How to choose and to use....
How to choose and use essential oils
The essential oil you choose will depend on the purpose. Do you want it to help you lift your mood or do you need something to deal with a burn? There is no definitive list that determines which essential oil is used to treat which health condition. For example, while essential oils of lavender, chamomile, basil, frankincense, were generally found to have a calming effect and may help with anxiety while bergamot and peppermint oil are stimulants and can help people with depression, this is somewhat individual. Therefore, you need to be proactive about research and talk to qualified aromatherapists or other people with training in the use of essential oils.
How to choose a method for applying essential oils?
The method of application chosen depends on the desired result and the essential oil chosen. For example, some essential oils are irritating to the skin due to their chemistry. These would need more dilution or could better be used by inhalation.
1. Wound care most often involves local applications.
2. The effects of mood can be managed either by inhalation or by topical application. For quick action, inhalation may be preferable.
3. Baths include both inhalation and local absorption.
How to apply essential oils topically?
Essential oils can be applied to the skin using a variety of techniques. It is important to note that most essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin without being diluted.
Preparation of solution
As a rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier substance (vegetable oil or nut oil or water) in a concentration of not more than 3-5%.
This means that if you have a teaspoon (5cc) of body, you will add 3 drops of pure essential oil. This would make a 3% solution that could be used on one part of the body.
For massage or for application to large areas of the body, a 1% solution (that is, one drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier) is generally a safe concentration. For infants, it is recommended to use a 0.25% solution (5% for toddlers).
Note: If you use water as a carrier, be sure to shake or mix the solution thoroughly before application.
Which carrier oil should be used?
Common carrier oils are available either in natural food stores or in pharmacies. Organic and cold-pressed carrier oils are preferred, and examples include almond oil, apricot oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil. These oils do not have a pungent smell in themselves. They should be kept in dark bottles and a cold place until used and should be discarded if they smell. (Oils are usually preserved for about a year if cooled.)
For wound care, an ideal essential oil would be gentle on the skin and antimicrobial. Some essential oils can be used in different ways. For example, true lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) can be used on the skin for cuts and minor burns and can be inhaled to promote relaxation and sleep. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used insoluble on small areas of the skin.
What are the techniques;
The essential oil is diluted in a liquid carrier (water or oil) and applied to a bandage or directly on the affected area. Optional heat or cold can be applied.
For example, a few drops of ginger essential oil (Zinziber officinalis) can be added to warm water and mixed to scatter the oil, and put a compress (a cloth) soaked in the solution and placed in a rigid joint. Additional heat can be applied as desired.
Drops of essential oil are added to the water. Mix, then gargle the solution and spit it out. DO NOT swallow. For example, a drop of tea tree in a glass of water can be gargled for discomfort in sore throat.
Drops of essential oils are added to the bath water in a dispersion medium immediately before entering. This method results in absorption through the skin, as well as inhalation of the evaporated essential oil. A few tablespoons of whole cream milk can be used as a dispersion agent.
Remember, essential oils are not water-soluble. So they will float in the water and the skin passing through the oil will be exposed to full-strength essential oil. Bath salts can also be used to disperse essential oils. A relaxing bath base can be done by mixing essential oils (e.g. 6 drops of lavender essential oil) into about two tablespoons of salts and put it inside the tub before entering.
Drops of essential oil are added to a natural carrier oil and applied to the skin areas with gentle rubbing. As noted earlier, massage mixtures should not exceed a 1% concentration of essential oils (one drop in a teaspoon) for adults. For children, the concentration should not exceed 0.25% for infants, 0.5% for toddlers aged 6 months to 2 years and 1% for children aged 2 years and older. The choice of essential oils for massage depends on the desired result.
Uses of essential oils in perfumery
Essential oils used in perfume industries are classified according to their rate of diffusion in the air and volatility:
Base Note: these are the least volatile essential oils and last for a long time. These remain for a long time, including several hours. Some essential oils used as base notes are myrrh, vanilla, sandalwood and frankincense.
Middle Note: these kinds of essential oils tend to be spicy or floral and give body to blends. Their duration is shorter and they remain up to 1 hour. These include Ylang-ylang, jasmine, geranium, cloves and lavender.
Top Note: these are the most volatile and the first perceived odors from the aroma. Their duration is much shorter and remains maximum for 30 minutes. These include bergamot, cinnamon, wild ocypriot, etc.