Easy Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils

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Essential oils are best used in one of two simple ways: through inhalation, where the oils can directly affect certain areas of the brain, and through topical application, where the oils are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. (Note: Oral ingestion can be an option, but only under experienced medical supervision -- further, SOME OILS CAN BE TOXIC, and other even seemingly harmless oils should not be used under certain conditions. If you are pregnant, or have specific medical needs, consult a knowledgeable practitioner before continuing!)

Inhalation of Essential Oils

Essential oils when inhaled directly affect our limbic system, the brain's emotional centers. Many oils have been found to sharpen concentration, reduce tension and anxiety, and even reduce depression. How can we reap these magnificent benefits? There are a few simple, cost-effective ways to prepare essential oils for inhalation -- and experience these wonderful effects: the handkerchief method, making your own "smelling salts," and making your own aromatherapy mister.

The handkerchief method is pretty straightforward -- put a drop or two of an oil or blend on a tissue and inhale (careful with some oils though -- peppermint, for example, can burn the sensitive skin around your nostrils if put in direct contact). You can even leave the tissue (or handkerchief, or piece of cloth, or cotton, or whatever) in a room or your workspace and the oil will continue to evaporate and have its effects.

Making your own "smelling salts" is similar, though your preparation will last a while longer. To make the salts, fill a small vial (dark glass with a good cap is best) with natural sea salt and drop essential oils into the salt. The amount of oil is not too critical -- enough that there is detectable aroma, and not so much that the salt gets completely wet. Just unscrew the cap and inhale from the bottle whenever you need a lift, or, like the handkerchief, leave the vial open in your space, letting the aroma slowly fill the area.