Generally speaking, essential oils should never be used undiluted (internally or externally) regardless of purity or origin. Anyone can be sensitized with repetitive undiluted use.
We recommend following the safety guidelines set forth by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy or Aromaweb.com. These resources offer unbiased information about safety and usage.
We recommend using the Environmental Working Group's SkinDeep Cosmetics Database for safety information related to the ingredients found in cosmetics and personal care products.
The most common forms of essential oil usage are inhalation (nebulizer/diffuser/steam) and topical application, although oral and internal use are quickly gaining popularity. Regardless of the method(s) of use that you choose, you should do thorough research before getting started.
The direct inhalation method is not only economical, but ideal for cheap, “on the spot” aromatherapy and does not require the use of expensive devices. This method involves inhaling undiluted essential oil directly from the bottle, or by placing the oil on a medium, such as an organic cotton ball or pad.
How to do direct inhalation:
From the bottle – open the bottle top and slowly inhale the aroma for the desired time, tightly securing the cap when done.
From an organic cotton ball or pad – place the cotton ball or pad in the palm of your hand and carefully add up to 10 drops of essential oil onto the top of the cotton. Cup your hand around the cotton and slowly inhale for the desired time.
Spray – only use a glass spray bottle or a plastic bottle designed to house essential oil formulas. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil, or a combination of oils, to each ounce of distilled water. For best results, and because oil and water do not mix, you will need to gently shake the bottle to distribute the oils prior to spraying.
Diffusing essential oils for therapeutic use can be done safely and effectively in the privacy of your own home. Upper respiratory conditions begin to respond rather quickly to diffused oils and/or doing a steam inhale. Although there are many mediums for diffusing essential oils, we prefer using a nebulizing diffuser. This method provides a highly effective disbursement method for therapeutic inhalation use. Diffusing is by far the most convenient method for therapeutic delivery because all you need to do is be present in the room and breathe as you normally would.
Nebulizing diffusers do not use heat or water, they utilize a pump system, either inside or outside of the unit, which vibrates a glass medium containing the essential oil. When the device is turned on the pump vibrates the glass medium, which in turn atomizes the oil into microscopic droplets that are distributed into the air to be inhaled through the lungs as you breathe normally.
Although these units are not considered to be obnoxiously noisy, they do put off somewhat of a “humming” sound (similar to the sound of a small fish pump), in comparison to diffusers that use water, which put off little to no sound at all.
Smelling salts are easy to use and are generally inexpensive to make. They can be used multiple time throughout the day and are convenient for “on the go” use.
Using a glass bottle, add 20-30 drops of essential oil(s) to 1/3 ounce of coarse, Celtic or fine sea salt and inhale.
Steam inhalation is another economical way to use essential oils for therapeutic use. Upper respiratory infections, such as colds, flu, bronchitis and sinus infections tend to respond well to the steam inhalation method. Various essential oils can be used with this method, including oregano, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, lemon, and tea tree essential oils.
Not all oils should be used at the same strength, as is in the case of a strong oil such as oregano. Starting out with fewer drops and working your way up to the desired strength is the best approach.
How to do steam inhalation:
Fill a heat safe glass bowl or cup half way with boiling water.
Carefully place the bowl or cup on a table where you have the ability to lean over top of it, while in a sitting position.
Start by adding three drops of essential oil into the bowl, or 1 drop into the cup, adding one additional drop of oil at a time until you reach the desired strength (when using oregano, always start with one drop of essential oil and work your way up). Other oils may require six drops or more for the desired strength.
Utilize a towel to partially cover your head, and lean in over top of the bowl or cup with your eyes shut.
Breathe through your nose and inhale the steam, adjusting your position as needed to obtain your desired comfort level (you should not be so close to the bowl or cup that the steam burns your skin or that the oils irritate the mucus membranes in your nostrils). If the scent is too strong, just add more hot water to dilute.
Do this until you are ready to stop, or when the steam has dissipated (5-10 minutes).
Repeat the process as needed if desired, using fresh boiling water and essential oil.
Essential oils are showing up as ingredients in toothpaste, mouthwash and other oral hygiene products in record numbers, in an effort to compete with consumer demand for natural hygiene products.
According to a March, 2015 halitosis study published in PubMed, “The presence of bacteria in the oral cavity is associated with different chronic inflammations in the soft tissues of the cavity. Mouth rinsing agents, which contain essential oils, ensure the renewal of normal microbiota in the oral cavity, decreases the quantitative amount of bacteria and products released by proteolytic bacteria”2) Oral mouthwashes containing essential oils possess a typical antimicrobial activity, apparently, they do not form resistant microorganism strains, and they do not cause allergic reactions”3)
In a 2015 study, all tested essential oils (tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon grass), proved to have better antimicrobial properties than standard oral antiseptics. Because of the antimicrobial properties in these oils, they may prove to be promising for use in clinical and oral hygiene applications.4)
In a 2013 study, peppermint, tea tree and thyme oil were shown to act as an effective antiseptic solution against oral pathogens for root canals.5) Thyme essential oil was also shown to inhibit head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell growth in humans.6)
Please visit our FAQ page for more information about internal dosing of our Oregano Oil.
No one is safe from sensitizing themselves, regardless of the purity of an oil. For this reason, we do not recommend using essential oils undiluted. Using a carrier oil, such as jojoba, provides a safe means for distributing essential oils topically, acting as a barrier to protect your skin, and is uniquely identical to human sebum. You can read more about Jojoba on the Calendula page of this website.
Topical applications are typically used for aromatherapy massage or to treat skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema, skin infections, itching and dry skin. Typical formulations for topical application are oils, ointments, creams, lotions, solutions, powders or gels. 10)
How to use essential oils topically:
How much you use depends on what you are using it for, below are some of our guidelines that are based on the suggestions set forth by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).
ReThinkOil recommends using Jojoba as a carrier oil. You can read more about Jojoba here:
All suggested dilutions are per one ounce of carrier oil. We always recommend starting out on the low end and working your way up. Keep in mind that the oils need to “marry” before they reach their peak. When you are creating your own formulas for the first time, we suggest waiting 24 – 48 hours before adding more oil. You’ll find the strength you’re most happy with by being patient.
0.5% = 3 drops, 1% = 6 drops
2.5% = 15 drops, 3% = 20 drops, 5% = 30 drops, 10% = 60 drops
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