Introduction To Essential Oils

Using Essential Oils

Two of the most popular ways to use essential oils are by inhaling them {smelling them} and by applying them to the skin {in a massage oil or facial oil}. To obtain the benefits of aromatherapy, essential oils can also be added to bathwater, skin creams, and lotions; used to scent bedding, clothing, and laundry; and incorporated into homemade air fresheners. A diffuser {a device specially designed to disperse essential oils into the air} can be used to fill an entire room with fragrance.

Inhaling Essential Oils:

Add a few drops of essential oil to a piece of cloth or a cotton ball. To make a steam inhalation, add three to five drops of essential oil to a pot of steaming water. Steam provides a vehicle not only for inhaling essential oils but also for carrying the essential oils to your skin. Position your face about 12 inches over the steaming water, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam for a moment or two. Remove the towel and take a few breaths of fresh air. Repeat the process for a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes.

Applying Essential Oils to Your Skin:

To protect your skin from irritation, always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil {a vegetable or nut oil} such as sweet almond, grapeseed, sunflower, olive, jojoba, apricot kernel, kukui nut, or hazelnut oil.

Aromatic waters are another easy and pleasant way to use essential oils on your skin. To make aromatic water, add 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. To use, thoroughly shake the mixture, then mist your body and face, being sure to close your eyes before you spray.

Essential Oils and Their Properties:

Essential oils are highly concentrated sources of plant compounds. Many of them have healing properties, but they should never be taken internally.

  • Herb: Carrot seed {Daucus carota} – Property: Stimulates and regenerates skin cells; good for dry and mature skin.
  • Herb: Chamomile, German {Matricaria recutita} – Property: Anti-inflammatory; soothes sensitive skin and sore muscles; relaxing, uplifting aroma; might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Clary sage {Salvia sclarea} – Property: Eases muscle tension and menstrual cramps; helpful for oily skin; relaxing, euphoric aroma
  • Herb: Eucalyptus {Eucalyptus globulus} – Property: Antibacterial, decongestant; clears sinuses and bronchial tubes; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens} – Property: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin; relaxing aroma
  • Herb: Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia} – Property – Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; general first aid; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for sensitive and mature skin; calming and relaxing, might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Lemon {Citrus limon} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal; helpful for oily skin; uplifting aroma; might help ease stress and insomnia
  • Herb: Peppermint {Mentha x piperita} – Property: Antibacterial; uplifting, stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Rose {Rosa x centifolia or R. x damascena} – Property: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin
  • Herb: Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis} – Property: Soothes muscle aches; stimulates circulation; helpful for mature skin; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Tea tree {Melaleuca alternifolia} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory
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