Using Essential Oils
When you use essential oils you are using a product that smells great but is also easily absorbed into your body. The most direct route into the body is through the nose; as essential oils are breathed in, they stimulate the olfactory nerves which directly affect the brain. Many essential oils are also easily absorbed through the skin and enter the internal organs of the body in this fashion. When you use essential oils as directed below, only small amounts are released into the atmosphere or into contact with your skin which keeps potential dosages at a low and safe level. Here are some safe and effective methods of using essential oils:
Essential oils quickly enter the atmosphere even at room temperature; when you first open a bottle you will often smell the oil even from a few feet away. Some of the more powerful essential oils may spread their scent for some distance. Diffusers release essential oils into the air by heating a few drops of the essential oils placed in water in a bowl which is heated with a small candle or electricity. Essential oils can also be vaporized into a room by placing a few drops directly in the melted wax on top of a candle. Be careful not to place the oils on the wick as they are flammable. Some folks prefer cold diffusion, believing that the heating process changes the chemical properties of the essential oils making them less effective. Bamboo reeds inserted in a container with essential oils at the bottom is a simple approach that draws the oils up through the reeds where they diffuse into the room. Nebulizing diffusers are another approach to filling a room with aromatics. They use a small air pump to pass the essential oils through glass baffles creating a fine mist of unheated essential oils. Room sprays use a hand pump instead of a nebulizer to create a fine mist in the air. Room sprays often consist of essential oils dissolved in water or alcohol or a combination of both. Citrus oils, rosemary, peppermint or lavender are all cleansing and provide an uplifting scent. These all blend together well.
When you have a cold or other respiratory condition, there is nothing like aromatic steam to help you feel better. For the full effect, place 5 to 8 drops of your essential oil blend in a bowl of steaming water, drape a towel over your head, lean over the bowl (eyes closed) and inhale deeply for a minute. This works quickly and can be very effective - I feel good just writing about it! Eucalyptus has known benefits for respiratory problems. Or really relax by using 5 to 8 drops of your essential oil blend in a hot bath or 2 -3 drops in a foot bath. Soak for at least 10 minutes. A bath has the added benefit that some of the essential oils are also absorbed through your skin, but the main effect is from the vapors. Some essential oils should be diluted in vegetable oil before using in a bath. Good old lavender is great for baths, or you might try geranium or bergamot for an uplift and chamomile or sandalwood will relax you after a long day.
Want to get more personal with your essential oils? Try placing your favorite blend in an amulet to wear around your neck or use a few drops on a handkerchief for an occasional sniff. You can also apply a bedtime blend such as lavender and chamomile to your pillow or a cotton ball placed inside your pillow. For the ultimate in personal satisfaction, use pure essential oils in a natural perfume. Or ask Elise about a personal blend for aromatherapeutic or aesthetic uses.
In aromatherapy it is often desirable to apply essential oils directly to the body for skin care, body care through absorption into the blood stream or aromatherapy massage. Essential oils should be diluted before applying to your skin because they are very concentrated and a 2 to 2½ percent solution is usually effective. To avoid skin sensitivities, consult with a certified aromatherapist before using a higher percentage and if you know you have sensitive skin do a small patch test first. Frankincense and lemon are great for oily skin while carrot seed or sandalwood work for dry (lemon should not be used before going out in the sun). Mature skin benefits from patchouli and sensitive, eczema prone skin responds well to chamomile. Vegetable carrier oil can be used simply as a base for diluting the pure essential oils or selected carrier oils, lotions or creams can be used because their skin friendly properties enhance the benefits of your essential oil blend. Fractionated coconut oil is often used as a base because it won't stain your sheets or clothes. For everyday use, add a 2% essential oil blend to your favorite lotions and skin creams.