Essential Oils - How to Use Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy


How to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils may be used in many different ways. Trained medical Aromatherapists use essential oils both internally as well as externally in many different forms. This page takes a close look at how essential oils are used both by medical professionals and the lay person.

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Using Essential OIls

Essential oils are powerful substances that can be used in many different ways to achieve many different results. Essential oils may be used in isolation or in combination and used externally or internally. They can be diffused to make a room smell nice and welcoming, or they can be mixed with herbs and other essential oils to be made into creams or ointments, or blended with Base-oils such as Apricot or Sweet Almond to make massage oils.

The perfume and cosmetic industry also employ essential oils for their fragrances and several industries such as the food industry is looking at the antiseptic and anti-biotic properties of essential oils to use as natural alternatives to anti-biotics and other synthetic chemicals such as flavour enhancers and so on.

Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils

As mensioned above, essential oils are powerful medicinal substances that have many application in natural health care and specifically in the field of medical Aromatherapy.

Using Essential OIls Internally: Unless prescribed by a qualified health care professional DO NOT USE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY.
A qualified health care professional may use a single or a combination of essential oils to treat a patient's health complaints. However this is a highly specialised field and requires a complete analysis of a patients health and medical history.

External Uses of Essential Oils in Medical Aromatherapy

Medical Aromatherapy is the discipline that is most often associated with the use of essential oils. It is a natural therapy that at its heart uses essential oils to influence a patient's well-being and to treat specific health conditions.

A medical Aromatherapist may employ hand-, food- or sits-baths (hydrotherapy), inhalations, massage, or a combination of approaches to treat specific disorders. He or she may formulate a therapeutic cream for a patient that contains several essential oils and possibly herbs to help in conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, coughs, colds, eczema, dermatitis, cuts, bruises or any number of other conditions or disorders.

How essential oils are used will often depend on the condition being treated. For example, to relieve congested sinuses it may be best to employ inhalations of essential oil vapours, whereas treatment of an arthritic joint may benefit more by the application of a cream that contains specifically chosen essential oils.

Uses of Essential Oils in the Beauty, Cosmetic and Skin Care Industries

Apart from the therapeutic uses of essential oils, several industries employ them for their value as fragrances. Perfumes often contain essential oils, although most of the time these are synthetic versions and not the real essential oils, to create appealing fragrances. Similarly, the skin and personal care industries use essential oils to provide a fresh sent to their shampoos, soaps, creams, etc. However, again more often than not these fragrances are of a synthetic nature and are not the same essential oils that are used in Aromatherapy.

Using Essential Oils Safely

Oil diffusers are one of the best ways to safely and easily make use of essential oils. These may be placed in sick rooms to help deodourise a room or to help with symptoms associated with the common cold and similar conditions. 3 or 4 drops of Pine or Eucalyptus oil in 20ml of water placed in a bowl of an oil diffuser, for example, will help to keep a sick room smelling fresh as well as benefit a congested nose and chest. Using Lavender oil in the same way in the bedroom will help to promote a good night's sleep.

Another way to safely use essential oils is to put a couple of drops of a suitable essential oil into a bowl of very hot water and inhale the vapours. This is an ideal way to help clear congested sinuses.

Where to get more information

In our Resource Library on essential oils you can find a great selection of books that deal specifically with the use of essential oils and Aromatherapy. The books have been carefully selected and are written by some of the most well known experts in the field of Aromatherapy and essential oils. Authors such as Tisserand, Valnet, Gattefossé and others are represented and any of the books by these authors is an ideal place to start.


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