How to use essential oils

Essential oils have been around for centuries and are best known for their medicinal capabilities. If you are looking to incorporate more of a holistic lifestyle, using essential oils are one way to do that. How you use them depends on your personal preference but these days, there are many tools and accessories that allow us to use them easily and safely. Know that there is no right or wrong way to use essential oils as long as you follow safe practices!

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There are really only THREE ways we can use essential oils. Through our nose, through our skin, or internally. Whichever method you choose to use, it is important to follow the guidelines and safety practices to ensure they are the most beneficial to our health.

Through Smell

1. Essential Oil Diffusers

When I started using essential oils, the first thing I purchased along with my oils, was a diffuser. It seemed like the least intimidating way to use my oils. I’ve always hated breathing in those strong artificial smelling candles so I loved the idea of having a natural aroma to breathe in while enjoying the many therapuetic benefits oils have to offer. I don’t feel guilty that my family is breathing in these amazing aromas either. Check out which oils are the best to buy.

There are SO many oil diffusers on the market so do your research before you purchase the first one you come across. Like oils, some are better than others. Before you create your own oil blends, read about the different notes in essential oils!

Types of diffusers

Differs disperse the oils into the are so you can breathe them in. There are several different types of diffusers that allow you to add your essential oils directly to them safely. Each has its own unique method to releasing the aroma of the oils into the air.

  1. Nebulizing Diffusers This type of diffuser released just the essential oil particles into the air rather than mixing with water first. Think of it as a concentrated, water-less mist. These diffusers can be a bit noisier than typical diffusers but the main benefit is that the oils are not “diluted” as they are released into the air.
  2. Ultrasonic Diffusers Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers use ultrasonic vibrations to break down the essential oil molecules. The molecules are mixed with water which are then released into the air, and can double as a humidifier. They dilute the oils a bit which allow you to run this diffuser for a little longer but you will need to use more drops of oil.
  3. Heat Diffusers- Heat diffusers use heat to warm up the essential oils and release them into the air through evaporation. Quality heat diffusers should not use too much heat or they can destroy the chemical structure of the oils. Candles and ceramic diffusers are an example of these.
  4. Evaporative Diffusers– Evaporative diffusers use a fan to blow air through pads that are absorbed with oil. The scent of the oils are then evaporated and dispersed into the air as a gas. It is a quicker way to diffuse oil however this method may not be as effective since the oils evaporate at a faster rate and in different “components”. Reed diffusers are am example of this type but without a fan.

My favorite, and the most popular type, of diffusers are ultrasonic diffusers. Simply put, they are inexpensive and effective. Learn about the difference between diffusers and humidifiers.

2. Inhalation

You do not need a special device or tool to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. The only tool you really need is your nose. Simply hold the bottle up to your nose and inhale the fragrance deeply a few times.

Steam Method

Another way to do this is to add a few drops of oil to a bowl of hot water and place your head over the water. You an also cover you head with a towel to help trap the aromatics. Then breathe in the steam as it rises. You an do this for several minutes.

You can also add a few drops of oil to your bath tub and use that as a steam method.

Dry Evaporation

This method is also a type of inhalation and is useful when you’re on the go. What you want to do is add a few drops of oil to a piece of fabric, cloth or even a cotton ball and bring it with you wherever you need to go. Then inhale the aroma when you need to. They sell necklaces and bracelets for this purpose which look nice and make the aroma easily accessible.

woman receiving an aromatherapy massaged with essential oils

Through Our Skin

Topically

Most oils can be applied topically, or directly to the skin, with the use of a carrier oil. Carrier oils help to dilute the oil so we can apply over a larger surface area. You can also simply add some drops of essential oil to your favorite lotions or creams. The idea is for our skin to absorb the oils. This is useful for aromatherapy massages or if we want to target certain areas or muscles in our body.

To apply topically, add a few drops of your favorite oils, mixed with a carrier oil, and massage into your skin. Roller bottles are the easiest to use topically! I love that it is a safe way to apply oils and can easily be carried in my purse or work bag. Check out how to create your own roller bottle blends!

woman ingesting an essential oil veggie capsule with lemon water in her hand

Internally

Ingestion

Ingesting essential oils is the least common method because it can be the most dangerous. Your body absorbs the oils at a quicker rate which can be dangerous. Some people will tell you not to ingest them but others, like essential oil companies, claim it’s completely safe. Before you decide the best methods for you, it’s extremely important that you educate yourself and read up on them. Here is an article on how essential oils can be poisonous if misused.

Ingesting them can be done by adding a few drops of oil to water. You an also add oil to a veggie capsule filled with a carrier oil or simply place a drop underneath your tongue. If you are adding drops of oil to water, make sure you are not using plastic bottles or cups since plastic is known to leech chemicals and can even erode the bottle.

Keep in mind that water and oil do not mix well so if you wish to add oils to your bath or body sprays, you should use a solution like solubol because it allows the oil to disperse throughout the liquid.

Here is a full list of FDA-approved essential oils for internal consumption.

Essential Oil Safety

Always make sure you are using your oils safely! They are very potent so, most of the time, only a few drops is needed. Also, make sure to lock up your oils especially if you have little ones around. I use this essential oil box which I store in a safe spot out of reach of my children. It also keeps the oils in a cool, dark place which will help to extend the shelf-life of my oils.

Cleaning with essential oils

The last way you can use essential oils is for cleaning. Did you know that a lot of essential oils have antibacterial properties? Plus, they smell much better than those harsh chemicals with artificial fragrances.

That is why oils are great for maintaining a clean but toxic-free household. Simply replace your current chemical cleaners with different cleaning blends that are made with the right essential oils.


Here is a great YouTube video from Plant Therapy that shows you how to diffuse oils!


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essential oil supplies on a table

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