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Did you miss last week’s post? Learn the basics of how to use essential oils here. Today we will be getting into more specifics about how to use essential oils safely.
Please note that the following information is given under the assumption that you are using 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils that are considered safe for internal use. Quality is probably the most important factor in using essential oils safely. Contact me to find out more about essential oils and which brand I trust.
When to Use Which
So now you know the three ways to use essential oils: aromatic, topical, and internal. But when do you use which technique?
A book such as Modern Essentials is a great guide to help you decide when to use each of these techniques. It lists the various oils and blends, as well as whether they are recommended for a certain type of use or not. For example, lavender can be used aromatically, topically, or internally, while the Soothing Blend should only be used topically. Within the health concerns section, it also gives instructions for how to use the various oils to help with that concern. Every essential oil household should own a copy of Modern Essentials so that they can take charge of their oil education and make wise decisions about how to use essential oils. Individual bottles of oil will also list which uses they are safe for. Below are some general guidelines:
Aromatic: Aromatic use can actually be one of the most effective ways to receive the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, particularly in regards to mood management. Use diffusers to provide benefits to the whole family or for longer periods of time (such as overnight) with just a couple drops of oil – think Protective Blend for immune support or lavender for calming and sleep. Aromatic use can also be used simply to freshen up a room or make it smell good in place of air fresheners filled with toxic chemicals and synthetic scents. For mental relief, such as calming down, energizing, or grounding, inhaling the applicable essential oil off of your palms or even straight from the bottle will give the quickest results.
Topical: Apply essential oils topically to address targeted issues. A good example of this is using them for skin irritations, etc. to provide soothing relief. They can be massaged into a problem area, such as a sore muscle or an upset stomach, as well. Topical use can also be very useful if the smell of a certain oil is displeasing. Massaging an essential oil into the bottoms of the feet will deliver quick, systematic effects.
Internal: Internal use of essential oils should be used cautiously, as I mentioned last week. However, this specific use of essential oils can be extremely beneficial for many people. Use oils internally to flavor foods and drinks. Internal use can be quite effective for certain remedies, such as for strong immune support, or using lemon oil to suppose detox (such as after a night of indulging a bit too much). For medical use, please consult your holistic practitioner.
How Much of an Essential Oil Should I Use?
Remember, essential oils are extremely concentrated. A little goes a long way, and often is more effective that using a lot – this is what makes them frugal. You should only need to use a drop or two at a given time. I’d say you need three drops max when using topically. Always use less with children.
Diluting Basics – Diluting is an extremely critical part of using essential oils safely. This extends beyond just topical use, too.
In some cases, such as with blemishes, I use my essential oils neat. However, in general they should always be used diluted. There are a few reasons for this. One is due to the concentration of the oils and the risk of sensitivity. Once again, a book such as Modern Essentials will be invaluable for helping determine the extent that various oils should be diluted. I recommend diluting even those oils which are listed as safe to use neat. While they may be safe for an adult without sensitive skin, it is more frugal and often more effective to use essential oils while diluted. And with something so concentrated, better safe than sorry.
It is important to also be aware of how a diffuser experience affects your family. If the scent is too strong, use less next time. Modern Essentials will give you an idea of which oils should be reduced (it will be indicated that they should be diluted).
How much you need to dilute will depend on the essential oil and who you are using it on. Use Modern Essentials as a guide. When using a mild essential oil on an adult, you only need to add enough of a carrier oil to allow that one or two drops to be spread evenly across the desired area. Children and “hot” oils (such as oregano or cinnamon – these oils will burn the skin if applied without dilution) will require more dilution.
I love this article for explaining how much to dilute essential oils in certain cases, and what that looks like.
And what do you dilute essential oils with? My personal favorite carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil. This is a clear, odorless oil that absorbs readily, is non-greasy, and won’t stain fabrics. However, many other oils can be used. Learn more about carrier oils here.
How to Use Essential Oils with Pets, Pregnancy, Babies, and Health Conditions
I am not a doctor or medical practitioner, and I have no personal experience or knowledge of using essential oils with pets, pregnancy, small children, or certain health concerns. If you are concerned about essential oil safety in these cases, please do your own research and contact a holistic practitioner who is familiar with essential oils. Feel free to contact me as well, and I would be happy to point you in the right direction if I have a resource available.
If you do use essential oils in any of the situations, they should be highly diluted. Essential oils should never be used internally with pets or small children. For more information, The Dog Oiler has a lot of information about using essential oils with pets, and Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies is considered the gold standard for information on that topic.
Although I am emphasizing this in this section, it applies to everyone with essential oils and any other type of remedy or treatment: when in doubt, ask a trained professional or choose something else.
Learn More about How to Use Essential Oils
I hope you learned a lot from this post, but this is still just the tip of the ice berg. Every health concern and every essential oil has its own unique properties to consider. When you join my essential oil team, there are countless resources that will be provided so that you can learn how to use these beautiful gifts of the earth properly and safely. Below are some of my favorite public resources for how to use essential oils:
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DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. The information contained in this post is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.