Essential oils can be used topically on the skin or by breathing them in. Topical application is most effective for skin conditions, muscles and joints. When addressing goals for emotional, nervous system, cognitive, and respiratory system balance the most beneficial way to use essential oils is by inhalation. It is not necessary to dilute them with a carrier oil when using them for different methods of inhalation.
Inhalation of essential oils utilizes the sense of smell to exert an influence on emotions, mood, concentration, sleep, memory, behavior and perception. Olfaction has the greatest impact on the regulation of these states of mind because the olfactory system has direct access to the limbic system which is the part of the brain responsible for them. When essential oil molecules are breathed into the nasal passages, receptors in the olfactory mucous membrane identify an odor. The sensory stimulation is transmitted through the olfactory bulb along the olfactory nerve, crossing the blood brain barrier, to engage the limbic system in the temporal lobe of the forebrain. Nerve impulses triggered in the limbic system affect other areas of the brain that are responsible for secreting hormones and regulating body functions. In addition respiration carries essential oil molecules to the lungs where they pass into the circulatory system. The entire process from initial inhalation to corresponding body responses takes place in a matter of seconds. A simple inhalation can cause instant changes in the body.
Application methods for inhalation include steam from a bowl or shower, diffusers, nebulizers, jewelry, personal inhalers and sprays. When using a room air diffuser 1 drop of essential oil to each 20 ml of water is a good ratio. It is also important to consider who will be in the room at the time the diffuser is running and choose essential oils accordingly. Small children including infants, frail or immune compromised individuals and pets require special considerations because there are essential oils that are contraindicated for certain populations. Cats should not be in a closed room with a diffuser going because they lack a specific liver enzyme that is necessary to metabolize essential oils.
Diffusers should not be used for hours at a time unless the concentration of essential oil in the water reservoir is so low that it is almost undetectable. An intermittent schedule of 30 to 60 minutes on and 30 to 60 minutes off will prevent over saturation of the olfactory system. Habituation to an aroma occurs after about 60 minutes anyway so diffusing longer than that is not helpful. Care should be taken to place a diffuser where the mist will not be directly breathed in but allows it to work in ambient air.
Diffuser jewelry, personal inhalers and sprays may be used as needed for a more targeted or personal application where using a diffuser would not be appropriate. Using a diffuser in public places, work spaces, doctors’ offices and classrooms is not recommended. Certain scents are thought to be triggers for asthma, respiratory conditions, headaches and allergic reactions in some people.
Have you seen aromatherapy jewelry? Felt discs in pretty lockets, clay pendants, lava bead bracelets and necklaces are in right now. They are a popular way to use the benefits of essential oils in a way that is similar to using a personal inhaler. Aromatherapy utilizes scent to deliver the therapeutic properties of aromatic essential oils instantly. Inhalation is one of the most effective ways to use essential oils to manage stress, increase focus, relieve anxiety, aid sleep, boost mood and influence emotions. Many times using a whole room diffuser is not a practical or convenient method and aromatherapy jewelry can offer a targeted form of administration that is easy to access. I have come up with a neat way to use local sheep’s wool to make an interesting and practical diffuser pendant. My friend Heather taught me to make colorful felted wool balls from wool that she produced and bartered for as well. I place them in spiral wire cages and use hand sewn silk cording to hang them from. They can be worn as a necklace or used as an indirect diffuser in the car or at work where a whole room diffuser might not be welcome. My Stay Focused blend of essential oils helps to keep me alert on my long commutes though any blend or single essential oil could be used as needed. If you have questions about how to use essential oils in diffuser jewelry or any aromatherapy questions in general, shoot me an email. Happy Spring!
One of my favorite ways to use essential oils is with a personal inhaler. There are inexpensive plastic ones, aluminum with glass inserts and the easy DIY method with a cotton ball in a bottle. Personal inhalers are an effective way to carry your essential oils in a safe and portable way. They also contain the aroma of the oils to be used individually, anytime that you need them, without affecting others in the room. Sometimes running a diffuser isn’t practical or advised, such as when small children or pets are present or in a public or communal space. A personal inhaler is a great alternative to room air diffusion. They are also an economical way to use essential oils because the approximate 15 drops of essential oils in a personal inhaler can last for about three months.
An inhaler is good to use when your goal is to support emotional well-being, relieve stress, encourage restful sleep, boost concentration and focus, as well as to promote respiratory health. When using essential oils to address an issue that is not related to the skin, joints or muscles, inhalation is the most effective mode of application. Inhalation of essential oils into the nasal cavity allows the aromatic molecules to directly affect the limbic system, they are also absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs.
When I make a personal inhaler I like to use just a few oils in order to keep from muddling the scents. I choose oils that I think will work together for a desired result. When making an inhaler for children I will use fewer total drops of essential oils (usually about 10 total drops) on the cotton wick. A personal inhaler is easy to use, just remove the cover and hold the end with holes in it to one nostril, press the other nostril closed and inhale through your nose. Repeat this on the other side. You may use a personal inhaler as needed throughout the day.
Hi Everyone, Here are a few articles that I think might be helpful to highlight some of the concepts that we discussed in class last week. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions that I can help you with. I hope you are all getting good results from the inhalers and blends that you created. I would love to hear how they are working for you.
Thank you to everyone who came out to our Body Butters and Balms class, we are so happy that we had enough supplies for all twenty of you! I wanted to to make a follow up post here on our website because a number of people had questions about supplies and what we used in the class. It took me a while to find some of these things so I am sharing them here to save you some searching! All the Amazon.com links below are affiliate links, so if you follow them and buy something we will receive a small fee.
I have bought my carrier oils at Mountain Rose Herbs in the past, and they have great oils, but they are pricier and you have to pay for shipping. Of course you can get some oils like coconut oil and sunflower oil at the grocery store, just make sure that you are looking for cold pressed, unrefined oils because they have the best benefits for your skin. I’ve been buying more from Amazon because I can get large amounts, and because it’s the easiest source rather than driving all over to compare prices and whatnot.
This is my favorite coconut oil so far and this shea butter is great too, I like that they are both organic since I’m trying to be as natural as possible. Here is the Vitamin E oil that we used, remember that Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant and so it helps extend the shelf life of carrier oils, but it is not a preservative. And this is the arrowroot powder that helps to counteract the potential greasiness of the body butter bar.
When I first started making the body butter bars I searched long and hard (and bought a few molds that just didn’t work) but I finally found these molds which fit perfectly in these 2oz tins. There are lots of options for lip balm tubes but I like these ones and I just ordered the full lip balm kit, I will let you all know how I like it once it arrives! The syringe that I used is this 150ml one.
So, I think that covers all the various supplies we used in the class. And obviously you don’t need to use these exact ones. To get started you can pour lip balm right into a small container and apply with your finger and any mold and container can work for the body butter bars. These are just the things I have found that help the process go easier and more smoothly.
Good luck creating!
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.