by Lyndsey Rogers, staff writer

Aromatherapy has been knowingly used since the ancient Egyptian culture started implementing various oils into beauty products, health aids, and spiritual ceremonies. Ancient China and India both used oils with a similar emphasis on health and spirituality. During the Middle Ages, talk of essential oils was significantly minimized due to accusations of witchcraft.

Essential oils started to regain popularity in 1600 CE and continued to gain traction once again because of the suggested health benefits. Now, using essential oils has become a popular, but useful, trend. Thanks to both modern invention and past knowledge, there are a variety of ways essential oils can be used.

1. Essential Oil Diffusers

Arguably, the most popular way to use essential oils is a diffuser. A machine is filled with water and then a few drops of the preferred essential oil. Once the machine is turned on, it provides a mist of water and the chosen oil. Essential oil diffusers can be used to spread the aroma of a scent to brighten a room while also providing potential benefits to the individuals breathing in the scent. On top of the physical effects, diffusers can act as a nice decoration to any room. Buyers can find diffusers in designs that look simple or like other objects such as lights, planets, fire, pottery, specific designs, plants, and even a functional rain cloud.

2. Jewelry

Essential oil diffusers are typically not portable, which makes jewelry a great alternative method for using essential oils on the go. One relatively cheap and effective type of jewelry that holds essential oils is lava beads. Lava beads, as the name suggests, are formed by lava cooling to molten rock. The natural color is black or gray, but they can be dyed to different colors. The shape and size can vary as well to better fit either a bracelet or a necklace design. They have tiny holes within them, which helps hold the essential oils. A few drops of the chosen oil can be added onto the lava stone and worn throughout the day. An alternative to lava beads is locket-type necklaces or bracelets with a sponge inside the locket part. The sponge can hold the essential oils. Another positive aspect of jewelry is the various designs and styles the buyer can choose from.

3. Apply Topically

Another way to use essential oils on the go or at home is to apply them topically. To apply oils topically, a few drops can be placed on the desired spot. Essential oils can also be bought or transferred into bottles with a roller top designed for application. Different points on the body can better absorb the oils applied. Behind the ears, on the temples, backside of the wrist, palms, chest, and the bottoms of the feet are common and effective places to apply oils. Certain oils can cause skin irritation, so it is important to dilute the oils properly with something like coconut oil when directly applying to skin.

4. In a Spray Bottle

Spray bottles can be filled with essential oils and a base to create a sprayable mist. One of the most common recipes consists of a generous amount of the desired oils and a base of distilled water and witch hazel. The witch hazel helps the oil to better mix with the water and create a longer lasting scent. With a recipe like that the spray will have the benefits of the essential oils and the benefits of the witch hazel. Witch hazel can help with itching, pain, swelling, and other skin irritations. Once created, the spray can be used to treat minor health issues, freshen rooms, and sprayed on other materials to create a lasting scent. Depending on the essential oils used, the spray can have various, customizable, effects.

5. Baths

A warm bath is a great way to relax and soothe sore muscles. Even better, is a warm bath with essential oils. Adding a few drops of an oil of choice into a bath can provide extra health benefits and relaxation. Similar to applying oils topically, it is important to dilute the oils with something like coconut oil to prevent skin irritation. Diluting will also help the oils better spread in the water. Adding the oil blend to the bath right at the start can offer the longest duration of effects. Certain items can also be purchased already infused with essential oils such as bath bombs, bubble bath, and body scrubs.

6. Massage

A massage with essential oils can be used to better relieve painful aches and increase relaxation. The chosen essential oils can be mixed into a massage lotion or diluted with another substance and then applied directly to the skin. Aromatherapy massage lotions are also able to be purchased already made. The massage itself can help work the oil into the skin on a deeper level. Different oils can be used to better fit the reason for use. For example, lavender can help the massage be more relaxing while eucalyptus can help with aches and pains.

7. Creating Products

For anybody who likes to make at-home craft products, essential oils can be a way to spice up a creation. Beauty products are one of the main things essential oils can be used for. Essential oils can be added to homemade lotions, soaps, lip balms, perfumes, bath and shower products, bug repellent, and much more to provide added benefits and a scent. In addition to beauty and hygiene products, oils can be used in other crafts as well. Homemade playdough, cleaning products, and candles can be scented with essential oils. Once again, products made with essential oils can be bought instead of made, if an individual desires. Or a maker of essential oil products could start a small business with homemade items.

8. Cooking

A more surprising use of essential oils is cooking food with them. It should be noted that not all essential oils are safe to ingest and there are proper ways to consume them. It is also important to not consume too many essential oils at once. To be safe, it is best to find the purest essential oils and use only one to two drops. A typically safe bet is to choose to cook with essential oils extracted from products normally used to cook. Examples include oils such as lemon, orange, peppermint, cinnamon, and other similar oils. It is helpful to dilute the oils in a fatty substance to fully mix it in to the dish. Before cooking with essential oils, it is a good idea to do additional research to make sure the oil being used is safe in the dish being made.

9. Stuffed Animals

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! With brands like Warmies, SuzziPals, and Warm Pals, essential oils can be infused into stuffed animals. Dinosaurs, penguins, cows, ducks, moose, frogs, whales, pandas, turtles, and more can become a new microwavable friend. When microwaved, the animal heats up, and the scent is emphasized. Most often, lavender is the scent used in each animal. The lavender can help support a calm and relaxed feeling. The heat and scent combined can help sooth children to sleep and promote a full night of sleep. While stuffed animals often appeal to children more than adults, any age could benefit from having one.

10. Medicinal Properties

Essential oils might not be a cure for sickness, but they can significantly help. Different oils can help with different ailments. Peppermint can help ease nausea and headaches. Lavendar is good for relaxation, insomnia, and stress relief. Tea tree oil can serve as an antibacterial for minor infections. Eucalyptus oil can help respiratory struggles, nasal congestion, and act as a bug repellent. Frankincense can help with inflammation. Lemon can kill bacteria, lift moods, and ease pain. Many more essential oils exist, but the ones listed are some of the easiest to obtain, beginner friendly, starting points. Of course, do your research and check with medical professionals.

Essential oils can be used for various reasons. Different oils better suit different needs. Using essential oils can improve somebody’s life by helping with lifting moods, decreasing stress, and helping with medical problems. Thanks to all the research and knowledge of essential oils collected through time, there are multiple ways to choose to use oils to best fit a specific purpose.

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