Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Some Ideas to Help Make The Most Of Your Essential Oils

As most know I love my essential oils and use them for everything from cleaners to soap to the obvious medicinally in lotions, ointments, massage oils, straight and in my aromatherapy nebulizer. Knowing how to extend and use them when I need them medicinally was a huge help. For this post I will stick to some tips on how to mix oils so that you can use them better and know how to mix them with a carrier and still get the benefits. Remember that oils, while used straight by a lot of people, can cause issues, burns, reactions and can be toxic if not used properly. Like I have said before, they are still medicinal so there are definitely things to be aware of. 

While this isn't a comprehensive "lesson" in how to mix and use EO's it does give a decent guideline to use as a rule of thumb to be more responsible in the use of these more natural methods to help ease medical issues that arise. I find I can extend my oils quite a bit by mixing with a carrier oil also, gotta love that especially when using more expensive oils!! 

Mixing oils is simple, first find the carrier oil that you want to use. I generally use Grapeseed oil due to it's faster absorption rate and natural vitamin E so that I can keep it longer than some other oils without adding Vitamin E. That is my preference but there are many oils that you can use as a carrier oil. This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a start. I encourage you to research which oils will work best for you. 

Some common carrier oils are;
Apricot oil
Sweet Almond oil
Jojoba oil
Avocado oil
Fractionated coconut oil
Coconut oil
Kukui oil
Sunflower oil
Olive oil
Grapeseed oil

(Some of the above oils can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions which I covered in my massage oil post.)

Once you have the oil that you are going to use for whatever need and have your carrier oil picked out then it's time to figure out the percentage you want. I was reminded of this from a person on our DƍTERRA FB site and was so thankful to have the reminder. I hope that others find this as useful as I have. 

Remember that if you are on medications already for any issue always run EO usage by your physician or naturopath prior to starting. Also, making sure to list any EO usage when asked for medications is needed to ensure you aren't using something that is contraindicated or could have an adverse effect on any new medications. 

Here is a general guideline to use when mixing EO's for use. This is what I use, and it works well for us in my family. Feel free to research and check if there may be other concentrations if you are going to use this for your family. 

Blends are generally not considered therapeutic strength under 3%. While I don't recommend or advise use on babies, a percentage of 1% strength is what I have seen used by others. For the elderly or frail a strength of 1% is generally used also. If you chose to use EO's on either of the previous mentioned I highly recommend contacting a primary care provider prior to using EO's on them. 2% is good for full body massages and lotions although I have gone as high as 4% for my husband due to muscle strains and need to massage and treat at the same time. 5% is good for small area or spot treatments as a rule of thumb. 

To mix a one ounce bottle the best tip I have seen is to fill a one ounce bottle up to where the bottle starts to curve. Then add your EO with a dropper so you can control the number of drops better. 

1% concentration is 5-6 drops/one ounce
2% concentration is 10-12 drops/ounce
3% concentration is 15-18 drops/ounce 
4% concentration is 20-24 drops/ounce
5% concentration is 25-30 drops/ounce

To do a compress you can use 5 drops in 1/4 c. water

A bath is 3-15 drops in a warm, not hot bath

If you are making a mouth rinse use 1-2 drops EO in 1/4 c. water

Using as an inhalant is 3-5 drops in a bowl of steaming water (not to be used for an asthma attack)

Sitz bath 3-4 drops in a bowl large enough to sit in, fill with cool/warm water

Neat 1 drop direct application 

In a aromatherapy nebulizer, 4-6 drops and diffuse

You can use more than one EO by just dividing between the oils until you achieve the amount of drops needed. 

Some oils that we use neat are lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil but using any oil neat can cause irritations, rashes, burns or allergic reactions so while we use them that way, I recommend getting professional advice first. 

Hopefully this gives a nice way for those of you that use EO's to use them more effectively, extend the life of your EO's and, like me, enjoy your essential oils more appropriately with less chance to cause harm from oils that may cause adverse effects. This works well for our household so I thought I would share so that others that are just beginning and not sure how to mix their oils can get a good jumping off point to doing so. 


For links to some of the oils listed above click on the picture. 


Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. I am a mom, I am not a doctor, I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have learned in doing these types of projects and through my research. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use. Always when using essential oils for a medical condition or if on prescribed or over the counter drugs, seek advice from a medical professional (DR./PA/NP/Naturopath/pharmacist) on whether the oils will cause potential adverse reactions. 

These practices are what work for me and my family, if you chose to take and use them I encourage you take my research and do some of your own prior to using the tips I give. While I do a lot of research when putting these posts out it generally fits into what I would do with and for my family. If you have specific issues, allergies or conditions these practices may not work or may be detrimental to what you are intending to do for yourself. Again, I encourage wisdom and discussions with your healthcare provider to determine safe use of all posts that I provide that can be used for health reasons. 

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