Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.
Use Essential Oils Aromatically
Our sense of smell influences many 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 very 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 as they do not change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. Essential oils can also be used as cleansing and purifying additives to laundry and surface cleaners throughout the home. Particles of diffused oil stay in the air for hours hours after you turn the diffuser off. Fantastic! Also, diffusing is a great way to give your potential skeptical spouse or loved one the benefits of oils without chasing them around with your bottles. Interested in the science of why aromatic use of essential oils works? Click here.
Use Essential Oils Topically
Due to their natural molecular composition, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy, or just on you and your loved ones! They are also natural cleansers. The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body. When deciding where to put an oil that you’ve purchased, consider this general guideline: Put the oil where the problem is. So, if your stomach hurts, rub the essential oil on your stomach. Shoulder tension? On your shoulders. If you are addressing an emotional need, we generally apply on the spine. If you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with putting the oils on your feet. Your feet have the largest pores of your body and you’ll get the benefit of the oils almost instantly as your blood carries them through your body. Pretty easy, right?
Tips: When applying an oil topically, be sure to rub it in a bit. The heat created by doing this increases blood flow to that area and therefore its absorption. Also, when using an oil that’s considered “hot” like oregano, clove, or cassia, you may wish to dilute the oil with a bit of carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Certain oils can feel too intense on the skin when used neat, especially on smaller children.
Use Essential Oils Internally
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Do not use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label. Some people are not comfortable ingesting oils at all, sometimes due to information being circulated on the internet, and sometimes due to personal preference. That’s okay! Do what feels comfortable for you. Our family tends to use our oils either topically or aromatically most of the time because they are plenty effective that way.
Using essential oils is both profoundly simple and life changing at the same time. If you’ve gotten some oils and are unsure how to use them, contact us or reach out to a friend who can help! Don’t let them just sit on a shelf. That would be a travesty.
Caution: Be sure to use only 100% pure essential oils and follow all label warnings and instructions. Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds. If redness or irritation occurs when using essential oils topically, apply any oil, such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, to the affected area. Consult your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care. Many are safe throughout pregnancy, and some should be avoided during certain trimesters. Contact us for a complete list if you have concerns.