Essential oils can be used three ways:
TOPICALLY (applied to skin)
INGESTION (dietary supplement)
Be sure to check the label so you know how is safe to use each particular oil.
Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin. A common example is applying lavender essential oil to a burn or melrose to areas of dry skin.
Different factors can affect the absorption of essential oils through the skin. If you massage the area first, it will increase circulation to that area, thereby causing an increase in absorption of essential oils. Heat will likewise increase circulation and thus enhance absorption.
Some essential oils need to be diluted before being applied to the skin. These are often referred to as "hot" oils. Dilution is done with the use of a carrier oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, almond, or fractionated coconut oil. The great thing about diluting an oil is that it does not lessen it's effect. So you are able to reach a greater surface area without lessening the effects of the oil.
Another way that essential oils enter the body is inhalation through the nose or mouth. Common examples include inhaling Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil to cleanse and freshen the air or inhaling Wintergreen essential oil to provide an overall feeling of energy. My favorite way to inhale my essential oils is by using a diffuser.
The olfactory system includes all physical organs or cells relating to, or contributing to, the sense of smell. When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs and, almost immediately, the brain. Molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also carried to the lungs and interact with the respiratory system. Thus, inhaled essential oils can support the body through several systems and pathways.
During inhalation, odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the “emotional brain”.
The third way that essential oils enter the body is by ingestion. The only essential oils that should ever be ingested are 100% pure, sustainably grown, essential oils labeled specifically as dietary supplements. The only absolutely pure essential oils that I know of and trust are Young Living's essential oils (see Young Living’s Seed to Seal purity promise here). They have a Vitality line of oils that are all dietary oils, safe and intended for internal use.
Also, beware of the knockoffs.
Did you know an essential oil can be labeled as “pure” as long as at least 5% of it is actually pure?
Only FIVE percent! The remaining 95% of the bottle can be anything (fillers, additives, etc.)! So, that bottle of essential oil from your local organic market that you thought was a better deal does NOT mean it's safe to ingest. Find a company (like Young Living!) that guarantees the oil to be 100% pure. Remember, not even all 100% pure oils are okay to ingest so always follow the instructions on the bottle's label.