As with conventional medicine the objective is to introduce the substance into the blood stream. Inhalation and skin absorption are two of the fastest ways of getting the therapeutic essential oils into the blood stream and a variety of methods can be used (as follows).
For the bath:
For adults add 4-10 drops of essential oil to the bath after it has finished running. Dilute with a suitable carrier ie sweet almond oil or olive oil . Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes for the oils to take effect.
A single drop of a suitable essential oil is sufficient for a baby bath, and 2-3 drops for toddlers, if bathing in a full sized bath. Please ensure that the oils are diluted in a suitable carrier before they are added to the bath.
Note: Some essential oils can irritate the skin and should not be used in the bath. See our essential oil product pages for more detailed safety notes.
For adults, use up to 4 drops of essential oil in 10ml of carrier oil (e.g. Sweet Almond or Grapeseed Oil) and massage into the affected area. Click here for tips on how to perform an effective aromatherapy massage.
For babies over 2 months old, use only 1 drop of a suitable essential oil in 10ml of carrier oil. For infants aged one and over you can use a maximum of 3 drops.
Add 3 or 4 drops of suitable essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over your head and bowl. Inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes. Steam inhalations should be used with caution if suffering from asthma, hay fever or other allergies. Inhale for just 30 seconds on the first inhalation, then increase gradually up to 5 minutes if there is no adverse reaction.
Essential oils can also be diffused in an aromatherapy candle burner (use up to 12 drops of oil in water) or an electric vaporiser (check your product instructions for quantities). Alternatively for a quick and easy solution pop a couple of drops of essential oil onto a tissue and inhale.
For hot or cold compresses:
Add 4-5 drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot (as hot as you can bear) or icy cold water. Fold a clean cloth (i.e. muslin, flannel) and place in the water so that it absorbs the essential oils that are floating on the surface. Squeeze out excess water and place the cloth onto the affected area. The compress can be covered and held in place with cling film or a bandage. Replace the compress when it has cooled, or warmed to skin temperature.
If pregnant or suffering from serious health problems then please seek advice from a qualified Aromatherapist. Essential oils should never be taken internally and are best stored in a cool, dark place with the cap firmly in place. Keep out of the reach of children.