How to Choose and Use Essential Oils
Let’s be honest–we’re all overwhelmed. We want to eat better, exercise, be the perfect parent, have a fulfilling job . . . and stay healthy. Maybe you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the wonders of aromatherapy and thought you’d give it a whirl. You do a quick search and it turns into a not-so-quick search and then it happens– You’re overwhelmed again.
We’d like to help. We love essential oils (it’s our business, after all). We know them well, we source them ourselves and we experiment with them like crazy. So, even though there’s bucket-loads to say about them, we’re going to keep it SIMPLE.
These are the essential oils we think are affordable and versatile, making them a good choice for the aromatherapy beginner:
- Lavender (I know, so obvious it’s boring, but you NEED this oil).
- Tea Tree Oil (Stinky, but effective)
- Orange Oil
Because you need to dilute essential oils before using them on your skin, you’ll also need a carrier oil. Carrier, or base oils, are vegetable oils (like Olive oil or Coconut oil for example) that actually make up the bulk of any aromatherapy blend for use on the body. We like fractionated coconut oil and jojoba oil – both have an indefinite shelf life, are light and easily absorbed and have their own wonderful skincare benefits.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Essential Oils?
- Diluted as a massage oil. Here’s a quick recipe: add 2 drops Lavender and 2 drops Peppermint to a tablespoon of your chosen carrier oil. Massage into nape of neck to ease headaches or muscle tension.
- In a diffuser. This is super easy because you don’t need to dilute your oils. Just add a few drops of your oil(s) and let the diffuser work its magic. Eucalyptus is great for this purpose when you’re coming down with a cold and battling congestion.
- In a spray. My personal favorite. Here’s an easy recipe: Add 10 drops Lavender and 10 drops Orange to an 8oz spritzer bottle. Add a few drops of carrier oil and fill the bottle with water. Shake, shake and spray. Mmmm . . . immediate stress-buster.
- In a bath: Mix a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of milk or cream (to mix) and add to your bath water. Geranium and lavender is lovely for this purpose.
How Not to Use Essential Oils (at least not right off the bat):
- Internally. I know, a lot of people are pushing this idea hard and telling you that it’s perfectly safe to ingest essential oils as long as they’re pure. This is simply not the case. Pure essential oils are extremely potent. They can eat through plastic! Unless you know what you’re doing or work with a qualified, experienced, trained aromatherapist, it’s just not wise to take them this way. And really, there’s no reason to: essential oils work beautifully in massage or via inhalation.
- Injected. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but we’ve had customers call us and tell us they were advised to inject essential oils for various maladies.
We told you this would be simple and we seem to have run on and on. Okay, you have some oils. So now what?