If you’re anything like me, you’ve amassed quite a collection of essential oils—but have no idea how to use most of them beyond the occasional sniff to relieve a headache or get a quick energy boost. We’ve talked about which oils to use for detox, women’s health and gorgeous skin, but what are the best ways to use essential oils in your everyday routines? Whether you want to battle fatigue, reduce tension or improve focus, read on for 5 ways to make the most of these powerful oils.
5 Ways to Use Essential Oils Every Day
Diffusing oils in the morning is a great way to get your day started on the right note. Throughout the day, try stimulating oils for work or study or uplifting oils if you need an energy boost. Try relaxing and sedative oils at bedtime.
Clear your mind, then inhale directly from an open bottle or rub a drop of oil between your palms and breathe in the aroma. Do as needed throughout the day. Apply a few drops to a handkerchief and carry it in your pocket or make an essential oil inhaler or terra cotta necklace that you can inhale whenever you like.
Bring some essential oils to your next massage or give yourself a massage at home to ease tension and get circulation moving (or even help with cellulite!) Make your own massage oil by adding 15-20 drops diluted to 1/2 cup of carrier oil. A great place to start would be the feet and then work your way to other areas of your body if you’d like.
Add 2-5 drops of essential oil to a carrier oil or use with Epsom salts. Try one of these aromatherapy bath salt blends. Avoid using cinnamon, cassia, oregano, wintergreen and lemongrass in baths with essential oils as they might irritate sensitive skin.
The most common places to apply oils are the bottoms of feet, chest, temple and pulse points. Once you’ve mastered these areas you can move on to different places on your body that align with specific ailments, aches and pains. Simply combine 5 to 10 drops with a carrier oil like jojoba, grapeseed or olive oil and apply where needed.
Not all oils, or brands of oils, are safe to apply topically. Before applying any essential oil topically, check with the manufacturer to see if it’s safe to use that way. Note: never use essential oils (even topically safe ones) in your ear canal, in the nose, or near your eyes!
While scientific research on essential oils is growing every day, studies are still pretty limited. However, there are a number of ways essential oils have been used traditionally. Below, I’ve listed some of the common traditional uses for several essential oils, as well as some ideas for where to apply them on the body.
- Temples or back of neck: lavender, basil, peppermint for stress, nausea, motion sickness, insomnia, headaches
- Outside of ears: juniper for tinnitus, and lavender, basil for earache, swimmer’s ear
- Behind ears: peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus for headaches, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue and lavender, chamomile for insomnia
- Shoulders: ylang ylang, clove, wintergreen for shoulder or joint pain
- Chest: eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon for chest congestion, coughs, bronchitis, asthma
- Over heart: ylang ylang, bergamot for depression, stress, and self-esteem
- Abdomen: clary sage for menstrual cramps and peppermint, ginger, fennel for digestive issues, nausea
- Wrists: vetiver, basil, lemongrass, myrrh for carpal tunnel syndrome
- Heels: clary sage, myrtle for reproductive system
- Sole of foot: peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus for respiratory issues and ylang ylang, bergamot for stress
- Outer arch: grapefruit, juniper, lemongrass for colon, bladder, liver
- Bottom of big toe: peppermint, rosemary, lavender for headaches
Essential Oil Tips
- This guide is not meant as a substitute for medical advice. Always be sure to talk to your doctor about the use of essential oils for certain health issues to ensure this is safe for you!
- If you have easily irritated skin, be sure to do a patch test and dilute essential oils appropriately.
- Citrus oils can increase sun sensitivity so avoid sun for 12 hours after applying.
- To retain their potency, keep essential oils stored away from sunlight and moisture. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can rub off nail polish and even melt plastic.
- Oils and carrier oils can stain clothing, towels and furniture—so be careful!
- Avoid using metal or plastic utensils or containers to mix or apply essential oils. Stick to glass or ceramic.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.118