Methods of Application for Essential Oils.
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Methods of Application
Pure essential oils have a wide range of therapeutic benefits. The method of application can affect the results. Remember that almost no essential oil should be applied undiluted to the skin. "Normal dilution" is 2.5%, ie, 15 drops of the essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil. Less is more when we speak of these powerful healing essences.
Because we are so often asked "how to dilute"..."how many drops" etc., here is a handy dilution and measurement chart.
How to achieve a specific dilution:
For one fluid ounce (600 drops) of carrier oil:
The most popular way essential oils are used is through massage. Mix your single oil or blend of oils into your choice of carrier oil. (Olive, coconut, almond, sunflower, and apricot kernel oils are just a few good choices). Warm hands and a gentle touch using long sweeping strokes can relax tensions and relieve anxiety.
Massage is not the only way to use the healing gifts of aromatherapy. From a scientific stand point, the path the oils take to affect our bodies is through the olfactory system. It is by inhaling the aromatic chemicals in these natural oils that they affect our central nervous system, and cross the "blood-brain" barrier. The issue of whether the oils are absorbed through the skin is often hotly contested. Traditionally, aromatherapists believed and taught that the oils enter the skin during massage, but modern testing indicates this may well be inaccurate. Using essential oils in ways that allow you to inhale the volatile aromatics may be very effective. The choice of delivery method often depends on the intended goal.
Essential Oil use for Skin Care
For skin care as part of a deep cleansing routine add 5 or 6 drops in a facial steamer.
Add 3 to 5 drops to moistened clay, honey, mashed avocado, egg white, etc. and apply to skin.
Facial Oil Blend:
Use up to 15 drops of essential oil to your chosen carrier oil, unscented cream, or lotion.
To stimulate the skin and the lymphatic system,use a natural-bristle bath brush with two or three drops of a stimulating essential oil to the bristles (rosemary or pink grapefruit are good choices) and brush your skin, from the toes up to the heart, from the fingers to the heart, always working from the extremities toward the heart. Brush lightly but cover your whole body. This is effective either before or after your morning shower.
For sinus or bronchial problems
Add 5 to 7 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water. Put a 'towel tent' over the head to capture the steam. Close your eyes and inhale until water cools or until you stop smelling the oil. Repeat, if necessary, every four or five hours.
Use a nebulizing diffuser that will break the oil into millions of micro-particles. In case of illness, inhale near the "mouth" of the nebulizer. Only four or five minutes should be sufficient. Repeat every few hours.
Add 3 to 9 drops of your chosen oil to the water of the humidifier. Run overnight. Add the essential oils two or three times a day if running continuously. This is an effective method if using the essential oils with a sick child, since there is no risk of danger from hot water, etc. Please note- the essential oils can conceivably damage a humidifier
General use for colds, flu, sore muscles, relaxation
Fill tub, add 5 to 10 drops of oils, swish to disperse in the water. You might try adding the oils to a spoonful of honey, a small cup of milk or cream, or to your favorite carrier oil, and then adding to the water.
Add 4 to 7 drops of essential oil to a bowl of warm water. Swish the surface of the water with a cloth, wring out, and apply to area. Repeat when cloth cools. You may cover the warm cloth with a sheet of plastic and a towel to keep the warmth in longer. Excellent for topical application to ease pain from strained muscles, menstrual cramps, etc.
The amount of essential oil used depends on the purpose of the spritzer. To 4 ounces of distilled water add:
8 to 10 drops for the face
30 to 50 drops for an all over body spritzer
80 to 100 drops for a room spray/air freshener
This mixture will require a lot of shaking since the essential oils do not dissolve in water. If you add them to water without first "solubilizing" them they will float to the top of the bottle and just sit there (possibly dissolving the bottle if it is plastic).
It may be easier to first dissolve the essential oils in the same quantity of either high proof vodka or grain alcohol, then add to distilled water and fill your bottle.
Shake well, spray. May be used as facial toner, to moisten a body wrap or as an all-over freshener, or as a room spray.
Add three drops of essential oil per person. This may be repeated every 30 minutes. Be aware that some sources warn that the oils may do damage to plastic plumbing.
After a shower, apply 5 to 7 drops to a damp wash clothe. Rub briskly all over the body. Preferably allow to air dry.
Use a blend of Epsom salts (good for sore, aching muscles), Sea Salt, and Baking Soda. Add 6 to 10 drops of your chosen oil blend. Either add to warm bath or use as a 'salt glow' rub before the bath. Adding a spoonful of your favorite carrier oil to the salt glow leaves your skin feeling soft and silky, but makes the tub harder to clean.
Essential Oils may be added to the washing machine, or a few drops put on a cotton cloth and added to the dryer. If using in the washer, the warnings above about possible damage to plastic or hard rubber parts would apply.
Adding a teaspoon of lemon oil to the washer will remove greasy/oily smells. (A great trick for Massage .therapists!)
Research indicates that adding eucalyptus to the washing machine MAY kill dust mites in bedding.
Lavender oil in the dryer can scent bed linens
To really preserve the scent of essential oils used in the dryer, add them at the end of the drying cycle and run on a 'no heat' cycle for a few minutes.
Use lemon or grapefruit oil, possibly with a touch of tea tree oil added, to the water your cleaning water. Wipe down kitchen counters and your bathroom with these cleansing, germicidal oils. Lemon oil in water does a wonderful job cleaning the bathroom mirror, as well as all the fixtures.
Lemon Oil is a great grease cutter- add a few drops to the dish water.
Either add a drop or two of a citrus, spice, or floral essential oil to a cup of honey. Mix well and let stand, or put a couple of drops of the same oilon a scrap of paper towel, lay on top of a jar of sugar, seal tightly and let stand for a week. This adds the flavor of the fresh plant to sugar for tea, baking, etc.