Essential oils are now gaining popularity as many people are now becoming interested in alternative natural remedies to promote holistic care. A lot though are still hesitant to use it because of course, you have to know what you’re doing before you start using them.
To help you out, let’s start with a few simple principles about essential oils usage.
So what exactly are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile oil that are based from plants. It has a mixture of chemical compounds and the characteristic scent of the plant. Some of the most known and commonly used essential oils are tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and other oils used in aromatherapy like lavender oil and rose oil.
What are the uses of essential oils?
Essential oils are popularly used in aromatherapy to promote wellbeing by helping people relax. They can help with headaches, colds and even some sort of pain. You can use them every day to help you become healthier.
How do you use the essential oils?
There are several ways of using the oil based on what you plan to achieve or treat. One thing to remember though is “Dilute, dilute, dilute.” Don’t forget to always dilute your essential oils before applying it anywhere on your skin.
The fastest way to get benefit from your oils is by diffusing it. You diffuse by inhaling directly from the bottle.
To help with your headache, pain in some areas, or other discomforts, the best way to use it is diluting the oil and applying it right at the spot where it’s needed.
If you are after quick absorption, you go with applying it to the outside of your ears. Be careful to not put the oils in your ears, it has to be outside of the ears.
You may also apply “Hot” oils for short term use like Oregano or Thieves to your feet. Once again, it has to be diluted since we are applying it topically.
For personal diffusing, behind the ears or on the neck or wrists are great places for applying the oils. This is when you want to get take advantage of the scent as well and not just the application. Once again, please don’t forget to dilute.
What are the other uses of essential oils?
There are several other ways that essential oils are utilized aside from the widely used direct application.
Essential oils are applied to the rim of the ears in Auricular therapy.
In Vita Flex therapy, essential oils are applied to the contact points on the foot. They are also used in foot massages.
Essential oils diluted by 15-30% are used for massages.
You can also use it in your baths by adding 3-6 drops of essential oils to Epsom salts or bath gel before adding to water.
Acupuncture, Acupressure and compresses also use essential oils to maximize the benefits to your health.
You might have also noticed that these days, your lotions, bath gels and soaps also contain essential oils to enhance their properties.
So where on your body is it safe to apply the essential oils?
You can apply essential oils on a lot of areas on your body. As already mentioned above, you can apply it right at the spot. Right where it’s needed. You can also use it on your feet, outside or behind your ears, on your temples, abdomen, upper back, wrists, and on the nape of your neck. A quick reminder though, dilute before applying.
Can you use two oils at the same time?
You can use two oils or an oil and a blend so if you want it to be absorbed faster. This is called layering oils and doing it increases the effectiveness of the oils. You can do a create-your-own blend based on your needs.
How do you layer oils?
In layering oils, it is of utmost importance that the oils are diluted. You can use carrier oils like almond oil or jojoba oil to help dilute. Carrier oils are vegetable oils that are used to dilute essential oils so they are safe to use daily.
Apply one essential oil by rubbing it on to your skin then apply the second one together with a carrier oil.
To make it more effective, you can place a warm compress after application. This will increase the properties of the oil as the heat from the compress forces the oils to penetrate deeper into your body. This is very good for people suffering from migraines.
To make a hot compress, immerse a washcloth in very warm water. Squeeze out the excess water and place it on the spot where the oils were applied. Cover it with a dry towel. And leave it for 10-30 minutes. Make sure to remove the cloth immediately and put more carrier oil if you feel any discomfort.
On the other hand, use cold water or an ice pack to make a cold compress to reduce the swelling or inflammation of an inflamed or swollen area.
What do I do if I have an adverse reaction to the essential oil?
Although essential oils are typically safe to use, it still can sometimes have adverse effects on your skin for different reasons.
One reason is, using a “hot” oil that was not diluted well. If you feel uneasy or the oil kind of feels hot on your skin, add more carrier oil to dilute it. Refrain from washing it with water as it may make the oils penetrate deeper.
Another reason for a skin reaction is having used lotion or other skin products that doesn’t work well with the oil. Stop applying the oil and use a different one if you develop a rash, nausea or headache.
Another possibility is because it is a photosensitive oil. Photosensitive oils react to sunlight so it should not be applied on skin areas that are unprotected to direct sunlight. They can cause rashes, discoloration or pigmentation and can even burn the skin. When using these type of oils, make sure that the skin won’t be open to the sun or make sure to diffuse them well.
The most commonly used essential oils that are photosensitive are Angelica, Bergamot, Cumin, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Limette, Mandarin, Orange and Yuzu.
Contact sensitization can also occur in over usage of topically applied essential oil. If this happens, start using different oils diluting it properly as needed. A variety of essential oils can be used to treat the same problem.
Basically, essential oils have a lot of uses and benefits and it is simple and easy to use. The key to fully enjoy its advantages is just understanding the different methods and learning to use it.