Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor of their source. They have many uses, rather in cleaning products, stress relief or other holistic benefits. They can be helpful but it’s important to know how to use them the correct way.
1. Listen to your allergies.
If you’re allergic to a tree or plant, avoid that related oil. Essential oils are extracted directly from those plants in high concentrations.
2. A little goes a long way.
Because of the high concentration, a few drops of essential oils can go a long way. Most should be diluted or mixed with other ingredients before using or applying directly to the skin. Essential oils can vary by brand and how they can be used so be sure to read the labels.
3. The benefits of aromatherapy.
One of the most popular uses for essential oils is aromatherapy. Different oils and scents have specific uses. For example, lavender and rosemary essential oils work great as stress relievers. Lemon and orange essential oils are great for use in cleaners, however depending on the surface they could cause streaking. A diffuser is a common way to incorporate oils with aromatherapy.
4. Use caution.
Be careful when diffusing oils around kids and pets as they can be more sensitive to the fragrance. Check with a veterinarian to clarify which oils can be used safely around your animals. Several brands also make “kid-safe” essential oils.
5. Do a patch test.
Everyone’s body is unique and may react differently. Test a new oil by doing a test spot on your inner arm to see if any reaction develops before using it in larger quantities.
6. Always keep a carrier oil on hand.
A carrier oil can be coconut, almond, jojoba or olive oils. The carrier oil dilutes the essential oil and is crucial when applying directly to the skin to avoid any irritation.
Use common sense with essential oils. When used in moderation and correctly, essential oils can be a safe and enjoyable part of your household routine.