How to Begin Using Essential Oils for Health and Wellbeing

The use of essential oils through inhalation, application to the skin, or ingestion is the practice of Aromatherapy.

Renowned for their antibacterial properties, essential oils have been used for thousands of years to treat illness and skin conditions, as well as for the pure pleasure of their aromas.

Essential Oils are most commonly used in a diffuser for inhalation of aromas, or applied to the skin using a carrier oil.

Begin with:

  • High quality pure essential oils. I like Ananda Apothecary's oils. Their website offers a wealth of information on each oil and how to use them.

  • Aromas you love, then try combining aromas together.

  • An inexpensive, ideally non-heat based, diffuser like Wyndmere's SpaScenter. Heat will diffuse the aroma but the oils won’t diffuse as long, and most oils start to smell unpleasant with before long with heat.

  • A carrier oil, such as Jojoba, for applying appropriate oils to the skin. Be cautious about using nut oil carriers if you, or anyone you may use the oils on, have nut allergies.

  • A few drops of an appropriate oil on a tissue and place near your head at night for insomnia or congestion.

  • Research usage for specific conditions, Aromatherapy A-Z (Hay House) is just one of many great books on the subject.

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Cautions:

  • Straight essential oil are powerful and can be irritating if not diluted with another oil.

  • Easy does it, even aromas you love can become too much. These are concentrated pure essences, go slow.

  • Just because you love it and it's natural doesn't mean everyone else will love it, some may even be allergic. Be mindful when using on or around others.

  • Again - Be cautious about using nut oil carriers if you, or anyone you may use the oils on, have nut allergies. I’ve seen clients run out of the spa!

Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils

I use Andanda Apothacary’s Wild Lavender . When I get a little too much sun, a few drops mixed with a teaspoon of Jojoba oil quickly reduces the stinging of my overly pink skin.  I've also had great results using it on the allergy related rashes.

Lavender is:

  • Mild topical anesthetic

  • Calming - great for stressful days

  • Soothing on irritated skin

  • Improves sleep

  • Antibacterial - often recommended for Acne

Use in a diffuser, or on the skin mixed with a carrier oil.  A few drops on a tissue tucked into or under your pillow works well at night.

Note:  Too much can be mentally stimulating, use just a few drops until you know how you react.

Lemon Essential Oil is my go to when I’m feeling sluggish

I've found using Lemon essential oil in a diffuser helps lift my spirits and energy.  It smells clean and fresh and appeals to many.  Lemon has helped me get through many days when I've had trouble focusing or hit my afternoon slump.

Try it in your home or work place to help:

  • Lift your energy without sugar or caffeine.

  • Improve concentration and mood.

  • Reduce feelings of stress.

You may enjoy mixing it with other essential oils such as Chamomile, Geranium, or Ylang Ylang. 

Purify Blend from Ananda Apothacary is my must have in the winter to help clear congestion.

Jasmine makes me calm and happy.

On my first night in India, many years ago, I purchased a bracelet of Jasmine flowers from a young man in the street.  Out of all the sensory inputs that India has to offer I remember the smell of Jasmine the most, well that and the crazy hot food we ate that first night.

It's a soft, sweet, happy aroma to wear.  Jasmine absolute benefits include:

  • Sleep aid!

  • Relaxing

  • Mood lifter

  • Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties

  • Antispasmodic

  • Moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties (soothes sensitive skin)

Dilute with a carrier oil such as jojoba, which will also bring down the cost per application.

Essential oils can be a great addition to your self care tool kit, I hope you find a few that lift your spirits and help heal what ails you.