Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements. AROMATIC USES Our sense of smell influences many physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body’s predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli. Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating while others can be calming and soothing.
Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors. Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended as they do not change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. Essential oils can also be used as cleansing and purifying additives to laundry and surface cleaners throughout the home.
TOPICAL USES Due to their natural molecular composition, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy. They are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.
INTERNAL USES Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Do not use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.
Essential oils can also be used in cooking, though you will need significantly less of pure and potent essential oils in your recipes than commercial, food grade flavor oils. For example, one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 bags of peppermint tea. Be sure to use only pure, potent, high quality essential oils and follow all label warnings and instructions. Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds.
Use caution when applying oils topically. Use a carrier oil and dilute for less sensitization and for better absorption. If redness or irritation occurs when using essential oils topically, simply apply more carrier oils (vegetable oils such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil) to the affected area. Consult your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care.
There are several safety guidelines that you should follow when using essential oils and essential oil products.
Be sure to use only pure & potent essential oils from a company that you trust and follow all label warnings and instructions.
If redness or irritation occurs when using essential oils topically, apply a vegetable oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil to the affected area.
Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds. In the event of accidental contact with the eye, dilute with vegetable oil NOT water.
Do NOT consume an essential oil internally unless labeled with a Supplement Facts box with specific dietary supplement use instructions and warnings.
Discontinue the use of an essential oil if you experience severe skin, stomach, or respiratory irritation or discomfort.
When using on children, apply a very small amount of oil to test skin or other sensitivity. Do not use oil on a child’s hand as they may transfer to their eyes or mouth.
Consult your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care or have other safety questions regarding essential oils.
It is important to remember that essential oils are highly-concentrated plant extracts and should be used with reasonable care. Consulting with someone who has experience with essential oils will make your first experience with essential oils more enjoyable and rewarding. As you learn how to use essential oils through personal experience, share your knowledge with others in a safe and responsible way and encourage others to do the same.