Different ways of using the Oils
This is the most effective method of using the oils, combining their properties with the therapeutic power of touch. The oils should be diluted with an odourless carrier oil, such as grapeseed, sweet almond or peach kernel. Dilution should be in the ratio of one drop of essential oil to two millilitres of carrier oil (6 drops in two teaspoonfuls).
There is a popular misconception that essential oils are absorbed through the skin. There is no scientific evidence to support this belief. Some chemicals in essential oils do show up in the blood in very small amounts but it is not proven that the amount is of therapeutic value.
Baths: Soaking in a tub of water scented with essential oils is a simple, effective and pleasant way to relax and get some therapy. Water itself has therapeutic value, which enhances the powers of the oils. Add 6 to 10 drops of essential oil, (or a blend), to the surface of the water which has already been run. Do not add any other substances like foam or bath oil. Then immerse yourself for about 20 minutes, whilst you inhale the vapour. Note that you will need to reduce the amount of oils used in baths for babies.
Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to 100ml of warm water then soak a piece of clean cotton in the water, wring out the excess and place the cloth on the affected part.
Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil into a bowl of steaming water, then place a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the vapour for a few minutes.
All essential oils are antiseptic and evaporate easily, so they make very good air-fresheners. Different oils create different atmospheres, so experiment! For example, relaxing Sandalwood or Clary Sage are good for parties; or Peppermint clears your mind when you need to work. There are many vaporisers on the market, from the simple bowl of water on the radiator with a few drops of oil on the surface, to vaporiser light bulb rings and specially made vaporiser bowls which sit above candle holders.
You can even use essential oils as perfume and blend different oils mixed with a carrier oil to conjure up your own special fragrance. When mixing essential oils it is advisable to use a dropper so that you can measure the exact number of drops that you have used. Use a different dropper for each oil.
Storing essential oils
Essential oils should be stored in dark places in bottles with stoppers. They should never be stored in plastic containers. They should also be kept away from heat sources.The oils should be kept out of reach of children. If properly stored, essential oils can have a shelf life of several years. However, oils of orange, lemon and lime will not keep. Patchouli, on the other hand, improves with age.