Essential Oils: How to Choose and Use Them
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — 0 Comments
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the parts of plants – seeds, flowers, bark, stems and roots. They give the plants a distinctive smell and protect them from diseases and predators. They also play an important role in pollination.
In addition to the benefits they give to plants, essential oils are likewise beneficial to people. Not only are they aromatic and fragrant, they also have medicinal and therapeutic uses. In modern day, there are holistic approaches to health and wellness by use of aromatic oils.
How are essential oils used?
Essential oils may be applied directly to the skin or inhaled. The application method depends on the kind of essential oil used as well as the desired effect.
It is important to understand that many essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin without diluting it first. As a general rule, the oils must be diluted in water, or other substance carrier, at no greater than 3 to 5 percent concentration.
Substance carrier or carrier oils are oils that do not have a strong smell. Organic and cold-pressed jojoba, grapeseed and avocado oils are usually preferred as substance carriers.
In a hot or cold compress, the essential oil should be diluted in a carrier and applied directly on the skin.
As a gargle solution, the essential oil can be mixed with water. Do not swallow the solution, just gargle and spit.
Drops may also be added in a bath. This will work two ways: absorbed by the skin and inhaled. Full cream milk may be used as dispersant in the bath.
For massages, drops of essential oil can be mixed with a substance carrier and rubbed into the body gently. The concentration should not exceed .25 percent for babies, .5 percent for toddlers and 1 percent for children ages two and up.
Essential oils can also be inhaled using different techniques; in a diffuser with water, dry evaporation using a tissue or cotton ball, dropped in steaming water, and diluted in a water-based solution and sprayed directly in the air.
Whatever essential oil you choose and for whatever use, always be proactive in your research and consult qualified individuals.