Essential Oils

Essential oils are the distilled or extracted aromatic part of plants which act on the body and emotions via smell and absorption through the skin.  By far one of my favorite ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is to add 5 to 10 total drops of oil to a nice warm bath, swish the water around to disperse any oil bubbles (this is important because sitting on a drop of essential oil can be quite irritating) and slide in for a relaxing lovely experience.  Add some Epsom salt to enhancing the relaxing effect.  Additional ways to reap the benefits essential oils include:

  • Compress ~ place 1 to 2 drops of the oil in a bowl of warm or cold water (depending on what feels good to you), saturate a washcloth with the water, ring out any excess and place over your eyes or belly.
  • Massage Oil ~ make your own by adding up to 12 total drops of essential oil to each ounce of carrier oil (almond, sesame and olive are nice choices) shake well and apply.  Be sure to use less of the essential oil if it is one that easily causes irritation such as cinnamon or peppermint.
  • Aromatherapy Spray ~ in a spray bottle of water place 10 to 12 total drops of essential oil to each ounce of water.  Shake well.  Mist on your face and body, in the room and on pillows and bedding.  Many essential oils are beneficial for skin depending on the oils used they can help to tone and moisturize dry skin or balance and cleanse oily skin.
  • Inhalation ~ Simply open the bottle and sniff!  Or use a diffuser to disperse the oil through the air.

There are many wonderful books on aromatherapy and essential oils which can help you choose which oils are best suited to you.  As you explore this world in more depth a good book will serve you well.  You can find books and essential oils on-line as well as at many herb and health food stores.  For therapeutic benefits be sure to purchase pure essential oils and not synthetic fragrance oils because synthetic oils have no therapeutic qualities.

Important…  Essential oils are very strong and concentrated.  Some are stronger than others.  They must be used wisely.  It is important to dilute essential oils in either water or a carrier oil (vegetable oil such as almond or olive) before applying to the skin.  Depending on the essential oil being used, you can safely add 10 to 12 drops of essential oils to each ounce of carrier oil.  Pregnant women, young children and elderly people need special care when selecting essential oils.  These folks will generally do well with 5 to 6 drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil.  When using essential oils, if you experience a burning feeling on the skin, this means the oil is irritating you.  Take a vegetable oil and rub it on your skin.  This will dilute the essential oil and should provide relief.  Never take internally unless working with a qualified aromatherapist.

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