Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness benefits. They can be on their own or in specific oil blends and they can be used neat, or in a diluted form.
In this article we will look at 3 applications methods. You can use one or multiple application methods throughout you day or your treatment. We recommend seeking professional guidance on the oils to use and the application methods, particularly if you are seeking a to achieve a specific benefit.
Did you know that when you sip peppermint tea, add fresh basil to your pasta or sprinkle cinnamon on your porridge, you are consuming some essential oil compounds?
Some oils do have a rich culinary history of providing aromas and flavours to food. But they can also be used as dietary supplements to support healthy conditions.
Using essential oils internally is safe and effective because of our bodies sophisticated physiologic processes. When consumed, the oil enters the blood stream directly or via the gastrointestinal tract. Essential oils are lipid soluble, so they are readily transported in the blood to all areas of the body, including the brain. Then, just like everything else we eat, the essential oils are metabolised by the liver and other organs and are excreted.
Each essential oil has a unique set of biochemical properties which react with cells and organs in different ways. While this process is not fully understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated.
You must take care though as the body can only handle appropriate doses of essential oils, so you should always follow proper dosing guidelines. Make sure that you read the label recommendations or seek guidance from a professional so that you avoid toxicity.
Ways to use internally
- Replace fresh or dried herbs and spices with essential oils for cooking or baking - just remember to start with a small amount as oils are more potent!
- Add them to water, milk, tea, smoothies, or your favourite drink
- Take them in a capsule form as a dietary supplement
- Place a drop under the tongue
Topical application means that you apply the essential oils to the skin, and it is a highly effective method. Essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, so this means they are easily absorbed through the skin to provide a localised benefit.
There are also many ways to increase absorption, such as massage. During a massage, blood flow increases to the area of application, which will also improve distribution throughout the body.
Another good way is using a carrier oil. The essential oil is diluted into an oil which will carry it into the body. This is especially good for dry or flaky skin as it helps moisturise the skin, increasing its absorption. Typically, dilution ratio is one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil. You could also add essential oils to a lotion or moisturiser.
When using directly, you should apply in several small doses throughout the day as opposed to a single large dose. Its advised to start with a low dose of 1–2 drops, which you can repeat every 4–6 hours as needed. This can vary though as everyone is unique in terms of size, age, and general health.Other suggested application for topical use is to add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath and then soak in it. Or you can make a hot or cold compress. Just soak a towel or cloth in water, add your essential oil and then applying to the desired area.
Areas that are good to apply for topical use:
- Forehead and temples
- Your chest and abdomen
- Arms and wrists
- Legs and the bottom of your feet
Areas you should avoid:
- Eyes and inner ears
- Your skin where it may be broken, cracked, or otherwise injured
- Sensitive parts of your face, such as the skin around the eyes
Using oils aromatically means that they are used in a way where you can smell their scent. Did you know that smell is a powerful tool that can provoke emotional, mental, and physiologic responses?
Essential oils are quickly and easily absorbed by the smell receptors in your nose. These have a direct link to the part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including behaviour, emotions, and memory. This is why aromatic application of essential oils can have an especially powerful effect.
There are many ways in which you can use oils aromatically, and the simplest way is placing a few drops in the palm of your hand and then cup them around the nose as you breathe deeply. You can also consider adding the oil to a spray bottle filled with water and misting over your furniture, carpet, or linens.
You can add them to household surface cleaners or put a few drops in your laundry or on dryer sheets. You can even put a few drops on a cotton wool ball and place in the vents of your car to have a pleasant scent while driving.
For fragrance in a room, a diffuser works very well. A diffuser is a device that breaks down the essential oils into smaller molecules and disperses them into the air, spreading the particles at a comfortable concentration that is easy to breathe and does not overbear the room. This is an easy way to have a continual yet gentle application.