The uses of essential oils in the home are endless and can be easily incorporated into everyday living in a variety of different ways.
Whether you would like to enjoy a relaxing bath, create a beautifully scented, natural air freshener or lavish a rich moisturising oil all over your body, essential oils offer the perfect opportunity to create your own lotions and potions.
Here are 5 popular ways to use essential oils at home.
1. In the Bath
This is probably the easiest and most effective way to implement aromatherapy into your lifestyle and is a perfect place for beginners to start.
The relaxing warm water complements the oil and can provide relief from;
- Stress-related conditions
- Tension and anxiety
- Muscle pain and stiffness
Keep in mind though, essential oils do not dissolve in water and should therefore be mixed with a carrier oil or a small amount of unperfumed soap or shower gel.
To use essential oils in the bath;
- Run a hot bath (but not too hot) and close all doors and windows (to contain the scent).
- Add appropriate drops of essential oil to 10mls of carrier oil.
- Add the blend to the water. Use your hand, to swirl the water around to disperse the oils.
- Sit back, soak and relax.
Massage in its own right offers many fantastic benefits to both our body and mind, but when you throw essential oils into the mix, these benefits are dramatically enhanced.
An aromatherapy massage is effective in;
- Promoting a good night’s sleep
- Reducing stress and tension in the body
- Improving circulation which in turn eliminates toxins from the body at a faster rate
- Reducing inflammation
- Soothing dry, itchy, irritated skin
- Helping to fight signs of ageing
The essential oils should be blended with a carrier oil and while some dilutions will contain less or more essential oils, the following dilutions can be used as a guideline;
|Treatment Area||No. of Drops of Essential Oil||Quantity of Carrier Oil|
|Skin Care (Face & Neck Massage)||4 – 10||15ml (1 tablespoon)|
|Specific Area, e.g. hand or elbow||4 – 10||15ml (1 tablespoon)|
|Full Body Massage||10 – 20||30 ml (2 tablespoons)|
A compress is a piece of material, typically a muslin cloth or a soft face cloth, that is soaked in either hot or cold water and applied directly to a specific part of the body.
A cold compress is traditionally used to treat localised swelling, joint sprains, headaches and insect bites.
A hot compress is more suitable for muscular aches and pains, earaches, toothaches and menstrual cramps.
To make a compress;
- Fill a bowl with 200 ml of hot or cold water.
- Add 5 – 8 drops of the chosen essential oil.
- Soak the muslin/face cloth in the bowl of water for approximately 60 seconds. Make sure the material is completely saturated.
- Remove the material, squeeze out any excess water and apply over the affected area.
- Hold the compress in place by using either your hand or wrapping a bandage or cling film around it.
- Leave in place for approximately 2 hours.
- Remove and repeat as often as necessary.
Adding essential oils to a bowl of steaming water is a potent way to treat upper respiratory tract disorders such as colds, flu, sinusitis or blocked nose. This is not recommended for asthmatics.
It is also an effective way to treat oily skin, helping to unclog pores, remove excess sebum from the skin and brighten the complexion.
To make a stream inhalation;
- Fill a large bowl with boiling water.
- Add 4 – 8 drops of your chosen oil.
- Lean over the bowl with a towel covering your head in such a way that the sides are closed over (this helps to seal the aroma). Do not lean too close as you could burn yourself.
- Close your eyes and breathe through your nose for 4 – 5 minutes. Take deep, slow breaths.
Vaporising or Diffusing essential oils involves vaporising the oils in a variety of devices into the surrounding air.
One of the most popular devices is a ceramic vaporizer or burner. At the top of the burner, there is a small bowl (for water and essential oils) and at the bottom, there is an area where you place a small candle.
The heat from the candle evaporates the water above, creating an aroma that dissipates around the room.
Burners can be used to;
- Relax and calm
Vaporising or diffusing essential oils can be a great way to create mental clarity. By vaporising the oil into the air using a ceramic vaporizer or burner, you are able to easily release the oils’ natural aromatic compounds into your environment. The heat from the candle below evaporates the water in the bowl at the top of
- Strengthen focus and concentration
- Act as an insect repellent
Other popular methods of vaporising include using a plug-in diffuser, using a light bulb ring or a warm radiator (place 2 drops of essential oil on a cotton pad and place on the radiator).
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