There are several ways to experience the effects of Aromatherapy. The best effects can be had at bedtime. Bedtime is a good time for inhaling aromas, since the various sights and sounds of the day tend to overcome smells and block their way.
Massage: Massage itself is nurturing and a therapeutic. Use of essential oils in massage further accelerates the healing response of the body.
How to use essential oils in massage:
For adults - dilute 5 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of a cold compressed vegetable carrier oil such as grape seed oil, sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Use half the strength for children under seven and quarter the strength for children under three. The only essential oils suitable
for babies are chamomile, rose and lavender. Use only 1 drop to 1 teaspoon of oil for babies.
Bathing: Fill the bath with lukewarm water before you add the oil. For adults use 5-10 drops of essential oil to a full bath. Use less than 4 drops for children over 2 and 1 drop for babies.
Steam Inhalation: Inhalations are most beneficial for respiratory problems. Add 3-4 drops/6-12 drops of oils to a bowl of boiling water. Bend over the bowl, cover your head with a towel and breath deeply for a few minutes. You can also use this method as a facial sauna.
Vaporizers: These can be electric or ceramic rings that are heated by a light bulb. However, the most common form are ceramic pots warmed by a small candle. They are a natural way to scent, deodorize, or disinfect a room and are one of the best ways to use oils for enhancing mood and balancing the mind.
Using essential oils for vaporizers:
Add water and 6-8 drops of oil to the vaporizer. Alternatively add the oils to a bowl of water and place by a radiator.
Cream, Lotions, Shampoos and Gels: One of the best ways to use oils for skin care and chronic skin complaints is to add them to cream or lotion. This is more convenient and less greasy than massage, and it also means that the oils can be applied when needed to wounds, bruises, or itchy skin. Adding oils to shampoos helps with everyday hair-care problem. Using essential oils with gels is excellent for overcoming fatigue and hangovers.
Gargles and mouth wash: Although essential oils should not be swallowed, mouthwashes and gargles are an excellent way to use antiseptic oils to treat mouth ulcers, gum diseases, throat infections, and bad breath. These methods are NOT suitable for children.
Dilute 4-5 drops of essential oils in a teaspoon of brandy. Mix into a glass of warm water and swish around in the mouth or use as gargle. Do not swallow.
Hot and Cold Compresses: Compresses are effective ways of using essential oils to relieve pain and inflammation. They can either be hot or cold and even hot and cold together. Hot compresses are effective for muscle pain, arthritis, rheumatism, toothache, earache, boils and abscesses. Cold compresses benefit headaches, sprains and swelling.
Making compresses: Add 4-5 drops of essential oils to a bowl of hot or cold water, soak a folded clean cotton cloth in the water, ring the water out and apply the cloth over the affected area. If using a hot compress, cover with a warm towel and repeat when it cools.
WARNING : Never take aromatherapy oils internally. They are extremely potent and many can be poisonous.