There are almost as many ways to enjoy and use essential oils as there are oils themselves! Try any of the applications below to see which works best for you. In some cases however, the application technique will be dictated by the issue you’re trying to address.
• Place 2 or more drops into the palm of the left hand, and rub clockwise with the right hand. Cup hands together over the nose and mouth and inhale deeply.
• Add several drops of an essential oil to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Inhale the vapors that rise from the bowl. To increase the intensity of the oil vapors inhaled, place a towel over the head and bowl before inhaling.
• Apply oils to a cotton ball, tissue, or hand-kerchief (do not use synthetic fibers or fabric) and place in the air vent of your car.
• Inhale directly.
Indirect or Subtle Inhalation (wearing as a perfume or cologne)
• Rub 2 or more drops of oil on your chest, neck, upper sternum, wrists, or under nose
and ears. Breathe in the fragrance throughout the day.
Diffused oils alter the structure of molecules that create odors, rather than just masking them. They also increase oxygen availability, produce negative ions, and release natural ozone.
A cold-air diffuser is designed to atomize a microfine mist of essential oils into the air, where they can remain suspended for up to several hours. Unlike aroma lamps or candles, it disperses oils without the heating or burning, which can render the oil therapeutically less beneficial and even create toxic compounds. Burned oils may become carcinogenic.
Start by diffusing oils for fifteen minutes a day. Remove immediately if there is any discomfort. As you become accustomed to the oils and recognize their effects, you may increase the diffusing time to 1-2 hours per day total but still in five minute intervals. Do not diffuse the blend Thieves or cinnamon bark for longer than 15 minutes at a time per day.
Place the diffuser high in the room so that the oil mist falls through the air and removes the odor-causing substances. By connecting your diffuser to a timer, you can gain better control over the length and duration of diffusing. For some respiratory conditions, you may diffuse the oils for 5 minutes each time at thirty minute intervals throughout the entire night.
Do not mix blends in a diffuser as this will alter the smell and the therapeutic benefit. However, a single oil may be added to a blend.
Always wash diffuser before using a different oil blend. Use natural soap and warm or hot water. If you don’t have a diffuser, you may add several drops of essential oil to a spray bottle, add water, and shake. You can use this to mist your entire house, work place, or car.
Other easy ways to diffuse essential oils:
• Add essential oils to cedar chips to make your own potpourri.
• Put scented cedar chips in closets or drawers to deodorize them.
• Place any conifer essential oil onto each log in the fireplace. As they burn, they will disperse a lovely smell. This method has little therapeutic benefit.
• Put essential oil on cotton balls and put in car or home air vents.
• Place a bowl of water with a few drops of oil on a wood stove.
• Dampen a cloth, apply essential oils to it, and place it near the intake duct of your heating and cooling system.
Humidifier and Vaporizer
Essential oils like peppermint, lemon, and frankincense make ideal additions to humidifiers or vaporizers if they have a well for such. Do not drop the oils down into the motor.
The portable, battery operated, fan diffuser is a great way to enjoy essential oils while traveling or camping.
Many oils are safe to apply directly to the skin. Lavender is safe to use on children without dilution. However, you must be sure it is not lavandin labeled as lavender or genetically-altered lavender. When applying most other essential oils on children, dilute them with a carrier oil. For dilution, add fifteen to thirty drops of essential oil to one ounce of a quality carrier oil as mentioned previously. Carrier oils, safely extend essential oils and provide more efficient use. When massaging, the carrier oil helps lubricate the skin. Some excellent carrier oils include cold-pressed Grape seed, olive, wheat germ, jojoba, and sweet almond oils, or a blend of any of these.
When starting an essential oil application, always apply the essential oil first to the bottom of the feet. This allows the body to become acclimated to the oil, minimizing the chance of a reaction. Start by applying 3 to 6 drops of a single or blended oil, spreading it over the bottom of each foot. When applying essential oils to yourself, use 1 to 2 drops of oil on two to three locations twice a day. Increase to four times a day if needed. Rub the oil and allow it to absorb for two to three minutes before applying another oil or getting dressed (to avoid staining clothing).
As a general rule, when applying oils to yourself or another person for the first time, do not apply more than 2 singles or blends at one time. When mixing carrier oil with essential oil blends or diluting oils, it is best to use containers made of glass or earthenware, rather than plastic. Plastic particles can leach into the oil and then into the skin once it is applied. Before applying oils, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Start by applying 2 drops of a single oil or blend on location and massaging in. If working on a large area, such as the back, mix 1-3 drops of the selected essential oil into one teaspoon of pure carrier oil. Keep in mind that many massage oils, such as olive, jojoba, or wheat germ oil may stain some fabrics.
Licensed acupuncturists can dramatically increase the effectiveness of acupuncture by using essential oils. To start, place several drops of essential oil into the palm of your hand. Dip the acupuncture needle tip into the oil before inserting it. You can pre-mix several oils in your hand if you wish to use more than one oil.
When performing acupressure treatment, apply 1 to 3 drops of essential oil to the acupressure point with a finger. Using an auricular probe with a slender point to dispense oil can enhance the application. Start by pressing firmly and releasing. Avoid applying pressure to any particular pressure point too long. You may continue along the acupressure points and meridians or use the reflexology or Vita Flex points as well. Once you have completed small point stimulation, massage the general area with the oil.
For deeper penetration of an essential oil, use hot packs after applying oils. Dip a cloth in comfortably warm water. Wring the cloth out and place it on the location. Then wrap the cloth loosely with a dry towel or blanket to seal in the heat. Allow to stand 15 – 30 minutes.
Apply essential oils on location, followed by cold water or ice packs when treating inflamed or swollen tissues. Frozen packages of peas or corn make excellent ice packs that will mold to the contours of the body part and will not leak. Keep the cold pack on until the swelling diminishes. For neurological problems, always use cold packs, never hot.
This technique consists of applying multiple oils one at a time. For example, place marjoram over a sore muscle, massage into the tissue gently until the area is dry, then apply the next oil, such as peppermint, until the oil is absorbed and skin is dry. Then layer on the third oil, such as basil.
Creating a Compress
· Rub 1-3 drops on location, diluted or neat, depending on the oil used and the skin sensitivity at that location.
· Cover with a hot, damp towel.
· Cover the moist towel with a dry towel for 10-60 minutes, depending on individual need.
As the oil penetrates the skin, you may experience a warming or even a burning sensation, especially in areas where the greatest benefits occur. If burning becomes uncomfortable, apply a massage oil or any pure vegetable oil, such as olive or jojoba, to the location.
A second type of application is very mild and is even suitable for infants, children, or those with sensitive skin.
· Place 5 to 15 drops of essential oil into a basin filled with warm water.
· Vigorously agitate the water and let it stand for 1 minute.
· Water temperature should be approximately 100ºF (38ºC), unless the patient suffers neurological conditions; in this case, use cool water.
· Place a dry face cloth on top of the water to soak up oils that have floated to the surface.
· Wring out the water and apply the cloth on the location. To seal in warmth, cover with a thick towel for 15 – 30 minutes.
Adding essential oils to bath water is challenging because oil does not mix with water. For even dispersion, drop in the oils while running the bath, or add 2 to 3 drops of oil to a cup of Epsom salts or bath gel base and pass this mixture under the faucet. Either method will help the oils disperse evenly and prevent stronger oils from stinging sensitive areas. You can also use premixed bath gels containing essential oils as a liquid soap in the shower or bath. Lather down with the bath gel, let it soak in, and then rinse. To maximize benefits, leave them on the skin or scalp for several minutes to allow the essential oils to penetrate. You can create your own aromatic bath gels by placing 5 to 15 drops of essential oil in 1/2 ounce of unscented bath gel base.
How to Enhance the Benefits of Topical Application
The longer essential oils stay in contact with the skin, the more likely they are to be absorbed. Rose Ointment or AromaSilk Satin Body Lotion may be layered on top of the essential oils to reduce evaporation of the oils and enhance penetration. It also helps seal and protect cuts and wounds.
Always skin test an essential oil before using it. Each person’s body is different, so apply oils to a small area first. Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow enough time (3 to 5 minutes) for the body to respond before applying a second oil.
Exercise caution when applying essential oils to skin that has been exposed to cosmetics, personal care products, soaps, and cleansers containing synthetic chemicals. Some of them, especially petroleum-based chemicals, can penetrate and remain in the skin and fatty tissues for days or even weeks after use. Essential oils may react with such chemicals and cause skin irritation, nausea, headaches or other uncomfortable effects.
Caution: Essential oils may sting if applied in or around the eyes. Some oils may be painful on mucous membranes unless diluted properly. Immediate dilution is strongly recommended if skin becomes painfully irritated or if oil accidentally gets into eyes. Flushing the area with a vegetable oil should minimize discomfort almost immediately. DO NOT flush with water! Essential oils are oil soluble, not water soluble. Water will only spread the oils over a larger surface, possibly exacerbating the problem.
Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and only apply to children under skilled supervision.
If a child or infant swallows an essential oil:
• Administer a quality vegetable oil, such as olive oil, or a mixture of milk, cream, yogurt, or another safe, oil-soluble liquid.
• Call a Poison Control Center or seek immediate emergency medical attention if necessary.
• If your body pH is low (4.0 to 5.0), you also could have a negative reaction to the oils.
Internal and Oral Use as a Dietary Supplement
All essential oils that are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) or certified as Food Additives (FA) by the FDA may be safely taken internally as dietary supplements. In fact, many oils are actually more effective when taken orally. Essential oils should be diluted in vegetable oil, agave, almond, oat, or rice milk prior to ingestion. More or less dilution may be required, depending on how strong the oil is. More potent oils, such as cinnamon, oregano, lemongrass, and thyme, will require far more dilution than relatively mild oils, and very mild oils like lavender or lemon may not need any dilution at all. As a general rule, dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of honey* or in 4 ounces of a beverage. *(Honey should not be given to children under 12 months of age.)
Safe Usage: Usually no more than 2 or 3 drops should be ingested at one time (during any four to eight hour period). Because essential oils are so concentrated, 1 to 2 drops are often sufficient to achieve significant benefits. Essential oils should not be given as dietary supplements to children under six years of age. Parents should exercise caution before orally administering essential oils to any child, and oils should always be diluted prior to ingestion. Essential oils are extremely concentrated, so they should be kept out of reach of infants and children. If a large quantity of oil is ingested at one time (more than 5 drops), please contact your health care physician or Poison Control Center immediately.
Toothpick application: Dip end of wood toothpick into oil and apply to mixtures when one drop of oil is to much.
Vaginal Retention Implant
For systemic health problems, such as candida or vaginitis, a vaginal implant is one of the best ways for the body to absorb essential oils.
· Place 10-20 drops of essential oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil.
· While lying down use a small syringe to implant the mixture into the vagina at bedtime. Do not get up again until morning.
· To use a capsule, place oils in the capsule and implant immediately after the oils are added.
· A pad or tampon may need to be used to aid in the retention of the essential oil solution.
Rectal Implant and Retention Enema
Enemas and rectal implants are the most efficient ways to deliver essential oils to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Always use sterile applicator.
• Mix 20-35 drops of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil.
• Place mixture in a small syringe and inject into the rectum.
• Retain mixture through the night (or longer for best results).
• Clean and disinfect applicator after each use.