How to Use Essential Oils

Home » How to Use Essential Oils
June 10, 2015
Edward Smith



It seems more and more of us are wanting to use multiple approaches to our health.  We still call our primary MD or see an ER doctor and then pick up and use our prescription.  But for many of us, the next step is to go to our local health food store and learn more about what options are available for natural healing.

Essential oils remain a simple go-to that add another healing component to our road to recovery.  Essential oils can be used hand in hand with traditional Western methods of recovery.

How do I use the essential oils?

Essential oils can be used in two ways, topically or inhaled.

While they can also be ingested, this will not be discussed here as this practice shoulder be performed only under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider.

Which application method should I choose – topical or inhaled?

The application method that is best for you will depend on what you are trying to treat and on the effect you wish to obtain.  If you are unsure about which application method you should  use, consult an experienced aromatherapist or a holistic consultant.

If you are trying treat a skin wound or irritation, you may want to go with a topical application.  If you are desirous of the oil addressing an emotion or mood, the inhalation method may be all that is necessary.  Inhalation application can provide ‘fast action.’

Additionally, both inhalation and topical may be applicable to your situation.

A word of caution, while some essential oils can be applied topically, there are some essential oils that can be irritating to the skin if used directly from the bottle to the skin.  If you are a novice, ask your local health food store essential oil specialist if the oil you wish to apply needs to be mixed with another oil or with water before application is made to the skin.

How does inhaling essential oils help my health?

The hypothalamus of our brain controls plays a role in our hormones, mood, energy and drive.  Inhaling essential oils will trigger a response in the brain.  The brain communicates to the nervous system which in turn will impact our health, mood,  and even our perception of pain.

Emotional and mental health plays a large role in how we perceive pain and this perception does impact our recovery.   Emotional and mental health has also been found to play a role in how quick we make a recovery.

While an essential oil will not entirely eliminate pain from someone who has been in a traumatic injury accident, the essential oils can help the mind process the pain being experienced.

Inhalation, coupled with steam, has been useful for those suffering breathing difficulties such as bronchitis, sinus issues, simple colds and coughs.

Some essential oils have components that do relieve pain.

Options of Inhalation of Essential Oils

It’s not uncommon to immediately open the bottle and take a whiff of an essential oil while at the store.  Expose yourself to the scent gradually.  Many hold it near the navel area and gently move the bottle in a circular motion allowing the scent to waft up.  After you are familiar with the scent, you can inhale more directly.

A drop or two can be placed on the hand allowing one to inhale the scent from the hand.  (A word of caution, do not touch your eyes if you have an essential oil on your hand, fingers, etc.)  Depending on the oil, a few drops may be applied to the wrists, ears, or under the nose allowing one to breath in the aroma during the day.

Steam inhalation (great for breathing issues) can be achieved by place hot water into a boil with a few drops of essential oil.  Place your head about 12 inches away from the bowl while covering your head with a towel.  The towel should close the sides of the space between your head and the bowl.  With your eyes close, breath deeply the vapors for a few minutes.

Diffusers are easily available and simple to use.  Diffusers are great for children who are too small or those who lack coordination control (perhaps an elderly person) to do steam inhalation on their own.  It is also a good option if you are trying to diffuse the smell in a room.  This small device allows one to place a few drops of the essential oil to a small amount of water.  The device often heats up allowing the aroma to be released into the air.  It’s best to purchase one with a timer or an automatic turn-off.  (Do not burn the oil directly.)

The diffusion method can also be achieved simply by mixing the oil with water in a spray bottle and then spraying the odor in the room.  Shake the bottle before each use so that the oil and water are mixed when you spray.

Another method of dry evaporation, is to place the oil on a cottonball and keep the cottonball in your general vicinity.

Options for Topical Use of Essential Oils

Essential oils can be applied topically after being diluted in a small amount of water or oil and then applied to a dressing placed on the affected area.  Some may apply the essential oil/water mix directly to their skin.  Oil may be added to hot water and then a cloth can be placed in the solution, wrung out a bit, and then applied to the affected area.

Another method, both topical and through inhalation, is to disperse the oil in bath water before stepping in.

A partner or massage therapist can apply an essential oil during massage.

Gargling is also a form of topical use (for instance, for a person experiencing throat discomfort.)  Do NOT swallow the essential oil.  Gargle and spit.

For ideas on what physical ailments essential oils can be used for, click here.

As a personal injury lawyer, I meet people on a regular basis who experience chronic pain or severe pain due to their injuries.  As I previously stated, I know that an essential oil is not a cure to traumatic injury.  Nonetheless, essential oils can help people process their pain. An improved mood or decreased perception of pain allows a person to focus better during the day on other aspects of their life and focus on their recovery.  Improve moods also help injury victims have a positive outlook about their rehabilitation which can result in a patient that complies fully with their medical providers and prescribed at home exercises.

As a personal injury attorney in California, I find many of my clients are residents of Sacramento communities including but not limited to,  Rosemont, Rancho Cordova, East Sacramento, Greenhaven, South Sacramento, Carmichael, North Highlands, Rio Linda and the Arden-Arcade area.  I also have a great deal of clients from the nearby Yolo and Placer area.  Please contact me if you have been involved in traumatic injury and need advice on how to proceed forward.  We can talk via phone (locally 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 toll-free), in person or in writing (email: [email protected]).

I encourage you to get to know my office better by looking at the past experience my clients have had.  Reviews of the services provided by office can be found on Facebook, Yelp, Google and Avvo.

Image Attribution: By Itineranttrader (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons