One of the questions I’m often asked is how to use essential oils internally. As more and more research is being done showing the effectiveness of using essential oils as an alternative health care system there is a growing demand by the public for information.
At this same time more and more people are taking responsibility for their health which is fueling a growing revolution in the, “Do It Yourself (DIY)”, revolution. The practice of aromatherapy truly lends itself to this new holistic health culture that wants to freely choose the health care systems we use and spawning a new vision of healthcare in our future.
At the same time with the new scientific studies proving the benefits of using essential oil there is an increasing interest from the general public demanding that hospitals and medical centers offer safe alternatives to allopathic drugs that can produce harmful side effects. This is resulting in hospitals transitioning to offering integrative health care to its patients.
Nurses and staff are receiving training and certification in the effective and safe use of essential oils as a comfort care measure for their patients and reporting outstanding results.
Research has shown that the most therapeutic benefits come from simply inhaling the essential oil vapors. Essential oils are super concentrated (one drop is equal to about 3-4 cups of plant matter). This means that only a single drop or two of an essential oil is all that’s needed for achieving therapeutic benefits.
When essential oil meets the elements of heat, light, air and moisture they release their scent. That scent passes your logical brain. You actually “feel” the scent of an essential oil.
Research has shown that essential oils act as powerful chemicals to trigger the limbic part of your brain that controls emotions, memory, and mood. On inhaling the scent of an essential oil the vapors enter through your nose and immediately stimulates your olfactory nerve which instantaneously signals an electrochemical (hormonal) response, producing an effect.
Essential oils also work through your blood vascular system which delivers them to all of your organs and systems. The vapors entering through your nose go immediately into your lungs where they enter your bloodstream and are delivered to your heart, as well as all of your other organs and tissues.
Direct inhalation is one of the simplest ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils.
- Dispense 1-3 drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball, perfume smell strip, or even a tissue.
- Close your eyes and inhale the scent as you gently and slowly introduce the oil’s aromatic vapors into your system.
- If you feel lightheaded or dizzy at any time allow yourself to rest before continuing.
- After direct inhalation allow yourself to relax for a moment into a feeling of well-being.
My favorite way to use oils internally – the bath
My favorite ways to use essential oils internally is in the time-honored hot bath! Ancient cultures like Greece and Rome were renowned for taking healing baths.
I would not be without my daily aromatic sea salt bath. I’ve taken a daily bath for many years now. It has helped me resolve many health concerns, as well as prevent problems from occurring.
The elements of both heat and water cause the oils to be rapidly released. The aromatic vapors immediately enter your lungs and your bloodstream and trigger an electrochemical response in your hormonal system. Additionally, the oils are also absorbed through your skin and enter your bloodstream.
Relaxing Bath Blend
To a 5 ml euro-dropper bottle add (approximately 100 drops):
- Ylang Ylang- 25 drops
- Geranium and/or Palmarosa – 25 drops
- Marjoram – 25 drops
- Clary Sage – 25 drops
- Cap bottle tightly and shake vigorously to blend oils thoroughly.
- Allow oils to synergize for up to 12 hours before using.
- Dispense 8 – 13 drops in 1 – 2 cups of sea salt as a carrier.
- Remember oils do not mix in water and will float on the surface of your bath water unless you disperse them first in a carrier, like salt, that helps disperse them in the water.
- Add salts to your bath water and stir in.
- Relax in your bath for 20 minutes or longer.
- Remember to hydrate during and afterward.
Of course, another way to use essential oils is through ingesting them. Essential oils are approved for use as food flavors and generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the FDA in the United States.
Making your own culinary wellness blends is fun to do and packed with flavor appeal. However, research shows when you ingest oils they primarily remain in your digestive system and do not circulate throughout your body as with inhalation.
There is also concern that certain essential oils are toxic and can get filtered out by your liver where they can cause harm if large enough amounts are consumed. Care should be taken when ingesting oils frequently in larger amounts than used for food flavoring.
Caution: As Clary Sage can make some people feel exceedingly woozy and faint please avoid using it when driving or needing to focus. Geranium can lower blood sugar and should be avoided in cases of hypoglycemia and during pregnancy due to its hormonal effect.