The Ultimate Essential Oil Guide
Which Ones to Use and for What
The whole subject of essential oils can often be confusing.
We are regularly asked … what do I use all these different scents for? … are they actually that powerful? … can I just put a few drops on my skin? .. and many others.
Here’s a guide which we believe will help breakdown some of these questions.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential Oils are highly concentrated plant extracts.
They are obtained by a few different methods of extraction. The part of the plant used will depend on the oil, but it is generally from the most aromatic area.
For example, for citrus based oils the rind is generally used whereas the petals are used to Rose Oil.
Essential Oils are all natural and it is often thought that they are unreactive and gentle. This is not the case. Essential oils, by their nature, are very potent.
They are known to be up to 75 times more potent than dried herbs.
Therefore, essential Oils must be handled with care!
A few drops can go a long way, and with a few exceptions, should always be diluted using a recommended carrier oil before applying them directly to the skin.
It is a highly debated topic whether essential oils can be ingested. Many experts agree ingesting essential oils is not safe and you should seek medical advice before deciding to ingest and form of essential oil product.
We do not recommend ingesting essential oils.
WHAT CAN ESSENTIAL OILS BE USED FOR?
Essential oils are generally used in aromatherapy, treating skin conditions, soothing muscle inflammation, massage therapy and many others.
The benefits of essential oils are vast and varied.
They can be used for general well-being, including emotional support, cleaning around your home, personal care, air freshener and fragrance, and many more.
Their versatility is complimented by their diverse range of fragrances. Some of the most popular essential oil scents are lavender, sweet orange and lemon.
HOW SHOULD I DILUTE MY OILS?
To avoid the potential risk to skin damage you should always dilute essential oils. This also allows them to work more efficiently.
When essential oils are exposed to the air they tend to evaporate quickly. By adding a carrier liquid, normally carrier oil, the evaporation rate is generally reduced allowing it to be absorbed better by the body.
Carrier oils are normally neutral based oils. Popular carrier oils are avocado, jojoba, olive, sweet almond to name a few. Even if you are adding essential oils to a bath, it is recommended to use a carrier oil.
The amount of carrier oil you should use can vary, but as a general rule somewhere between 1% and 5% is suggested.
For example, a 1% blend would be 6 drops of essential oil per 30ml of carrier oil. A 5% blend is 30 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil.
Here’s a couple of uses for some oils.
Promote a long and healthy sleep
Do you have trouble sleeping due to anxiety?
Studies have shown that Lavender, chamomile and neroli, if sniffed, can significantly reduce anxiety levels, and improve the quality of sleep. Moreover, it has been shown that the scent of lavender before bed can increase deep sleep, particularly in women. Try a sniff of lavender before bed, a spray onto your pillow or a diffuser or open jar with a diluted amount beside the bed.
The oils which are known to induce sleep are: lavender, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, rose, patchouli, yland-ylang.
Essential Oils which bring about a sense of relaxation and calm are great.
The ones which are best known to relieve tension and help with anxiety are: rose, sandlewood, orange, lemon, bergamot, frankincense, sage, lavender.
Gently rubbing a massage oil blend into your temples, which are pressure points, for around 30 seconds is a great way to reduce tension.
FOR A MENTAL BOOST:
When the afternoon slump arrives, how about a nice reboot?
Try sniffing a nice invigorating fragrance blend. Maybe try a refreshing oil infused face mist spray.
There are many scents which will help lift that 4.00pm drag.
Studies have shown that sniffing rosemary can increase memory by up to 75%. The special qualities of peppermint are known to lift and maintain focus, and also ward off burnout and mental fatigue.
These are the essential oils best for improving concentration: rosemary, peppermint, basil, cedar, grapefruit, pine and juniper.
FOR INSTANT ENERGY:
Here’s a great alternative to that extra cup of coffee.
There are many essential oils which have that ‘uplifting’ feeling.
Essential Oils with citrus in them have mood boosting and energy increasing qualities. They can help to alleviate fatigue inducing anxiety and stress.
Studies have show that peppermint essential oil can give a boost in exercise performance.
Here are some of the essential oils most connected with energy: orange, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, ginger, jasmine and spearmint.
SOOTHE INFLAMMATION AND SKIN IRRITATION:
Now on to some of the more physical healing benefits.
Many plants contain natural properties including antiseptics, antivirals and anti-inflammatory. When used in essential oils they can pass on these healing properties as very effective remedies for sore throats, muscle soreness, acne, and lots more.
We keep going to peppermint, but its cooling effects are found in muscle care products. Eucalyptus is another great healing essential oil.
Skin irritations and blemishes can also be taken care of. Tea tree is well known for its soothing properties. (great for zits).
Eucalyptus, and peppermint, are two of the few oils which can be applied safely to the skin. Just a few drops though.
Been in the sun too long? A fine mist spray of rose water or a lavender spray will generally work a treat.
Here’s a few suggestions:
Sore throat: rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, ginger, lemon, sage
Acne and skin irritations: tea tree oil, lavender, oregano, bergamot, rosemary
Muscle inflammation: ginger, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, chamomile, nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper
We’ve all been touched with stress at some time.
Instead of suffering, try this … Stress Less blend may gently sedate and calm the mind, helping to promote a sense of comfort and harmony.
Put a few drops of ‘Stress Less’ oil blend on your wrists, temples or the back of your neck. A great way to unwind.
Stress Less has these essential oils:
Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Orange Sweet Valencia (Citrus sinensis)
Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Ylang Ylang Complete (Cananga odorata)
Lavender French (Lavandula angustifolia)
Cedarwood Virginian (Juniperus virginiana)
Use: 3-5 drops in an oil diffuser or oil burner. 3 drops with 10mL of carrier oil for massage.