Use essential oils for health, beauty and home care

Essential oils can be enjoyed using a variety of different methods. The most common essential oil uses are through inhalation or absorption through the skin.

Inhalation

Essential oils are very aromatic and many of the benefits can be obtained by just inhaling the aromatic oil. Use essential oil blended or unblended:

  • Steam inhalation For respiratory ailments, clearing sinuses, and headaches, just a drop or two of a single essential oil, or an essential oil blend can be added to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam for 15-30 minutes.

  • Vaporized oils In an aromatherapy diffuser, add a single essential oil or a blend to an aromatherapy diffuser or oil burner to create a fragrant atmosphere or to set a specific mood. Alternatively, put a few drops of oil in a bowl of water on a radiator.

  • Misting aromatherapy Mix your favorite essential oil(s) with distilled water (no more than 15 drops of oil(s) per ounce of water) and for a refreshing aromatic spray. Create a different essential oil blend for each room in your house: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc.

  • Applying a few drops to your pillow for a good night sleep, in your shoes to deodorize your shoes, on a tissue, handkerchief or scarf for a convenient sniff when necessary.

Or, for a quick pick-me-up, just breath in the fragrance from the bottle.

Absorption

The power of essential oil penetration through the skin is great, so absorb your aromatherapy experience through:

  • Aromatherapy massage Combining essential oils with the deep penetrating action brought on by massage helps relieve tension, soothe aching muscles and increase circulation. As a general rule, 7-10 drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil is recommended.

  • Create a relaxing bath Bathing is a relaxing therapeutic experience in itself. Use a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the bath after a stressful day and you will emerge even more relaxed. And you get the extra benefit of inhaling the aromatic fragrance as well.

  • Warm or cold compresses For sprains, bruises, or upset stomachs, a compress helps the healing process. Put 4 - 8 drops of essential oil into hot or cold water in a small basin. Cold water contracts the tissues and warm water relaxes the tissues. Fold up a clean cloth and dip it into the water. Squeeze out the excess water. Apply immediately to the area you want to compress.

  • Hand and foot baths Add 3-4 drops of an essential oil or blend in a bowl filled ¾ full with hot water. The warmth of the water helps the blood vessels to dilate, and can be helpful in treating conditions like aching feet, tension headaches and migraines. A foot bath can invigorate the whole body.

  • Natural skin care Create toners, facial and body oils and creams, and face masks with essential oils and blends.

These are just a few ways to use essential oils, and the essential oils can provide almost anyone with safe and effective self-help. Remember though, all essential oils are extremely powerful and should be used with caution. Read the article "Use essential oils safely" for precautionary information.