Home :: Aromatherapy :: Using Essential Oils

Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used in so many ways.

Inhalation

Steam inhalation, in the form of a facial steambath, is great for helping respiratory problems (colds and flu), but should not be used by asthmatics. This is done by adding approximately 6 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water and placing a towel over your head while breathing deeply. Close your eyes and inhale the rising steam for several minutes.

Essential oils that should be used for inhalation include, angelica, eucalyptus, sage, myrtle, cypress, lemon, mountain pine, lemon grass, ocean pine, juniper, chamomile, tea tree, thyme, hyssop, niaouli and cedar. For colds try two drops each of eucalyptus, mountain pine and lemon. For flu relief try three drops of niaouli, 4 drops of sage and one drop of thyme.

Theraputic Massage

This is the classic aromatherapy treatment, triggering the body's natural healing process by using lymphatic massage and essential oils to stimulate the flow of blood and lymph fluid. The limbic section of the brain (the emotional center) which affects the way we feel. For massage use a 1-3 percent solution of essential oil to base oil such as almond, hazelnut, jojoba, wheat germ, coconut, olive or aloe vera oil. Personally I like almond oil as it nourishes and pampers the skin or aloe vera oil as it helps maintain the skin's moisture balance and activates the skin's self healing power.

Oils that relax tight muscles and increase blood circulation include rosemary, lemon, lavender, juniper, lemon verbena, cinnamon, birch, Swiss pine and lemon grass. After a hard workout try a having a massage consisting of 4 drops of juniper oil, 5 drops of queen of the meadow oil, 3 drops of birch oil, 4 drops of lemon oil and two drops of rosemary mixed in an almond oil base.

Oils to help you relax are bergamot, Roman chamomile, petitgrain, rose, mimosa, lavender (my favourite), balm, geranium, neroli, cedar, sandalwood, rosewood, orange, tangerine and honey.

Oils for a sensuous body massage inclue jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, orange, sandalwood and iris.

Body and Facial Oils

These can be used on a daily basis to nourish the skin. Use a one percent blend of essential oil to carrier oil for the face and a three percent blend for the body.

Fragrancers

These pots, also known as domes, lamps or diffusers, are extremely easy to use. The lamp is often made from ceramic, glass or marble with a small container for water that is heated by a tea light candle. To use them, just fill the top china bowl with water and add a few drops of essential oil on the surface. The candle in the pot underneath heats the water and slowly releases the natural fragrance of the oil into the room. Six to ten drops of essential oil should be sufficent, depending on the size of the room.

Using this method you can transform your living room into a flower garden or freshen the air near your desk when mental effort is required. It is recommended you work with one fragrance at a time until you find oils that work for you and your moods. You will notice that the same oils appear in several categories .. it is the amount you use and the ones you blend them with that will influence how you feel when they are used.

Oils for home include bergamot, balm, grapefruit, lemon verbena, clary, bitter orange, geranium, myrtle, cedar, lavender, orange, Swiss pine and tangerine. Oils for work, which are stimulating and refreshing include, bergamot, mint, juniper, lemon verbena, myrtle, Swiss pine, lime, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass and hyssop.

These oils have a calming influence and should be used in the bedroom: geranium, mimosa, petitgrain, honey oil, myrtle, Roman chamomile, lavender, neroli, rose, balm, orange and cypress.

Baths

Run hand-hot water then add 5-10 drops of essential oil to suit your mood. Close the door, keep in the vapors, and soak for 15 minutes. For sensitive skin it is better to dilute the oil in a base oil first, like sweet almond, apricot or peach kernel. Essential oils can mark plastic baths if they are not dispursed thoroughly, so wipe the bath right after use.

Foot Bath

Refresh your tired feet by adding 4-5 drops of peppermint, rosemary and thyme to a large bowl of water. After soaking rub your feet with lavender.

Shower

After soaping or gelling, rinse off well. Dip a wet sponge in an oil mix that suits your mood, squeeze and rub over your whole body while under a warm jet spray.

Sauna

Add two drops of eucalyptus or pine oil per half pint (330 mL) of water and throw over the coals to evaporate. These are great cleansers and detoxifiers.

Jacuzzi or Hot Tub

Relax and feel sensual by adding 10-15 drops of sandalwood or ylang-ylang to your bath or simply bubble over with the stimulating effects of pine, rosemary and neroli.

Room Sprays

To make a room spray blend ten drops of essential oil in seven tablespoons of water. One tablespoon of vodka or pure alcohol to the solution will act as a preservative but this is optional. Shake the mixture well before filling the sprayer. Vanilla, peach or lemon oils all work well as natural room sprays.

Pillow Talk

Perfume your with 2-3 drops of oil. Choose a relaxing oil to unwind or one for insomnia if you have sleep problems.

Perfumes

The finest perfumes are traditionally blended from pure essetial oils, particularly the flower extracts, though these days synthetic aromas tend to be used, particularly for the cheaper perfumes. The art of perfumier is subtle and skilled, and difficult to emulate at home as it is hard to find a medium to use as a substitute for alcohol. If you have a favorite oil or blend of essences, you can use it all over in a body oil (three percent solution); ore make a very concentrated blend (twenty-five percent) to dab behind ears and knees and on wrists and temples.

Pomanders

Hang porous corked bottles in your wardrobe or closet. The essential oil is absorbed by the clay and released slowly. Fill with the fragrance of your choice (cedarwood keeps away moths).

Handkerchief

This is the most portable way of using essential oils. Add 3-4 drops to a handkerchief and inhale. This is useful for treating colds or headaches, or just for clearing your head at work.

Shoe Rack

Freshen your cupboard with lemongrass. Deodorize shoes with two drops of pine or parsley oil.

Humidifiers

You can add your favorite oil to the water of a humidifier or improvise by adding five drops of essential oil to a small bowl of water and placing it atop a radiator.

Ring Burners

Use the heat from light bulbs to release perfumed oils. Small ring burners, usually purchased at a craft or specialty store, sit over the top of the bulb. Add a few drops essential oil, and the heat from the bulb will gently vaporise the oil.

Wood Fires

Sprinkle drops of cypress, cedarwood, pine or sandalwood over the logs to be used about an hour before lighting the fire and then burn them to relase the aroma you have chosen.

Scented Candles

Wax candles can be bought ready-impregnated with essential oils and are a delightful way of scenting a room. Or you can add a few drops of essential oil to an oil lamp for the same effect.

Compresses

Soak a clean cotton cloth (such as a face cloth, handkerchief or small towel) in one quarter of a pint (160 mL) of water with 5-10 drops of essential oil. Squeeze and lay across the area to be treated. Cover and leave until cold. A useful method for sprains, bruising, headaches (place the compress across the forehead) and hot flushes.

Aromatherapy Information

What is Aromatherapy?

What are essential oils? How do they work?

Essential oil extraction

Carrier oils

How to use essential oils? - Different uses of essential oils

Essential Oils Information Chart

Essential oil blends

Learning Aromatherapy Massage - Essential Oils Massage

More Sites on Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Recipes

Aromatherapy for Insomnia

Aromatherapy for Depression

Aromatherapy and Concentration

Aromatherapy for Headache
Aromatherapy Skin Care
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