I previously posted about various essential oils and their uses, but only briefly described the many different ways you can use them. Here’s the extended version of using essential oils from the Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential Oils book.
This is one of the most popular ways to administer essential oils on the skin. This is a two-for-one since you benefit from both the massage and the oil at the same time. To encourage absorption of the oil, cover the skin with a warm towel after the massage.
How long has it been since you’ve soaked in a warm bath? Imagine one with your favorite essential oil added to it. The warm water encourages relaxation and also enables the oils to penetrate the skin. Add the oils once the water has been run as the heat will encourage their evaporation. Sitz baths are great for hemorrhoids, pruritis, and stitches, while a handbath or footbath can help alleviate pain and/or swelling of the hands or feet.
You can make either a hot or cold compress. If you are looking to perhaps relieve such things as skin infections or muscle or joint problems then a hot compress is the answer. A cold compress would be perfect for things like headaches or when the area is hot or inflamed.
4. Room spray
You can use a room spray to disinfect and deodorize a room, repel insects, and fumigate a sick room. Citrus oils work well to deodorize, tea tree oil works well to disinfect a room. Lemon and citronella work very well to repel insects and eucalyptus and tea tree oils work well to fumigate a sick room.
5. Burner and vaporizer
This is similar to number four where you can deodorize and fumigate a room, as well as create a special atmosphere. If you sit near the burner or vaporizer you can inhale the vapors and benefit from the therapeutic properties of the oils themselves.
By adding 20-40 drops of an essential oil or two to a pitcher of water that is used to splash the coals can be an excellent addition to your sauna experience. Oils that work well in the sauna air would include cypress, eucalyptus, and pine.
If you are suffering from a cough, cold, or sore throat steam inhalation is an excellent way to provide relief. Put very hot water into a bowl and just add 3-4 drops of essential oil and lean over the bowl. Place a large towel over your head and the bowl to create a tent to contain the steam and inhale the vapors.
8. Gargle and mouthwash
You can bring some relief to a sore throat and hoarseness, or a cold or infection, by simply making a gargle. To help thrush, mouth ulcers, and gum disease you could make a mouthwash. Before gargling, all oils must be diluted in a carrier oil such as avocado, coconut, jojoba, almond, or grapeseed.
Essential oils have been used to flavor food for many years. Since essential oils are very concentrated, it is recommended to use only 1-2 drops per dish, or toxicities can occur. Whatever essential oil is used, it should be added to the oily part of the recipe and mixed thoroughly to ensure that it is dispersed throughout the dish.
There are some exceptions to the rule of always diluting an essential oil before placing on the skin and these oils make an excellent choice as perfume. The exception oils include neroli, lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, and rose as they generally do not irritate the skin. Apply any of these oils to the pulse points just like a perfume. To make a cologne just add a combination of essential oils to vodka as a fragrance base.
An important note about essential oils and aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy is meant to complement your standard medical care as an alternative health modality and should not be viewed as a cure for illness or disease.
Never apply undiluted essential oils to skin. Make sure they are diluted well in a carrier oil such as olive, almond, evening primrose, jojoba, coconut, or avocado oil. Avoid mineral oil, which is a byproduct of petroleum production – it’s synthetic, clogs pores, prevents the skin from breathing naturally, and prevents essential oil absorption. Do not overuse essential oils as all essential oils have the possibility of causing adverse reactions such as headaches and nausea when overused. If used daily, to keep adverse reactions from occurring, or to a minimum, it is advised to rotate the oils used every two weeks.
Never ingest essential oils without proper consultation with a qualified professional such as a certified clinical aromatherapist. If used as a mouthwash or gargle ensure proper dilution as well as proper spitting techniques are utilized to ensure minimal swallowing.