Aromatherapy enters the body in several ways. When inhales, essential oils pass directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. When absorbed through the skin in dilutions, aromatherapy oils enter the circulatory system. If you carefully follow the guidelines for diluting and suggested uses, you'll be amazed at the efficacy of these plant-based remedies.
Essential oils must be diluted before application to the skin. Adding them to carrier oils such as hazelnut, grape seed, almond, or olive helps prevent skin irritation. some citrus oils are photosensitizing, so avoid sun exposure for 12 hours after their application.
*Do not take essential oils internally.
Avoid essential oil use in the first trimester of pregnancy. Later in pregnancy floral oils are best: rose, lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine, chamomile, and neroli. Safe exceptions to flower oils include geranium, mandarin, orange, frankincense, and spearmint. Use in 1/2 to 1 percent dilutions.
1 percent dilution = 5 to 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (best for babies, the elderly, or those of weak constitution).
2 percent dilution = 10 to 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (for general use). Do not exceed 15 drops per ounce of carrier oil.
Methods of Application:
Here's how to prepare essential oils before use:
- Massage oil: 2 percent dilution.
- Bath oil: 2 to 10 drops per tub (don't use irritant oils: peppermint, citrus, lemongrass, spice oils).
- Foot bath: 5 to 10 drops per gallon of water or herbat tea.
- Compress: 4 drops per quart of water.
- Gargle or mouthwash: 2 drops in one cup of water.
- Inhalant: 5 to 10 drops in bowl of hot water with towel tent; or sprinkle on hankie.