Essential oils seem to be everywhere these days, but how do we use them?
I fell in love with essential oils during my childhood summers in Provence in the south of France. Lavender essential oils are at the heart of life in Provence. I remember the lavender fields, the soaps, the perfumes and lavender ice cream and candy.
This is when it all started for me, life was better, sweeter and happier with my essential oils.
The use of plant extracts such as flowers, leaves, bark, stems, buds, needles, roots and essential oils is called aromatherapy. It is the art and science of utilizing plant extracts to balance, heal, stimulate, detoxify and calm the mind, body and spirit. It is a holistic approach to life. Essential oils are cost effective, natural, safe, effective and enhance a feeling of well-being. People use essential oils to soothe anxiety, stress, muscle aches and a wide variety of ills such as migraines and even sunburns. These oils can trigger powerful and emotional responses. Essential oils can seem intimidating at first because they are so many of them and they all have different properties but with a quick guide to how to use them, aromatherapy will become fun and addictive. Essential oils are already found in many aspects of your daily life. Essential oils are commonly employed in beauty products, perfumes, and a large variety of wellness products. Spas, yoga studios and many other types of businesses have long used essential oils.
Let’s look at how you can use the little bottles you have just purchased or have been given. Essential oils come often in dark glass little bottles of 5ml, 10ml or 15ml. The darker glass protects the oils from the light, as sunlight will degrade the oils. They come in small doses because they are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. So a key word regarding essential oils would be moderation. Always use in moderation and diluted.
The easiest way to use an oil is to just open the bottle and breathe in the aroma. One can also try to put a few drops in one’s hands, rub them together and breathe in the scent. If this method is employed with eucalyptus essential oil for example, the user will feel their airways open up and clear up. One can also put a few drops on a tissue if one is on the go.
Diffusing the aroma in a particular room is probably the most common way to use essential oils. You can diffuse the aromas with a diffuser. It is a device that will evaporate essential oils in the environment. There are different types of diffusers such as atomizing, vaporizing, fan or heat devices. The price range of diffusers varies greatly. They can be found in any shopping center, big box store or online. The atomizing diffuser is the most expensive type. The most commonly used would be the vaporizing diffuser. One only needs to put a few drops of essential oils in the water portion of the diffuser and plug it in. The ultrasonic waves will emit the oils and water particles into the air. The diffuser chose needs to have the requisite capacity to diffuse enough aroma to cover the square footage of the particular room. Some diffusers have timers and many diffusers have changing light displays for decoration and intermittent distribution options.
Essential oils can also be used in spray bottles. The particular essential oil can be diluted in water or scentless alcohol (such as vodka) and placed in a small spray bottle. The spray bottles are commonly available. The mixture can then be sprayed into the air for a room spray or air freshener, they can be sprayed on surfaces (such a kitchen or bathroom counters) or on the body for refreshing or calming purposes.
Millions of people use essential oils topically. Lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, sandalwood, peppermint and grapefruit are the most widely used essential oils among others. It is widely believed that massages with essential oils will help with circulation as the oils are absorbed by the skin. You should always use a carrier oil with a few drops of your essential oils. Carrier oils such as grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil will prevent the rapid evaporation of the essential oil and will also protect the skin from any irritation. Essential oil massages are considered to be particularly effective for muscle pain, body aches and injured tissues. Many people swear by back, neck and foot massages with oils after a long day standing or sitting at a desk. Massages with essential oils can also can also become an intimate moment, but no matter how one goes about the massages, the benefits are endless.
A favorite use for oils is in the bath. This method is topical and aromatic. The diffused oil in the water penetrates the skin and the aroma is inhaled during the luxurious time in the water. Mixing the essential oil of choice in Epsom salts is the most commonly employed method. One should add 8-10 drops of the chosen essential oil to 1 cup of bath salts and mix in the warm water before entering the bath.
Finally, some people ingest essential oils such as oregano, lemon and clove buds among others with a few drops under the tongue, in veggie caps, in teas or food and water. Many people use oregano oil and cinnamon oil in this way when fighting cold symptoms. It is adamantly recommended that one should always consult your healthcare professional before ingesting any essential oils in this way. Remember that essential oils are potent and highly concentrated. A single drop of essential oil is obtained from a large amounts of plants.
Before you start trying your oils in a bath this evening or in the palm of your hand right away, I would just like to give you the name of a few popular essential oils you might already have and their top uses.
Eucalyptus: commonly used for coughs, congestions, bronchitis and any respiratory disorder.
Ginger: commonly used for cramps and sore muscles as well as motion sickness vertigo heartburn and reflux.
Frankincense: often used in skin regeneration, immune system and cellular health, emotional balance as well as meditation.
Lavender: most known for it’s soothing properties. It targets, sleep, anxiety and stress issues. It also helps in skin irritations such as cuts wounds and blister and will relieve bug bites. It can also help balance emotions.
Oregano: Commonly used to fight viral and bacterial infections. It can be used with throat disorders as well as warts.
Peppermint: commonly used as an anti-inflammatory, it has a cooling effect and can be used in certain allergy situations or for headaches and migraines. It is often used for treating sunburns, muscle stiffness and tension.
Essential oils can be a part of your daily routine with very little effort and investment. They are easy to use and I recommend you start with a few drops of your favorite oil in a diffuser and see where this might take you. In no time you will be blending different oils and massaging your sore feet. You might be making your own soaps and candles and spraying your pillow with a dream mist. You might spray your yoga mat with a homemade mat spray or put a few drops of oils on your natural cork yoga mat. The sky is the limit with what you can do with your essential oils. I encourage you to start experimenting one drop at a time and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!!!