H o w t o U s e E s s e n t i a l O i l s
Using essential oils is probably much more simple that you might think. There are just 3 main ways to use them: Topically, Aromatically and Internally. Keep in mind that quality is everything when it comes to effectiveness and safety. Beyond that, read on to learn how to incorporate essential oils into your life!
Topical use is just as it sounds. You apply the essential oils topically to gain the benefits. Here are the most common ways of doing this:
Apply To the Location that Needs the Benefit the Most
This might be something like a skin blemish, or a sore joint or muscle. Deep Blue blend and Copaiba are a great example of something I would apply to a sore joint or muscle, or other areas of pain. I would apply a blend like Past Tense to the back of the neck for head or neck tension. Frankincense is incredibly anti-inflammatory, and I would again apply it to an area of discomfort, or to the back of the neck in order to support the brain.
For skin health, melaleuca and lavender can help with blemishes and other skin concerns, while frankincense, rose, jasmine, sandalwood and myrrh can promote younger looking skin and help prevent wrinkles. These are just a few of many examples!
Apply To the Bottoms of the Feet
Did you know the bottoms of the feet have the largest pores in our whole body? This allows for quicker absorption, as well as absorption into the bloodstream. Taking essential oils internally can help provide a systemic effect, but children typically don't swallow capsules and the taste might be too strong for them. So instead, you can apply a drop of essential oil to the bottoms of the feet to provide a systemic effect.
I might apply immune supporting essential oils like On Guard, Oregano, Frankincense, Thyme or Melaleuca to the bottoms of the feet during times of illness.
Or, I might apply Lavender or Serenity to the bottoms of the feet when trying to relax or go to sleep at night.
Dilute to Minimize Possible Skin Sensitivity
A high quality essential oil is less likely to cause a skin reaction. However, certain oils are considered strong or "hot", like oregano and cinnamon. These should always be diluted with a carrier oil. Also, small children and elderly adults have more sensitive skin, so they would benefit from diluting any essential oil.
A carrier oil is an inert oil that can dilute an essential oil, and absorb into the skin; however, the rate of absorption is slowed. I usually use Fractionated Coconut Oil as my carrier oil because it is non-greasy and in a liquid form, so it's ready to go. Other good options are Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Avocado Oil.
There are a few different ways to dilute. One is to dilute as you go. I do this by putting several drops of carrier oil in my cupped hand, and adding one drop of my desired essential oil. I mix these together, and apply to the skin. Another possibility is by using a small cup: Add 1/2-1 ounce of carrier oil, and several drops of the desired essential oil. Then you'll have a mixture to use for several days. My favorite thing to do for ongoing use of a diluted oil is to use empty roll-on bottles. I fill them about 1/3 of the way with my desired essential oils, and then fill the remainder of the way with my carrier oil. I can create my own blends in this way, and they are ready to go for when I need them.
Aromatic Use is done in several different ways, and is done to gain the aromatherapy and respiratory benefits of essential oils, as well as to cleanse an environment. Each different essential oil has its own unique emotional benefit, whether it be to calm, relax, uplift, motivate, and so forth.
Diffusers are a wonderful way to gain these benefits. For most diffusers, you simply fill the reservoir with water to a designated fill line, and then add 5-7 drops of one oil, or multiple oils to create a blend. Turn the diffuser on, sit back, relax and gain the benefits.
In addition, when essential oils are applied to our bodies, the warmth we generate can actually diffuse the oils as well. You can simply place one drop of the desired oil in your hand, rub your hands together, and breathe in to gain aromatherapy effects.
Essential oils like On Guard blend, Purify blend, Lemon, Wild Orange, Melaleuca, and Siberian Fir are wonderful for environmental cleansing. Diffusing any of these oils can help to purify the air and reduce environmental threats.
When anyone in my family has a respiratory concern, I diffuse oils like Breathe blend, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Siberian Fir, Rosemary and Arborvitae at their bedside. This way they can gain the many benefits as they sleep, which include helping to open airways, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system.
I'll admit, I was a little slow on the uptake on the emotional use essential oils. But once I started using oils this way, I never turned back! And as it turns out, emotional aromatherapy is scientifically backed. The smell receptors located on the upper surface of the nasal cavity make direct links in the limbic system of the brain, where scent is perceived and processed. Ultimately, smells can have a profound effect over our thoughts, moods, emotions, memories and behaviors!
Citrus oils can help with energy and emotional release, while oils like lavender and Serenity blend help with sleep and relaxation. InTune blend is wonderful to help with focus and clarity, and Balance blend is grounding and supports stress reduction. These are just a small handful of a myriad of emotional benefits that specific essential oils can provide.
Not all brands of essential oils can be taken internally. Most essential oils on the market clearly state on the bottle, "for external use only". In addition, some essential oils, like Wintergreen and Deep Blue Soothing Blend should only be used externally. Only Certified, Pure, Therapeutic Grade essential oils, with supplement facts on the bottle, should be taken internally. doTERRA essential oils fit these requirements, and I personally feel very comfortable using doTERRA oils internally.
When the right essential oil is used appropriately, internal use can be a powerful way to gain the benefits of essential oils. When ingested, essential oils enter the bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Then, like all other things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs, and are then excreted. The body is equipped to handle appropriate doses, so proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and professional guidelines should be strictly followed. Also, I would recommend that only adults and much older children take any essential oil internally.
Applications for Internal Use
Culinary Use. You can use essential oils in place of dried herbs and spices when cooking or baking. Start with a very small amount, because essential oils are much more potent than dried herbs and spices. Visit my blog to get some ideas for using essential oils in cooking or baking!
Add to Water. You can add a drop or two of essential oils like Lemon, Wild Orange, or Peppermint to a glass of water, or stainless steel water bottle, or you could
Take in an empty Veggie Capsule. Place a drop or two of your desired essential oil in an empty Veggie Capsule. I like to add several drops of carrier oil like olive oil, and this is a MUST when using "hot" oils like Oregano or Cinnamon Bark.
Why even bother with internal use? Well, because the potency is higher than dried herbs or spices, you can gain the benefits at a higher level. In addition, doTERRA essential oils are harvested and distilled at the peak of freshness, when the benefits are at their highest potential. Some essential oils can aid in digestion and cleansing, while others can help support the cardiovascular system, immune system, respiratory system, and other systems in the body. Always listen to your body, follow recommended guidelines, and only use an essential oils for which the purity is independently tested and guaranteed.
There are a few safety considerations to keep in mind as you being using essential oils. Remember that Certified, Pure, Therapeutic Grade essential oils are very potent and powerful, so a small amount goes a long way!
More is Not Always Better. For the best level of effectiveness, use essential oils in small, frequent amounts. 1-2 drops, 2-4 times per day is typically recommended. Always listen to your body, and make adjustments according to your needs. If 1 drop per day is right for you, then stick with that!
Dilute With a Carrier Oil to Minimize Skin Sensitivity. This was previously discussed, but it is important to mention again. Dilute according to the instructions on the bottle, and according to your own needs. Always dilute for young children and elderly, as these age groups tend to have more sensitive skin. Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, Thyme, Geranium and Lemongrass essential oils should also ALWAYS be diluted. Fractionated Coconut Oil is my favorite carrier oil, and is so easy to use!
Avoid Sensitive Areas. Avoid the inside of the nose, inner ear, eyes or areas of broken skin. If you have especially sensitive skin, remember to dilute with a carrier oil. If you start to develop redness after applying, then wipe the area gently with a soft cloth, apply Fractionated Coconut Oil, wipe again, and continue until reaction stops.
Young Children and the Elderly Have More Sensitive Skin. For these age groups, always dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil (or other carrier oil), and start by only applying to the bottoms of the feet. Diffusing is the best option for children under the age of 2. Store your essential oils out of reach of children, and make sure you're always around when your children are using an essential oil.
Avoid Citrus Oils Before Going Out Into the Sun. Citrus oils like Wild Orange, Lemon, Bergamot, Lime, and all other citrus oils, can sun sensitivity and increase the possibility of a sunburn. Avoid any UV light for 12 hours after application of citrus oils to the skin, or apply only in areas that will be covered. Remember that some essential oil blends contain citrus oils as well, so pay attention to the label.
When you use essential oils properly, they are generally very safe and very effective! Always be aware of your specific needs and consult usage guidelines on each essential oil.
Disclaimer: I decided to become a consultant with dōTERRA because I believe in their mission to provide the purest essential oils available, while ensuring sustainable and humanitarian practices. I also truly enjoy the products as with any products or brands I recommend here. While I am not being compensated as a partner to post here, I will receive commission for any products purchased through my site, which continues to help support my blog and personal brand.
FDA Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or veterinarian. Any information contained on this blog is meant to be for entertainment purposes only; it is not meant to replace advice from qualified professionals. None of the information on this blog has been evaluated by the FDA. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I will not respond to emails asking for specific medical advice or recommendations for humans or animals. Do your own research, talk to qualified professionals, and proceed with caution.