Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils
Maybe you’ve heard the hubbub about essential oils. Maybe your neighbor down the street is all about aromatherapy, or your mother-in-law crafted some homemade skincare products she’s been raving about for weeks. These powerful little extracts come with all sorts of properties, and each one is different.
Today we will give you the low down on these potent liquids, what they can do, and ways to use them. You can use essential oils in essential oil diffusers for aromatherapy, skincare, or in a carrier oil topically.
Essential Oils: 101
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that include the essence (flavor/fragrance) of their originating vegetation. These extracts are created through a distilling process to achieve their final, pure form delivered in an amber bottle to you or your local stores.
Essential oils have therapeutic properties and a variety of uses. The most popular way to use them is by diffusing them in an aromatherapy diffuser. Most diffusers call for a few drops of oil and some water but be sure to follow the directions included with your chosen diffuser.
Other methods include diluting the extract with a carrier oil and using it topically. Some oils are photo-sensitive or can irritate the skin when used in a highly concentrated manner.
One of the great things about essential oils is that a drop or two allows you maximum benefits because they are so concentrated.
How to Get Started
If you’re using oils solely for aromatherapy, a set of oils or a blend is a great choice for you. For aromatherapy, you will also need a diffuser.
If you’re interested in exploring the uses of oils topically, internally, or as part of homemade skin care or cleaning products, then you’ll need to be sure you have purchased a high-quality oil that has been well-sourced.
There are lots of cheap essential oils on the market and if the oils are going anywhere near your skin or body, make sure you source higher quality oils like DoTerra or Young Living.
Types of Essential Oils and Their Uses
Some starter oils you can diffuse or use in other manners are rosemary, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, and tea tree. You can diffuse each individually, or you can use combinations like eucalyptus and peppermint, rosemary and tea tree, tea tree and lemon, or rosemary and eucalyptus to make your home smell lovely.
Oils like peppermint and lemon will keep you awake and alert; they are also great at helping handle unsavory odors around the home.
Lavender and eucalyptus are relaxing and great if you want to create a calmer environment or need help sleeping.
Rosemary and tea tree both have more earthy smells that are ideal for creating a grounding environment in your home.
When I worked in early childhood education, we recommended tea tree in shampoos to parents to prevent lice infestations.
When diluted and applied topically to places like the back of the neck, wrists, or chest, Lavender can help with relaxation and sleep. I use lavender each night before bed. Much like Lavender, Eucalyptus is also safe for topical application when diluted in a carrier substance like almond oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil.
You can add citrus oils like lemon to homemade cleaning products; rosemary is antibacterial. Also, it makes an excellent addition to cleaning products or as part of a topical blend for wound healing with a carrier oil and tea tree oil.
My favorite ways to use essential oils include diffusing and as elements of hand-crafted skincare products.
However, you choose to begin your journey with essential oils, be sure you purchase high-quality oils and that your selected oils are suitable for your intended purposes.
These little bottles hold a lot of power; start with a couple of drops as a little tends to go a long way. Enjoy your journey!
- What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work? – Healthline
- Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work? – Johns Hopkins Medicine
- How To Use Essential Oils: 16 Tips for Essential Oil Safety – WedbMD