Essential oils are created through distillation, a practice that has been in use for thousands of years. But it lost popularity when clever marketing of cheaper synthetic chemicals became available (and this can still be a problem, so investigate before purchase). Man-made, lifeless chemicals do not have the same healing effects and can sometimes have the opposite effect. Steam is the most common distilling method. Another method, solvent extraction, preserves essential oils for a very long time.
The extremely concentrated nature of essential oils and the face that they can (through smell) quickly pass the blood-brain barrier, are reasons to be careful when using them. However, there are guidelines that you can immediately implement to great benefit if you are a beginner. (Note from Kasper: ALWAYS use glass when storing essential oils- they are very strong and can melt plastic, therefore bringing the chemicals of the plastic into the oil! Also, it’s a leaky mess.)
Thoroughly mix together 1/3 cup table or sea salt, 1/3 cup baking soda, and 1/3 cup Epsom salts. Add between 10 and 30 drops of essential oil, depending on strength of the smell, and thoroughly mix by mashing with your hands. Add the bath (add more Epsom salts if you wish) and de-stress! This can also be used as a skin scrub (go easy, especially around your face), and even to clean surfaces like counters, sinks, bathtubs. add enough water to make a paste, then wipe down surfaces. Store unused amounts in a moisture-proof jar, away from heat.
Cologne and Room Sprays
Use a glass bottle with a quality spray device. A good proportion is approximately 7-12 drops essential oil to 4 ounces distilled water. Before adding the water, place a teaspoon of vodka or brandy in the mix to preserve it.
Massage and Hair/ Scalp Treatment
Use a cold-pressed base oil such as olive oil (better for dry skin) or grapeseed oil (better for oily skin), with a mixing ratio of 2 to 5 drops essential oil per teaspoon of base oil. Warm the oil in your hands before applying. For head lice, rinse hair with vinegar, then shower, and do an initial scalp treatment the first day in conjunction with a twice a day use of a Lice-meister comb for 14 days. Make sure the comb is completely clean between uses. If it is not, you will need to restart the count and the program.
This essential oil is undiluted, and the only ones you can use this way, without research, are lavender and tea tree. Any others may damage your skin. Try using these two oils neat for itches, wounds, and burns; both minimize or emliminate scarring. Apply lavender on temples for improved studying or headache relief. Some oils can promote wellness when placed on a pillow and inhaled (oils do cause stains, so take necessary precautions to protect your linens).
- From Llewellyn’s 2012 Herbal Almanac