How to Use Essential Oils

Important facts you need to know before and while using Essential Oils to enhance your health.

Essential Oils are beautiful gifts from nature we can use to to help promote health and well being in our lives. They are highly concentrated essences extracted from plant materials. Some Essential Oils are up to 70 times more concentrated in oil form than they were in their original state-within the plants where they reside. Knowing this, caution should be exercised whenever using Essential Oils in Aromatherapy, to aid in fostering wellness in your life, or for others.

Caution and Safety Tips:

Keep Essential Oils out of reach of children and animals.

Never take Essential Oils by mouth, or internally. For external use only. If swallowed, contact your poison control center or seek urgent medical attention and have the bottle available for medical personnel to know exactly what was ingested.

Avoid contact of Essential Oils with mouth and eyes, eyelids, as well as skin around the eyes and with mucous membranes. If Essential Oils touch these or any other sensitive areas directly, rinse immediately with vegetable oil or other carrier oil.

Do not apply Essential Oils to open wounds or broken skin

Never apply undiluted Essential Oils to the skin, except perhaps, the occasional use of Lavender or Tea Tree. If your skin is sensitive, dilute these oils as well. To dilute, add to a vegetable oil such as olive or avocado; seed oil such as, grapeseed, jojoba or sunflower; or your choice of nut oil such as sweet almond, which are all examples of carrier oil.

Carrier oils are natural oils that occur naturally in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Carrier oils are unprocessed, therapeutic on their own and are very well received by the skin, not clogging to the pores, allowing skin to breathe and thrive.

SKIN TEST

If your skin is sensitive, first test the product by diluting 2 drops essential oil in 1 teaspoon full of carrier oil and apply to the inner wrist or elbow crease. If the area becomes irritated, dilute the product further, to approximately 1%. Nearly everyone can use natural plant products safely, but it is difficult to predetermine specific sensitivities or allergic reactions.

If you suffer from ALLERGIES, it is advisable that you carry out a PATCH TEST to ensure safety of your chosen oils. Test only 1 Essential Oil at a time and read the following instructions before you begin.

Be certain the Carrier Oil you use is safe by first doing a simple skin test with that oil, i.e. olive oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, etc. (See instructions for skin test, above)

Only after safety is established with the chosen Carrier Oil, add 1 drop of the Essential Oil being tested, to 1 teaspoon full of the safe carrier oil and stir. Apply some that blended oil to the inner forearm and cover with gauze, followed by a waterproof dressing, or secure plastic wrap over the gauze. Leave alone for 24-48 hrs. Keep the blended oil in a dark glass container with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool, dry place.  After the 24-48 hrs has passed, remove the dressing and check the area for any irritation, redness, or itching. If there is no reaction, continue this routine each day for 7 days in a row. After this, give your skin a rest and do not apply any oils for 10-14 days. Following the rest period, re-apply the same oil again and cover with gauze and a waterproof dressing and leave in place for 24 hrs. Then check the area, as any sensitivity will appear at this time. If a reaction occurs at any time during the process, cleanse the area thoroughly and discontinue use of the oil immediately.

Essential Oils are volatile and evaporate quickly in the air. Re-cap tightly and store properly, in a cool, dry, dark place, such as a closet or cupboard after use.

Some Essential Oils are flammable and should be kept away from open flames.

Many Essential Oils cause drowsiness. Avoid operating machinery or driving a car after using relaxing oils.

Excessive/overuse use of any Essential Oil can lead to skin sensitivity or the oil no longer having the same effect due to tolerance build up, so remember to take breaks from your favorites and change things up from time to time. Who knows, you might find a new favorite!

OILS to AVOID

The following Essential Oils are not safe for use in case of:

EPILEPSY

Sage, Rosemary, Hyssop, Fennel and Wormwood.

The following Essential Oils should not be used for people with:

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Basil, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme 

If you are PREGNANT or BREAST FEEDING please only use Essential Oils only following consultation with and receiving consent from a licensed Health Care Practitioner with good knowledge of Aromatherapy.

The advice found on this website, offered by HopeWind Health, is in no way a substitute for, or to replace the medical advice, of a Medical Doctor, or other Professional Health Care Practitioner, for any major physical illness, disease, or serious psychological disorder. In these cases please seek medical attention.

The content on this site, is for information purposes only and to compliment healing of minor ailments In the event of prolonged use or if symptoms you are addressing, persist or get worse, please consult a licensed Health Care Practitioner.

Storage of Essential Oils

Essential Oils are volatile and evaporate quickly into the air. Replace cap tightly after each use. They are also sensitive to light and should be stored in dark colored glass bottles and kept in a dry, cool, dark place, out of the reach of children and animals. You can keep Essential Oils refrigerated to extend their shelf life, which for most essential oils is approximately two years. 

Methods of Using Essential Oils

The 2 methods of absorption of Essential Oils are through the lungs and through the skin. There are several ways to achieve these ends to help treat, heal, enhance or improve wellness in your life.

VAPORIZING

Or diffusing essential oils in the air, is a great way to get the benefits of Essential Oils into your home and into your body. They freshen and purify the air, killing germs and depending on which oils are used, help to stimulate the immune response; lift mood; clear congestion; help you to sleep at night, or help the mind to focus.

There are different options for vaporizing Essential Oils:

DIFFUSER

Using an Essential Oil diffuser, add water to the machine, many have measurements on the diffuser itself, add 4-20 drops of essential oils to the water, or follow the manufacturer's directions, turn it on and enjoy!

If you do not own a diffuser, simply boil a pot of water, remove from heat and add up to 10 drops of your favourite Essential Oil or synergy to the water, for immediate effect.

As an alternative, you can boil a kettle of water, add 10-15 drops of Essential Oils to stainless steel pot or bowl, (do not use plastic or glass-nothing that could melt or crack). Place the bowl in the desired room and carefully add the boiled water to about 2/3 full. Your room will be instantly transformed into a fragrant space for you to love.

INHALATIONS


STEAM INHALATION

Add up to 3 drops of Essential Oil to a stainless steel pot or bowl.  Boil a kettle full of water. Add boiled water to fill 1/2 – 3/4  of the bowl, then breathe the steam in deeply through your nose. This method is especially suited to respiratory conditions such as cold/flu, bronchitis, sore throat, etc. For a more intense inhalation, place a towel over the head and surrounding the bowl, keeping the steam contained and inhale though the nose. Remember to keep your eyes closed!

You can use the same method of inhalation with less intensity, over a sinkful of hot water and a towel over your head.

Steam inhalations can also be used as a steam facial to clear skin and help unclog pores.

Caution: avoid steam inhalation in the case of Asthma. Please see below methods of steam inhalation, for details

AROMATIC BATH

“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day”, Hippocrates

Add 6-12 drops of your favourite Essential Oils or Synergy, to  1 teaspoon of milk/apple cider vinegar, then add to a tub full of water. The benefits with an aromatic bath are two-fold, as you can enjoy inhaling the steam while Essential Oils are absorbed by the skin.

Shower: add 10-15 drops to the empty tub, then turn on the shower and get in. Enjoy the effect of your chosen Essential Oils all around you as you breathe in the scents and their therapeutic properties. OR, add 3 drops of Essential Oil to a face cloth, sponge, or shower puff with shower gel and briskly rub all over the body-dilute the essential oils first in the case of sensitive skin. Rinse following application.

In the case of ASTHMA: 

Please note that steam inhalation may not be suitable for asthmatics as the steam could possibly trigger an attack or aggravate the condition. However, there are other ways you can enjoy the inhalation of Essential Oils and their benefits, such as:

Add 3 drops of Essential Oil to a cotton ball and keep in a small glass jar with a lid. Open and inhale through the nose anytime you feel the need.

Add 1-2 drops of Essential Oil on a tissue and breathe deeply through the nose as needed.

3-5 drops Essential Oil on a make up remover pad, (the round cotton disc type), then slip the pad into your pillow case to inhale through the night while you sleep.

CREAM, LOTION AND HAIR CARE

Essential Oils can be added to unscented body lotions and cream and as well, to unscented shower gel, shampoo, or conditioner.

Use 2-3 drops per use of the usual amount of product you use on the body or the hair, OR, add

8 – 10 drops for every ounce (30 ml) of hair care product or body moisturizer.

In the case of Essential Oils to be used on the face, dilute further, using only up to 2-3 drops per Tablespoon

Massage and Body Oil: Add 15 – 20 drops of Essential Oils to 1oz (30 mls) carrier oil. For sensitive skin, dilute further to a ratio of 7 or 8 drops to 1 oz (30 mls) carrier oil. In the case of Essential Oils to be used on the face, dilute further, to 1%. See blending chart below for details.

Hot/Cold Compress: Add 6 – 8 drops of Essential Oil to a bowl of water. Soak a face cloth in the water and apply to injured or sore part of the body. In the case of sensitive skin, first apply a carrier oil to the injured area. A hot compress is best suited to muscular discomfort, long sanding injuries menstrual cramps and toothaches. Cold compresses are best for  headaches, fever, bruised skin, inflammation, swollen areas and sprains.

PERFUME:

Blend Essential Oils with carrier oil for perfume. Use 5 – 15 drops of Essential Oil for every tablespoon of Carrier Oil. Dab a small amount on pulse areas of the skin, inner wrists, chest, neck, etc.

AROUND the HOUSE:

Use with Candles: burn candle until there is a melted pool of wax. Distinguish flame. Be certain it is out completely, before adding 1-4 drops of Essential Oil to melted wax. Wait a couple of moments then light again and delight in the fragrance! Bees wax candles are an excellent option for this method as they are natural and slow burning. Trim your candle wick to keep the flame close to the scent.

Place a cotton ball with 3-5 drops of your favourite Essential Oil(s) inside a drawstring pouch made of cheesecloth. Use the pouch to refresh drawers or cupboards.

Scent a pinecone with 5-8 drops of Essential Oil and place on a shelf or plate on a table.

To freshen your carpet, add 3-5 drops Essential Oil to a cotton ball and place into the vacuum bag.

Combine 2 oz (60 mls) of water and 2 oz of vinegar in a spray bottle, then add 30-60 drops Essential Oil and use for cleaning glass. Eucalyptus, Lemon and Tea Tree are all effective cleansers.

Jacuzzi or Hot Tub: Before you get into the hot tub, add 10 drops Essential Oil to 1 Tablespoon (15 mls) apple cider vinegar, then add to your hot tub with jets on. Turn jets off after about 10 seconds to avoid any oil being splashed into your eyes, get in and enjoy. Never use any carrier oil in a hot tub as it can clog the filter and damage the mechanics of the tub.

On the Road: Fill a small spray bottle 3/4 full of filtered water and 5-10 drops of your favourite Essential Oil or Synergy to the water and keep it with you in the car to freshen your  vehicle and keep your mind alert while driving. Shake the bottle each time to disperse the oils before use. Be certain to use Essential Oils that are stimulating rather than sedating and spray before you drive so you can fully concentrate on the road!

BLENDING CHART

Percentage In Blend Drops of Essential Oil Teaspoons (5mls) Carrier Oil
0.5 1 2
1 1 1
2 2 1
3 3  1

 

Use only a 0.5-1% dilution for facial oils, children, the elderly, those in fragile health, or with sensitive skin.

Do not exceed 1% if using in pregnancy and only AFTER the 1st trimester of pregnancy, with permission of a professional Health Care Practitioner with good knowledge of Aromatherapy.

For adults without sensitivities, Use up to a 3% dilution.

Be Healthy, Be Happy

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