Essential oils are one of the best kept secrets in nature. There are tons of different varieties of essential oil – all 100% natural, organic products from the earth which are hiding a whole range of awesome health benefits. Essential oils can be used in hundreds of different ways. These are divided into three main categories – aromatically, topically, and internally. Because the vast majority of essential oils have a gorgeous fragrance and some are not safe to use topically or internally, aromatic use – known as aromatherapy – is one of the most popular ways in which essential oils are used.
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What is Aromatherapy?
In short, aromatherapy is using essential oils to target a number of different situations, health conditions, and more. One of the most common ways to use aromatherapy is by putting essential oils into a diffuser, which diffuses the oil molecules into the air, creating a mist which can easily be inhaled. You can do aromatherapy at home, or visit a spa. Over the years, more and more people have become interested in aromatherapy and it can be studied or even pursued as a career. Professional aromatherapy has a lot more to it than just diffusing oils; with different blends, uses and methods, the options truly are endless.
How to Get Started With Essential Oils
If you have never used essential oils before and would like to give them a try, it’s very simple to get started. Many essential oil companies will sell essential oil starter kits, which contain a variety of commonly used essential oils and in some cases, other products to help you get off to the best start. If you want to use essential oils to target a condition, health problem or to assist you with something such as meditation, it’s a good idea to browse through the different oils available before you decide which ones will be the best for you.
Commonly Used Essential Oils
Some essential oils are much more commonly used than others, which are rarely used at all. Common essential oils include:
- Lavender oil
- Chamomile oil
- Peppermint oil
- Rose oil
- Lemon oil
- Clove oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Orange oil
- Ylang ylang oil
- Rosemary oil
- Thyme oil
- White fir oil
- Cedarwood oil
Each of these oils have a range of different uses – for example lavender oil is especially helpful in relaxation and inducing sleep, whilst eucalyptus oil can be used in a range of things from oral health care to home cleaning.
Common Uses of Essential Oils
When it comes to the different things that essential oils can be used for, the list truly is endless. Some of the most common uses of essential oils include:
- Skin treatment
- In hair and nails products
- Digestive health
- Oral health
- Home cleaning
- Treating depression
- Treating insomnia
- Treating arthritis
- Relieving nausea
- Relieving anxiety symptoms
- Air purification
- Lifting the mood
- And much, much more!
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used in a variety of different ways. These include aromatic, topical, and internal methods. Bear in mind that some essential oils may be unsuitable for one or more of these uses, so always make sure to check the label beforehand.
- With a diffuser
- Direct Inhalation
- Indirect Inhalation
- Steam Bath
- Mixed with water as a body spray
- Adding to laundry
- Applied directly to skin (take care with some oils which may require dilution)
- Adding a few drops to bathwater
- Adding a few drops to skin care or cleansing products
- Creating own skin care or cleansing products using essential oils and other organic ingredients
- Placing in empty veggie capsules and taking as a supplement
- Adding to tea, hot water or other liquid
- Using in cooking
- Using to add flavour to foods such as deserts
- Swallowing directly (only certain oils)
Before you begin any use of an essential oil, it’s important to be sure that you are using it safely. Some oils are safer than others, however it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
Choosing the Best Essential Oil Brands
When picking an essential oil for the first time, how do you know that you’re getting a good deal? Unfortunately, all essential oils are not made equal, and many newcomers to them fall foul to bad oils thanks to cheap manufacturers. In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, you should always go for 100% oils, made by manufacturers which undergo a Pure Therapeutic Grade (PTG) test. This will ensure that there are no nasty hidden chemicals in the oil that you choose, and you’ll be able to reap all of the amazing benefits.
Along with that, we’ve also reviewed and recommended a number of awesome essential oil brands on this site. These include:
- Eden’s Garden
- Mountain Rose
- Miracle Essential Oils
- NOW Foods
- Starwest Botanicals
- Young Living Essential Oils
All of these companies are fully committed to delivering only the highest standards of 100% pure, natural and organic essential oils.
Blending Essential Oils
Some essential oils you may adore the smell of, and others you won’t be too keen on. But, what do you do if you don’t like the scent of a particular oil that is in some way extremely useful to you? Blending essential oils has a variety of different uses. Oils can be blended together to create unique scents, mask the scents of those that you dislike without having to bypass using them, and even more.
Getting started with blending essential oils is quite easy. Many good essential oil manufacturers will sell specialised blending kits, which are hugely useful to anyone who is looking to start blending for the first time and isn’t sure where to start.
When blending oils, it’s important to know which oils blend well with others. For example, eucalyptus oil tends to blend well with citrus oils such as lime, lemon orange and bergamot, especially for cleaning and air purifying purposes. Once you have decided which oils you are going to blend, it’s advisable to start with just a small amount, adding enough of each until you find the right balance between the oil. Once you have done this, you can then dilute using a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil if desired. There are many guides, ideas and recipes for essential oil blending available.
How to Store Essential Oils
Essential oils should always be stored in the cobalt blue or amber colored bottles which they are sold in. This is to protect the therapeutic, aromatic properties of the oils and to avoid unnecessary deterioration. it’s important that you store your essential oil collection correctly. Essential oils should always be stored in either their original bottles or a similar bottle when not in use. The bottles will usually have an oil drop top on them, which you can use for adding drops of the oils to diffusers or onto your skin. If you take any oil out of the bottle, it should be used as soon as possible to avoid deterioration. Essential oils should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight.
Essential Oils and Safety
Certain essential oils are extremely potent. Direct contact with these oils either aromatically, topically or internally will in most cases cause irritation and sometimes sickness. In order to make sure that you do not experience any adverse reactions from an essential oil, it’s important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Along with this, even the safest, mildest of essential oils can cause irritation when used on the skin. Because of this, you should always carry out a skin patch test before commencing use of any essential oil. To conduct a patch test, simply dab a small amount of the oil onto your inner arm and leave for around twenty-four hours. Whether or not you experience any reactions such as stinging, redness or itchiness will be a good indication of whether or not it is safe to go ahead and use the oil on larger areas of your skin. In some cases, you may only need to dilute the oil.
Generally, essential oils are safe to use. Take extra care if you are pregnant, nursing, or have sensitive skin. Be extra cautious when using with children. It is a good idea to get approval from your doctor or another health professional before using essential oils if any of these apply to you. If you experience any adverse reactions whilst using any essential oil, cease using immediately and contact a health professional for advice if needed.