Love the idea of using essential oils to support a more natural lifestyle, but feeling a little overwhelmed with where and how to start? Or perhaps you’ve given it a go but would like to expand beyond just a few drops in the diffuser? The possibilities are endless which makes it so exciting but truth be told, a little daunting too. Below we’ve outlined our favourite and easiest ways to use essential oils. Go on, give them a go today!
Diffusing Essential Oils
Arguably the simplest and most effective method of use is diffusing essential oils. In fact all it takes is one deep breath for pure essential oils to have an impact on your mind and body. When you breathe in the dispersed essential oil particles in the air, they travel through the nasal cavity to the limbic system of the brain. Neurochemicals are then released which influence our mood, memory and emotion. For the best outcome, using diffusers which disperse essential oils through the vibration of water rather than heat are ideal as heat can impact their therapeutic integrity.
Whether it’s a soothing massage by a professional massage therapist or a 5 minute self-application of body oil after your morning shower, the benefits of essential oils through massage are undeniable (although we know which one we’d prefer every time). Because the essential oil particules are so small, they are easily absorbed by the outer layer of skin and into the bloodstream, where they can have both a localised effect where they were applied, as well as an impact on the inner organs through circulation. It’s important to note that essential oils should never be applied directly to skin unless otherwise directed. As such, when using essential oils for massage, they should always be diluted in a vegetable carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond or coconut.
Essential Oil Bath
An indulgent way to soak the day away is by adding essential oils to your bath. With this method you get the dual benefit of inhaling the essential oils as they rise up through the steam, while at the same time they are easily absorbed into the skin through the warm water for total mental and physical relaxation. With this method, it’s important to know which essential oils are safe to use. Avoid the using essential oils which may cause skin sensitivity in the bath including citrus oils, lemongrass, peppermint, clove, cinnamon and ylang ylang. Also be sure to take care when getting in and out of the bath as the essential oils can make the base more slippery than usual.
*Bath-safe essential oils (for adults) include Lavender, Geranium, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Patchouli and Frankincense.
We love this application for a quick invigorating aromatherapy hit to help re-set the mind. The steam of the shower lifts the essential oil particles to fill the whole bathroom with it’s scent. Give it a go in the morning for a minty kick start!
Hair & scalp treatment
Using essential oils as a hair treatment can add lustre and shine, stimulate circulation, promote hair growth and help rebalance the skin. When applied to the scalp the essential oils enter into the bloodstream through the hair follicle and have a bonus effect on the nervous system. Win! Some great essential oils include rosemary for hair growth, chamomile and lavender to soothe and repel lice, bergamot and tea tree to reduce dandruff.
Although essential oils should be diluted before applying to skin in some instances, using essential oils directly on the skin is safe to do so. This includes a direct application of lavender on burns, cuts, grazes and bug bites, tea tree to blemishes, lemon for warts and sandalwood for swollen glands.
While these are just a few simple and easy ways you can enjoy the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of using essential oils, the possibilities are really endless, so there’s no need to just stop here! We love coming up with new and creative ideas by adapting the above techniques (truth be told once you’ve discovered one method you can’t help but look for more ways to use them!). Just remember to stick to the golden rules of ratios and dilutions and enjoy!
Battaglia S. The complete guide to aromatherapy. 2nd edn, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2006.
Lawless J. The encyclopedia of essential oils. Conari Press, USA, 2013.
Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential oil safety. Churchill Livingstone, UK, 1995.
White J. Aromatherapy blends for life. Blends for Life, Australia, 1999.