How Do You Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils have numerous applications. Here are a few simple ways to include them in your routine.

DIFFUSION: Using a reed diffuser, room spray, or steam vaporizer, you can fill your home with the fragrances of essential oils. You can purchase a diffuser (various attractive models are available at major retailers and online) or create your own (instructions follow).

INHALATION: There are several methods for reaping the rewards! Apply 1 or 2 drops on a handkerchief, keep it in your pocket, and pull it out whenever you wish to smell the scent, replenishing energy or resetting your mood. You can also apply a few drops to your pillow before bed. Add 1 or 2 drops to a basin filled with 3 cups (710 mL) of hot water for an effective steam treatment. For 10 minutes, wrap a towel around your head and the bowl and breathe deeply. (If you have asthma or other respiratory problems, see your doctor before using essential oils.)

BATH Add 4 or 6 drops of essential oil to a warm bath with one teaspoon of carrier oil, milk, honey, or unscented liquid castile soap. You will benefit from aromatherapy while absorbing essential oils through your skin. However, some essential oils, such as the cinnamon leaf, clove bud, ginger, and oregano, can irritate sensitive skin and dilute or avoid using them topically.

MASSAGE Add 4 or 6 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons carrier oil (such as grapeseed or sweet almond) to make a pleasant at-home massage oil. If you want the oils to penetrate the bloodstream rapidly, start with the scalp, then move on to the shoulders, back, feet, and other areas.

COMPRESS Whether it’s puffy eyes or a sunburn, a cool compress is always a soothing treat for inflamed skin. To 3 cups (710 mL) water, add 2 or 3 drops of an anti-inflammatory essential oil (such as Roman chamomile). Soak a washcloth in the solution, rinse it off, and place it on the affected region.

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