Recently, essential oils have become popular across the globe thanks to celebrity endorsements and a movement toward more natural and chemical-free products. People have been turning toward essential oils and using them to make natural cleaning products, homemade cosmetics and soaps, natural healing remedies, and simply for aromatherapy or massage therapy.
With their growing popularity, more people are looking to use them in their daily life. If you’re one of those people, this article will show you how to use essential oils on your own. Whether you’re looking to use them for aromatherapy or if you’re interested in more in-depth DIY recipes, you can use essential oils in your everyday life easier.
1. Benefit Of Essential Oils
Cultures across the globe have been using essential oils for centuries. They’ve been used in cooking, cleaning, healing, and personal care. In general, essential oils are distilled from different parts of a plant (flowers, bark, roots, peels, leaves, resin, etc.) using non-chemical processes. The oil is then bottled up for people to buy and use. If you look back in history, you’ll see that ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other ancient civilizations made their own essential oils from plants around them for different uses. They usually soaked the given plant in oil to infuse the oil with the properties of that specific plants.
Essential oils are made up of chemical compounds that have specific properties. Some are antioxidant properties while others are antibacterial or antimicrobial. There can even be oils with anti-inflammatory properties. Each oil will have its own properties and benefits allowing them all to be used for specific and different purposes. This makes some essential oils beneficial for healing since they can provide relief without side effects like store-bought or prescription medicines have.
The oils have a strong aroma and are highly concentrated. The chemical compounds within the oil are powerful and can actually spread throughout your body and into your cells by crossing the blood-brain barrier and can help heal you on a cellular level. They can enter your body aromatically via inhalation or they can enter your body through your skin when applied topically to the skin. As you learn how to use essential oils you’ll see that no matter how you choose to use them, you’ll be benefitting from them regardless. Using as little as one drop can be beneficial.
While each oil has its own specific benefits, some of the most common benefits of essential oils are:
- Fighting off colds/viruses
- Relating sore muscles
- Healing different skin conditions
- Pain management
- Digestive help
- Wrinkle and cellulite help
- Disinfectant/antibacterial uses
There are a number of different essential oils available to use. With a lot of the focus be on the medicinal and health benefits of essential oil, here are some of the best oils for their health benefits:
- Clove: antioxidant properties, anti-parasitic properties, and anti-bacterial properties
- Cypress: benefits the circulatory system, reduces the appearance of varicose veins, can help heal bone fractures
- Eucalyptus: beneficial for respiratory issues including bronchitis and asthma
- Frankincense: reduces inflammation, supports the immune system, induces mental clarity
- Ginger: supports joint health, treats age spots, relieves nausea
- Grapefruit: reduces cellulite and supports metabolism
- Lavender: induces relaxation, treats burns and other skin conditions
- Lemon: disinfectant properties, cleanse the body as well as surfaces, improves lymph drainage
- Myrrh: reduces infections, good for skincare, can balance hormones
- Oregano: antifungal properties, can be used in cooking (carefully)
- Peppermint: digestive help, boosts energy, can be used for pest control and as an insecticide
- Rose: beneficial for skin inflammation and hair care
- Rosemary: can be used in homemade shampoos for hair care, improve memory and brain function
- Tea tree oil: anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, helps improve the immune system, great for skin conditions
- Sandalwood: improves low libidos as well as low energy levels
There are other essential oils that have different benefits, too. You can also blend different oils together to harness their multiple benefits to create a powerful synergy. There is an oil for almost everything with plenty of professional research to back up the claims about every oil on the market.
2. How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are easy to use considering how beneficial they are. There are multiple ways to use these oils but some are more popular (and easier) than others. You can use the oils through aromatherapy, topically (on their own or in homemade products), around the home, or even orally (with extreme caution).
The most popular way to use essential oils is through aromatherapy. This is a holistic treatment where you diffuse the oils in order to breathe in their aroma. The beauty of essential oils is that you can get all of the benefits simply by inhaling the oil without ever touching it. Aromatherapy can help with physical issues as well as mental and emotional ones.
There are a lot of different ways to inhale essential oils for aromatherapy. One way is by directly inhaling the aroma of the oil from the bottle. Simply open up the bottle, hold it under your nose, and take a deep breath. You can also by an essential oil diffuser and use that to disperse the oil throughout a room to benefit completely from the oil. Doing this can also help purify the air in the room, too. You can also use a humidifier in a similar fashion. You can’t put the oil in the humidifier directly but you can put some drops of oil on a cloth and place that cloth in front of the vent where the steam comes out of the humidifier. One last way is to boil some water, pour it into a bowl, and add a few drops of oil to the water. As the oil-infused steam comes out of the bowl, lean over the bowl with a towel covering your head to create a steam tent and breathe in the steam.
You can also use essential oils through topical application. Since essential oils can help with skin conditions and wounds, it’s no surprise that it can be used topically by applying the oil to the area in question. While some oils are mild, you should always apply essential oils along with a carrier oil (a pure vegetable oil, usually). By diluting the oil, it doesn’t minimize the effect of the oil it actually protects your skin from the sometimes overpowering oil which may irritate your skin on its own. You can apply the oil to a trouble spot or you can use diluted essential oils for massage therapy for sore muscles or just for some relaxation. Remember, you can create oil blends with multiple oils to take advantage of all of the different benefits. If you’re not looking to treat a specific issue, you can apply the oil topically to different areas of your body to get the aromatic benefits, too. Apply essential oils to the following areas:
- Behind the ears
- The crown of the head
- Back of the neck/upper back
- The abdomen/over vital organs (over the heart, especially)
- The soles and tops of the feet
When figuring out how to use essential oils, you will hear conflicting ideas about the following method: internal consumption. Some essential oils are safe to use internally while others are too volatile for consumption. Always refer to the instructions that come with your oil or consult an aromatherapist or herbalist who can direct you about specific oils. You can consume essential oils by filling an empty vegetable capsule with the oil and taking them with water like a store-bought supplement.
You can also add a few drops to a glass of water and drink it down or to a spoonful of raw honey and consume it that way. Some oils can also be added to your food while you cook to add flavor to your food while also helping you heal. Please be careful! This method should only be used with pure essential oils that have nothing but the designated ingredient in it. Never consume synthetic oils or oils that might have additional ingredients in it. There are some reports that say you shouldn’t consume essential oils but as long as you exercise extreme caution and follow all of the instructions for the individual oils.
There are so many benefits to essential oils that you’ll never want to be without them once you start using them. This abbreviated guide shows you how to use essential oils in different ways in order to get what you need from them. Try out different oils with different applications for different treatments and see what they can do for you.