How to use essential oils?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Find out about them here.
Essential oils are absorbed by the respiratory mucous membrane, but also stimulate the olfactory receptors above the nasal passages. Consequently, information is sent to the limbic system, a strategic area of the brain that governs the emotions and behaviour. The effect can therefore be physical and psychological.
Advantage: This route of administration is quick and easy, especially for the upper respiratory tract (rhinopharynx, sinuses, etc.). It also creates a pleasant, fragrant, beneficial atmosphere (for the respiratory system, against stress, at bedtime, etc.).
How? Essential oils can be diffused (using a suitable diffuser), or sprayed into the air (using a spray without propellant gases), or onto bedding (to make it easier to fall asleep or to ward off mosquitoes, for instance), or be used for inhalations (vapour or dry, on a handkerchief). Their benefits can also be enjoyed fully during massages, baths or showers, or simply by placing a few drops of oil on strategic points (such as the folds of the wrist), and inhaling deeply: the tactile and sensory experiences then complement each another perfectly.
THROUGH THE SKIN
This is considered the “Supreme” route of administration, as essential oils, which are lipophile – meaning they can blend into a fatty substance, can quickly pass through the epidermis and other layers of the skin to reach the peripheral micro-system and, ultimately, the blood system.
Advantage: This route of administration enables both a swift action and a long-lasting effect.
How? Essential oils can be applied (pure or diluted) as stated in their specific recommendations to strategic points (wrists, solar plexus, etc.), target areas (pulled muscles), during body massages or in the bath (in this case, the essential oils’ volatile active ingredients captured by the steam from the bath will also be beneficial via the airways).
A WORLD OF CAUTION The rectal and vaginal routes should be resorted to only on occasion and solely using professionally-prepared blends made in a pharmacy, as prescribed by a physician. Essential oils should never be injected into the muscles, dropped into the eyes or applied pure to an irritated or sensitive zone, in the ear canal or to the perineal or genital areas. Use plants and Essential Oils with care. Before use, read carefully the information and precautions for use.
Extracts from Top Santé's Guide '48 Essential Oils which every home needs to be healthy.