Essential oils don’t have to be complicated or intimidating. If you can just familiarize yourself with the 3 simple ways to use them then you’ll feel more confident in no time!
Using a diffuser is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get the benefits of essential oils. Inhaling the dispersed oil molecules in the air allows for a direct route to your brain through your nose and the olfactory nerves. The amygdala which is the emotional center of your brain is specifically stimulated. This is how essential oils can be so powerful on emotions!
Molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also carried through to the lungs where they interact with and help support the respiratory system. Another important reason to diffuse essential oils is for their air purifying benefits.
Steam inhalation is a great way to support the respiratory system during sickness. The essential oils when inhaled will pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream to give your immune system a boost and help open up air pathways.
To use this method fill a mug with boiling hot water and add 5-10 drops of essential oils like Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lavender, Frankincense, Lauris Nobilis or an already blended respiratory support blend like R.C. and Raven. Carefully place nose over the water inhaling the steam for several minutes. Repeat up to 3 times a day.
Place a drop or two of essential oil in the palm of your hands, rub hands together and cup over nose. Inhale deeply and use caution to not touch eyes. Also avoid hot oils when doing this. I like to use my emotional support oil blends like Stress Away, Peace and Calming or Valor when using this technique.
When using essential oils topically you can either apply them “neat” which means undiluted or apply them diluted. To dilute follow the guide below for kids and babies and use a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond, grapeseed, olive or jojoba. Fractionated coconut oil is by far my favorite choice especially when making roller bottles.
For quick application of a diluted oil I will pour about a dime size amount of the carrier oil into the palm of my hand and add 1-2 drops of essential oil then rub onto skin. If you want to get specific with how to dilute follow the guide for ages below.
- ages 0-1 year: 8 drops carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil
- ages 2-6 years: 3 drops carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil
- ages 7-11 years: 1 drop carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil
- ages 12 and up: 1 drop carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil
Recommended carrier oils are fractionated coconut, olive, jojoba, almond or grapeseed oil.
Based on using a 10 ml roller bottle.
- ages 0-6 months : 1-2 drops essential oil
- ages 6 months to 1 year: 2- 3 drops essential oil
- ages 2-4 years: 3-5 drops essential oil
- ages 5-8 years: 5-8 drops essential oil
- ages 9-12 years: 8-10 drops essential oil
- ages 12 and up: 10-15 drops essential oil
Simply fill the rest of the roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil.
Favorite places to apply are on the bottoms of the feet, along the spine, behind the ears or on the wrists. Just make sure you don’t use a photo sensitive citrus oil on exposed skin during the day.
If using in a bath or soak make sure to add essential oil first to a tablespoon of soap or a handful of Epsom salt. This will help to disperse the oil more evenly into the bath water. Start with about 4 drops and never use a hot oil like Oregano. Lavender or Roman Chamomile are great ones to start with.
The essential oils I feel comfortable using undiluted on myself are Lavender, Tea Tree and occasionally Peppermint. Diluting never hurts however and will not decrease the efficiency of essential oils. I have heard that it will actually help in driving essential oils into the skin better.
Hot oils must always be diluted! Oregano, Cinnamon, Thyme and some of the other culinary essential oils are hot oils that can cause significant burning on the skin if not diluted well. Applying them diluted to the bottoms of the feet is always best!
What to do if you get essential oils in your eyes?
Always be sure to wash hands and be careful with touching your eyes. If however you accidentally get essential oils in your eyes flush it with milk not water!
This can be a hot topic debated by many experts. I will say that you can get amazing benefits from essential oils without ingesting them. But can you? Yes I believe so. I studied this topic in depth when getting certified as an Aromatherapist. I even chose a school that was specific to the French philosophy so I could feel more educated on the toxicology of essential oils.
There are only a select few companies I’d recommend using for ingestion including Young Living which has a line of essential oils called Vitality. These oils have white labels which can help you recognize the oils that could be taken internally. Keep in mind that the FDA does not regulate essential oil companies and you would never want to ingest an essential oil from the supermarket even if it claims to be pure.
Having oils on hand to add flavor to recipes is one of my favorite ways to ingest essential oils. Adding a drop of oregano, basil, fennel or thyme to spaghetti sauce can infuse your meals with medicinal properties. Peppermint in brownies is a hit in our house and I like to add a drop of Lavender to my coffee every morning.
Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way! Start with just one drop or even use the tip of a toothpick and swirl it around in sauces, soups or drinks.
To flavor water I add one drop of lime, lemon or tangerine to a large glass of water and sip on it throughout the day. Make sure to only use glass because essential oils can break down plastics and you certainly don’t want to drink chemicals!
The French Aromatherapists place a drop of essential oil on a sugar cube for dosing. I prefer to use a spoonful of honey! This is especially helpful if dealing with sickness. Thieves is my favorite in honey either taken directly from the spoon or mixed into a warm cup of tea.
I always have veggie capsules on hand for dosing hot oils with like oregano or thyme. I fill the empty capsule with a couple drops of olive oil and then add one drop of essential oil. I recommend filling and taking the capsule immediately so it doesn’t leak.
What about kids and taking essential oils internally?
My kids have essential oils when prepared in meals or if they eat a cough drop. I never give them a veggie capsule or a spoonful of honey with it because of the impact it can have on their livers. Topical or aromatic use of essential oils is best for children especially ages 12 and younger.
How often to use essential oils aromatically, topically or internally?
The body metabolizes essential oils fairly quickly through the liver and eliminates them approximately 1-2 hours after use. In times of sickness I will reapply or take internally every couple hours.