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How do I start using essential oils?

You have recently just started using essential oils and aromatherapy, and you are unsure how to proceed. Entering the world of essentials oils can be tricky with so many different oils with all their different benefits and scents to choose form. 

Below is a guide to how one should start their journey with essential oils and aromatherapy.


 A step-by-step guide to starting with essential oils


Step 1: Knowledge 

The first key step before going deep into some activity is knowledge on the product and your own personal needs. Sure leaps of faith are exciting but a little knowledge on what you would be doing surely helps.

You could be using essential oils for one of the following main reasons:

  1. Using essential oils to address an issue that you have
  2. Using essential oils for the scent that it gives

If you fall under the first reason, your course of actions should be identifying the essential oil that can help to address your issue and how to best use it in addressing your issues. For example, Myrrh essential oils are known to treat respiratory aliments so you could use it in a diffuser if you always catch the flu in the flu season. Your avenues for research include the internet, advice for more experienced essential oils/aromatherapy users and local essential oils business. Try to get your information from reputable sources, remember if it is too good to be true it is probably not.

For those that fall under the second reason, do a bit of primary research to identify which essential oil produces what kind of scent (e.g. rose essential oil produces a floral scent) and go down to your local essential oils business to try out the scents (they have testers for a reason). Test till you find the scent that best suits you. If you want to try a range of different scents at your own pace, you could consider starter kits or sets.


Step 2: Methods of use

Now that you have your essential oils how do you use it? 

The first method is spreading the scent by using a diffuser or nebulisers for this method just follow the instructions given to you by the vendor and you should be fine. Do note that some oils are more viscous or denser and may clog up the diffuser if not cleaned after use.

The second method is to by using a candle burner, add warm water into the bowel before adding the essential oils, as the essential oils are volatile and quickly lose their benefits when directly exposed to high heat. For those that are clumsy as hell and do not wish to burn down their homes, you may consider electric burners which are more hassle-free and more importantly open flame-free. 

The third method is a reed, vase, ornamental or scenting clay diffusion which is a very passive method and long-lasting method which is good for giving a room or house a constant scent. The material for these items are usually porous and allows for the diffusion to happen. 

The fourth method is to apply directly to the skin, essential oils are immediately absorbed by the skin as they are fat-soluble. But please remember, you must, I must repeat dilute it with a carrier oil of your choice before applying the essential oils to your skin as pure essential oils are too potent for your skin. Examples of carrier oils include jojoba and rice bran, but there are many more.   

The fifth method is aromatherapy massage, again when applying directly to the skin, you must DILUTE the essential oil with a carrier oil first. You can then use message balls with the essential oil diluted essential to massage.

The sixth method is using the essential oils in a bath. Just drop a few drops in your bath water and enjoy your bath.

The seventh method is steam inhalation. In this method, you boil about 3 cups of water in a large bowel, add about 4 drops (subjected to how intense you want it to be) of essential oils to the water. Then cover your head and bowl with a towel (please ensure that there is enough space for the steam to rise and you are not in contact with the hot water) and slowly inhale the steam. This method is rather useful for as it also helps the oil to be applied to the skin of the face and is effective for addressing sinus-related issues.

The last and simplest method is direct inhaling of essential oils scent. Drop a drop on to a tissue or cloth to slowly inhale first to ensure you have no major negative reaction to it first. If there is no major negative reaction you may place the bottle near to your nose and inhale or add a few more drops to your cloth or tissue and inhale.    


Step 3: Storage 

As mentioned above essential oils are very volatile and react easily and quickly to both light and heat. That is why they are kept in dark amber coloured bottles. So when not in use, keep the essential oils and their bottles in cardboard or wooden boxes in a cool, dry area which is free of direct sunlight. Essential oils have a long shelve life of around 3 to 5 years, so ensuring that it can last that long with proper storage will help prevent wastage. 


Step 4: Blending and creating "your own" essential oil products

Now that you have mastered the basics of essential oils, you may want to start mixing scents and creating your own blends, go ahead you could come up with your own blend or just ask world's most knowledgeable person, Uncle Google. You can also "create" your own products such as soaps and candles. If you are lazy like me, you could just add a few drops into your shampoo or body soap and presto, you have your own essential oils bath products.


Things to take note of:

There are a few things to take note of when you use essential oils.

The first thing is to take note of is to get your essential oils from a reputable business. Additionally, be wary of very cheap essential oils and very bombastic claims, remember if it sounds dodgy it probably is.  Feel free to check out the many guides on signs of fake essential oils, but one easy sign that you can look out for is the essential oil must be kept in a dark amber glass if it is not it is most probably a fake or the vendor is damaging their essential oils with bad packing.

The second thing is do not consume the oils, contrary to what the dodgy salesperson says, consuming high dosages of essential oils is bad for you and will lead to long term medical problems.

Thirdly, try not to buy from street vendors as they might not be selling proper essential oils and are more likely to have inferior products. As they are not as properly vetted like an established business due to their nature of being a temporary business.

Lastly, don't be shy to ask when you are unsure with essential oils as they are quite pricey and have an impact on your wellbeing.