How do you use aromatherapy essential oils?

I see them in shops, read them online etc, but I’ve never really understood how to use them. Why must you dilute the oils, and with what?

Also, what sort of burner is the best – ceramic or metal ones?

Anyone expert on aromatherapy, or have step by step guides on them – I have yet to find a comprehensive website that isn’t trying to market their oils. I just need to know how to use them properly.

Thank you!

2 thoughts on “How do you use aromatherapy essential oils?

  1. The essential oils are very potent and to use them neat on your skin could cause damage. The usual dilution is 6 drops of essential oil to 10 mls of carrier oil. Oils have different properties and should be used for different conditions.
    I will have a look around for some decent sites and put them in later….;

  2. There is so much information out there on essential oils and their use…you just won’t find a single place for all of the information. There are many books written for beginners, if you really want to get to know the oils and use them, I suggest that you start reading and gathering information. There are differing opinions and some contradicting information, think about who is referencing who and the recency of the information when you come across that.

    Oils are for use as inhalants and for application on the body. They can be used internally as well be the very experienced and educated.

    You need to dilute most essential oils because they can cause skin irritation when applied ‘neat’ and you are less at risk of toxicity if you are diluting them. Dilution refers to when they will be used on the skin. If you are using a diffusor, don’t dilute. Standard dilution is 3-10% for body oils, higher % when used therapeutically. There are about 30 drops in a ml and 30 mls in an ounce. An easy formula for a dilution is total drops in carrier X % you want to make = drops of essential oil to add. One ounce of oil has about 900 drops (30 drops X 30 mls). To make a 3% dilution you add about 27 drops of essential oil to the carrier. 900 drops in carrier X 3% = 27. There are many different carriers, vegetable oils like Almond and Grapeseed, clays and salts as well.

    There are some essential oils that are very user friendly and can be used with relative confidence on the skin. These are generally the esters (a chemical found in essential oils that is used to categorize essential oils), Lavender angustifolia, Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Geranuim, Rockrose and Clary Sage are a few. There are many different kinds of Lavender and not all of them are esters, latifolia, stoechas and the hybrids have a lower relative ester content.

    The ‘alcohols’ are generally safe as well. Some essential oils that are alcohols are Sandalwood, Carrot, Tea Tree, Bergamot, Neroli and Bois de Rose.

    Aldehydes are irritating to the skin, Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass, Citronella and Cinnamon are some.

    Ketones are toxic and should only be used in treatment by the experienced. Rosemary officinalis, Eucalyptus, Cumin, Hyssop and Thuja. Ketones can cause liver damage and neurotoxicity. A concern with ketones is that they have a cumulative effect. Let;s say that an individual can safely metabolize 5 drops of Hyssop a day and they are actually using 6 drops a day. That means that on the second day they are getting an effective dose of 7 drops and 8 on the third and so on.

    Phenols can burn the skin and and be toxic to the liver. Thyme, Oregano, Clove and Cinnamon have a high phenol content. These are usually taken orally in a specific dose for a specific time period in antibiotic fashion.

    There are other chemical families as well as other concerns with essential oils. Some are rubefaceants, some are photosensitizing, etc… The information I gave you generally referred to the topical application of essential oils. These guidelines can be used for inhalation as well, although inhalation is a much more gentle way of administering them.

    Burning essential oils…don’t do it. Use a diffusor to disperse eo’s into the air. When you said burner, you may have been referring to a ‘duftlamp’, it is ususally ceramic and disperses eo’s into the air with heat from a candle. This is a suitable method when using very thick oils or resins, but do be watchful and allow them to burn.

    I hope that you found this informative and that you aren’t intimidated. You do need to be cautious and be aware of the hazards and contraindications of each oil that you use.

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