Well, that’s a loaded question. And the truth is the answers are as varied as the myriad of molecules inside every bottle of essential oil. One of the reasons essential oils are so effective is because of their immense versatility. When asking the question, “How do I use essential oils?” you have to take in consideration many factors.

What do you want it to do?

Dr. David Stewart, author of Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple and many other books, calls essential oils “packets of possibility”. This is because the options are nearly endless when searching for a suitable oil.

For example, if you have a minor skin irritation, you may choose lavender for soothing relief. Or you could select frankincense for its nourishing skin-loving capabilities. Or possibly manuka to nourish the skin. And then there’s always tea tree, or patchouli, rose, or. . . you get the idea.

And then there’s the intent. When you apply an oil, the intentions of the user often dictate or affect the way it works. People who are adamantly opposed to essential oils and swear that they don’t work will likely not experience any benefits from them. On the other hand, if you believe essential oils are going to work, oftentimes they actually do.

Choose the most logical approach.

If you need some digestive support, applying essential oil to the top of the head may not achieve the desired results. Use common sense and apply the oils where they are needed in most cases. Exceptions include the eyes, inside the ears, genitals, and other sensitive areas. For these applications, you may consider inhaling or diffusing the oils or taking them internally instead.

Because of the numerous reflexology points and absorbability, many people choose to apply oils to the bottoms of the feet.

If you want to address an emotional issue, inhalation is always the best method because oils travel through the olfactory system directly to the limbic portion of the brain. More on that here.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Not sure what oil to use or where/how to apply it? That’s ok. Use your intuition and select a logical essential oil. Then apply it or inhale it and see what happens after a while. You can always try another oil if you don’t get the desired results.

Don’t expect miracles.

Having said that, keep in mind that essential oils are extremely complex. Their function is to facilitate healing by supporting the natural processes in the body. This is often not a quick-fix or a one-and-done. Our culture is so accustomed to popping pills for near-immediate results, that we decide something doesn’t work simply because it didn’t produce miraculous results NOW. This is a short-sighted expectation. Masking a symptom can happen quickly, but true healing is a process.

Oftentimes, essential oils may help to correct a chemical imbalance or supply a constituent needed by a particular body system. These things take time. Consistent, regular use and patience is key. While the internet often sensationalizes essential oils as the miracle drug of the age, expecting overnight results is just unrealistic and will leave you disappointed. Be patient with your body’s natural healing process and use oils to provide the tools it needs to facilitate that process.

Ready for some ways to use essential oils?

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to begin using essential oils, here are a few posts that will give you some ideas for using specific oils and blends!

essential oils

What is your favorite essential oil and how do you love to use it?

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