Are you not sure why everyone is so hyped about essential oils?
Did you jump on the essential oil train without knowing exactly how to use them?
Do you use essential oils and are looking for ways to expand their effectiveness?
Are you wanting some simple and natural remedies for common ailments?
Here’s a wonderful resource for you! Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. When you start learning your way around oils, you can dynamically use them in many different situations to support health and well-being. There are so many ways to use essential oils: for your body, your mind, your home and many other areas of life. This article will not cover all the ways you can use essential oils; but this is a good overview to get you started.
**Important note: Less is more with essential oils. Using half the bottle is usually not the solution. The benefits of the plant are powerful enough to only use one or two drops, depending on the use. Essential oils are very potent; it takes several pounds of plant material to make one small bottle.
Check out my other posts on essential oils:
- How To Smell Your Way To Health: Secrets of Aromatherapy
- 5 Best Essential Oils To Conquer Viruses & Boost Your Immunity
- From Fake to Fresh – Why You Should Toss Your Toxic Air Fresheners
- What Is The Ultimate Essential Oil Every Mama Needs?
- How To Protect Your Lungs: The Ultimate Guide
- How To Get Better Skin: 3 Ways To Ditch The Toxins
- How To Really Clean Your House Without Toxic Chemicals
When using essential oils directly on the skin, in most cases it is best to defer to using a carrier oil to assist the absorption of the oil and deliver it into the skin. I would encourage you to learn more about carrier oils, as they tend to be the partner to essential oils (although often less glorified). Some simple ones I love are:
- St. John’s Wort (see more here)
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Calendula oil
- If you don’t have any of these on hand, coconut oil can also be used. (Just be aware of the fats being absorbed into the skin.)
You can use carrier oils with or without essential oils for skin care. Jojoba oil is particularly wonderful for the skin and is the closest make up to the sebum in our skin so it has a wonderful absorption rate. It is one of the few oils that naturally carries SPF.
Carrier oils also have healing properties in them on their own.
Massaging with essential oils is beneficial not only for the physical body, but also for the mind. Oils carried into the skin are absorbed into the lymph and can be circulated through the bloodstream to the rest of the body. The most common spot to massage is the back – in this case, oils can be absorbed into the spinal nerves and the benefits radiated from the spine out to the entire body.
However, you can also massage oils over a localized afflicted area. For example, those with thyroid conditions can use 1 drop of carrot seed essential oil with ¼ tsp of apricot kernel oil and massage daily over the thyroid. Remember, with essential oils, less is more.
My favorites: 1 to 2 drops of Melissa essential oil, 1 to 2 drops of Black Pepper and enough St. John’s we’re oil to massage into the chest or upper back area to ease anxiety.
Carrier oils can be used on their own as skin care (see above), or combined with essential oils to achieve different results. You can also simply add a drop or two of essential oils to facial cleansers, creams, etc. I would recommend doing your research before using essential oils for the face; there are some oils like lime essential oil that shouldn’t be in long-term sun right after application. See more of my natural skin care tips in this post or in my Goddess Glow online course.
My favorites: Pomegranate seed carrier oil combined with 1-2 drops of Myrrh essential oil to keep skin smooth, young, and rejuvenated.
Soaking in a bath with essential oils is a beautiful way to absorb the benefits of essential oils. Fill a bath with warm water. As the bath is running, scoop out 2 cups of plain epsom salt and drop 2-4 drops of an essential oil onto the salt before adding to the bath for the oil to emulsify and doesn’t float on top of the bath water. Add to the running water. Also add ½ cup of baking soda to help balance the pH. Soak, breathe in the vapors, and enjoy the benefits of both epsom salt and essential oils. See more here about how epsom salt baths are amazing for your health.
My favorites: 1-2 drops of myrtle peru, 2 drops of frankincense and/or lemongrass essential oil for feel-good relaxation.
Hair needs both hydration and moisture. Hydration comes from water and the hair’s ability to retain it (depending on its porosity and how clean your shower water is), and moisture can help to lock in the hydration.
Your hair has its own built-in moisturizing mechanism via the sebum from your scalp, but most people wash this glorious moisturizer out when they use detergents to cleanse their hair.
There are so many oils that can help moisturize the hair. Many of them are carrier oils.
Essential oils can be added to carrier oils to help the health of your scalp and hair for many situations and the scalp has different needs than the hair. Some people need essential oils for hair growth stimulation, some need certain oils for dermatitis, some need to fight lice naturally, and others simply need their hair moisturized and protected.
Oils have heating points too. If you are using oils in your hair with a low heat point and then curling your hair with a hot iron, you could be COOKING your hair!
A great example of the scalp needing one thing versus another:
For a simple hair conditioner use fractionated coconut oil. It is more easily absorbed into the hair shaft whereas some hair types that use regular coconut oil can start to feel dry after it builds up on the hair.
For skin issues with a fungal disruption, regular coconut oil helps on the scalp.
Fractionated coconut oil has a different structure from its manufacturing process and can stay liquid at room temperature. It has had the long chain fatty acids removed and no longer contains lauric acid.
The lauric acid in regular coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that the scalp may require.
You can also simply add 1-2 drops of essential oil into your shampoo or conditioner.
My favorite: Lavender is an all around safe oil for many people, plus it makes your shower time divine.
Wounds, bee stings, burns, oh my! Essential oils can assist with these and much more. Oils have come to my family’s rescue many times with three active boys and an adventurous husband. I never leave the house without yarrow, an incredible oil with almost magical properties that can stop a gushing blood flow. (See more about why it’s an “essential” essential oil that every mama should have here.) Learning more about oils and their properties can assist with knowing how to use them for remedies.
My favorite: For a burn – 1 or 2 drops of lavender, chamomile, or geranium (or all three) directly onto the burn will assist in healing. Lavender will lessen the “sting” of the burn. (Pssst – yarrow can also help!) You can also combine these essential oils with St. John’s Wort or aloe vera carrier oil.
The benefits of aromatherapy are undeniable and more and more are coming to light in research, confirming what ancient herbalists have known for many, many years. To find out more about the science and physiology behind aromatherapy, see this article.
What are the different ways you can use essential oils as aromatherapy?
The simplest way is to drop an oil onto your hands, rub them together, and then put them near your face and inhale. This works in a pinch and is the easiest to do as no equipment is required. The benefits of inhalation can be felt immediately – your sense of smell is the only sense that has direct connections to the brain (through the olfactory nerve). You can also find many essential oil necklaces or bracelets – or simply add a drop to a piece of cloth and stick it in your pocket for the occasional sniff.
My favorite: Rosemary for mental clarity and concentration.
Commonly used to loosening congestion, this method is perfect for supporting the body before, during, or after sickness. Pour boiling or almost-boiling water into a wide bowl, grab a clean kitchen towel, and add 5-10 drops of essential oil. Lean over the bowl so the steam covers the face, drape the towel over your head and the bowl, close your eyes and deeply inhale for a few minutes. This is a fantastic way to support the respiratory system in response to asthma, bronchitis, cough, congestion, colds, flu, sore throat, etc. The lungs are also supported by this method.
My favorites: Eucalyptus globulus, thyme, or peppermint for fighting viruses and clearing congestion.
Diffusing essential oils in the air is a great alternative to toxic air fresheners. It can also clean your air by killing airborne bacteria and microorganisms. Diffusing oils can also create different moods – relaxed, uplifted, happy, focused, alert, grounded, etc. After going through tons of diffusers, here is my absolute favorite diffuser because it needs no water and the oils hang in the air for much, much longer. The oils I choose to diffuse depends on what our family or our home needs at that moment.
Chemicals may get off the dirt and grease, but what’s left behind? A slew of chemicals and residue that research is now finding to be toxic to our health and even carcinogenic. It is possible to clean really well with non-toxic alternatives, and essential oils can be part of the cavalry. Many essential oils are antibacterial and antimicrobial – and on the plus side, they smell amazing!
See my favorite oils for cleaning here.
No one likes bugs in their house or in their garden! However, the deleterious effects of pesticides and insecticides are undeniable in the research. There are many, many resources for natural do-it-yourself pest control that are effective and non-toxic – and certain essential oils are very helpful to this end. (If you wish to use a pest control company, I would recommend asking for the ingredients in their products and using this guide to determine their safety. Always make an informed choice!)
My favorites: Peppermint oil is fantastic for keeping spiders and some other pests away. I fill a spray bottle with water, add a pinch of sea salt and peppermint oil, and spray away! Plus, it smells amazing!
Here’s my essential oil bug spray (rosemary hydrosol can also work well):
Non-toxic Natural Bug Spray
- 6 oz bottle of witch hazel
- 30 drops combination of lemongrass, citronella, & thyme essential oil
Add the 30 drops (combined) of the essential oils to the 6oz of witch hazel in a glass spray bottle.
Spray directly on the skin to avoid all insects.
I use Le Away from Butterfly Express and this kind of Thayer's witch hazel.
Bring the benefits of essential oils into your life!
As always, quality is of the utmost importance when using oils. Many companies will add cheap fillers or chemicals to dilute the oil and make it less expensive. However, instead of assisting your health, this can prove detrimental. After over a decade of testing countless essential oil brands – and after my son had a reaction to a well-known brand – the only brands I can recommend at this time are Primavera and Shirley Price.
These precious plant jewels in a bottle have changed so much in my life. I have seen them work wonders for myself, my family, and my clients for a variety of ailments and purposes. The more you learn about essential oils, the more applicable they are to your life!
Ignite the healer within,
P.S. If you want a discount on any of the oils from Primavera, you can use my code amberbodilyhealth at checkout if you wish.