I am a big fan of essential oil and have been one for the longest time. If you have not heard about essential oils, they are basically plant extracts. They’re made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance. It can take several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil.
If you have heard of aromatherapy, it is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit and has been used for many centuries. When you inhale essential oil, the scent molecules in it travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.
Here’s how you can use essential oils
There are many ways on how you can use essentials oils. Here’s the most popular one:
A diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air. These days there are several types of essential oil diffusers that you can buy. Popular type of diffusers are: ceramic, electric, candle, lamp rings, reed diffuser, and ultrasonic. I like the electric one from Muji and Young Living.
This is the simplest method; just open a bottle of pure essential oil and inhale deeply a few times.
Another method is to steam it. You’ll need a bowl of hot water and a towel. Place the bowl on a table and add a few drops of essential oil. Place a towel over your head and the bowl. Close your eyes and deeply inhale the steam for several minutes. Repeat a few times throughout the day. This is nice to do you when you have blocked nose or a bad flu.
This method only requires some type of dry material such as a cotton ball or aroma pads. Add a few drops of essential oil to the material. Hold this to your nose and inhale or allow the scent to disperse naturally. You can add the material to the vents in your car, your pillowcase or in other area as you like. There is also some air purifier with aroma diffuser which use aroma pads like the one here from Levoit.
On your skin
You need to dilute essential oil to be able to use it on your skin. The most popular method is diluting essential oils with carrier oil. You can mix it in a small bottle with roller ball or in normal bottle if you want to make a massage oil.
A simple Dilution Rules which I use:
1% Dilution for children over 2 years old, elderly or immunocompromised
2% Dilution for healthy adult
3% Dilution for acute use on short term and small area.
You can use the diluted essential oil to massage your feet and place a few drops around your nose or gently rub the oil into pressure points such as your temples, wrists, and third eye.
Another option is to add essential oils to your favorite cosmetic products, such as toners, serums, and muscle rubs. But always take care to dilute the essential oil in a correct ratio.
For Bath and Shower
You can add a few drops of essential oils to your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
To inhale essential oils while you shower, add a few drops to the shower walls and inhale deeply as you shower. Or add a few drops of diluted essential oil to a warm washcloth that can be used for inhalation and use to cleanse your body.
If you are going to soak in a bath tub you can add few drops of essential oils or use an essential oil salt bath.
In general the following shouldn’t use essential oils without a doctor’s recommendation:
– Older adults
– Children younger than 12
– Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Also make sure to consider pets in the environment. Some essential oils can be dangerous for pets. Talk to a doctor before using essential oils if you take any medications or have any health concerns, including high blood pressure, low immunity, or epilepsy.
Also speak with a certified aromatherapist if you would like more information about an individual treatment plan.
5 Essentials Oils to bring for your next trip
Now that you understand how to use essential oils and aware of the risks, here’s my recommendation for Essentials oil you should bring for your next trip:
Lavender is the most commonly used essential oil and it has many benefits such as easing symptoms of anxiety, helping to sleep better, wound healing, and many more.
I rub lavender on the back of my ear and neck and drop a few on my pillow when I’m in a long flight to help me relax and sleep. It also helps to make feel comfortable sleeping on a bed at a Hotel. When my kids have bruises I also rub lavender as it speeds up the rate of healing and enhances the activity of proteins involved in rebuilding tissue.
Peppermint eases headache, nausea, uplift your mood, increases awareness, freshen your breath, repel bugs, spider and other creepy crawler and many more.
I rub peppermint on the area above my eyebrows, both sides of my temple and the back of my neck to help eases my headache. Inhaling peppermint directly also helps with nausea which often comes with a headache. If you have car-sick or sea-sick inhaling peppermint also helps. When we were on a road trip I rub peppermint on the back of my Hubbie’s ear to help him stay alert and focus.
Eucalyptus has anti virus property; it helps to relieve coughing, clear your chest by loosening mucus out of your system and helps you breath easily. Like peppermint it can also clears the bugs away.
Eucalyptus is my oil to go to whenever someone in the family not feeling well. I diffuse it and rub it on chest and back.
Digize is an essential oil blend from Young Living which combines Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli for a soothing experience when massaged over the abdomen.
For someone with sensitive digestion system like me, I use digize frequently. Massage the oil to your abdomen to clock direction to improves digestion, ease off constipation and bloating. If you have diarrhea, massage the oil on your abdomen counter clock wise.
Thieves is also another oil blend from Young Living consist of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary, known for immune support and cleansing properties when taken internally and refreshing breathing experiences aromatically and topically.
Young Living founder, D. Gary Young, created Thieves from research recorded in the archives of the British Museum library about a group of 14th century European perfumers and spice traders who rubbed oils on themselves while they robbed the dead and dying.
Thieves has a strong rich and spicy aroma. I massage it to the soles of my feet whenever I’m feeling under the weather.
I know I said five essential oils but I want to add 2 optional essential oils if you still have some space in your bag. Here’s the optionals you can choose to bring and both are essential oil blends from Young Living.
Panaway is a combination of Clove, Helichrysum, Peppermint, and Wintergreen and it creates a cooling and soothing sensation when applied to fatigued muscles after physical activity. You can massage a diluted panaway to your legs and feet before you go to sleep after a tiring long walk and to your shoulder and back after a long haul flight.
Peace and Calm
Peace and Calm is a combination of Blue Tansy, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Ylang Ylang. It is easy to guess by the name what this essential oil blend is for. Apply a few drops diluted to your neck and temples when you need a moment of inner peace. I often need it when I feel overwhelmed at a crowded place or when I feel emotionally drained. You can also diffuse it to create a positive, peaceful atmosphere. Together with lavender it can also be diluted as a massage oil before going to bed.
Lastly. I say dilution a lot. You would need a carrier oil to dilute your essential oils before putting it on your skin. Carrier oil is basically vegetable oils, cold-pressed or expeller-pressed from nuts and seeds or, in some cases—like olive oil and sea buckthorn—they’re pressed from the whole fruit. Carrier Oil also has its own benefit depending on which plant material it comes from, as it contain the fatty, or oil components, which is rich in essential fatty acids, trace vitamins, and other skin-healing components. There are many types of carrier oil and when to make a blend you can choose a specific carrier oil which delivers certain benefit according to what the blend is for. I can write another new article on this. But for now, you can use sweet almond oil or apricot oil or Young Living V-6 oil which consist of coconut Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil. I usually buy sweet almond oil and apricot oil by Now Foods from Tokopedia or Shopee. Utama Spice also carries some carrier oils I use for my blends.