How to Use Essential Oils – a beginners guide
Chances are if you live on planet Earth you have heard of essential oils once or twice. These oils are quickly becoming common household items used for self-care, cleaning, and everything in between. If you’re still wondering what they are exactly, check out the “Essential Oils Basics” article!
As a parent, it’s most likely very important for you to use non-toxic ingredients in your cooking. Wouldn’t you like to eliminate toxins from other things in life? Essential oils allow leading a more holistic lifestyle easy. And we could all use a little more easy.
There are many oils out there for you to choose from. There are also a lot of ways you can use them. This can make essential oils confusing at first. But don’t worry! This guide will ensure that your journey into oils will be safe, easy, and enjoyable.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are flowers, bark, leaves, or fruits that have been pressed or distilled with steam until they become a concentrated liquid. It takes pounds of plant material to produce one little bottle of each oil. These oils consist of the scent, flavor, and various properties of the plant from which it was derived.
Are essential oils safe?
Knowing what essential oils are, gave me more confidence to buy them and use them. If you do not do your research before using essential oils, the benefits may not be as great as you would hope and you might regret not researching safety. So, here are the best tips for essential oil safety, use them to avoid making mistakes!
The most important essential oil safety tips are:
- Check for quality and ingredients.
- Don’t get them confused with fragrance oils.
- Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil before topical use.
- Check oils to make sure that the oils you want to use are not harmful to pets, children, pregnant women, or people with respiratory illness.
If you are unsure whether essential oils are for you, consult with your doctor before using.
Please note that research on essential oil is scarce and mostly depends on public experience. Essential oils have never been proven to cure diseases or viral infections.
Which essential oils should I buy?
You can collect them all! Lavender is good for deep sleep, Citrus oils are energizing, tea tree oil will repel mosquitos, and the list goes on and on. Which essential oils you should buy depends on your own personal preference and needs.
Make sure that before you purchase essential oils that they really are essential oils. On an authentic bottle, it should state that the oil is 100% pure and certified organic. If it does not state these two things it probably contains unwanted chemicals or cheap fillers.
How do I use essential oils?
Now that you know what essential oils are, how to buy quality oils, and that they are safe to use, you’re ready to find out how can you use them.
You can use essential oils in three ways:
You can apply essential oils infused in a carrier oil onto your skin. The properties of certain oils can work wonders on skin conditions and appearance. You can create your own solutions for topical use or buy products already made from reputable sources.
Some essential oils smell so good you just want to taste them. With help from a licensed professional you can learn which oils you can ingest and the correct dosage for each one.
Aromatherapy is the best place to start when you first begin using essential oils. It’s safe and a good way to tell which oils you like the most. It requires the least amount of effort and time. All you have to do is smell the oils and you’re using them for aromatherapy.
However you want to use essential oils, there are a variety of therapeutic and medicinal benefits. You can choose which one fits your lifestyle needs best or you can use all three to create your own personalized experience. Read more about each option below so you can find out how and where you want to start.
How to Use Essential Oils For Topical Use
It’s important to dilute pure essential oils in a carrier oil before you apply them to your skin. Essential oils are a concentrated chemical compound taken from a plant that will most likely irritate skin if applied as is. These extracts are oil soluble, hence the name essential oils, therefore they mix well with any vegetable based oil.
The most common carrier oils are:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Avocado oil
You should use 12 drops of essential oil per each fluid ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. The essential oil should only make up 2% of your solution. You can half the solution if you have sensitive skin by using 6 drops per fluid ounce. That way only one percent of your solution is essential oils.
You can measure your essential oils by weight using a small scale if you want to be as accurate as possible. Using droppers to measure out oils can be unreliable if your dropper is smaller or larger than the standard. You may need to adjust accordingly if you suspect that your end product is still too concentrated.
How do you apply diluted essential oils, topically?
Facial skin is sensitive to chemicals, so even when diluted you should never apply these infusions to your face. There are still many other areas of the body you can apply your diluted oils to, such as temples, chest, scalp, and behind ears.
Regardless of the oil or area of skin, you need to test a small area first to see if you could have a negative reaction. You should rinse off the oil using a fragrance-free soap if the test area becomes irritated. Try diluting the oil more or stop using that specific oil altogether once the irritation clears up.
There are also lots of topical products you can buy that use essential oils that are ready to use if you don’t feel comfortable making your own. Young living has an extensive collection of products that are lab tested and made with 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil. They have skin-care, hair, and bath products that incorporate a wide range of oils.
Tea Tree Oil for Skin Infections
Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal powerhouse. You can reduce the symptoms of athlete’s foot, cold sores and a wide range of other skin conditions by applying it.
Using Tea Tree for Athlete’s Foot
Tea tree kills bacteria and fungus so it can be a great treatment option for athlete’s foot. It has been known to reduce symptoms by drying out the fungus and preventing it from spreading.
For treating athlete’s foot, use coconut oil as a carrier because it consists of anti-bacterial and healing properties. Your solution should be half tea tree oil and half coconut oil.
I know earlier I mentioned that generally when applying oils topically a 2% solution is best, but since this method is used on feet a 25% or 50% solution is the most effective ratio.
Follow these steps for treating athlete’s foot:
Step 1- Clean feet with fragrance free soap and warm water. Towel dry them well afterwards. Wash towel with hot soapy water to prevent the spread of athlete’s foot to other parts of the body.
Step 2- Apply solution all over feet and let feet air dry. This step may take some time, but it is crucial that you let the solution dry into the skin.
Step 3 – Repeat step 1 and 2 for two to three weeks or longer to prevent the condition from coming back.
Note: Depending on the severity of your condition, this may be the option for you, but if you are experiencing intense pain and discomfort, you should talk to your doctor before self-treating with this home remedy.
Using Tea Tree Oil to Treat Cold Sores
Cold sores on the outside of mouth are painful blisters that burn, itch, and ooze. They can last for weeks if not treated. Tea tree oil is the perfect remedy for drying, healing, and preventing the spread of cold sores. Never ingest Tea Tree or use it to treat fever blisters within the mouth.
Follow these steps to treat cold sores:
Step 1. Gently wash lip with fragrance free soap.
Step 2. Dab lips dry using a paper towel or towel. Wash the towel in hot water afterward to prevent spreading cold sores to other people or other parts of the body.
Step 3. Using a Q-Tip dab melted coconut oil onto the cold sore. Throw Q-Tip away.
Step 4. Using a new Q-Tip dab a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil onto the cold sore. Throw Q-Tip away.
Step 5. Wash hands, let cold sore dry, and refrain from touching it.
Step 6. Repeat this method twice a day until cold sore has dried up. Do not treat the area with anything once the cold sore begins to scab over because this could damage the skin.
Using Essential Oils in Baths
A bath is an easy and relaxing way to reap the topical benefits of most essential oils. For most people, a nice bath is self-care at it’s finest and when you add essential oil infused in coconut oil it makes the experience heavenly.
Essential oils are not water soluble, so do not add them directly to your bath without diluting them first! They will float on the surface of the water and all over your skin, resulting in major skin irritation. I’m talking stinging and burning like no other, trust me. I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.
How to Dilute Essential Oil for a Bath the Right Way
Make a mixture of essential oils and your preferred carrier oil. Only 2% of your solution should be essential oil. Once your oils are completely mixed, add the mixture to running bath water. You can add in 1/2 cup of baking soda and bath salts for a premium spa experience in your own home.
Below are four essential oils that you can put in your bath:
Use Lavender Oil in the bath to soothe body, mind, and soul. Its anti-bacterial properties are effective in treating dry or oily skin. Lavender baths reduce menstrual cramps, balances hormones, soothes sunburn, treats skin acne, reduces inflammation, kills bacteria and fungi, and soothes aching muscles.
For a detoxifying bath, use Lemon Oil. Lemon Oil just like the lemons it’s derived from is an anti-septic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial astringent. It will draw out the toxins while you inhale it’s energizing scent. Rinse after you bathe when using this oil since it can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Vanilla Essential Oil baths are so underrated. A Vanilla bath will aid in wound healing, infections, and digestive conditions. It also reduces skin aging, inflammation, and bacterial growth. The aromatic benefits that vary from tranquil to serene reduces anxiety and may even boost your sexual drive.
A Frankincense bath will be your new go-to cold remedy when you find out what it can do for your health. Frankincense essential oil nourishes skin, boost your immune system, detoxifies pores, reduces inflammation, and kills bacteria. Allow the Citrus/Pine scent to engulf your senses as you recover from the outside in.
Essential oils that you shouldn’t use in your bath water are:
- Minty essential oils like peppermint, wintergreen, and spearmint.
- Spicy essential oils like black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and clove.
These essential oils are not dangerous on their own, but when add to steamy bath water they can damage eyes and irritate skin.
The Rules to Ingesting Essential Oils
You should never ingest essential oils without first consulting with a doctor that is well-studied in aromatherapy. This is to ensure your safety and eliminate the risk associated with essential oil ingestion.
Side effects of ingesting essential oils without medical supervision can lead to stomach pain and burning, dizziness, muscle weakness, breathing problems, and even death.
How to Use Essential Oils For Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve spiritual, physical, and mental well-being. When you smell or inhale certain essential oils, they interact with receptors in the brain that are responsible for how you feel on a daily basis. This is why the method if often used for better sleep patterns, less stress, more mental clarity, and more energy.
Aromatherapy is used to ease mental and physical symptoms associated with:
- Chronic pain
- Cancer treatments
You can use essential oils for aromatherapy in a variety of ways. The key is choosing a method that you’ll consistently use depending on your personal habits and responsibilities.
Ways you can use essential oils for aromatherapy:
- by using them in steam
- in a diffuser
- in soy wax candles
- through topical use (baths, lotions, massage oil, shampoo etc.)
- in a diffuser pen
- in air fresheners
- on air filters
- in warm mist humidifiers
- for cleaning
What are essential oil diffusers?
Diffusing is the act of dispersing essential oils through air. Diffusers are machines that disperse essential oils using water vapor, which makes it easier to inhale while also adding moisture to the surrounding air.
It’s worth it to invest in a decent size ultrasonic diffuser for effective aromatherapy. These diffusers require little effort to set up and only use a small amount of essential oils per session.
What essential oils can you use in a diffuser?
You can use any essential oil or combinations of oils. I use Pinterest to find new essential oil blends to use in my diffuser. But there are many oils that are amazing when used on their own, such as lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus. Using essential oils as a part of your nighttime routine can help to encourage better sleep!
How to Make Your Own Essential Oil Steam Treatment
Steam aromatherapy is when you add an essential oil and boiling water to create a steam you can inhale or waft. You can use a vaporizer to quicken the process or boil water yourself and lean over it. Be careful not to inhale for too long, 2-3 minutes will do the trick.
You should only add 2-3 drops of essential oil per ounce of already boiling water when creating your own steam. If you add the oil too soon, it will evaporate before it’s time for you to inhale the steam.
Once you add your oils transfer the steamy water to a bowl. Lean over the bowl, place a towel over your head and inhale through the nose for 2-3 minutes. Keep your eyes closed while you inhale to protect them from the potent aroma.
The 3 best essential oils to steam for clearing sinuses:
- Tea Tree
The 3 best essential oils to steam for anxiety, depression, or stress:
So what’s next?
Whether you use them on your skin, in aromatherapy, or by ingesting, you may be endlessly surprised by what these oils can do for your mind, body, and soul. Use the safety tips and advice mentioned throughout this guide to get started using essential oils. You can even start with these 3 easy DIY recipes!
To get your premium starter kit with a diffuser, 10 oils and bonus products, sign up at Young Living with my member number and enroller ID: 17777049. I will get an email that you have signed up and I will be your leader to guide you through everything you need to know about essential oils. I cannot WAIT for you to join our amazing team!
There is a lot of room for you to get creative with blends, methods, and products once you understand the basics. Don’t forget to bookmark this guide so you can refer back to it and follow Saving Mama’s Sanity on Pinterest for more information on leading a toxin-free lifestyle.