How to use essential oils
How To Use Essential Oils
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use essential oils, then this article is for you!
We’ll cover what they are, where they come from, and the best ways to use them. So let’s get started!
Essential oils have been used for centuries as a natural way to heal and promote wellness.
They can be diffused into the air, massaged into the skin, and some can even be taken orally.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils are a great way to improve your life.
There are many benefits to using essential oils, and here are just a few:
- Essential oils add the beauty of fragrance to your atmosphere
- They can help support your immune system
- They can be used to promote relaxation and peace
- They can aid in meditation practice
- Essential oils can also help reduce stress levels
- They can be effective in aiding concentration and focus
- They’re often used to improve sleep quality
- Lastly, they can be beneficial for skincare
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are natural extracts that have been distilled from plants or other organic materials.
They contain highly-concentrated amounts of plant compounds called “essential oil molecules,” which give off their unique aroma and therapeutic benefits when applied topically or inhaled.
Many people believe that these molecules work synergistically with our body’s own systems to promote healing on many levels, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
The most common types of essential oil molecules include:
- terpenes (aromatic hydrocarbons)
- phenols (alcohols)
- ketones (aldehydes)
- oxides (ethers)
These molecules interact with the body in several ways, including but not limited to:
- supporting the immune system
- promoting relaxation
- boosting energy levels
The effects of each molecule will vary depending on the type of oil, its concentration, and how it’s used.
These different groups each have their own effects and provide specific benefits, so it’s important to know what essential oil will provide the desired effect before applying it directly onto your skin or diffusing into the air around you. Some may cause irritation if not properly diluted first.
Whether you’re looking for physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual relief, there’s probably an essential oil that can help.
So get creative and start experimenting with how you can use them to improve your life.
You can investigate the properties and attributes of over 70 natural aromatics on our website.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be applied to the skin topically only after being diluted into what’s called a “carrier oil.”
Caution: essential oils are highly concentrated volatile oils that by themselves can cause severe burns or irritations to the skin and organs. Never apply them to your skin without properly diluting them into a carrier oil.
What is a carrier oil?
A carrier oil is a cold-pressed vegetable or plant-based oil that’s used to dilute essential oils by acting as a base for them, and allowing them to penetrate more deeply into your skin cells.
Carrier oils are also called “base oils.”
Here’s a list of some common carrier oils for essential oils:
- sweet almond
- apricot kernel
- rosehip seed
- olive oil
The carrier oils also act as a moisturizer and scent diffuser while nourishing your skin with vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients.
This is an especially great way to use essential oils.
Essential oils can also be diluted into homemade creams, lotions, soaps, perfumes, colognes, and other body products.
The proper dilution ratio for topical use of essential oils into carrier oil varies by the essential oil used. Some are more powerful than others.
In any case, the total amount of pure essential oils should not exceed two percent (2%) of the total volume.
For safety and proper fragrance strength, somewhere between .05 to 2% dilution will be the ideal blend.
Two percent dilution would equal two (2) drops of essential oil to ninety-eight (98) drops of carrier oil.
That’s from 4 drops (.5%) to 18 drops (2%) of essential oil into one (1) ounce of carrier oil.
Always perform a skin patch test before using any essential oil topically to ensure that you are not sensitive to it. Start by diluting your chosen essential oil(s) to one percent or less, then place two drops of diluted oil on inner forearm and rub it in. Wait 48 hours before washing that area. Does it turn red or show any irritation? If so, avoid that oil.
It’s best to start with a lower dilution ratio and increase gradually if needed.
Suppose you have sensitive skin or are especially prone to irritation. In that case, it’s also recommended that you only use what’s called “fragrant-free” base oil as a carrier to avoid any potential allergic reactions.
Another option is an “essential oil blend,” which has already been diluted for easy application. Blends often mix several different essential oils diluted into a carrier oil in one bottle. You can apply it directly to your skin onto the desired area(s).
And many people also find pre-diluted essential oil blends more convenient because they allow quick access to multiple types of benefits at once. However, blends can also be more expensive.
Essential Oil – Carrier Oil Dilution Ratio Chart
Another great way to use essential oils is by inhaling them through diffusion.
This simply means adding a few drops of oil onto a cotton ball or tissue and placing it near you, such as on your bedside table, desk at work, or even in your car.
You can also add a few drops to a hot bath or vaporizer.
The molecules in essential oils are small enough to be absorbed through the nasal passages and into the bloodstream, where they can work their magic almost immediately.
Some people also find that simply smelling an essential oil can help improve their mood or relieve stress.
There are many beautiful essential oil diffusers available in marketplaces. Our selections will be coming soon.
Although it’s not recommended to take essential oils orally without consulting with a certified Aromatherapist or health professional first, some organic and steam-distilled essential oils have been found to be safe for internal use in small doses.
Culinary artists often use other essential oils include sweet basil, ginger, coriander, lime, lemon, black pepper, and more.
When taken orally, essential oil molecules enhance taste and are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to different parts of the body to provide therapeutic benefits.
For more on cooking with essential oils, see Mandy Aftel’s book:
How are essential oils made?
Essential oils can be extracted from plants by various methods, each one producing a unique effect in the final oil that is created.
Let’s examine some common extraction techniques to understand how these pure aromatherapy products are so beneficial for our wellbeing.
What is the cold-pressed extraction process?
The very popular cold-pressed process uses no heat during the distilling stage (known as steam distilled).
The actual temperature remains below 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout this entire process – hence why it is referred to as “cold pressing” or “low-heat.”
This makes it an extremely gentle method of extracting the essential oils from plants and is how sunflower seed oil (used for cooking) is made.
In this process, ripe ingredients are crushed and pressed to release the “cold-pressed” essential oils that can then be used within a myriad of different products, such as soaps or shampoos.
What is steam distillation?
The second most popular extraction method involves steam distillation – where heat must be applied to extract volatile compounds from plant material.
Using very high temperatures under pressure allows us to reap our rewards much quicker than with cold-pressing alone.
The downside to steam distillation? Unfortunately, many beneficial components vaporize or decompose at high temperatures, so the oil produced is not as pure.
This method is used to produce lavender, rose, and jasmine oils – some of the most popular essential oils on the market.
What is solvent extraction?
The third most common extraction process uses solvents such as hexane or ethanol, which are then removed from the final product.
This leaves a highly–concentrated essential oil that can be up to 70% more potent than those extracted by other methods.
However, there’s an increased risk for contamination with this type of extraction – making it less desirable for many consumers.
Some plants do not lend themselves well to any specific extraction process, so a blend of two (or even three) different methods may be required to produce the most beneficial oil.
It’s amazing how something so small can contain such big benefits for our health and well-being – but now you know how essential oils are made and why they are so powerful!
We’ll soon have guides to using essential oils to enhance various emotional attributes.
In the meantime, see our extensive natural aromatic ingredients and incense recipes sections for aromatics with the attributes you desire. Those sections also provide links to where you can buy those products.
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