How to use essential oils
Essential oils can be used in many ways. However, it is important to dilute it with carrier oils before application. You can put a few drops in the bath water for a stimulating effect. Some essential oils are potential skin irritants. Hence, they should be applied in small quantities. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to liquid soaps, body oil, and body lotion or body mist. They can also be added to carrier oils and used as lineament.
The aromatherapy healers consider ten essential oils necessary for aromatherapy treatment. They are: Thyme, Chamomile, Rosemary, Lemon, Clove, Lavender, Tea Tree, Geranium, Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
Aromatherapy is being used to cure a number of ailments. Some of the problems that have been alleviated by aromatherapy are as follows.
Insomnia or sleeplessness is troubling a lot of people. Instead of using allopathic medicine, people prefer to use alternative cures to get rid of this problem. Two of the essential oils that are very useful in combating insomnia are lavender and chamomile. Lavender has sedative qualities used to sooth nervous anxiety, panic and hysteria and chamomile provides a relaxing and calming effect. Both these oils are known to produce drowsiness and encourage sleep. Before sleeping soak your body in warm water to which 10 drops of the essential oil has been added. Put a few drops of lavender on your pillow.
The fast pace of lifestyle today has given rise to the monster of stress. Aromatherapy provides a gentle way to soothe a stress riddled body and mind. The major essential oils used for stress are Chamomile, Lavender, and Sandalwood. Mix a few drops of essential oil in the carrier oil to massage the neck, back and shoulders. Add 10 drops of the essential oil to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Rose essential oil can be used to alleviate melancholy and depression where as rosemary is good for aching muscles and tiredness. Geranium is used to relax the mind, calm agitation, and ease frustration and irritability. It is of great help in soothing the nerves in case of stress and anxiety due to overwork and nervous exhaustion.
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes that results in excessive coughing and mucus. Cedarwood, Lavender and Peppermint are excellent essential oils for the treatment of bronchitis. Eucalyptus essential oil makes a wonderful balsamic blend for bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Mix a few drops in the carrier oil and massage the chest, back and neck. A soak in warm water to which a few drops of the essential oils have been added is also helpful.
Cold and flu
These are very common ailments for which people prefer natural cures to prescribed drugs. Basil, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree can be used for the common cold. It can be mixed with carrier oils and used massage the chest and throat. These essential oils if added to the vaporizer and inhaled, clear away the blocked sinus providing relief.
To cure toothache, put a few drops of clove or peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it over the inflamed tooth. A few drops over a cold compress also reduce the pain and ache.
Aromatherapy essential oils are very potent. They should be used sparingly under the guidance of an aromatherapy practitioner. Using double the quantity of the essential oil need not give faster results. Instead it may result in nausea or irritation. They should be stored in dark glass bottles and never in metal containers. A pipette or dropper should be used to measure out the prescribed quantity. The bottles should be tightly closed and kept away from sunlight and children.
Essential oils should be used carefully and under consultation only. Basil, Bay, Camphor, Fennel, Ginger, Laurel, Sage, Thyme, Tarragon and Valerian should be used sparingly.
Oils like Angelica, Bergamot, Citronella, Ginger, Lemon, Lime and Mandarin are phototoxic. The skin should be kept away from the sun for six hours after application of these oils as they may cause irritation on exposure to sun. Lactating mothers and pregnant women should avoid using essential oils.
Essential oils are volatile in nature. They evaporate on contact with air. As they are very potent, it is advisable to dilute them with some carrier oil when they are being massaged or applied onto the skin. This makes the application easy and is readily absorbed into the skin. Carrier oils are oily plant based triglycerides oils that reduce the potency of the essential oils. Some of the carrier oils are sweet almond oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil or sesame oil. The essential oils are soluble in these carrier oils and the mixture can safely be applied to the skin. A few drops of the essential oils can be added to the carrier oil and used as per directions. Carrier oils do not have a characteristic aroma like the essential oils, nor are they volatile. Different carrier essential oil combinations are used based on their suitability. Sweet almond and evening primrose are very effective for application on the face. Approximately 7-10 drops of aromatherapy essential oil should be added to 30 ml (6 tsp) of carrier oil.