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Using Essential Oils for Self Care
- This is the use of essential oils in hot steam water, diffuser or on hot compress for inhalation. Standard amount is 5-10 drops of essential oil to each ounce of water.
- Benefits: Best for toning the respiratory system, headache or sinus problems.
- Inula, Peppermint and Eucalyptus are all wonderful choices for inhalations.
- The best way to use essential oils in the bath is to first mix them with bath salts, milk or an oil such as sesame oil. Aromatic bath salts allow the oils to safely distribute into the water. The milk or sesame oil will act as an emulsifier to disperse the essential oil.
- Benefits: Aromatic baths are great for skin problems, muscular and joint pains, dysmenorrhea, circulatory problems, respiratory issues, stress, nervous tension and insomnia.
- Lavender, Sandalwood and Frankincense are excellent essential oils for the bath.
- 10 drops oil in 4 oz hot water. Soak compress cloth and wrap treatment area.
- Benefits: Good for bruises, muscle and joint stiffness and soreness, menstrual pains and skin issues.
- Lavender, Frankincense and Immortelle are perfect for compresses.
- 1 - 5 drops essential oil added to hot water in a pot or bowl. Cover head with a towel and steam face.
- Benefits: Excellent for headaches, opening sinuses and as a skin treatment.
- Lavender, Tea Tree or Chamomile make for a beneficial facial steam.
- Standard dilutions for massage oils are usually 2% - 10%. Pure essential oils are very concentrated, about 70 times more so than the whole herb. For dilutions made easy, check out our guide.
- For adults, a 2.5% dilution is common.
- For children under 12, 1% is typically regarded as safe.
- A 2.5% blend for a 30ml bottle of carrier oil is 15 drops of essential oil.
- Lavender, Immortelle, Neroli, Rose Otto and Sandalwood are all fantastic choices for use in massage oil.
There are a few types of diffusers available for essential oils. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Glass nebulizer allows only very fine particles of the oil to disperse into the air. Uses cool air pressure produced by a compressor to effectively vaporize the essential oils.
- Advantages: Potent diffusion maximizes therapeutic benefits. No plastic. Can be purchased with timers to produce intermittent diffusion.
- Disadvantages: Nebulizers need to be cleaned more regularly. Viscous oils cannot be diffused.
- Uses 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 it can be used to humidify the air. Optional timers to produce intermittent diffusion. Less expensive than Nebulizers.
- Disadvantages: Diffusers need to be cleaned regularly and thicker oils may clog it over time.
- Comprised of a heat resistant holder for water and essential oils suspended over a small candle.
- Advantages: Simple to use providing a light pleasant aroma.
- Disadvantages: Hard to produce enough 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.
1. If essential oil drops get into the eyes, a cotton cloth should be generously saturated with a vegetable oil like olive or sesame oil, and carefully wiped over closed eyelid. Then flush the eye with cool water.
2. If an essential oil causes dermal irritation, apply a small amount of carrier oil or lotion to the affected area right away. Immediately discontinue use of essential oil that caused dermal irritation.
3. If a child appears to have ingested an essential oil, contact the nearest poison control unit at once. Keep the bottle for correct identification and do not try to induce vomiting. Instead, have the child drink whole or 2% milk.