Aromatherapy Essential Oil Applications

Listed below are the 2 most common or popular way that the essential oils are applied.  It is very important to remember that no essential oil should be applied undiluted on to the skin. Essential oils are also not water soluble and therefore you must use a dispersant, such as a carrier oil, milk or cream, or a spoonful of honey, when adding to water to prevent the oil from causing irritation to sensitive or damaged skin which can result in blemishes, sores or rash.




Essential Oils can be absorbed into the body through either direct inhalation or aerial diffusion.  When air is breathe in during an aromatherapy treatment, essential oils that have evaporated during the process are absorbed into the system.  The quickest method of treatment is though inhalation compared to topical application because essential oils absorbed through the skin can take a longer time.


One of the attributes of essential oils is their ability to purify the air we breathe.  During aerial diffusion in the home, oxygenating molecules are released into the air where they stay suspended for a few hours to destroy and prevent bacteria, mold, fungus and freshen the air with natural fragrances.  Besides removing dust from air, the diffused oils that we breathe in contains wonderful anti-viral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties beneficial to health and well-being.  The benefits we get are a fragrant smelling room, relief from mental and physical fatigue, calming of our nervous systems and reducing tension, headaches and anxiety.

Essential oils can be inhale in many ways.

  • Hot Water

    Drop about 5 to 7 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water, then placed a towel over the head to capture the steam, lean over the bowl and breathe in deeply and slowly.  To avoid irritation in cases where the oil is strong, close your eyes during inhalation.  Inhale for at least 2 minutes or  until the water cools or until you stop selling the oil.  When essential oils and steam are combined they form a very potent way to help treat some ailments specially relating to upper respiratory tract, nose and sinuses.  This method is especially good to treat colds and flu, coughs and bronchial disorders.  However, it should never be used by asthma sufferers. This method can also acts as a facial steam for a deep cleansing routine which is beneficial to problem skin.

  • Bath

    Drop about 5 to 10 drops of oil that has been mixed in a in a tub of warm water, swish to disperse in the water.  A half cup of each of Epsom Salts, good for muscle relaxant and detoxifier, and Baking Soda, good for skin softening, can also be used to disperse the oils in your bath water.  This method is very effective as you breathe the vapors and absorb the oils through the skin. This method is good for stress relief and sore muscles.

  • Humidifier

    Add 3 to 9 drops to the water of the humidifier, then run overnight.  If humidifier is being run continuously, add the essential oils 2 or 3 times daily.  This is specially effective with a sick child as there is no risk of danger from hot water.
    WARNING: Essential Oils can damage Humidifier plastic and rubber parts


  • Vaporizer

    A vaporizer comes with 2 separate containers - the top one for water and essential oils and the bottom one to house a lit candle or tealight to provide the gentle heat. The small candle or tealight is used to heat the mixture of oil and water above it which will cause the oils to evaporate and be released into the room. 

  • Electrical Oil Burner

    An alternative to the small candle is a safer method using and electrical oil burner.

  • Handkerchief or tissue

    Put a drop or 2 of chosen oil onto a handkerchief or a tissue and smell it at interval. For optimal results, close your eyes and inhale.  Breathe in slowly and pause briefly on your inhaled breath before slowly exhaling.  Repeat this slow, rhythmic breathing 5 or 6 more times. This helps to relieve migraine headaches or nausea, ease nasal congestion or just simply lifting your mood.

  • Plastic spray bottle

    Add 8-10 drops of a refreshing essential oil into a clean plastic spray bottle half filled with either clean, filtered or bottled water.  May add a tiny amount (2-3 drops) of alcohol or witch hazel to act as a dispersant for your  oils to blend into the water.  Shake well and give a couple of quick sprays around the room.  Be careful not to spray near polished surfaces as they can be damaged by the essential oils.  This method acts as a air freshener and deodorizer and together with the oil's wonderful anti-viral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, it is also beneficial to health and well-being.

Topical Application

The direct topical application method is easy and effective.  Use 1 to 6 drops of oil and just apply directly to the area of concern.  As the essential oil is applied on the skin, the oils which are absorbed through skin pores and hair follicles then enters the bloodstream capillaries to circulate throughout the body. At the same time the smell of fragrances as the oil is rubbed on the skin also enters through the highly sensitive olfactory system. 

Some of the best places for direct topical application is the feet which can absorb oils fast due to the large pores, behind the ears and on the wrists.  From these locations, the oils quickly travels up the nerves to reach the problem area.

  • Massage therapy

    Massage therapy is a common therapeutic technique used together with Aromatherapy to effectively help the body to increase circulation and lymph flow to remove toxins from the skin and muscle system thus promoting better health.  When massaging a large area of the body, always dilute the oils by 15% - 30% with a carrier oil of choice.  Ways to effectively apply essential oils are:-

    • RainDrop Technique - Drop the oils along the spine from about 6 inches up and then use feather-like strokes to massage in the oils up the back.  Then apply the Vita-Flex Technique to the back, legs and feet.

    • Vita Flex Technique - This technique functions on similar concepts as Reflexology. However rather than using firm pressure to the reflexology points, Vita-Flex works by using a delicate rolling movement. Apply a drop or two of oil to the areas of the feet that corresponds to the system of the body which requires treatment.


  • Foot Bath

    A rejuvenating foot soak can both detoxify and heal the body and mind. Base on the philosophy of reflexology where the whole body is represented in the feet, having a foot bath will provide a range of positive effects such as easing rheumatism or arthritic pain, ease cramps and relax muscles.  Prepare a large bowl of warm water and disperse 1 or 2 drops of essential oil, thoroughly mixing them into the foot bath.  Soak feet for 10-15 minutes or until the water
    become tepid.


  • Chest Rub

    A chest or upper back rub is beneficial to assist respiration and relieve congestion.  Dilute 10 to 20 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil and rub on chest and upper back.

  • Skin Treatment

    Topical applications can treat problem skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis.  That is why many beauty products which are sold commercially today also contains essential oils.

  • Hot or Cold Compress

    A compress treatment can be hot or cold, depending on the condition. 

    • A cold compress is ideal for treatment of acute inflammation that are red or hot.  Add 4-6 drops of the appropriate essential oil into a bowl with ice cold water.  Dip a flannel or towel in the bowl, wring it out and apply to the affected area. Replace as soon they begin to warm.  Repeat the process several times or as long as needed to reduce heat or swelling.

    • A hot compress is ideal for aches and pains that are chronic or an injury that is past the acute stage.  Add 4-6 drops of essential oil into a bowl of hot water.  Then cover affected area with the damp flannel or towel.  To retain the heat, cover the compress with plastic or another dry towel.  Leave it for 10-40 minutes or until it begins to cool.  Repeat applications for as long as necessary

    • Use alternating hot and cold compress to stimulate healing or circulation in a stagnant condition

    • Note: You may feel a warming or even a burning sensation as the oil penetrates the areas where the greatest benefits occur.  Apply any pure vegetable oil if burning sensation becomes unbearable.

  • Mouthwash or Gargle

    The antiseptic and antibacterial effect of essential oil can be perfect for use as a natural sore throat remedy or antiseptic.  It is also beneficial for freshening the breath and maintaining healthy gums.  Essential Oil such as tea tree and sage can be thoroughly mixed with water and used as a gargle or mouthwash.

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