Getting Started With Essential Oils
The truth regarding essential oils has long been neglected and misunderstood by most. While many Aromatherapists in the US still relegate essential oils to the support of the psyche – studies continue to confirm the tremendously powerful healing properties of essential oils for physical ailments and conditions.
Using oils drawn from nature’s own medicine cabinet of flowers, trees, seeds and roots, man can tap into God’s healing power to heal oneself from almost any pain, finding relief from many conditions and rejuvenate the body. Without the scientific evidence of understanding how essential oils work, we would simply call it “miraculous.” Yet, simply it is since they are endowed with God’s spoken word as living, vibrant substances carrying within them the healing power He offers us. As the scriptures tell us, “The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them” (Ecclesiasticus 38:4).
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are an aromatic, vital fluid which is distilled from flowers, shrubs, leaves, trees, roots, and seeds. Because they are necessary for the life of the plant and play an important role in the biological processes of the vegetation, these substances are called “essential” and contain the essence of the plant.
The essential oil in their leaves serves two additional functions: their odors attract pollinating insects and they repel pests, bacteria, and viruses which could harm the plant. Essential oils contain the life-blood, intelligence, and vibrational energy that endow them with the healing power to sustain their own life—and help people who use them.
Unlike fatty vegetable oils used for cooking (composed of molecules too large to penetrate at a cellular level), essential oils are a non-greasy liquid composed of tiny molecules that can penetrate every cell and administer healing at the most fundamental level of our body. Their unique feature allows them to pass through the skin and cell membranes where they are most needed. Because of their structural complexity, essential oils are able to perform multiple functions just with a few drops diffused in the air or applied to the skin.
Since essential oils are derived from a natural plant source, you will notice that the oil does not leave an “oily” or greasy spot. When applied to the skin, they quickly are absorbed and go right to action. (Note: Be sure to check safety ratings before applying any essential oil to the skin.)
Modern Medicine vs. Natural Alternative
Modern medicine has attempted to duplicate the chemical constituents and healing capabilities of essential oils, but cannot. Man-made pharmaceuticals lack the intelligence and life-force found in the healing oils. Most synthetic prescriptions have multiple undesirable side effects—even some that are deadly.
Essential oils have no serious side effects that are deadly. Many people that are getting started with essential oils have reported authentic healing when using them. Naturally though everyone may not experience the same results as family history, lifestyle, and diet plays a significant role in the body’s healing process. Essential oils work together in harmony, making them inherently safe, unlike when multiple prescription drugs are taken, causing drug-interaction, other health issues and sometimes even death.
Ways To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used in a multiple of ways. The most common ways to use them includes: inhalation, application and internally (through prescription).
The essential oil that you choose will depend on the purpose—do you want it to help you sleep or maybe heal a cut? When choosing your method and the oil you choose, be sure to pay attention to cautions for each oil. With each of these options, there are many different kinds of application methods. The application method you choose will depend upon the desired effect and the essential oil you select.
- Apply 2-3 drops of essential oils into your hand and rub palms together. Cup hands over nose and mouth. Inhale vapors deeply several times.
- For a humidifier or vaporizer, place 10 drops of essential oil undiluted into the unit.
- Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to your hot tub or Jacuzzi.
- Add your favorite essential oil to a spray bottle with water and spray to freshen bed sheets and blankets at bedtime and enhance deep sleep.
- Use essential oils as disinfectants for natural, non-chemical cleaners. This will kill airborne virus and strengthen the immune system, and deodorize the area with wonderful eco-friendly fragrances.
Light Bulb Rings
- When using a metal light bulb ring, use six drops of essential oil and just enough water to prevent burning. Add a little water first, then drop the essential oil on top to float on water. If you are using a porcelain light ring, you may not need to add any water. Take into consideration the size or wattage of the bulb, as some will get warmer. Place ring over light bulb when light is cool and be sure to not get essential oil directly on light bulb.
- A wide variety of burners are available to use—some electric, some using tea light candles. Generally, tea light candles are not too hot for diffusing essential oils, but you may want to drop oils over glass stones or add water to the top section to help diffuse fragrance. Use caution around open fire, as essential oils are flammable. Six drops of oils is recommended for normal use; however, you may want to reduce the amount of oil used for rooms of elderly or children.
Nebulizing Diffuser/Cool Mist
- Place 25 drops of essential oil inside the diffuser and use as needed. Limit diffusion of new oils to 10 minutes each day. Increase the time until desired effects are reached. Adjust times for different-sized rooms and the strength of each fragrance. Unlike the cheap fragrant oils purchased at department stores that mask odors, diffusing pure essential oils actually alters the structure of the molecules that create odors – rendering them harmless. Essential oils increase the avail-able oxygen in the room and produce negative ions which kill microbes. Do not use thick essential oils in your diffuser, as this could possibly clog it.
- To help treat problems in the pelvic or genital areas, try adding 5 drops of essential oil in just enough water to cover lower body. For a full bath, add 8-10 drops of essential oil while bath is running. Agitate water in a figure eight motion to make sure the oil is mixed well, preventing irritation to mucous membranes. Another method is to add essential oils after the bath has been drawn. Add essential oils with a palm full of liquid soap or shampoo and swishing around to dissolve in tub. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
- While showering, add a drop or two of essential oil to a washcloth and inhale the vapors in the steam.
- Dilute 1 part essential oil with 4 parts carrier oil (olive oil works great) and apply 8-10 drops on affected area. Using a moist towel or washcloth, cover with a dry towel and leave on for 10 minutes. For inflammation, use a cold compress. If there is no inflammation, use a warm compress.
Facial Steam/Steam Inhalation
- Place 2-3 drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water. Place towel over your head and inhale for 5 minutes. Be careful to use only safe oils, as some essential oils may irritate the eyes. This type of treatment is also beneficial if you are suffering from a cold or upper respiration ailment.
- Blending essential oils in an unscented, natural lotion/cream base allows you to benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the essential oil, giving you a non-oily way to apply essential oils. This is particularly beneficial for someone with a skin condition that doesn’t do well with oils. The dilution rate for using essential oils in a lotion base is no more than 2%. For adults, use 20 drops of essential oil to 50g of lotion. For children and elderly, use 10 drops of essential oil to 50g of lotion.
- Here’s an inexpensive spa treatment you can do at home. Select a flat smooth stone the size of your palm, and heat in the oven at a low temperature until warm. Rub a massage oil blend (10-15 drops of essential oil per one-ounce of carrier oil) over the heated rock to give your spouse a relaxing massage to penetrate muscles (Himalayan Salt Stones work great for this).
- Mix 30 drops of essential oil per one ounce of cold-pressed carrier oil such as olive oil. Choose an all-purpose oil that is great for the muscles, relieves pain, headache, and tension and smells lovely.
- Creating your own body sprays and facial mists is one of the easiest ways to use essential oils. For a facial mist, use 8-10 drops of essential oils in a four-ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water. When making body sprays, add 30-40 drops of essential oil per four-ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water. For room sprays, use 80-100 drops of essential oil per four-ounce spray bottle with the remainder filled with distilled water. Be careful not to spray in the eyes.
- Fill a saucepan with ¾ with water and add six drops of oil to pan. Set stove setting on “warm.” Check periodically to make sure water has not evaporated.
- Add 3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of water to use as a mouthwash.
- A variety of techniques used in massage therapy can incorporate the use of essential oils. Refer to the list of therapeutic properties for which oils you will find most beneficial and add 7 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon to massage oil.
- It is important to dilute your essential oil for mixing with a suitable carrier oil, so that you can use it on the skin over a part of the body. There are different carrier oils (such as Sweet Almond, Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive, Flaxseed, Avocado, Grapeseed Extract, Jojoba, etc.) and you will want to select the best one for your purpose and skin type. Carrier oils can be purchased from a natural health food store or grocer, but check labels to make sure the one you select is cold pressed oil and is suitable for use on the skin.
For general purposes, the dilution rate for essential oils is generally 2% – 3%. For instance, if you use two-three drops of pure essential oil, you will dilute by adding about a teaspoon of carrier oil. This should be cut in half for children and senior citizens.
2-3 drops of Essential Oil per teaspoon of Carrier Oil
7-8 drops of Essential Oil per Tablespoon of Carrier Oil
15 drops of Essential Oil per Ounce (30ml) of Carrier Oil
Two to three drops of essential oils is the most you should use in an eight-hour period. Keep in mind, less is best when it comes to essential oils, and it would be wasteful to use more.
- For women who are pregnant, the general rule is a one percent (1%) dilution for oils that are safe to use. For a 3.5 ounce bottle (100 ml) carrier oil, add 25 drops essential oil and for 1/3 ounce carrier oil (10 ml or 2 teaspoons), add 2 drops essential oil.
- When you use essential oils for a massage, you will need to dilute with a carrier oil. Generally, two drops of essential oil should be used per teaspoon of carrier oil or follow individual recipe instructions, if available. A full body massage takes about one to two ounces of carrier oil. Any natural carrier oil (except mineral oil) is fine to use when preparing a massage blend. As a general rule, add 10-12 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil. For children and elderly, use only 5-7 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil.