In the Beginning - Getting Started using Essential oils and Aromatherapy

by Penny Keay

You have heard the word “Aromatherapy” or have just learned about using essential oils. It has piqued your interest especially since you have heard so many good things. Perhaps, you went to your massage therapist and they used something that helped you relax and the muscles to stop hurting for hours afterwards. This caught your interest too.

Where do we start to tell someone about Aromatherapy or the use of essential oils that might spark their interest even further? We will start with ‘baby steps’.

Simply, essential oils are essences Mother NATURE provided for us to use to make us feel better, whether it is emotionally or physically and sometimes one helps the other. The fact that many of them smell great also helps!

Many are seeking natural ways of helping yourself. Folks are tired of the quick fix pills that have so many, many bad or unpleasant side effects. We want pleasant smelling, helpful products.

Did you know that essential oils only stay in your system for about 24 hours? Once they have “done” what they need to do, the body eliminates them. Essential oils are unlike some of the drugs often prescribed. Drugs may never leave your body. Some have been known to take months to leave. So which one do you prefer to use?

Let's get started. First, you may want to start with our Aromatherapy Basics Book to help you further as you 'begin' your Aromatherapy journey.

Of course, you are going to need some essential oils. The most basic beginners’ kit should include the following: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lemon, Tea Tree and Rosemary.

Now this is an extremely basic set of essential oils. They will help with many emotional and physical needs.

The next would be carrier oil or fixed oils - most likely Fractionated Coconut oil, Jojoba, Sweet Almond oil, Apricot oil, or Sunflower oil. These are used to mix with the essential oils for massage. Of course, you could add a few drops to your bathwater to help soften your skin.

Next, you may want to think about using a simple diffuser for diffusing the essential oils. There are many to choose. If you want something just for personal use, a cotton ball, handkerchief or a personal inhaler is all that you need. If you want to scent an entire room, you may want a more powerful fan or other electrical heat source diffuser. You might want to check out our descriptions of diffusers in the Article Diffuser Factors CLICK HERE.

You will also need or want a Recipe book, a decoder or chart. These can be quick reference sources for finding what oil or oils will help with a particular concern. There are many good books for anyone starting out but the simplest way to introduce essential oils is a decoder. We have a large selection of decoders but the two most basic ones - Aromatherapy and Advanced Aromatherapy decoders are the best for anyone, beginner to the advanced essential oil user.

Decoders and Charts are simple to use as they have a books worth of information on each 'wheel' of the decoder. These are also handy to carry in your Essential First aid kit or Travel kit.

Last, you might want to have a few empty bottles to mix blends in and or to share your creations.

As you explore the use of essential oils you will quickly find out you just don't have some of the oils you might need. You will need to purchase more oils. Always purchase small sizes of essential oils until you know for sure that you like them or have a use for them. You don’t want to have essential oils just sitting around aging and oxidizing if you aren’t going to use them shortly.

What is next? If you are getting more interested in Aromatherapy and essential oils, you will definitely want to buy more books. You will be able to learn a lot from the several good books available. Our Aromatherapy Recipe book using Pure Essential oils has over 200 recipes that were created for clients or for our own personal use.

You might not be aware that we have several basic kits for those just beginning to use essential oils. Please visit our Sampler kits page. We have kits for all levels of interest and budgets.

Following are some ways that essential oils can be used in and around the home, office or other places

We are often asked for the ways we personally use essential oils. Here are just a few of the more specific ways we use them.

1. In the dishwashing water - a few drops of Peppermint or Lemon when we wash dishes by hand. Although you can add a few drops to the powder or gel when you put them in to your automatic dishwasher.

2. In the bathtub - Lavender or a synergy blend – Calming is one of our favorites. You can use many of our synergy blends in the bathtub or shower. Experiment with a few!

3. On the bed sheets - again Lavender

4. In the Automobiles - Conifer Blend, or Citrus Blend . Although we have a Car Scenter and an Aeron Car diffuser, sometimes we just put some on a tissue and lay on the front seat. We also use Terra Cotta Discs in an organza bag and hang in the back of our van.

5. In the vacuum cleaner - Pine or one of the Fir needles, or Peppermint or Mint Energizing blend , or for a change Anise .

6. By our Computers - Grapefruit, Spearmint or Rosemary on a small passive diffuser like the Terra Cotta Discs.

7. When we travel - to hotels - we use our Tru Melange or a Scentball - We usually start by diffusing Lavender and Pure Cleansing blend, sometimes we might add a little Four Robbers blend . Then before bed a drop or two of Lavender on the pillows.

8. We use Lavender (diluted of course) on burns & cuts.

9. Peppermint and Rosemary mixed with a carrier oil - on the back of the neck when we have headaches.

10. Helichrysum on bruises, cuts and other scar producing injuries. Next time you have a paper cut – use a bit of Helichrysum 10% after you wipe away the blood. Put on a bandage and watch how quickly it will heal!

11. When we have an acute back ache or muscle aches - We use Muscle Warm blend or Dar's blend mixed in a little carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas.

12. Ker-chew! - Coughing When we have been exposed to people out in the public who are sneezing and coughing. We will use Easy Breathe, Respiratory , Fragonia Pure Cleansing Blend and Four Robbers blend (mixed with carrier oils) massaged into the bottom of our feet at bedtime. Or we usually just simply diffuse them. The new essential oil Fragonia is quickly becoming one of our favorites for coughing – especial the kind where you have that little ‘tickle’.

13. Sore throats - at the start of a sore throat - we gargle with a drop of Thyme or Oregano in 2-3 ounces of water every couple of hours. Usually knocks it out within a few hours.

14. Dry chapped skin - A blend of Lavender and Rose blended into unscented lotion or sorbolene cream.

15.Canker sores - ever brush your teeth and have the toothbrush miss your teeth and hit your gums? Next thing you know you have a sore on your gums. Put a drop of Myrrh in 2 oz of warm water and swish around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Do a couple times a day and soon the sores are healed.

16.We have 2 small house dogs. Although we keep things as clean as possible - every now and again you smell doggy smells in the house. We spray some essential oils in the air mixed with our Room Spray base. Our favorite blend – Air Freshen blend. In our Recipes Files (see link on left) we have several Room Spray recipes. I like the citrus sprays but you may prefer one of the others.

17. Since we seem to have a door open and do not need any mice to come in, we simply put Peppermint on the thresholds of the doorways. These keep them from 'sneaking' in. We use Fiber bits and saturate them with peppermint. Then sprinkle near the doorway (outdoors). They are biodegradable and when they have lost their scenting we just sweep them away to the compost bins.

These are just a few ways we use essential oils – sometime I’ll have to sit down and make a list of more ways!

Hope this gives you a few ideas as you begin the wonderful journey into the world of True Aromatherapy!

©2013 Penny Keay

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We do not endorse, nor do we encourage anyone to implement Aromatherapy or any suggestions contained within this site without the consent of his/her medical doctor. We also do not take any liability for your implementation of any oils, recipes, or anything else available through this site, from any book or company recommendation, or available on any site linked from Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC


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These atomizing style diffusers by Diffuser World are very beautiful. They have several atomizers to choose, in a wide range of styles and colors. Diffuser World is a very reliable company and has outstanding customer service too. We would not recommend them to you unless we knew they would take good care of you.

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