Essential Oils and Fragrant Medicinals

Using Essential Oils

This is a list of just some of the ways in which essential oils can be used, along with their recommended quantities or dosages. Be sure to read the Essential Oils Safety Precautions before implementing any of these methods.

  • Baths (As directed or a maximum of 8 drops) ~ Run the bath, then add the essential oil. Close the door of the bathroom so the vapors don’t escape. Soak for at least 10 minutes, relaxing and breathing deeply.
  • Bidet (As directed or 2 to 3 drops diluted in 1 teaspoon base oil) ~ Use warm water from the tap. Run the water, then add the essential oil and swish it around as well as possible so the globules aren’t left on the surface as these could irritate mucous membrane. Do not use any essential oils that are not specifically recommended for this method.
  • Candles (1 to 2 drops) ~ Light the candle and wait until the wax begins to melt and then add the oils to the warm wax. Essential oils are inflammable so do be careful not to get them on the wick.
  • Diffusers (1 to 6 drops) ~ These are especially made for use with essential oils. There are all sorts of diffusers, some heated by candle flame and others by electricity. It is important that the surface of the bowl section is nonporous so that it can be wiped clean after use.
  • Douche (Only as directed) ~ Use boiled and cooled water from the tap or warmed, bottled spring water. Add the essential oil and shake the douche until the contents are thoroughly mixed. Do not use any essential oils that are not specifically recommended for this method.
  • Foot bath (As directed or 2 to 6 drops) ~ Soak the feet for 20 minutes in a bowl of warm water to which the essential oil has been added.
  • Hand bath (As directed or 2 to 4 drops) ~ Soak the hands for a maximum of 10 minutes in a bowl of warm water to which the essential oil has been added.
  • Humidifiers (1 to 9 drops) ~ Add the essential oil to the water.
  • Inhaled as a Vapor: (2 to 3 drops) ~ Pour hot water into a bowl, add the oil, cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl with your face about 10 inches away and your eyes closed. Breathe deeply through your nose for about one minute.
  • Jacuzzi (3 drops per person) ~ Add to the heated water.
  • Light bulbs (1 to 2 drops) ~ The heat generated by a light bulb can be used to release the molecules of essential oil into the atmosphere. There are various attachments made of nonflammable material or metal which can be used in conjunction with light bulbs. You can also add the oil to a standing lamp bulb when it is not switched on and cool. Do not put the oil onto a light bulb which is already heated, as essential oils are inflammable. Use only 1 to 2 drops – no more – or the oil may drip down the bulb into the attachment.
  • Massage oil: (As directed or a maximum of 5 drops to each teaspoon of base oil) ~ Ask your pharmacist for a brown glass bottle – these have their volume imprinted on the glass on the bottom. Measure out your base oil (almond, hazelnut, peach kernel, apricot kernel, grapeseed, etc). Add the essential oil. Thoroughly mix by turning the bottle upside down a few times and then rolling it briskly between your hands. One teaspoon is adequate for most body sizes.
  • Perfume: (Dosage variable) ~ Simply dissolve in alcohol or oil and apply to the body as you would a perfume.
  • Radiators (1 to 9 drops) ~ Put the essential oil onto a cotton ball and lodge it by the pipe or somewhere where it is in contact with heat.
  • Room sprays (4 or more drops per 1 cup water) ~ Use a new plant sprayer. Fill with warm, but not boiling, water. Add the essential oil and shake before use. It can be sprayed in the air as you would any spray or on carpets, curtains, and furniture. Be careful not to let the water fall on good wood.
  • Sauna (2 drops per 2 1/2 cups water) ~ Use eucalyptus, tea tree, or pine oils. Mix in the water beforehand and throw on to the heat source as usual. Use only these essential oils because they enter the body with inhalation and exit by perspiration. They are all excellent cleansers and detoxifiers.
  • Shower (As directed or a maximum of 8 drops) ~ Bathe as usual. Now add the essential oil to your facecloth, or sponge and rub it over yourself briskly as you continue to stand under the running water. Breathe in the aromatic steam deeply.
  • Sitz bath (As directed or 2 to 3 drops diluted in base oil) ~ Run a bath to hip level or use a bowl which is large enough for you to be able to lower your behind into it. Add the essential oil and swish it around thoroughly so that no globules are left on the surface where they could come in contact with mucous membrane. Do not use any essential oils that are not specifically recommended for this method.
  • Tissue or handkerchief: (1 drop) ~ Apply to the tissue or the handkerchief and sniff when required.
  • Water bowls (1 to 9 drops) ~ Put boiling water into a bowl and add the essential oil. Close doors and windows and allow five minutes for the aroma to permeate the room.
  • Wood fires (1 drop per log) ~ Use cypress, pine, sandalwood, or cedarwood oils. Put 1 drop on each log and leave for half an hour before using. The oil will retain its effectiveness for a long time, and the logs can all be prepared in advance. One log per fire will be sufficient.

Although the quantities for the room methods can seem quite small, these are sufficient. To gauge how strong the aroma really is, prepare your method then leave the room, shutting the door behind you, and return in a few minutes. In this way your olfactory nerves will get a truer picture.

Source: The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Important Notice

Almost anyone can enjoy the benefits of an aromatherapy oil, but certain individuals, such as pregnant women, persons with allergies, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma should only use essential oils for aromatherapy under the guidance of a trained professional.

Keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated botanical extracts and should never be ingested or applied to skin at full strength. Consult a professional aromatherapist or an accredited reference on aromatherapy for advice on these uses.

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