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How to Use Essential Oils


Essential oils can be beneficial when used properly. Essential oils are used for medicinal, cosmetic, and for numerous other household products. Discover how to use essential oils with a few cautionary tips.

Safety Precautions

Although essential oils are sold to the general public, recreational use is cautioned. Studies have shown that essential oils can affect the limbic, immune, and central nervous systems, and can be circulated through the blood system. Seek professional advice particularly in any instance where they are being used for medicinal purposes.

Basic Instructions for Application Methods

There are three basic application methods when using essential oils. To receive the greatest benefit from your essential oil experience you need to choose the application method that best suits the situation. As an example to soothe a wound you may want to choose a topical application, while a mood enhancer would be better suited with the inhalation method.

Very rarely should an essential oil be applied directly to the skin without diluting it with natural carrier oils, and they should never be ingested without professional medical advice. As an example, clove oil, which is commonly used as a dental pain reliever, can cause contact a serious skin rash when applied undiluted directly to the skin.

Direct inhalation: Put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball, and then sniff the cotton ball. It’s important not to get the fragrance in your eyes, so close them. You can put 1-5 drops in a pot of hot water, and use a towel to cover your head while letting the mixture steam your face, again keeping your eyes closed tightly.

Indirect inhalation: Buy an aromatherapy diffuser and then carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions. Or use 1-2 drops on a cotton ball, and place the cotton ball within close vicinity. Or make a spray by placing a few drops in a water-based solution, shake it well, then lightly spray it into the air. Or add a few drops to a pan of steaming water and set on a nearby table.

Topical (absorption through skin): Mix a few drops of essential oil with some type of dispersant (full cream milk, bath salts, etc.), then add to the bath water just before stepping into the bath (this will be inhaled also). Or add 1-3 drops oil per teaspoon (5cc) of natural carrier oils, mix well, and gently rub onto area. Another way is to make a compress by diluting the essential oil in a liquid carrier, such as water or oil, and then applying it to a cloth dressing or soaking the dressing in the solution, and then applying the dressing to the area, or put the solution directly onto the area and cover it with a dressing.



“Aromatherapy and Essential Oils – National Cancer Institute.” National Cancer Institute – Comprehensive Cancer Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2010.

 “How Do I Choose and Use Essential Oils? | Taking Charge of Your Health.” Taking Charge of Your Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2010.

” Clove and Clove Oil: MedlinePlus Supplements .” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2010.

“How to Use Essential Oils Effectively by David Crow.” The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2010.

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