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How to Use Essential Oils: Basic Guide

Have you been hearing about essential oils everywhere and hoping to get in on the action? Are you not sure where to start on using them for yourself? If you’ve been wondering how to use essential oils, you’re in luck. We’re going to cover some of the basics now.

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Essential oil bottles

Buying Essential oils

High-quality aromatherapy essential oils may be purchased from a qualified aromatherapist, at health food stores, pharmacies, or from a reputable brand. Aromatherapy has long since been used to help treat a whole range of physical and mental health conditions, from premenstrual syndrome to anxiety, back pain to memory loss. However, it is important to always follow safety guidelines for using them and to buy aromatherapy products from good quality sources.

As with most foods, there is a huge amount of difference in terms of quality of aromatherapy oils, depending on where the oils are purchased. It’s always best to purchase essential oils through a qualified aromatherapist, who will be able to provide in-depth information on how aromatherapy products should best be used, as well as advice on safety guidelines. Stores and health-care pharmacies will typically offer a range of aromatherapy oils.

In The Essential Oils Handbook, Harding highlights that it is always best to purchase quality essential oils for aromatherapy from suppliers who source their products carefully. This is primarily due to the fact that the higher the quality of essential oils, the more effective they tend to be and the less likely it is that any adverse reactions may result.

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Aromatherapy diffuser

How To Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are versatile oils that can be used in a variety of ways to improve everything from your mood to your health. You just need to learn how to use them correctly. If administered improperly, rash and other side effects may occur. Some of them can even be poisonous if absorbed directly through the skin. Certain oils, like grapefruit, lemon, and orange can cause major skin irritations  if applied before exposure to sun.


A diffuser releases the scent of essential oils into the air you breathe. It’s better than any air freshener you can buy in the store and comes without harsh chemicals. Place different diffusers in different rooms to enhance your moods. Citrus oils are great for the kitchen, lavender in the bedroom and eucalyptus in your office.

Applied Topically

Whether you want to soothe tired muscles or simply absorb moisture and health into your skin topically applying essential oils will help your body and mind. Mix a few drops of your favourite oil into a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage into your skin. It is not recommended to use them undiluted.

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Essential oils in an carrier oil bottle

Soak It In

Adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath is not recommended unless you combine essential oils with a carrier oil first. Oil and water don’t mix, so you don’t want essential oils to sit on top of the water and have the undiluted oil directly on your skin which can cause irritation and burn.

Internal Use

There seems to be a debate on whether or not essential oils should be used internally. Some of them that are food grade quality can be orally ingested such as cacao, chamomile, carrot, ginger, grapefruit, orange, and vanilla. There are also some you absolutely should never ingest like
arborvitae, birch, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, white fir, and wintergreen.

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How to Use Essential Oils

Storing Essential Oils

Essential oils will last longer when stored in cooler conditions; most oils last around a year at room temperature and two years when kept in the fridge, while citrus oils and tea tree oils usually last half as long.

Practical information on storing aromatherapy essential oils include the following:

  1. Keep aromatherapy oils in dark-glass bottles.
  2. Store away from sunlight and UV rays make essential oils degrade.
  3. Place refrigerated oils in tightly closed box to prevent affecting food.
  4. Buy oils in screw-cap bottles.
  5. Ensure caps screwed tight in storage to prevent oxidization.
  6. After opening bottle, write shelf-life date on bottle from this point.
  7. Use out-of-date oils as room fragrance.

As highlighted above, in order for aromatherapy oils to be effective in treating both physical and mental health conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, memory loss, anxiety and muscle cramps, essential oils must be purchased from suppliers who source oils carefully. Storage of essential oils to make them last longer, involves using dark-glass, screw-cap bottles placed in a tightly closed box in the refrigerator.

They are natural oils that have a wide variety of uses and mood effects. Whether you want to unwind from a stressful day or need a pick me up to tackle a busy day they can help you get on the right page!

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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  1. I just recently purchased an essential oil diffuser and some oils to use in it. I am loving it, and this is a great guide on the use of oils. I learned a lot! Thank you.

  2. I got into oils a few decades back but because of my pets I have gotten away from them. I wish I knew better what I still can use. The proper way without putting my pets health at risk.

  3. Thanks so much for this guide to using Essential oils. I have used them in my bath and I feel heavenly after. I’m not sure I would ingest any though.


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