficient method because the skin covers a large area and readily absorbs the oils into the bloodstream.

You can choose just one, or up to four essential oils suitable for your own particular needs and add them to your carrier in a dilution of 5 drops of essential oil to 10ml of carrier. If you have particularly sensitive skin use only 3 drops.

To calculate how many drops to use in a smaller measure, simply divide the amount of carrier in mls by 2, and that number is the total of drops of essential oil needed. For example, if you wanted to use just 6ml of carrier for a local application you would use 3 drops of essential oil.

Compresses

This is a highly effective method of pain relief and first aid. A HOT compress is for relieving chronic pain, period cramps etc. and a COLD one for reducing swelling, sprains and headaches. Put 4-6 drops of the oil into very hot or icy cold water.

Using a folded piece of absorbent material soak up the oils without fully immersing in the water, wring out excess and apply to the affected area. Finally, cover the area with a towel or wrap with polythene.

Steam inhalation

Used for centuries to help all respiratory tract problems, this method is a highly effective way to deliver essential oils into your system. Fill a large bowl with almost boiling water and add 3 or 4 drops of your individual essential oil or mixed blend. Lean over the bowl and breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes until relief is felt. A towel may be placed over the head to help direct the vapours.
Instant Relief

For instant relief if you are suffering from a cold, asthma attack or hay fever, put 3 or 4 drops of essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and gently inhale, – a handy method to use when out of the house. This is also the recommended application for asthmatics, who should not expose themselves to steam.

Vaporizer

Excellent for room refreshing or to create a soothing atmosphere for relaxing or meditation by simply using an essential oil for it’s particular quality. Use during illnesses to kill airborne bacteria and help prevent the spread of infections.

Copyright © 2002 Geoff Lyth

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