Essential oils can be used in many different ways: in aroma lamps or humidifiers; in a relaxing or revitalizing massage; added to a full bath or a foot bath; for compresses; inhalations, gargles, chest rubs, etc.
Essential oils can be used in a bath both for therapy and pleasure! Be careful not to use an oil that is sensitising or irritating on the skin. Put a few drops of essential oil, diluted in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of honey, or half a cup of milk to be added directly to the bath. The safest oils for everyone to use in the bath are Lavender and Chamomile because of their gentle non-irritant qualities. If you want to experiment with others, watch out for oils that may be photosensitising when in direct contact with the skin. Remember that the oil is not dispersed and diluted in the water; it is at full strength, so go carefully, one drop at a time.
Use up to eight drops of your chosen essential oil or blend. Run the bath as usual, and add the mixture (a blend of essential oil and carrier oil) to the water. Keep the bathroom door closed to ensure that the aroma does not disperse. Swish the water around vigorously before getting in.
There are many essential oils which have a clearing effect and are recommended to support the respiratory system. Among these are Eucalyptus, Fir, Rosemary, and Lavender Spike. Prepare a blend of 10-20 drops of essential oil in 30ml of carrier oil and rub on the chest and upper back.
A compress is a clean, damp, folded cloth that has been infused with essential oils and is then applied to the problem area. A compress can be either cold or warm, depending on the purpose. Fill a small bowl with water, add 2-5 drops of essential oil. Stir briskly, soak the cloth, wring, and apply. Repeat this procedure as needed.
You can completely transform the character of a room in just a few minutes using a few drops of a favourite essential oil in a diffuser. Aromatherapy diffuser are also ideal for cleansing and purifying the air.
Aromatherapy diffuser disperse essential oils into the room in a number of different ways. The preferred method does not heat the essential oil, but uses a fan to pass cool air through a pad which has been impregnated with the essential oil. You can use 4-8 drops of essential oil on the pad, or 15 drops or more in an Aromatherapy Microdiffuser. Use 3-5 drops with warming diffusers. Refresh as needed.
Foot and Hand Bath
When your feet feel good, you feel good all over - and the feet are a very important area in aromatherapy. This is both because of their reflex points that affect every area of the body, and because the skin on the feet absorbs essential oils rapidly.
The value of foot baths has been recognised for hundreds of years. They are a wonderful way to pamper yourself, and are very practical in situations where a full aromatherapy bath is not possible; for example for the disabled and elderly or for people who only have a shower in their flat.
Hand baths can be soothing for people with aching joints.
Use 2-4 drops of your chosen essential oil in a bowl of water. Cool water revives, and warm water relaxes.
First thoroughly mix the essential oil in a teaspoon of honey. Then dilute with warm water until the honey is dissolved. Gargle with a small amount and spit out. Use 1-2 drops per 30 ml of warm water.
Inhalation and Steam Inhalation
Sprinkle a few drops of an aromatherapy oil onto a handkerchief or tissue, and inhale as required.
Alternatively add three drops of your essential oil to a bowl of steaming water. Cover your head with a large towel, close your eyes, put your face above the water and inhale deeply. Repeat as required.
Aromatherapy massage is one of the best ways to experience aromatherapy essential oils, combining as it does the benefit of touch and the therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Massage relaxes muscles and improves circulation and lymph flow, soothes physical tension and relieves mental stress.
Essential oils should always be diluted in a good quality carrier oil before applying to skin. The normal dilution is about 10-20 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil. Sensitive skin may require half this concentration, or even less.
The antiseptic and antibacterial effect of aromatherapy essential oils can be perfect for freshening the breath and to help maintain healthy gums, etc. Simply add a few drops of an essential oil to a cup of water, and swill around the mouth. Do not swallow.
To refresh the sauna and to enjoy the therapeutic effects of the essential oil, mix five drops of your chosen essential oil in one cup of water and pour over the hot rocks.
One or two drops of an aromatherapy oil on a pillow case or on a tissue inside the pillow case is a wonderful way to enjoy the soothing and therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Take care not to get the oil in your eyes!
Essential Oils at Work
You can sniff oils direct from the bottle, or use a roller ball as required. The fragrance will have a direct effect, and also the associative memory will help you stay focussed and relaxed.