Many people start using essential oils a little here, and a little there. Perhaps your child is having a hard time going to sleep at night, so you try a few drops of Lavender in your brand-new diffuser. When that helps, you then take two drops of Peppermint oil in a Veggie Capsule to ease a sudden stomachache.* Later, in the wintertime you put doTERRA On Guard® on your feet to give you a boost.
Each of these examples of using essential oils barely scratches the surface of ways that essential oils are used aromatically, internally, and topically. If it helps you to see it, all oil uses can be organized into these three categories. Within these uses, essential oils are more specifically used in the following ways:
Aromatherapy, a practice that has been around for centuries, involves using the aroma of essential oils and other plant extracts for a variety of benefits. However, until recently there was not a lot of research to back up the practice. In the 1990s significant research was done that helped biologists understand more. These scientists could finally see how the scent of essential oils could make chemical sensors in the body react in ways that impact our emotions, mood, and general atmosphere.
To use the aroma of essential oils, you have a few different options. An essential oil diffuser is an excellent way to disperse the oil into the air around you. This is best when you are trying to influence the atmosphere of the room around you. Some oils also have air purifying properties when diffused.
Another option for using oils aromatically is by applying them to pulse points or palms for a personal aromatic experience. We will discuss other reasons for using essential oils on your skin in the next section.
To learn more about aromatherapy and how to use oils aromatically, check out our eBook, Aromatic Use of Essential Oils.
Beauty DIYs and Targeted Topical Applications
Almost all essential oils can be highly beneficial for your skin. Oils can soothe irritated skin, reduce the appearance of skin imperfections and blemishes, cleanse skin, and help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. While you can use an oil by itself, essential oils are often used to make homemade lotions, facial cleansers, and sprays.
Beyond using the oils to benefit the skin directly, you can use oils over targeted areas of the body for an ever-growing list of benefits. For example, you could use Deep Blue® on tired muscles and joints. Eucalyptus, used on the chest and neck, can promote feelings of clear breathing. Depending on the oil you plan to use, and on your level of skin sensitivity, it may be necessary to dilute the oil with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil before applying it to your skin.
Learn more about how to use essential oils topically with our eBook, Topical Use of Essential Oils.
Supplements and Cooking
Using essential oils internally by taking them in a Veggie Capsule, softgel, or in beverages and food offers some benefits that using them on your skin and in the air cannot. Essential oils are definitely potent, but backed by research and the appropriate dose, many oils can be used safely for many purposes. Oils can support the healthy function of your immune system, support gastrointestinal health, and promote healthy cell function.*
Some may wonder about the safety of ingesting oils. Because essential oils come from fruits and plants found in nature, we already consume essential oils regularly through the whole foods we eat. In this way, our bodies are already equipped to metabolize oils easily. And, just like food should be clean and whole, you always want to make sure you are using pure essential oils.
Pure essential oils will also be incredibly potent. For this reason, you also want to ensure that you are taking the appropriate dose of essential oils. Keep in mind that there are some oils that are not meant to be taken internally. Check your oil bottle for “Supplement Facts” to make sure the oil you intend to use is safe to ingest. All oils for internal use will have this on the label.
Continue to learn more about how to use essential oils internally in the eBook, Internal Use of Essential Oils.
Although it may not seem obvious, household cleaning can contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A clean environment is a safe and protective one, and using the right cleansers adds a greater level of safety. Essential oils are safer than the potentially dangerous chemicals lurking in typical cleaning products available at the store. Many essential oils contain powerful cleansing properties that effectively get the job done without the toxins.
For the best oils to add to your homemade cleansers, look for oils that possess “surface cleansing” ability. (Some oils are better at cleansing skin or internal organs.) Citrus oils are always a good choice, including Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, Wild Orange, and Grapefruit.
To learn more about essential oil uses for cleaning, see our eBook Cleaning with Essential Oils.