Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that each have different and overlapping properties. Some essential oils have contra indications or precautions that should be followed but so long as you follow the instructions on the bottle you will find that they are invaluable to your daily life. By combining different essential oils in a ‘blend’, you can create endless fragrances that can have both physiological and/or psychological effect. Except for in a few cases, they should not be used neat. Essential oils should be diluted, usually into base oils which are also known as carrier oils.BASE OILS
Base oils used to be just that - base oils - used mostly as a base for the more active essential oils and as a basic moisturiser. Now there are myriad base oils available to us and we are far more knowledgeable about what they are capable of. Base oils come in many different weights - some are thick and viscous, some are light and some are medium weight. Some are more easily absorbed by the skin than others. They can be antioxidant, antiviral, help to smooth fine lines or even help to regulate oil secretion.
The rule of thumb here is approximately 3% essential oil to base oil and the way to achieve this is to take 10ml of base oil which is approximately one dessertspoonful and add 5 drops in total of essential oil.
RELAXING BODY OIL
5ml (1 x teaspoon) Peach Kernel
5ml (1 x teaspoon) Jojoba
2 drops Chamomile essential oil
3 drops Lavender essential oil
Here we want the dilution to be approximately half that of the body oil blend. To achieve this add just 2 drops of essential oil in total to 10ml of base oil.
FACE OIL FOR MATURE SKIN
10ml Red Rosehip
1 drop Rose Geranium essential oil
1 drop Frankincense essential oil
For children over 2 years of age the dilution for body oil is the same as for adult face so approximately 1% or 2 drops of essential oil to 10ml of base oil.
5ml (1 x teaspoon) Calendula
5ml (1 x teaspoon) Jojoba
2 drops Mandarin essential oil
You can add up to 10 drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water for inhalation. Place a towel over your head and breath in the vapours or allow the steam to cleanse your face.
For room fragrance you can add a few drops of essential oil to an un- fragranced candle where the little puddle of wax appears after lighting. Alternatively add a few drops to a damp cloth or absorbent paper and place on radiators or add essential oils to electric or candle vaporisers as instructed by the supplier. Usually 6 drops in total is the correct amount.
There are many ways to add essential oils to your bath.
NEAT. 6 to 10 drops into the bath after the water has run to stop the oils from evaporating. Swish the water around to prevent sitting on the individual drops of essential oil. Don’t have the water too hot.
DILUTED into a base oil. This is great for dry sensitive skin as it will nourish and protect the skin from harsh water. Use the same instructions as given previously for Body Oil.
BATH MILK use 10ml of milk or dried milk and add 6 to 10 drops of essential oil to it before dispersing it in bath water.
BATH SALTS add 6 to 10 drops of essential oil per cupful of un-fragranced bath salts such as Magnesium Salts or Dead Sea salts.
SHOWER add 6 to 10 drops of essential oil to the shower tray before you get into your shower. The steam will diffuse the fragrance. Alternatively, apply your Body Oil blend to you body before entering the shower.
TO UNBLOCK YOUR NOSE OR CLEAR HEAD Add the following essential oils to your favourite base oil, bath salts or milk (liquid or dry) or directly to shower or bath water. Can be increased to 10 drops in total.
3 drops Rosemary essential oil
1 drop Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
Add the following essential oils to your favourite base oil, bath salts or milk (liquid or dry) or directly to shower or bath water. Can be increased to 10 drops in total.
3 drops Myrtle essential oil
2 drops Cypress essential oil
1 drop Black Pepper essential oil
For Babies under 2 years of age please see our
AROMATHERAPY FOR BABIES SECTION.
Even though essential oils are not usually used neat there are a few instances in which neat essential oils work brilliantly. Use just one or two drops of neat Lavender or Tea Tree essential oil on cuts, stings or bites and neat Lavender essential oil on light burns. Lemon and/or Tea Tree essential oils are often used on warts and veruccas with great effect.RINSES
Fill a bowl with warm to cool water and add just a few drops of essential oil to it. This can be used to refresh and/or clean your face or body. If you have been in the sun for too long, add a few drops of Lavender essential oil to a bowl of cool water, soak a flannel in it and place on over-heated skin to cool & soothe.
SPOTTY SKIN SPLASH
Fill a bowl with warm water, add 4 drops of Tea Tree essential Oil. Swish the water around to dissipate oils and use to wash face.
As just about all essential oils are anti-bacterial, it is a great idea to use them to wipe over kitchen and/or bathroom surfaces, leaving them not only clean but smelling fabulous.
ST CLEMENTS SURFACE FRESHENER
Fill a bowl with warm water and add 5 drops of Lemon essential oil and 5 drops of Sweet Orange essential oil. Swish the water around to dissipate oils and soak a cloth in it to wipe down surfaces with.
Aromatherapy is not an exact science so quantities are approximate but with essential oils 'less is often more' so always keep this in mind. There are many more ways to use aromatherapy in your day to day life, this is really just the tip of the iceberg but it is a very good start.