Many of my Neal's Yard customers have been asking me for a reminder in how to use & dilute essential oils so i thought i would do a re-cap blog post that you may find helpful if just starting out with essential oils or if recently getting back into using them.
What are essential oils? Essential oils are organic compounds derived from botanical sources such as bark, roots, flowers and seeds. There are a number of ways in which this process is carrier out which i will cover in another blog post.
Essential oils are highly concentrated so they need to be blended into a carrier oil, lotion, bath oil or ointment base before being used on the skin.
*There are very few exceptions to this rule, the only i personally have experience of is using lavender oil directly on a sting to ease the soreness. I would highly advise you seek professional advice before using lavender oil in this way.
Oils can be absorbed through the skin and into the body so for internal problems like menstrual problems or digestive issues choose your suitable oil, dilute it as advised and use it in the bath or massage it into your skin.
For joint pains often reffered to as 'local problems' try a compress, ointment or local massage with your chosen suitable oil again diluted as advised.
For respiratory problems like colds, congestion & coughs inhalation works well (again remember to dilute as advised)
Creating blendsBlending essential oils can often have a greater effect than using them individually. To create a blend use 3 or 4 essential oils that meet your needs adding them one drop at a time to your carrier oil or choice of base product.
Creating a pleasing aroma is very much an experimental activity as we all enjoy different scents and each oil has different therapeutic benefits. Though research suggests that we think about using a balance of top, middle & base notes it is often a much more experimental approach that helps customers find the right blend and balance for them. I highly advise creating very small sample pots of different blends and testing them out to find your favorites and what work well for you.
It is important to consider the amount of carrier oil (or base product) you use together with essential oils, below is a guideline that i personally follow (this is the guide i was given when taking part in my aromatherapy course with Neal's Yard Remedies so is useful when using their oils)
For adults with no skin sensitivities (2.5% dilution)
10ml (1tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 5 drops of essential oils
20ml (2tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 10 drops of essential oils
30ml (3tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 15 drops of essential oils
60ml (6tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 30 drops of essential oil
Children over 2 years*, adults with delicate skin or when applying to the face (1% dilution) 10ml (1tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 2 drops of essential oils
20ml (2tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 4 drops of essential oils
30ml (3tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 6 drops of essential oils
60ml (6tbsp) of carrier oil goes with 12 drops of essential oils
*Remember to always seek advice from professionals before using essential oils on children.
*Remember some oils react to direct sunlight so do not use them on the skin before going out into the sun. (For more information on this research the specific oil you are going to use before using it)
Hopefully this post will prove useful as a reminder though please remember all the information above is written by me from my personal experiences and through my education from certificated courses & training. If you have specific health concerns, if you are pregnant or if you have worries about anything related to essential oils always consult a fully qualified professional aromatherapist.