Essential Oils Basics

Essential Oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants, seeds, bark, leaves, etc. They can be used as aromatherapy, be applied topically, inhaled, and diffused. When used properly, they can calm the emotions, alter moods, increase focus, detoxify the air, boost the immune system, and more.

There are several ways to enjoy Essential Oils, but you need to be careful. Once you understand the basics and safety concerns, there’s no limit to how you can enjoy them in your life. Here are some of the different ways you can use Essential Oils.

  • Apply a drop or two to skin topically (dilute properly with a carrier oil)
  • Apply a few drops to your hands, rub hands together, and inhale
  • Apply as a perfume or cologne (ear rims/lobes and wrists are great scent spots)
  • Add a few drops to your bath water (lavender is versatile and very relaxing)
  • Add a few drops to the base of your shower (peppermint is great for the sinuses and allergies)
  • Diffuse into the air (use a cool mist diffuser only, as to not breakdown the oils)
  • Add to a full body massage
  • Inhale or diffuse while doing emotional acupressure tapping or deep meditation, to help release negative energy
  • Carry a few oils in your purse or bag, or keep a diffuser at work to reduce stress
  • Dental hygiene uses such as oil pulling for allergies and detoxifying (I add a few peppermint drops in a tsp of coconut oil when I oil pull in the morning)

Please do not ingest Essential Oils, even if a reputable company makes claims that it is safe. Essential Oils are highly potent and can cause serious medical issues if used carelessly. Unless you are under the care of an experienced integrative medical doctor, I suggest avoiding internal ingestion completely.

When applying topically to the skin, dilute with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. You don’t want to get Essential Oils in your eyes. If you accidentally do, use a carrier oil to dilute your eyes instead of water. Water will enhance the strength and sensation of the oils.

Don’t use more than a few drops a day to start. See how your body reacts to new scents and topical applications before adding anything new.

Drink lots of water when using Essential Oils. Some are diuretics and can cause dehydration. They also help the body detox, so it’s important to help the body flush out toxins with several glasses of water throughout the day.

Some of the most popular places on the body to apply Essential Oils is on the hands, wrists, ears, feet and ankles. The feet absorb oils very quickly because of the large pores. Applying oils to the rim of the ears helps clear emotions very nicely.

A hot moist compress will force the oils deeper into skin tissue, which helps alleviate pain and helps relax the nervous system. Applying Essential Oils topically before a shower will have the same effect.

Hot Essential Oils like Clove and Oregano should be diluted at least 50%. They can cause skin irritation when used undiluted (neat). Never use hot oils on babies or children. Do not use the majority of Essential Oils on babies or children without diluting properly. Please read labels and refer to an Essential Oils reference book for proper dilution ratios.

Before applying new Essential Oils topically, test a drop on your forearm and wait an hour or two to see if you have a reaction. If redness or irritation develops, do not use that oil topically. Diffusing may be the best option if your skin is sensitive to it. Typically, you’ll have a skin reaction within a few minutes if you have any sensitivity to it. With an actual allergy, you may have more serious symptoms. Please use common sense and contact your medical doctor or call 911 if you suspect a serious reaction.

Some Essential Oils are sun-sensitive, which means you should not expose your skin to the sun after applying for at least 12 hours. Some sun-sensitive oils are in the citrus family, like orange, tangerine, bergamot, grapefruit, and lime. If I want to reap the health benefits of these oils and still enjoy the sun, I apply them to the bottoms of my feet, and then put socks or shoes on. You can also simply diffuse the oils.

Essential Oils should be stored in a dark and cool place to maintain their full potency. Essential Oils that do not contain carrier oils should maintain full potency for years. Carrier oils, unlike Essential Oils, can go rancid within 6 months or so, and will smell like crayons when they do. Toss them at that point. Some Essential Oil blends or roll-ons may contain carrier oils so you can apply them right out of the bottle. You can simply check the label for ingredients. It’s a good idea to only buy what you will likely use within 3-6 months if they contain carrier oils.

Essential Oils should be mixed, stored or carried in GLASS containers only. Plastic containers may dissolve from some Essential Oils like citrus singles or blends with citrus oils.

Please store Essential Oils away from children or pets, preferably in a locked cabinet if you have curious kids. Do not store Essential Oils in the bathroom unless you have a good ventilation system that keeps your bathroom cool during showers or baths. I store my Essential Oils in a cabinet in a spare bedroom.

There are simply too many uses of Essential Oils to list here, so I encourage you to invest in an Essential Oils reference book. It’s a great way to get started and learn all about single oils, blends, and unique ways to create your own special Essential Oils potions.

Here’s a thorough Essential Oils Quick Reference Guide that’s perfect for anyone. It’s small, spiral bound, organized nicely by ailment, and full of detailed information: Abundant Health

There are many Essential Oils companies to choose from. It’s important that they have their oils checked by third parties, to ensure good quality. In addition, their methods of distillation and/or test reports should easily be found on their websites or listed near ingredients. You do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Essential Oils, but some oils, like Australian Sandalwood, will most likely cost more.

If you want my recommendation, give Plant Therapy a try. This company has high quality oils at a very reasonable price, low shipping costs, a solid return policy, and their website is very user friendly: Plant Therapy

You can also find Essential Oils on mass market websites, like Amazon, but beware. When creating home-made cleaning mixtures or diffusing daily to purify the air in my home, I use cheaper oils like Now brand. You can find some on Amazon or at GNC. Read customer reviews and seller ratings. I would not order any single oils or blends that contain carrier oils from Amazon or Ebay, unless there’s a 100% guaranteed return policy. A lot of sellers will buy a large quantity, and the oils go rancid in storage. Buyer beware.

Note to Daydream Health Visitors: I do not sell Essential Oils and am not a member of an MLM (multi-level marketing company). I am very familiar with Young Living Essential Oils, but share my knowledge as an independent consultant in the basics of Essential Oils only. I have been using Essential Oils for years to help heal myself and my family. I couldn’t live without my oils and use them daily.

Please like this article and share with friends: