You just bought essential oils and you are wondering, “Now, what in the world do I do with them?” Well, there are many different ways you can use them.
I thought I would write a blog on the different ways oils are applied and utilized. Please note, while I do mention internal usage, it is absolutely imperative that you do not ingest essentials oils unless you are guided by a clinically Certified Aromatherapist.
Let’s talk about different application methods and when to use them.
Topical application of essential oils
Topical application is a fancy way of saying using the oil on your skin. A topical application involves using a Crème or Fixed Oil, otherwise known as a carrier oil, blended at certain dilutions with an essential oil, absolute, or CO2 extract. Neat usage (undiluted) is also acceptable at times, but you must know the oil and what you are doing to apply the essential oil neat.
Topical application would be used to assist with many skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, rashes, and more. It is also very effective when used in massages to treat any kind of muscular sprain or pain. Also, just to feel good and have balance.
Benefits of topical application of essential oils
- To treat localized skin conditions
- Muscular and underlying organs
- Systemic penetration via bloodstream
- Support the terrain of the body
Understanding dilution ratios for topical application
It is important to understand dilution ratios if you decide to formulate and apply your blend to your skin. Dilution ratio is the percentage of an essential oil in the blend. The dilution ratio that you choose will depend on your level of aromatherapy certification and expertise. That being said, most aromatherapists are trained to blend in the 1-3 percent range, however, there are times when higher dilutions (as the lower dilutions will not be sufficient) are needed. You must have proper training or guidance to safely blend at higher dilution or to use oils undiluted. Below is a guideline to various dilution ratios:
- 1% in one ounce: 5-6 drops. (Gentle usage for kids, elderly, or sick people)
- 2% in one ounce: 10-12 drops
- 3% in one ounce: 15-16 drops
- 5% in one ounce: 25-30 drops
- 7% in one ounce: 35-42 drops
- 10% in one ounce: 50-60 drops
Skin absorption of essential oils
Now, let’s look at skin absorption from greatest to least. Take extra care on areas of the body with greater absorption as they will be more sensitive.
- Intertriginous areas: axilla (armpit), folds of the breast, in between fingers and toes
- Head: forehead, behind the ears, and scalp
- Palms and Soles
Safety concerns of topical application
There are some safety concerns when applying oils topically that you should be aware of:
- Irritation: This is when there is a skin reaction to the area the essential oil or blend is applied. It is a localized reaction.
- Sensitization: This is when there is a skin reaction to areas of the body where the oils were NOT applied. This is a systemic reaction and could indicate a possible allergic reaction.
- Phototoxicity: Phototoxicity is a dermal (skin) reaction when certain chemical constituents bind to DNA in the skin and then react with UV light, killing the cells and damaging tissues.
- Cold-pressed citrus oils are phototoxic with the exception of orange and tangerine. Steam distilled Citrus oils are not. Other common oils that are phototoxic are Angelica archangelica, Tagetes, and Lemon Verbena.
Inhalation of essentials oils
Inhalation is not to be confused with diffusion. Inhalation is when the essential oil or stock blend is inhaled via an aroma stick or nasal inhaler. Using essential oils via inhalation is very powerful and assists with feelings of anxiety, depression, or any kind of shadow emotion. It is also one of the most effective ways to assist with any kind of cold, flu, sinus, or allergy issue.
Benefits of inhalation of essential oils
- Tremendous effect on the psyche, memory and emotions due to the sense of olfaction (sense of smell ). The sense of smell directly impacts the limbic brain and the forebrain which is the frontal lobe of the cerebrum. Extremely powerful to shift emotions. (Coppertone and Chinks)
- Great for respiratory issues
- Absorption for the whole body system by the nasal mucosa and lungs.
- Cerebral absorption by the Cerebral Spinal fluid and this diffuses the molecules into the brain tissue
- Within minutes of inhalation, the essential oil components are in the bloodstream
Safety concerns of inhalation
There are some safety concerns when inhaling oils that you should be aware of:
- Do NOT use any oil that can irritate the mucous membrane
- Oils high in phenols like Thyme ct thymol, clove bud, or oregano should be used very sparingly if at all
- Other oils to use sparingly are cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, lemongrass, and similar aldehydes and peppermint
Internal usage of essential oils
Internal usage of essential oils should not be used unless you have knowledge of clinical aromatherapy or are directed by an aromatherapist who has had specific training in internal usage. It can cause harmful effects if ingested improperly, and some essential oils, like tea tree, are toxic if ingested.
- Oral – by mouth
- Sublingual – Under the tongue
- Buccal – Cheek
I can not stress how important it is to know what oils to use and how to apply them. So, if you have a deep love for the plants and trees and aromatherapy, please be sure to be guided properly by a Certified Aromatherapist or Clinically Certified Aromatherapist, not FaceBook or a mommy blog. Find a workshop or course on essential oils taught by a credible source.
Safety and proper use are of the utmost importance when using essential oils. If you have any questions about how to use your essential oils please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.