Essential Oil Application: Internal

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“Internal use is the process of consuming or otherwise internalizing an essential oil into the body. Only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption, as other essential oils on the market may be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the following designations: GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe for human consumption), FA (Food Additive), or FL (Flavoring Agent). These designations are listed for each oil that is safe for human consumption in the Single Essential Oils section of [Modern Essentials™] under Oral Use As Dietary Supplement. Oils without this designation should never be used internally without first consulting a certified health care professional” (Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, p. 64).

Sublingual

One of the most effective ways to take essential oils internally is sublingually. This refers to placing a drop or two of an essential oil under the tongue. This allows many essential oil constituents to pass directly into the bloodstream, from which they can then quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed. Because of potential irritation to the tissue, only a drop or two should be administered at a time.

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Capsules

Essential oils can also be taken internally with the aid of capsules. By using a capsule, you can bypass the unpleasant taste of some of the oils and allow the oils to descend to the right area of the body before dissolving to allow for greater absorption. It is common to place 1–10 drops of essential oil inside an empty capsule. Because essential oils can be potent, you may want to dilute the pure essential oil by filling the remainder of the capsule with olive oil before closing and swallowing. Click here for more information on how to use and select the right capsules for you.

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Beverage

Another way to take essential oils internally is to add them to a beverage. This is done simply by placing 1 drop of essential oil in 1–4 cups of your desired beverage (such as rice milk, almond milk, or water) before drinking. When using essential oils in beverages, make sure to use stainless steel or glass water bottles and cups; because some oils can break down plastic materials, it is best to avoid putting oils in plastic containers. AromaTools™ offers a variety of water bottles that work well with essential oils. Some common essential oils to drink with water include lemon, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, and Protective Blend.

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Cooking

Essential oils can easily be incorporated into your cooking, as long as you remember that they are very concentrated. Usually only 1 drop is necessary, and sometimes even less. For more information on cooking with essential oils, see the section on cooking in Modern Essentials™ and our blog post “Cooking with Essential Oils – FAQs and Tips.”

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Essential oils can provide amazing flavor to many types of dishes! Click here to see a variety of cooking recipes that incorporate essential oils.

Vaginal Insertion

Essential oils can be diluted in 2–3 tsp. of a carrier oil, inserted using a Vaginal Syringe, and then held in place using a tampon. Consult Modern Essentials™ for alternate methods.

Rectal Insertion

Rectal oil insertion is often recommended to aid various respiratory problems and other internal conditions. A Rectal Syringe can be used to deposit the oils into the rectum; or the oils can be placed in capsules, and the capsules can be inserted into the rectum. Rectal insertion should be used when a higher systematic concentration is needed. This higher concentration is possible because rectal insertion avoids the first-pass metabolism in the liver.

Want to learn more about internal application of essential oils? See Modern Essentials™ for more information on internal use of specific oils and more.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 64–65.

Essential Oil Application: Topical

Essential Oil Application: Aromatic

Essential Oil Application: Aromatic

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“Aromatic application involves inhaling either a fine mist of the oil or a vapor of volatile aromatic components that have evaporated from the oil. Inhalation of the oil, or the aroma from the oil, can be a powerful way to affect memory, hormones, and emotions through the olfactory system. Inhalation of oils can also be a quick and effective way to affect the sinuses, larynx, bronchial tubes, and lungs” (Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, p. 60).

Diffusion

The easiest way to spread essential oils throughout a room is with the aid of a diffuser. When diffused, essential oils have been found to reduce the amount of airborne chemicals and to help create greater physical and emotional harmony. Only 15 minutes of diffusion every hour can provide the greatest therapeutic benefit, because the olfactory system needs a little time to recover before receiving more oils. The easiest way to do this is by using a timer that can be set to turn the diffuser on in 15-minute increments over a 24-hour period. Click here to learn more about the different types of diffusers.

How to Select a Diffuser: Diffusion Methods & Comparison Charts

If you are unsure about what oils to start diffusing, we have created various diffuser blends that you can try in your diffuser.

Direct Inhalation

Direct inhalation is the simplest way to inhale the aroma of an essential oil in order to affect moods and emotions. Simply hold an opened essential oil vial close to the face, and inhale. You can also apply 1–2 drops of oil on your hands, cup your hands over your mouth and nose, and inhale. Or place a couple drops of essential oil on a paper towel, tissue, cotton ball, handkerchief, towel, or pillow case; hold close to your face and inhale for similar results. A nasal inhaler can be a useful tool to carry around with you to use whenever you need to inhale a little oil.

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Hot Water Vapor

Though heat may reduce some of the benefits of essential oils, you can create a hot water diffuser by putting 1–3 drops of an essential oil into hot water and inhaling the vapor.

Vaporizer or Humidifier

A vaporizer or humidifier can also be turned into an essential oil diffuser. Keep in mind that the cool mist types are best since heat reduces some of the benefits of the oils. There are some commercially available diffusers that utilize ultrasonic vibration to vaporize water into a cool mist. These work well with essential oils since they produce a very fine mist that helps suspend the oil particles in the air for extended periods of time.

Fan or Vent

You can also use a fan or vent to spread the aroma of an essential oil throughout a small space. Simply put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball, and attach it to ceiling fans or air vents. This works especially well in a vehicle. Check out our Car Charms Diffuser or Clothespin Air Freshener for a simple, cute air freshener that you can make yourself.

Perfume

Wearing the oils as a perfume or cologne can provide some wonderful emotional and physical support—not just a beautiful fragrance. A simple way to use essential oils this way is to apply 1–2 drops to the wrists or neck. This solid perfume locket is not only a fashionable accessory that can provide a wonderful aroma, but the solid perfume can also be applied to the wrists or neck as needed throughout the day. AromaTools™ offers a variety of essential oil diffuser jewelry that can be used to provide a personal aroma.

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Roll-on Perfume or Cologne

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place the alcohol and essential oil in the roll-on bottle. (Use a funnel if needed to avoid spills.) Swirl the bottle and allow to sit for a couple minutes.
  2. After the alcohol and essential oils have combined, add the distilled water until the bottle is filled.
  3. To use, simply roll the perfume or cologne on wrists or neck. Reapply as needed.

If you want to try creating your own essential oil perfume blend, Modern Essentials™ contains information about blending essential oils (pp. 62–63). Also, each page in the Single Oils section contains a small section about the other oils each oil blends well with.

Want to learn more about aromatic application of essential oils? See Modern Essentials™ for more information on aromatic use of specific oils and more.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 60–63.

Essential Oil Application: Internal

Essential Oil Application: Topical

Essential Oil Application: Topical

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Topical application is the process of placing an essential oil on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails, or mucous membranes of the body. Since essential oils are so potent, and because some essential oils may irritate the skin or other areas of the body, they are often diluted with a pure vegetable oil (usually called a “carrier oil“) such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, olive oil, Jojoba Oil, etc. However, some essential oils can be applied directly to the skin without dilution (this is referred to as applying the oil “neat”). Several topical application methods are defined below.

Direct Application

Direct application refers to applying the oils directly on the area of concern. Sometimes it isn’t possible to apply the oils to the area of concern, so the next best areas to topically apply essential oils are on the feet, behind the ears, and on the wrists. These are the fastest absorbing areas of the body because they contain larger pores. When applying oils topically, it is important to remember that because essential oils are so potent, more is not necessarily better; 1–3 drops should be sufficient.

When applying oils to infants and small children, dilute heavily with a carrier oil. Use 1–3 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil for infants and 1–3 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp. of carrier oil for children ages 2–5. An easy way to make sure your essential oil is properly diluted is to pre-mix the essential oil with a carrier oil in a roll-on bottle. The roll-on bottle also helps make application easier.

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Use caution when creating blends for topical use. Layering individual oils is preferred over mixing your own blends.

Note: “Layering” refers to applying one oil at a time (i.e., apply the first oil, rub into the skin, apply the second oil, rub into the skin, etc.). If dilution is necessary, a carrier oil can be applied to the skin before or after the essential oils.

Massage

Massage is the stimulation of muscle, skin, and connective tissues using various techniques to help promote healing, balance, and connection. Essential oils can enhance the invigorating, relaxing, stimulating, or soothing feelings of massage.

Unless you are a certified massage therapist and have a thorough understanding of anatomy, it is best to use only light to medium strokes for applying oils and to avoid the spine or other sensitive areas of the body.

Modern Essentials™ outlines a specific massage technique that can be done using essential oils and includes instructions and illustrations of various strokes.

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Simple Massage Oil

  • Servings: Yield=1 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a small glass bowl, and stir to combine. Pour mixture into the 1 oz. plastic bottle. (Use a funnel if needed to avoid spills.)
  2. To use, simply apply small amounts of your mixture to the desired area, and massage lightly into the skin.

Essential Oil Recommendations:

You can use one or more of the following oils to equal a total of 15–30 drops.

  • Calming/Relaxing: Oils that are good for a calming or relaxing massage oil include cedarwood, Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage, jasmine, myrrh, or ylang ylang.
  • Invigorating/Energizing: Some oils that would create a more invigorating or energizing massage oil include cypress, white fir, juniper, lemon, nutmeg, orange, grapefruit, or peppermint.
  • Romantic: Some oils that can be used to create a more romantic massage oil include rose, jasmine, clary sage, or ylang ylang.

Reflexology/Reflex Therapy

“Reflex therapy is a simple method of applying oils to contact points (or nerve endings) in the feet or hands. A series of hand rotation movements at those control points create a vibrational healing energy that carries the oils along the neuroelectrical pathways. The oils either help remove any blockage along the pathways or travel the length of the pathway to benefit the particular organ” (Modern Essentials™, p. 48). Refer to our reflex hand and foot charts for more information.

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Auricular Therapy

Auricular therapy is a method of applying the oils to various points on the rim of the ears to effect changes on internal body parts. Similar to reflexology, small amounts of an essential oil are applied to the point before the point is stimulated with the fingers or with a glass Auricular Probe. Refer to our Auricular Body Points Chart for more details.

Compress

A compress helps with topical application of essential oils because the water helps drive the oils into the skin. There are 2 ways explained in Modern Essentials™ for doing a compress:

  1. Basin: Fill a wash basin with 2 quarts of hot or cold water, and add the desired essential oils. Stir the water vigorously; then lay a towel on top of the water. Since the oils will float to the top, the towel will absorb the oils with the water. After the towel is completely saturated, wring out the excess water (leaving much of the oils in the towel), and place the towel over the area needing the compress. For a hot compress, cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle. For a cold compress, cover with a piece of plastic or plastic wrap. Finally, put another towel on top, and leave for as long as possible (1–2 hours is best).
  2. Massage: Apply a hot, wet towel and then a dry towel on top of an area that has already been massaged with essential oils. The moist heat will force the oils deeper into the tissues of the body.

Baths

The concept of using baths to help topically apply oils is similar to using a compress—oils and water don’t mix, so the warm water will help drive the oils into the skin. There are a few methods that you can use to help you apply oils while bathing.

  1. Bathwater: You can simply add oils directly to your bathwater, but keep in mind that the oils will rise to the top, so it is best to avoid oils that could cause irritation to sensitive areas of the body. To add oils to your bath, place 3–6 drops of oil in the bathwater while the tub is filling. Soak for 15 minutes.AT-Bubble-Bath
  2. Bath and Shower Gel: Using a bath and shower gel as a base helps to evenly disperse the essential oils throughout the water and can increase the benefits obtained from using essential oils in the bath. To do this, just add 3–6 drops of oil to 1/2 oz. of a Bath and Shower Gel Base, and add to the water while the tub is filling.
  3. Bath Salts: Similar in concept to using a bath and shower gel, bath salts or Epsom salts help disperse the oils more evenly throughout the water. Combine 3–10 drops essential oil with 1/4–1/2 cup of bath salts or Epsom Salts, and dissolve the salt mixture in warm bathwater before bathing.
  4. Washcloth: When showering, add 3–6 drops of oil to a Bath and Shower Gel Base before applying to a washcloth and using to wash the body.
  5. Body sprays: A body spray can be used before or after taking a bath or shower. When used before, the water from the bath or shower can help drive the oils into the skin. When used after a warm bath or shower, the pores are open and will absorb the oils quickly. To make a body spray, fill a small spray bottle with distilled water, and add 10–15 drops of your favorite oil blend or single oils. Shake well, and spray onto the entire body.

15ml Spray Bottles

Want to learn more about topical application of essential oils? See Modern Essentials™ for more information on topical use of specific oils and more.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 48–59.

Essential Oil Application: Internal

Essential Oil Application: Aromatic