ssential oils (E.O.) are all the rage right now. They’ve gone from something to add to your massage oil or something to make your home smell good to a real powerful force in healing and wellness. And for good reason.
The brain has a unique “blood-brain barrier” which prevents most molecules from passing through. Not only that but water soluble molecules can’t generally penetrate into brain tissue either, even when very small. E.O., however, are small enough to pass through the filter but are lipid soluble as well, thus allowing every type of essential oil to cross the blood-brain barrier.
“This makes them uniquely able to address disease, not only from a physical level, but from a more basic and fundamental level-that of the emotions which are often the root cause of physical illness.” [i]
When using E.O. it’s important to understand how concentrated they truly are. “One drop contains approximately 40 million-trillion molecules. Numerically that is a 4 with 19 zeros after it: 40,000,000,000,000,000,000. One drop of E.O. contains enough molecules to cover every cell in our bodies. Sometimes too many oil molecules overload the receptor sites, and they freeze up without responding at all, when a smaller amount would have been just right. This is why we say that when using oils, ‘sometimes less is better.’ ” [i]
But how can you use them? Here are 7 common and safe ways to incorporate oils into your daily wellness routine. Find some popular RECIPES below.
Use 6-8 drops E.O. on a hot compress, in a diffuser or hand inhalation technique*.
*Apply 1-3 drops of oil to the palms of your hand (only with oils safely applied to skin), rub together & deeply inhale. This offers a quick and inexpensive method of inhalation.
We’ve found the best way to use E.O. in the bath is to mix them first with Epson salt or a Bath Bomb (recipe found below). The oil will be absorbed into the salt and then slowly released while in the bath. Otherwise it sits on top of the water offering very little absorption. It also can burn the skin or areas especially sensitive on the body. OUCH!
6-10 drops oil in 4 oz hot water. Soak cloth and wrap. Great for bruises, wounds, muscular pain, skin issues. Another option is to re-purpose a single socks and fill it with rice. It then can be heated and placed over an area where E.O. (in a carrier) has already been applied.
4. FACIAL STEAM
1 – 5 drops in hot water in a pot, cover head with a towel, steam face.
Using an E.O. in combination with massage can help the detox process as well as alleviate much of the soreness often felt the day after a massage. A general rule for dilution is 1% for children under 12 and a 2.5% blend for adults. A 2.5% blend in a 1 oz bottle of carrier oil would be approximately 15 drops of a pure E.O.
6. MIXED WITH AN ENZYME SPRAY
An enzyme spray has been used on its own to help with inflammation, pain and skin conditions. Adding an E.O. can help speed up the healing process that much faster. And unlike mixing an E.O. with water in a spray bottle the enzyme spray helps emulsify the oil and aid in its absorption deeper into the body.
Ultrasonic – Ultrasonic vibrations break the essential oil into tiny micro particles, dispersing the oil in a fine mist. These micro particles are easily absorbed by the lungs and brain for a greater therapeutic effect on the body and mind.
Nebulizing – This type of diffusion uses an air supply to break the oil into a micro-fine vapor. It works very efficiently and is often considered the best type of diffusion for the therapeutic use of essential oils.
Evaporative – The use of a fan blowing through a pad or filter which has had E.O. dropped onto it creates an evaporative effect. While it creates a pleasant aroma in the room it fails to break the oil into micro-particles thereby not being the most therapeutic option.
Heat – The increased temperature will cause the essential oil to evaporate into the air. While it will help create a pleasant scent in a room the heat changes the molecules of the oil, lessening its therapeutic value.