There are three basic ways to use essential oils. Today we are going to get to know each of those three ways a little bit better.
3 Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils
The three easy ways to use essential oils are: aromatically, topically and internally.
The first type of use that we will talk about is aromatic use.
There are many ways to use essential oils aromatically.
Aromatherapy is defined as the science and art of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to help harmonize, balance, and promote the health of the body, mind and soul (naha.org).
The term was invented by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist who is widely considered the Father of Aromatherapy, in 1937 because he wanted to be able to differentiate between medicinal usage of essential oils from their perfumery uses.
Ways to Use Essential Oils Aromatically
The most simple method of using essential oils aromatically is through direct inhalation, which is to open a bottle and directly inhale fragrance through your nose.
A easy and similar method of using essential oils aromatically is to put drops of a specific oil or a blend onto your hands; cup hands around mouth and nose and breath deep.
Another similar method is to place drops of an oil or blend onto a tissue or a clothe and breathe in.
One of the most common ways to use essential oils aromatically is to diffuse oils. This happens to be one of my favorite ways to use essential oils. I find that diffusing oils really affect my moods in a positive way and I love how they change the fragrance of a room in a subtle way. Diffusing the right essential oils can also kill airborne pathogens.
What mom doesn’t want that?!
On a regular basis I diffuse doTerra’s protective blend which is called Onguard. I love the smell. A little too much. I ended up going through a 5 ounce bottle in two months! Of course, this was with my family diffusing it and using it topically. Plus had to share with some friends, because getting sick at the beginning of the school year is the worst.
Use an oil diffuser as an inhalation device.
If you have already caught a respiratory bug, using a diffuser can help reduce symptoms when the diffuser is used as an inhalation device.
How do you do that, you say? Just directly breathe the diffused air in.
Diffusing oils is also a great method for calming OR stimulating your mind.
I personally have been diffusing a blend of Lemon, Peppermint, and Rosemary. I am calling this blend my Motivation Blend. Blending these three essential oils are supposed to help with allergies and exhaustion. And this tired mommy needs help with exhaustion. Apparently my toddler isn’t a huge fan right now of sleeping past 5. Or sleeping through the night. Or long naps. The truth is she is teething, but we’ll get to that later…
5 Types of Oil Diffusers
If you decide that diffusing is the way to go for you, you just need to decide on what type of diffuser to use. And there are some great options for different situations. There are five types of oil diffusers.
Vaporizing Diffusers (also called humidification)
The first type of essential oil diffuser that we will look at today is called an atomizer.
One positive feature of atomizers is that they separate oils into tiny particles that then create a micro-fine vapor into the air.
Another great feature of atomizers is that the essential oil bottle is connected directly to the diffuser, therefore no water is used.
These types of diffusers are typically a lot more expensive than other types.
The mechanisms that make the diffuser work can make these types of diffusers louder than other options.
Some manufacturers or sales people will advertise their essential oil diffuser as being an atomizer, but if it uses water – it is not an atomizer.
With this type of diffuser, essential oils are atomized into tiny particles which make it easier for your body to absorb.
Vaporizers (also called Humidifiers)
This type of diffuser uses tap water.
Uses ultrasonic waves to emit the water and oil particles into the air.
Can help to humidify the air in a room.
Less expensive than atomizers.
Can leak or leave condensation on surface that diffuser is placed on.
If not cleaned regularly can develop mold.
More expensive than heat and fan diffusers.
Excelvan 120ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier by Excelvan
It has a range of 250 square feet and can run continuously for 3 to 4 hours.
This aromatherapy diffuser currently (Sept 2016) has a 5-star rating on Amazon and if you have Amazon Prime is only $33.99. It has 7 color options, can be used for up to 8 hours, and turns off when it runs out of water.
Fan Diffusers –
Great for small areas like cars, RVs, and offices.
A safer option than heat diffusers.
Good option when water is scarce or not available.
Some models use pads that need to be replaced and reordered.
Necklace Diffusers –
Compact and lightweight way to diffuse oils while not at home.
Stylish accessories that let you diffuse oils no matter where you are.
Huge variety of styles available.
Typically less expensive than atomizer and vaporizer diffusers.
Must be aware that some brands will advertise that the necklace is stainless steel, when only portions of the necklace are.
Make sure to check reviews of different necklaces as some are not made with quality and have sharp edges and clasps that do not stay closed.
The next type of way of using essential oils that we will discuss is using them topically.
In our house, we use essential oils topically quite often.
We use a protection blend to help avoid all those nasty bugs that start circulating at the start of the school year. I made roller bottles of doTERRA’s OnGuard protective blend with fractionated coconut oil. And we roll that on the bottoms of our feet in the evenings.
My toddler is going through a teething phase. We are using a store bought mixture of clove oil and fractionated coconut oil. It has been extremely helpful. I will admit, I tried it once and it tastes nasty, but it calms my little one down really fast. And that’s what matters to me.
And I, at different times, add either frankincense or eucalyptus to my facial lotion. They both feel amazing. And the frankincense seemed to help rather quickly with a blemish I had on my nose.
Why is Using Essential Oils Topically Effective?
Essential oils are fat-soluble, which means that they dissolve into fat and then are stored in fat throughout your body. As opposed to water soluble, where elements dissolve in water and then are eliminated through the kidneys if you have too much in your body.
And because essential oils are fat-soluble they are absorbed into skin quickly.
NEAT Application vs With a Carrier Oil
Essential oils that are called NEAT are gentle enough to be directly applied to skin without a carrier oil. One area that is very common, and generally accepted, for NEAT application is on the bottom of feet.
With a Carrier Oil
One of the most common ways to apply essential oils topically is with a carrier oil. There are quite a few options for available carrier oils and how you choose to apply them.
Examples of Carrier Oils
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Virgin Coconut Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Almond Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When choosing one of the carrier oils it is important to consider competing aromas. It is also important to make sure that you skin is not sensitive to that particular carrier oil. For example, I am allergic to nuts so I would never choose Almond Oil.
3 Common Methods of Applying Oils with Carrier Oils
- Essential oil combined WITH carrier oil
- Essential oil applied BEFORE layering carrier oil
- Layering essential oil AFTER applying carrier oil
Benefits of Applying Essential Oils with a Carrier Oil
- Essential oils are diluted and therefore original bottle lasts longer.
- Prevents evaporation of essential oils.
Benefits of Essential Oil being Applied Before Layering Carrier Oil
- This method boosts therapeutic onset of essential oils.
Benefits of Layering Essential Oil After Applying Carrier Oil
- This method slows down absorption essential oil.
- Does not prevent absorption of essential oil.
- Slows down the onset of therapeutic use of essential oils.
Methods for Applying Essential Oils Topically
- Placing essential oils directly on skin on bottom of feet
- Placing essential oils directly on skin in the area of concern.
- Adding essential oils to unscented lotion. (One of my favs to do with eucalyptus and frankincense!)
- Blending essential oils in a glass spray bottle with either water or a carrier oil.
- Blending essential oils in a glass roller bottle with either water or a carrier oil.
- Blending essential oils in a glass balm container with either water or a carrier oil.
- Applying essential oils to reflex points on hands and feet. (Called reflexology).
- Applying essential oils to particular points on the ear. (Called auricular therapy).
- Used with an emulsifier (something that helps oil blend with water) in a warm relaxing bath. Examples of emulsifiers are shampoo, bath gel, milk or honey.
- Dissolved in a bath with Epsom salts.
- Layering more than one oil on the desired area of the body.
The final type of essential oil use we are going to learn about is internal.
In the United States, this is a very controversial method of using essential oils but is very common in France.
This is the most potent method of using oils and should be used with caution. Not all essential oils are appropriate for internal use. Just like not all plants and herbs are appropriate for internal use.
Today will just be an intro to internal use because there really is a lot of information in regards to this type of usage.
Please do not use essential oils internally without guidance and a lot of research.
Essential Oils that are Not Appropriate for Internal Use
There are some essential oils that should never be ingested. This includes essential oils from needles of trees and some essential oils from barks also not be ingested.
- Eucalyptus (certain species)
- White Fir
Birch and Wintergreen should be kept in a place that children or babies can not get a hold of, because they can cause blood thinning which can be fatal.
Essential Oils on FDA GRAS List
As of September 16, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s CFR Title 21 Part 182.20 GRAS (or Generally Recognized as Safe) lists 160 essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives as safe for consumption.
This list does break each element down to particular parts, for example:
- Rose buds
- Rose flowers
- Rose hips
- Rose leaves
And this list also specifies various breeds:
- Cinnamon Bark, Ceylon
- Cinnamon Bark, Chinese
- Cinnamon Bark, Saigon
If you would like to learn more about what essential oils are found on the GRAS list check out this link here.
Methods of Ingesting Essential Oils
As mentioned above essential oils are fat soluble. This means they are easily absorbed into the organs of your body which can make internal usage ideal for some situations.
- Under tongue (1 to 2 drops sublingually).
- In a gelatin or “gel” cap.
- In a vegetable or “veggie” cap.
- Added to beverages (water, tea, coffee, and smoothies).
- Added to baking or cooking recipes.
- Suppositories (please do not use this method without the guidance of a professional).
- Taken with a yogurt or applesauce.
Things to Consider when Using Essential Oils Internally
If you are considering taking essential oils internally it is important to consider that essential oils are a very potent compared to their dried and fresh relations.
Sources recommend that an adult should not take more than 20 to 25 drops internally in a 24 hour period. This gives time for your body, and particularly your liver, to process the essential oils.
If using essential oils internally for a long period of time this amount should be reduced to prevent toxicity.
Cooking with Essential Oils
I have recently started cooking with essential oils. And love it!
Benefits of Cooking with Essential Oils
- Fresher than Dried Herbs
- Little goes a long way
- Can add subtle or bold flavors to dishes
Essential Oils that are Great for Cooking
- Black Pepper
Essential Oils that are Great for Baking (in addition to some of the above oils)
Visit my doTERRA Shop to learn more about essential oils, sign up to become a Wellness Advocate, or find out about monthly specials.
The Essential Life (2nd Edition) by Total Wellness Publishing
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.