Topical Application - This is probably the most often used of the body method applications. Many oils are safe to apply directly to the skin neat (undiluted). When using an essential oil for the first time, apply it initially to the bottom of the feet. This allows the body to acclimate to the oil, minimizing the chance of a reaction. Apply 3-6 drops of a single or blended oil, spreading it over the bottom of each foot.
Essential oils can also be blended into carrier oils, such as cold-pressed grapeseed, olive, jojoba, wheat germ, and sweet almond oils, or a blend of any of these. This helps to extend essential oils and provide more efficient use. When massaging, the vegetable oil helps lubricate the skin.
Massage - apply 2 drops of a single oil or blend on the skin and massage it in. If you are working on a large area, such as the back, mix 1-3 drops of an essential oil into 1 tsp. of pure carrier oil. Use a maximum of 5 drops to each tsp of carrier oil.
Accupressure - When performing acupressure treatment, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil to the acupressure point with finger. Start by pressing firmly and then releasing. Avoid applying pressure to any particular pressure point too long. Continue along the acupressure points and meridians or use the reflexology or Vita Flex points. Once you’ve completed small point stimulations, massage the general area with the essential oil.
Warm Packs - For deeper penetration of an essential oil, use warm packs after applying oils. Dip a cloth in comfortably warm water. Wring the cloth out and place it on the location. Cover the cloth loosely with a dry towel or blanket for 15-30 minutes. This holds in the heat Remove the cloth immediately if there is any discomfort.
Cold Packs - Apply essential oils on the location, followed by cold water or ice packs when treating inflamed or swollen tissues. Keep the cold pack on until the swelling lessens.
Creating a Compress - Rub 1-4 drops on the location, diluted or neat, depending on the oil used and the skin sensitivity at that location. Cover the location with a hot, damp towel. Cover the moist towel with a dry towel for 10-20 minutes. As the oil penetrates the skin, you may experience a warming sensation, especially in areas where the greatest benefits occur. If the sensation becomes uncomfortable, apply any pure vegetable oil such as olive or almond, to the location.
Inhale directly – Inhale directly from an opened bottle of oil or put 1 drop of oil on a tissue or handkerchief and sniff when required.
Indirect or Subtle Inhalation – wear as a perfume or cologne by rubbing 2 or more drops of oil on your chest, neck, upper sternum, wrists, or under the nose and ears. Breathe in the fragrance throughout the day. Alternatively, you can add a few drops to a carrier oil or aloe vera gel and apply to the body as you would a perfume.
Ingestion - “All essential oils that are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) or certified as Food Additives (FA) by the FDA may be safely taken internally as dietary supplements. But ingesting essential oils should only be done under the directions of a knowledgeable health professional.” Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition
Essential oils can be very effective when taken orally in small amounts. They should always be diluted in a vegetable oil, milk, agave or honey prior to ingestion. A general rule advises taking 1 drop of essential oil in 1 tsp. of vegetable oil or in at least 4 ounces of a beverage. The oil dilution can also be put into gel capsules and swallowed. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and should not be given as dietary supplements to young children.
Cooking - Many essential oils can be used as food flavorings. Being so concentrated, a drop or two is the equivalent of 1-2 ounces of the dried herb. Add the oil and stir in after cooking and just before serving. This helps to prevent evaporation and retain oil integrity.
Oral Retention - This simply means holding the oil in your mouth where it is absorbed directly into the blood stream through the tissues under the tongue and through the inside lining of the cheeks. A drop or two is all that is needed. Dilute as needed.
Vaginal Retention - For systemic health problems such as candida or vaginitis, the Essential Oils Desk Reference says that “vaginal retention is one of the best ways for the body to absorb essential oils. Mix 20-30 drops of essential oil in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Apply this mixture to a tampon (for internal infection) or sanitary pad (for external lesions) Insert and retain for 8 hours or overnight. Use tampons or sanitary pads made with organic cotton.”
Rectal Retention - “Retention enemas are the most efficient way to deliver essential oils to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Always use a sterile syringe. Mix 15-29 drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil. Place the mixture in a small syringe and inject into the rectum. Retain the mixture through the night (or longer for best results). Clean and disinfect the applicator after each use.” Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Edition, compiled by Essential Science Publishing
These are some of the more commonly used body method applications. Much more information is available to help you use essential oils safely, easily and creatively. Explore the
Resources page for more information.