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Using Essential Oils for Self Care

    INHALATIONS

    • This is the use of essential oils on hot compress, in diffusers, or in hot water for inhalation. Standard dose is 5-10 drops.
    • Benefits: Best for respiratory, sinus problems, and headaches.
    • Lavender, Inula, Peppermint and Eucaplyptus are all great choices for inhalations.

    BATHS

    • The best way to use essential oils in the bath is to mix them first with salts or an emulsifier such as milk or sesame oil. Aromatic bath salts disperse the oils safely into the water, while milk and sesame oil emulsify the essential oil so that it disperses.
    • Benefits: Aromatic baths are excellent for skin problems, circulatory problems, respiratory symptoms, stress and nervous tension, insomnia, muscular, and menstrual pains.
    • Lavender, Sandalwood and Frankincense are effective essential oils in the bath.
    COMPRESSES
    • 10 drops oil in 4 oz hot water. Soak cloth and wrap.
    • Benefits: Good for bruises, wounds, muscular aches and pains, dysmenorrhea, and skin problems.
    • Lavender, Frankincense and Helichrysum are perfect for compresses.

    FACIAL STEAM

    • 1 - 5 drops on hot water in a pot, cover head with a towel, steam face.
    • Benefits: Excellent for opening sinuses, headaches, and as a skin treatment.
    • Lavender, Eucalyptus and Chamomile make for a beneficial facial steam.

    MASSAGE

    • Pure essential oils are about 70 times more concentrated than the whole plant. Dilutions are typically 2% - 10%. For dilutions made easy, check out our guide.
    • For adults, a 2.5% dilution is recommended for most purposes.
    • For children under 12, 1% is generally safe.
    • A 2.5% blend for a 1 ounce bottle of carrier oil is 15 drops of essential oil.
    • Cypress, Lavender, Lotus, Helichrysum, Neroli, Rose Otto and Sandalwood are all fantastic choices for use in massage.

    DIFFUSERS

    There are various types of diffusers on the market with different advantages and disadvantages.

    NEBULIZING DIFFUSER
    • A system that uses air pressure generated by a compressing unit to vaporize the essential oils. A glass nebulizing bulb serves as a condenser, allowing only the finest particles of the essential oil to escape into the air.
    • Advantages: Strong diffusion maximizes therapeutic benefits in respiratory conditions. Can be purchased with timers to produce intermittent diffusion.
    • Disadvantages: Diffusers need to be cleaned regularly. More viscous oils cannot be diffused.
    ULTRASONIC DIFFUSER
    • Use electronic frequencies to create vibrations in water, which creates a fine mist of water and essential oils that is released into the air.
    • Advantages: Since it uses water, can be used to humidify the air. Less expensive than Nebulizers. Can be purchased with timers to produce intermittent diffusion.
    • Disadvantages: Needs to be cleaned regularly and thicker oils may clog it over time.

    CANDLE DIFFUSER

    • Usually a heat resistant vessel for water and essential oils, and a heat resistant platform that holds the vessel over a small candle.
    • Advantages: Very simple to use; provides light background aroma.
    • Disadvantages: Does not produce strong concentration for therapeutic benefits.

      General Safety Precaution

      1. Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
      2. Stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after  photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin.
      3. Avoid the use of essential oils you know nothing about. Research and get to know the oil prior to using it.
      4. Avoid the use of undiluted essential oils on the skin.
      5. If you suspect you have allergies or skin sensitivities, it may be wise to perform a skin patch test.
      6. Know the safety data on each essential oil and place into context of use and knowledge.
      7. Use caution when lactating, pregnant or when trying to become pregnant. Consult a physician before use.
      8. Keep essential oils away from the eyes, mucous membranes and other sensitive areas.
      9. Essential oils are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from direct contact with flames.
      10. When mixing and diluting pure essential oils, be sure the room has good ventilation.
      11. Do not use essential oils internally unless properly trained in the safety issues of doing so.

      Safety Measures

      1. If essential oil droplets accidentally get into the eye (or eyes), a cotton cloth or something similar should be imbued with a fatty oil, such as olive or sesame, and carefully swiped over the closed lid. Then, immediately flush the eyes with cool water.

      2. If an essential oil causes dermal irritation, apply a small amount of vegetable oil or cream to the area affected and discontinue use of essential oil or product that has caused dermal irritation.

      3. If a child appears to have drunk several spoonfuls of essential oil, contact the nearest poison control unit (often listed in the front of a telephone directory). Keep the bottle for identification and encourage the child to drink whole or 2% milk. Do not try to induce vomiting.