Massage: Blend a total of 3 to 5 drops of essential oils in 10ml of carrier oil to make a blend suitable for most adults; halve the ratio for children, the elderly, convalescent and women who are pregnant or nursing.
Bath: Dilute up to 8 drops of essential oils in a carrier oil or bath oil and stir into the bath water. Up to 6 drops of essential oils may be added directly to the running water, but this is not recommended with those essential oils which are irritants or for those people with sensitive skin.
Vaporizer: Use 6 drops of essential oils in an oil burner or diffuser to create a pleasant atmosphere.
Compress: Add 4 or 5 drops of essential oils to a bowl of warm or cold water, soak a clean cloth in the water and apply to the desired area.
Footbath: Soak feet for as long as possible in a bowl of warm or cold water with 4 or 5 drops of essential oil stirred in (preferably diluted in a carrier before being added).
Inhalation: With a towel over your head, lean over a bowl of just-boiled water with up to 4 drops of essential oils added – breathe normally for ten minutes. Use fewer drops for children and the elderly.
Try 2 drops of a relaxing essential oil (eg, Lavender) on your pillow at night to encourage restful sleep.
When studying or driving, add 2 drops of a reviving essential oil, like Rosemary or Peppermint, to a handkerchief or cotton wool ball and inhale occasionally.
Add several drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water and shake well to create your own natural room spray – avoid polished surfaces and plants.
Essential oils, if used correctly, are safe and pleasant to use. They are, however, very concentrated and powerful, so certain precautions should be taken. If in any doubt about their safe use or effects, consult a qualified aromatherapist or seek medical advice. Some general guidelines for safe use are:
- Never take essential oils internally
- Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes
- Seek professional/medical advice before use if you are pregnant
- Seek medical advice before use if you have a medical condition (such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, etc).
- If you have an adverse reaction to an essential oil, stop use immediately and seek professional/medical advice.
- Do not use essential oils undiluted on the skin (or in the bath if you have sensitive skin).
- Store essential oils in dark glass bottles, upright, at a steady temperature away from bright sunlight.
- Keep essential oils away from children and pets.
- Essential oils are flammable and may also corrode polished surfaces, rubber and plastic.