Although I have been writing about essential oils for quite some time now, I still get emails asking how to get started, or, more specifically, how to use them. For me it was easy. I became interested in aromatherapy in the early 90s and studied everything I could get my hands on to learn about the therapeutic values of essential oils.
Taking things one step further, it is a simple recipe from Valerie Worwood’s book that really clinched the deal. I was having some serious issues with my wrist and thinking it was tendonitis, I used her healing formula that included lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils to relieve my pain and suffering.
Those three essential oils should sound familiar since they are the basis for my own blend of Miracle Healing Salve.
But I digress. The question at hand is how to apply essential oils for health and wellness purposes. or, put another way, Essential Oils 101.
Today I call upon Contributing Author Rebecca Schiffhauer to help explain how to apply essential oils to derive health and wellness benefits for those that are just getting started on the EO journey.
How to Apply Essential Oils 101
EOs are used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. A single oil can be used or a complex blend, depending on the user’s experience and the desired benefit.
Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.
Due to the natural molecular composition of EOs, they’re easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically, sometimes diluted with a carrier oil and sometimes “neat” (undiluted).
Once they’re applied, essential oils can have almost an immediate, localized effect to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used very effectively in massage and beauty therapy.
EOs are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.
1. Sub-occipital Triangle: (pictured below) is a great place to apply an EO topically, it sits at the base of the brain stem and close to the blood supply to the brain.
Gaye’s note: When Shelly and I “salve-up” at bedtime, we call this “salving the brain”. I use my Sleepy Dreamy salve blend for this.
2. Feet: the bottoms of our feet host the largest pores on our body and allow quick absorption.
3. Over the heart: I nice place for a topical application, I find it very soothing and calming.
4. Localized: When aches and pains are involved, apply EOs directly to the area of discomfort and massage the oils in with carrier oil.
Our sense of smell influences lots of 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 stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens.
Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended because they don’t change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. EOs can also be used as cleaning and purifying laundry and surfaces in the home.
Gaye’s note: I can not recommend this enough. I now own three diffusers; one for the bedroom, one for the main kitchen/living area, and one for my office. This is an easy peasy way to ease yourself into essential oils.
Therapeutic grade essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some EOs have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support a healthy inflammatory response in cells.
Many EOs are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Please don’t use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.
Gaye’s note: My best experience taking essential oils internally has been placing a drop or two in a glass of water and drinking it. Adding essential oils to a capsule did not work for me at all (severe heartburn). A drop of lemon oil in a glass of water is surprisingly refreshing (see 33 Awesome Uses of Lemon Essential Oil for some tips for using lemon essential oil) and nothing beats the woes of eating too much or too spicy than a drop of a digestive blend in water.
Using essential oils can be both profoundly simple and life changing all at once. Working with someone who has used essential oils before can help first-time users have a good experience and boost their confidence. There’s a wealth of information available for those wanting to increase their knowledge of essential oil applications.
I highly recommend Valerie Worwood’s books, and lots of time spent Google-ing EOs and their uses! As always, hands on use will add to your confidence and open up lots of learning opportunities to broaden your healing skills.
I hope this post helps simplify some of the basics of EO use. While it all seems overwhelming at first, very soon it becomes second nature, I promise. Just keep EOs within reach and use them everyday!
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
When it comes to essential oils, keep in mind that everyone’s physiology is different. Not only that, it has been my experience that something that is working great for months may suddenly become less effective.
I equate this growing tomatoes. You may have grown a particular variety of tomatoes in you garden patch for years when suddenly, boom, they do not do well at all. By switching to another type of seed – similar but different – all is well again. I just wish I understood the science behind this better but for now let’s just say that this is Mother Nature’s way of doing things.
The good news is that many essential oils have similar qualities (Antiseptic, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, etc.) so it is easy to switch around. Another thing to keep in mind that many are quite inexpensive, starting at $5.99 for a 5ml bottle, making it easy to build up a reasonable collection of basics at very little cost.
The Final Word
Late last year I dumped two drawers full of over-counter-remedies into a box and the box has not seen daylight since. My feeling is that by using essential oils exclusively, I will learn what works and what does not work. Besides, playing with my oils brings out the inner chemist is me and is fun.
There additional things you need to know. A little goes a long way. Also, when stored in a cool dark area, most essential oils will have an infinite shelf life. Now I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer to use 100% pure and natural essential oils than a concoction whipped up in a corporate lab somewhere.
For more articles on essential oils, see Interested in Learning About Essential Oils? Start Here. And of course, if you have questions, leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them in a future article.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Normally these four amazing oils would cost you $63.45 but this kit is only $49.99. By using the 10% coupon code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” your cost will be reduced to only $44.99. Of course the standard size Spark Naturals Essential 4 Pack is still available for $19.99 less your 10% discount.
Normally these four amazing oils would cost you $63.45 but this kit is only $49.99. By using the 10% coupon code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” your cost will be reduced to only $44.99.
Of course the standard size Spark Naturals Essential 4 Pack is still available for $19.99 less your 10% discount.
Bargain Bin: Below you will find some links to some of my favorite essential oil products. You can also find some really good deals on eBay or locally at any store that carries health oriented items. For the best of the best at a reasonable price, I recommend essential oils from Spark Naturals. If you decide to give Spark Naturals a try, be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil: You will find prices all over the board for essential oils. The Spark Naturals brand is very reasonably priced and of the highest quality. A bottle of tea tree oil is only $6.99. Remember, you get an additional 10% by using the coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
Diffusers: You are definitely going to want to consider I diffuser. I keep one in my office next to my desk, one in the bedroom and of course, one in my main living area. The diffuser pictured below is my ZAQ Dew Aromatherapy Diffuser.
Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil: Fractionated Coconut Oil stays liquid, is clear, and is highly stable for use in creams and lotions, and many other cosmetic preparations for skin and hair. It penetrates the skin readily, thus acting as an excellent carrier for essential oils.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap, Tea Tree: I have become very fond of Dr. Bronner’s products. A little goes a long way and I like that they leave no residue on my cabinets, counters and floors when used for cleaning.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: I first became interested in aromatherapy and essential oils in the early 90s which was before they really became mainstream. I read every book I could get my hands on and dabbled at creating synergy’s (a combination of two or more oils that create a chemical compound that is greater than the some of its individual components). My bible then, and even now, is this book by Valerie Worwood.
Clove Oil: Clove oil should be a component of every survival first aid kit. For less than $10, you have a multi-purpose product that takes up little room but solves a myriad of unwelcome and unexpected ailments. Travelers – this especially applies to you! As of this writing, the price is $5.99.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies: Rosemary Gladstar is the mother of modern herbalism. Her wisdom and vision have inspired an entire generation of herbal healers, and her insights into the healing power of plants have helped people everywhere embrace more natural, healthy, and radiant lives.
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