How to Use Essential Oils
There are many ways to use Essential Oils. Aromatherapy is a well-known use, but how do you make it all work. In Part 2 of our Essential Oils series, we look at diffusers, steaming, lotions, bathing and spritzers. Which of the 5 ways will you use your Essential Oils for some well-earned aromatherapy.
How does aromatherapy work and what should I use?
Aromatherapy has been the buzzword for the past few decades as people are searching for natural ways to live their life. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like nice-smelling things. Guess what? Well it seems those smells actually do us all some good.
Essential oils release different chemicals which are absorbed either by the skin or through the nose by our smell receptors which are linked to the limbic system. It is the limbic system that regulates our nervous system (our heart, blood pressure, breathing, pulse etc.) and also affects our emotions, memory and behaviour. You can see, and smell, why oils have such a variety of benefits.
We need to keep in mind that not all oils are necessarily good for all of us. We are all different and as different as we are, our bodies can react to the chemicals differently. There is also the issue of combining substances. Just as the different medications can interact badly, so it is with the interation of chemicals in essential oils. Working with a knowledgeable aromatherapist is always a good idea.
The key to getting the best results from your oils is to use them for 15-60 minutes at a time. The easiest way to add essential oils into our life is by using a diffuser. A diffuser can be going in the background of your home without you having to do anything. I like the electric diffusers as you don’t have to rely on candles to heat the water and oil and you don’t run the risk of the candles stopping burning.
2. Facial Steamers and Inhalers
Facial steamers and inhalers also get the oils into your lungs quickly and can be a great addition if you have coughs and colds and need the relief of having your airways opened. If you don’t have a steamer or an inhaler, then just add a few drops of your combination of oils to a bowl of boiling water and with a towel over the bowl and your head, breath in the steam.
3. Lotions and Creams
Some oils can be added to carrier oils or creams and used directly on the skin in lotions, body oils, creams or topical applications. They are great added to massage oils and can help with relaxation.
4. Bathing (in the Bathtub)
Adding oils to bathing salts in baths makes a bath so much more luxurious. Here is a great tip.If you just want to add the oils but don’t want them floating on the top of the water, add them to a little milk to mix and pour this into the bath.
5. Aromatic Spritzers and other treats
Oils can also be added to aromatic spritzers, (just shake well before spraying), clay masks or hot and cold compresses.
What oils should I buy?
Oils can be bought from health food stores, your local pharmacy, some supermarkets and online. There are MLM companies that specialise in the sale of essential oils, they will most likely appoint you a stockist who will help you.
Unfortunately, essential oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, so you will have to read the labels carefully to make sure you are getting the real thing. The best oils are labeled 100% pure natural oil. If the label says it is organic and therapeutic grade, then wonderful, you want your oils to be free of pesticides, additives, not diluted down with no synthetic products or fragrances added. The better the quality of oil you can purchase the better, but knowing the quality is a guessing game and you will have to trust the company is reputable ensuring they have made the best quality.
There are over a hundred different types of essential oils on the market, all with different uses and unique healing properties. You will only need to purchase the oils with appropriate health benefits for you, or ones that you like the scent of, probably the popular oils, or oils you will combine with others. Including oils in your medical chest can be a natural holistic way of treating complaints that you would normally use drugs, such as pain, stress relief or sleeping disorders
Speak to your health care professional, aromatherapist, naturopath or integrative doctor and check that the medication you are on, or household members are on will not react with the oils. In general, do not use oils around pregnant women, infants or young children or breastfeeding mums as some oils can be dangerous. Misuse of essential oils can cause adverse reactions to some people even poisoning, so be careful who uses oils and how you use them.
The ways to use oils and the combinations you can make are endless. Have fun playing with the different smells you can create. The health benefits will be great, but just remember that your pets will also be getting the effects too, so be careful of what you expose them to too.