A Guide to Essential Oils

Essential oils have been an incredibly popular way to practice aromatherapy as well as keep spaces smelling fresh. Here is a guide to understand how to best use essential oils.

What are essential oils?

These fragrant oils are highly concentrated oils from plants. The oils are taken from the roots, stems, bark, flowers, or seeds of the plant. Because they are so concentrated, it isn’t always safe to apply them directly to skin as some oils can cause skin irritation. However, a few oils like lavender are said to be gentle enough to use directly on skin if it’s a small enough dose. Typically, it’s best to dilute the oils.

Dilution tips

One way to dilute essential oils is by using a carrier oil. The following are common carrier oil:

  • Avocado
  • Almond
  • Jojoba
  • Grape seed
  • Coconut
  • Sunflower

Use 1 drop of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil. This can be applied to the temples, wrists, or feet.

Diffusers

A popular way to use essential oils is by diffusing them. You can easily buy a diffuser online, but make sure that it diffuses the oil using water.  Some diffusers use other methods, but I’ve found that water diffusers are best to use. They create water vapor mixed with the oil to scent the air.

When buying a diffuser, it’s important to consider how easy it will be to clean. My current diffuser is made by Beautiplove and has been great, but it is a bit difficult to clean. If a diffuser isn’t cleaned, the oils and water can make the vessel a bit musty smelling.

Diffusers come in many shapes and sizes, most of this is up to the person purchasing the diffuser, but consider how often you may want to refill the diffuser and how much space you’re willing to let your diffuser take up.

What kinds of essential oils should I use?

You can choose whatever scent most appeals to you, but here are a few suggestions to start with:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Rose
  • Peppermint
  • Cedarwood
  • Orange
  • Eucalyptus
  • Sandalwood
  • Grapefruit
  • Geranium
  • Chamomile

When choosing an oil, check to see if it’s 100% pure plant oil with no additives.

Here are a few oil combinations to try:

  • Lavender and Cedarwood
  • Rose and Sandalwood
  • Tea Tree and Eucalyptus
  • Orange and Cinnamon
  • Grapefruit and Lemon
  • Orange and Ginger
  • Lavender and Bergamot

Benefits of common essential oils (source here):

  • Lavender is known help with relaxation and promote sleep.

  • Ginger can relieve motion sickness.

  • Eucalyptus can help clear sinuses and reduce cough.

  • Chamomile aids in sleep, reduces nausea, and relieves inflammation.

  • Bergamot can cleanse skin and disinfect.

  • Tea tree oil can treat skin problems like blemishes.

Whether you are using essential oils to try and reduce illness or just make a room smell pleasant, this guide can help you better understand how to properly use these oils.