Ultimate Beginners Guide To Using Essential Oils

Many people I talk with want to start using essential oils, they just don’t know where to begin.  Well, look no further, you can begin here!  

It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are standing in a health food store looking at all those bottles of essential oil and deciding what to start with.   It really is simple if you look at the BIG picture and try not to solve all the world’s problems with one product.

Essential oils are versatile and have many uses.

1.  Adjust your thinking – Bigger is not better in the world of essential oils. These tiny bottles are packed with power.  They are precious plant materials and one drop goes a long way. Forget about specific-use products like over-the-counter drugs designed to handle one ailment at a time. Essential oils serve a multitude of purposes, which you’ll see in the Quick Reference Guide. Instead, think of essential oils as supporting the body and bringing it into balance.

2.  Essential oils are highly concentrated and should be used with great care.  Stronger oils like clove, cinnamon and basil are hot oils and should always be diluted before using.  Thinner skin like on the face and neck may require the dilution of oils more likely than the palm of the hand or bottoms of the feet.  Individuals with asthma should always talk with a doctor before use and have oils applied to the bottoms of the feet rather than inhaling oils as this may irritate the respiratory tract.  If you get a rash after using essential oils, especially a Therapeutic Grade, it is often a sign of your body detoxifying, especially if you have used Petroleum Chemicals on your skin prior to using essential oils.  Stop using chemical lotions and soaps for a couple of weeks before applying oils to your skin, otherwise the Soles of the Feet are a general are to begin applying while you detox the rest of your skin.   Using any  brand of oils does not guarantee safety in usage as the oils may contain unknown synthetics or fillers that could irritate the skin.

3.  Purity Matters – If you are buying essential oils from the grocery store or even the health food store, there is no guarantee that your oil is PURE.  Look for a company that verifies, standardizes and tests it’s oils for purity according to Therapeutic Standards. If you purchase an essential oil to balance your body, and it has any carrier oil (usually an olive, almond, jojoba or other vegetable oil) it is DILUTED.  If synthetics have been added to the essential oil (often listed as “fragrance” or “_____” oil without the term “Essential Oil”, it is NOT PURE. DO NOT EXPECT THERAPEUTIC RESULTS FROM THESE TYPES OF PRODUCTS.  They are only for aesthetic purposes, and they might even give you a headache, nausea or other unpleasant side effects. I believe they have no place in a holistic home.

How Do I Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be Applied Topically:   Essential oils applied directly from the bottle are called ‘neat‘.  Oils applied with a carrier vegetable oil will extend the oil a bit more and is helpful for using the essential oils in massage. Invest in a good essential oils guide or an Essential Oils Desk Reference for specific information on each oil’s usage.

Common areas to apply oils are directly where they are needed: a drop of peppermint essential oil applied to the temples can help for a headache, Pain Blend applied directly to a sore joint for pain relief, or lavender essential oil can be applied directly to a burn (make sure to use only a  Therapeutic, Food-grade lavender for a burn, any inferior oil applied to a burn could make the injury worse).  Reflexology is the practice of applying essential oils to the soles of the feet which are the source of nerve endings corresponding to many points of the body.  The large toe for example, corresponds to the head and applying lemon oil to the big toe may alleviate a migraine headache.

Essential Oils can be InhaledSimply breathing essential oils may be useful for managing stress. Essential oils can be inhaled, simply from the bottle or the palm of the hand, or diffused from a diffuser. The aroma of  an appealing scent can help alleviate anxiety.  Synthetic oils should never be used for this as the chemicals may actually make anxiety worse.  Inhaling an oil would be helpful in supporting healthy lung function especially Eucalyptus , myrtle and frankincense essential oils. 

Diffusing essential oils is perfect for deodorizing and disinfecting the air.  A diffuser is s special unit designed to disperse essential oils into the air. Do not use a candle potpourri pot for oils because the flame will heat the oil too hot and change the chemical structure of the oil, YUK!  You could diffuse a blend of citronella and lemongrasss  to neutralize odors.  A cinnamon and clove blend or Frankincense would be helpful in disinfecting the air.  We keep our home a healthy sanctuary, clean and pure by diffusing essential oils when someone comes down with a bug.   It is also helpful to use the anti-bacterial oils like cinnamon and clove to clean frequently used surfaces like door knobs, light switches and faucets.

Food Grade Essential Oils can be Ingested. This information is not intended as medical advice but looking at essential oils as flavor enhancers for your food and beverages. Have you ever wondered if Essential Oils are Safe to Ingest? The fact is consumers have been ingesting essential oils for decades without really realizing it. It is only recently that the spotlight has fallen on the concept of ingesting essential oils as a true dietary supplement on their own, so ingestion should be taken with care and prudence, following the manufacturers guidelines. First, find a company that sells pure, therapeutic, food-grade essential oils that are certified by the FDA as a dietary supplement  so they are safe for internal use when you follow the recommendations on the label as a dietary supplement.  Second, if you are under the care of a physician for any medical condition consult with them before using essential oils internally. Some websites are recommending large doses of internal use of essential oils which is just reckless and unnecessary. Third, start small and just think of essential oils as subtle flavor enhancers for foods and beverages, using them in very small quantities like a drop at a time in a recipe for 4-6 servings- essential oils are powerful ingredients! Citrus oils are very gentle and easy way to even make homemade lemonade or as a simple flavor enhancer for cooking.   Some oils like lemon can be placed in a spoonful of rice milk or agave nectar and simply swallowed.   Lemon essential oil for example has been researched as an immune boosting ingredient. Drinking lemon juice in warm water has been used for centuries to soothe the body and even modern nursing resources acknowledge that lemons are beneficial as mucolytic and expectorant tools. Oils can also be placed into a supplemental gel cap available at most health food stores.  Internal use is effective for supporting healthy digestion with (Peppermint oil). Do not take any essential oils internally unless it has this Food Supplement Label on it!

Food Grade essential oils food supplement

Essential oils are powerful substances and should be combined with common sense.  If you have a condition requiring medical treatment, see your doctor.  The information on this website is for educational purposes only and Pure Home and Body LLC does not intend to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

Farrer, F. Making Sense of the active ingredients in cough preparations. 2011. Professional Nursing Today. Vol 15 Iss 2. pg 12-16. ISSN16076672 http://reference.sabinet.co.za/webx/access/electronic_journals/mp_pnt/mp_pnt_v15_n2_a4.pdf

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