How to use Essential Oils – Methods of Applications
Essential oils can be used in many ways, both for their scent and for their cosmetic & medicinal qualities. They make great perfumes & in pot pourris; A few drops in bathbathwater give an exhilirating experience, and they are great to improve skin cosmetics. They can used for minor first aid cases and to relieve many common discomforts such as headaches, colds, period pains and aching muscles. Essential oils should be stored in a cool location in dark bottles to prevent photo-oxidation and sealed to stop contact with air, and kept out of reach of children.
Professional aromatherapists usually give a full body massage. Which essential oils chosen are designed to suit the condition and temperament of the patient. They are blended into a base (carrier) oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil. The amount of essential oil in a blend should normally be between 1 per cent and 3 per cent depending on the type of dicomfort. Massage itself relaxed the body, not just because of the unspoken communication of touch, but it causes the oils to be absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream. You can even practice self-massage on areas of the body, especially the feet & hands. It often helpd to rub any part of the body that is causing discomfort; You can peppermint (in dilution) on the stomach in a clockwise direction to ease indigestion; marjoram helps relax the neck & shoulders if they are stiff.
SKIN OILS AND LOTIONS
Prepare the essential oils like they would be prepared for a massage, butthe base oil should add more nourishing oils like jojoba, avocado or apricot kernel oil. You are generally soothing and healing the skin itself, not so much combatting a discomfort. Moving the fingers in a gentle circular movement is often enough to get the oils absorbed; Don’t drag on the skin in delicate areas like the neck and near the eyes. Rose and neroli are great for dry skin or mature complexions; geranium, bergamot and lemon can help fight acne and greasy skin. Mix a few drops of essential oil into a cream or lotion, or add them into a face mask, which use oatmeal, honey or clay with the pulp of some fruits. For cold sores (herpes) and athlete’s foot, use an alcohol-based lotion instead of an oil or cream. Add 6 drops of essential oil to 5ml (1tsp) of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. This mixture can be further diluted in a quart of boiled theb cooled water to treat open cuts or sores, like those caused by chickenpox or genital herpes.
HOT AND COLD COMPRESS
Essential oils can relieve pain and reduce inflammation in hot and cold compresses. To make a hot compress, fill a bowl with very hot water, then add 4 or 5 drops of essential oil. Fold some cotton cloth, cotton wool or a face cloth and soak it in the bowl, squeeze out most of the water and put the cloth on the area until it has cooled, then repeat. Hot compresses are great for backache, rheumatism & arthritis, abscesses, earache & toothache. Cold compresses are made in almost the sam way, using ice cold water instead of hot water. Cold compresses can be useful for headaches (applied to forehead or back of neck), sprains, strains & many hot, swollen conditions.
A few drops of essential oils in a hair rinse or in mild shampoo can work wonders. You can create an alcohol-based scalp rub by putting 5ml (1tsp) of an essential oil in 100ml (3,5 fl oz) of vodka – this can be used either to just condition the hair or to actually get rid of unwanted parasites such as lice & fleas. A conditioner most types of hair can be made by putting about 3 per cent (or 60 drops) of essential oil into a nourishing base oil such as coconut oil or olive oil with jojoba or sweet almond oil. You can massage it into the scalp, then wrap the hair in warm towels for about an hour to two. Oils like rosemary, West Indian bay and chamomile acan condition and be conducive to healthy hair growth; lavender is often used to repel lice & fleas; bergamot and tea tree help with dandruff.
You can make flower water (“toilet” in europe) by adding about 20 to 30 drops of essential oil to about 100ml (3’/2 fl oz) of spring or distilled water, then keeping if for a few days in the dark & then filtering it with a coffee filter paper. Essential oils don’t dissolve in water, but they do transfer their scent to water with most of their properties.
This can help prevent and treat skin conditions like acne, dermatitis & eczema, and it can tone & cleanse the skin and complexion. Many oil can be used, but the ones most used include rose, orange blossom,lavender and petitgrain; or you can blend several flower waters together for a specific complexions result.
It’s a real pleasure to use essential oils by adding 5 to 10 drops of oil to bath water after the tub is full. This is called Aromatic bathing and gives an enjoyable and sensual experience. It was used a lot by the Romans. It can also be used for many types of discomfort, like irritating skin conditions, muscular aches & pains, rheumatism & arthritis. chamomile or lavender may relieve anxiety or insomnia; rosemary or pine may help soothe aching limbs. Take care to avoid some oils that can be irritating to the skin. (more info)
A nice way to scent a room, without the smoke from incense, is to spread oils with oil burner or aromatic diffuser. Or, a few drops of oil can be dropped onto a light bulb ring or put in a small bowl of water on a radiator. Some oils can actually create different atmospheres: frankincense & cedarwood have traditionally been used in a ritual context for a peaceful mood. If you vaporize oils like citronella or lemongrass, they can keep insects away or clear the air of bad smells like cigarette smoke. In the past, the leaves of juniper and rosemary were burned to control epidemics & purify the air. They may even inhibit the development of infections like the common cold or flu. Oils like myrtle or eucalyptus can be used at night to help with breathing difficulties or children’s coughs. A few drops can be put on a pillow or handkerchief.
It can be used for genitourinary infections such as thrush, cystitis or pruritis. For Candida or thrush, add between 5 and 10 drops of tea tree to a quart of warm water and shake well. It can be used in a sitz bath, bidet or put into an enema/douche pot, which can be bought from some pharmacies. A few oils like lavender and cypress can also aid the healing process after childbirth.
DABBING ON THE SKIN
Most essential oils are not applied full-strength to the skin without dilution. There are a few exceptions: lavender can be applied undiluted to burns, cuts and insect bites; tea tree to spots; and lemon to warts. A few essential oils such as sandalwood, jasmine or rose make excellent perfumes. A few oils that can discolor the skin in direct sunlight e.g. bergamot; irritants such as red thyme; or cinnamon bark.
NO INTERNAL USE
Because essential oils are highly concentrated (and the a few are highly toxic), most should not be taken at home internally. The International Federation of Aromatherapists has advised against internal use. Because essential oils are really absorbed by the skin, internal organs can be affected even by external use. In arthritis and similar conditions, caused by toxins in the joints, use of diet changes, supplements and herbs can be amplified by external use of oils such as juniper and white birch.