Essential oils guide: uses and properties

Uses and properties of essential oil

An essential oil may be –  to varying degrees – active and effective in destroying bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some essential oils contain healing, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, blood-thinning, or cleansing properties while others may stimulate the immune system, relieve pain, regulate hormones, and promote digestion. Furthermore, some essential oils help repel insects and parasites (like lice), and others treat allergies. Essential oils are made up of an array of different molecules. These precious oils offer a bounty of benefits; therefore, they are increasingly used for their healthful properties which have a positive affect on our emotional state and aid in calming, uplifting, and relaxing.

Every essential oil has its own unique fragrance. Some have a stronger scent when compared to other oils that influence our behavior and moods. That being said, the oils used in aromatherapy may be experienced in different ways, depending on the user. Some may come off as  unpleasant, while others are downright mesmerizing and plunge us into a deep sense of well-being! It all depends on individual taste and sense of smell.

Now let’s see how these essential oils are used.

How to dilute: essential oils guide

Please note: you should perform a skin test to detect possible allergies before using any type of essential oil.

Here are some guidelines (drops per application) you should follow when using essential oils:

1 ml = 30 drops

1 teaspoon = 5 ml = 150 drops

Depending on the type of application, you must always dilute the essential oil:

  1. Application on the skin: massages
    Dilute the oil with vegetable oil. The recommended ratio for the oil is: 0.5 to 3% for the face, 3 to 4% for the body (non-therapeutic massage) and 3 to 40% for the hair.
  2. For baths
    Dilute the oil with a base (bath gel or soap) or bath salts.
  3. Oral use, mouthwash, and culinary purposes
    Dilute the essential oil with honey, vegetable oil (olive oil, for example), neutral tablets, or a soluble dispersant. Only organic quality oil used in the proper dosage should be used in the kitchen.  Consult with a specialist before using any ingestion recommendations from this essential oils guide.
  4. Inhaling
    This comes in the form of dry (on a tissue), wet (hot water bowl), or an air diffuser. However, be extra careful as some oils do not spread or evaporate in the air and others can cause skin irritations.
  5. Rectal or vaginal applications
    Essential oils can be absorbed via the rectal (suppositories) or vaginal (ovules).

Understand your product

Essential oils are increasingly incorporated in everyday household and cosmetic products including toothpaste, cleaning products, shower gel, medicines, or shampoo. Many manufacturers boost product sales by claiming the use of essential oils when, in fact, there are only trace amounts. In some cases, the product contains no essential oil at all; therefore, always read the ingredient or composition list at the back of the product to be sure. Note that it may be be quite disappointing to find that many products are not as natural or pure as they claim. Detailed information can be found here.

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