How to Use Aromatherapy Oils to Enhance and Heal

If asked “how to use essential oils”, most people familiar with aromatherapy and essential oils, will be able to give you about three different ways of using essential oils: inhalation, topically and ingestion. 

How NOT to Use Essential Oils

Yes, I said “ingestion”. Sadly, and alarmingly people are being told by sales people of a well-known essential oils brand, marketed through a multi-level plan, that as long as you use their oils, you can ingest them. That’s absolutely stupid, and I see a number of lawsuits in their future!

NEVER ingest (drink, swallow, sip or take in capsule-form) any essential oil, unless you are under the personal care of a certified or licensed aromatherapist. Don’t just accept the word of a glorified sales person on how to use essential oils.

25 Safe Ways to Use Essential Oils

Saying “inhalation and topically” as the means of how to use essential oils, doesn’t get to the actual applications. So, here are some common ways to inhale or topically apply essential oils so you get the most benefit:

How to Use Essential Oils: Inhalation

  1. Steam Inhalation - Add 6-10 drops of essential oil into a pan of hot water. Using a towel to create a tent over your head and the pan, breathe deeply of the scented steam.

  2. Diffuser – Add a few drops of essential oil to the cup or bowl. Activate the diffuser by turning on by lighting a small tealight candle which is placed under the bowl.

  3. Room Sprays – Add a tablespoon of vodka, gin or pure alcohol (I’ve even used rubbing alcohol in the past) to a spray bottle, add 10-30 drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend, add fill the spray bottle with water. Shake well and spray, avoiding spraying on furniture.

  4. Scented Candles – Lighting aromatherapy candles, made with essential oils, is an excellent and subtle way to fragrance the room.

  5. Lantern and Lamp Oil – If you like the ambiance of an oil lamp make sure you buy unscented lamp oil to which you can then add your choice of essential oil.

  6. Ring Burners – Use a porcelain, aluminum or terra cotta ring, which fits on the top of a light bulb, to dispense scent into the room. Apply a few drops of oil to the ring as it sits on top of the light bulb and turn on the light. The heat from the bulb will disperse the fragrance.

  7. Humidifier – Add a few drops of essential oil to the water in a humidifier and turn on. If you humidify your room with a bowl or pan of water on top of the radiator or woodstove, add the essential oils to the container of water.

  8. Potpourri – Refresh a bowl of old potpourri by adding a few drops of essential oil, preferably a spice or floral scent, and then stir the potpourri.

  9. Pomanders – Fill a small clay or terracotta corked bottle with essential oil and hang in small closed-in spaces like closets or small bathrooms.

  10. Shoe Freshening – Add a drop or two of an oil like lemongrass, pine or parsley essential oil to cottonballs and drop into your sneakers, boots or other close-toed shoes to freshen and deodorize.

  11. Pillow Time – Try adding a few drops of lavender or other relaxing essential oil to your pillow as a cure for insomnia.

  12. In the Mood – Add a couple of drops of ylang-ylang, or other essential oils with aphrodisiac properties, to your pillow to help romance along.

  13. Handkerchief – Add a few drops of essential oil to a cloth handkerchief to carry with you anywhere. A great way to use eucalyptus to treat a cold or orange to refresh you and keep you alert at work.

  14. Wood Fires – Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite “woody” essential oil, like cedarwood, pine, sandalwood, or cypress on the logs you plan to use in building a fire in the fireplace or woodstove. Do it about an hour before lighting the fire to get the best effect.

  15. Sauna – Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the half-pint of water to pour over the hot coals for a great detoxifying and cleansing effect.

How to Use Essential Oils: Topical Applications

  1. Massage – Most people who’ve heard of aromatherapy automatically associate it with massage therapy, and not surprisingly many massage therapists are also aromatherapists. To create your own therapeutic massage oil as just a 10-20 drops of essential oil to an 8-ounce bottle of carrier oil (or 6 drops of essential oil to 4 tablespoons of a carrier oil for a single full-body massage).

  2. Baths – Fill a tub with hot water then add 5-10 drops of an essential oil blend created by mixing 30 drops of your favorite oil or oils, with one tablespoon each of honey, water, and vodka or gin. Climb in to the tub of water, sink down and let the scented water flow over you as you lie back and relax.

  3. Hot Tub or Jacuzzi – Add 10-20 drops of geranium, sandalwood or ylang-ylang for a relaxing, or use neroli, rosemary, or pine for a stimulating effect.

  4. Shower – After showering and rinsing, use a bathing sponge sprinkled with an essential oil dilute blend and rub over your body while letting the warm water from the shower head flow over you.

  5. Foot Bath – Add 4-5 drops of an essential oil blend, such as peppermint, thyme or rosemary, or even lavender to a large bowl of hot water, and then soak those tired dogs...er, feet.

  6. Hand Soak – Before a manicure or just to soothe chapped skin on the hands, add several drops of patchouli to a bowl of warm water and soak your hands.

  7. Compresses – Use a soft clean cloth, such as a handkerchief, face towel or small square of flannel which you’ve soaked in a cup of warm water to which you’ve added 5-10 drops of an essential oil blend. Squeeze out the excess water and place the compress on your forehead, nape of the neck or even chest.

  8. Rollerball Applicator – Fill with your favorite blend of essential oils and carrier oil and roll on your skin wherever you need the therapeutic benefit of the oils. For instance the Thyroid Blend would be rolled over the base of the throat several times a day.

  9. Facial Oil – Using a one-percent mix of essential oil to carrier oil massage into your face and neck as a daily beauty treatment.

  10. Body Oil – Using a three-percent mix of essential oils to carrier oil, massage into any area of your skin in need of a beauty or therapeutic treatment.


As you can see when it comes to how to use essential oils you have a wide variety of options that go well beyond inhaling or topical application. Not surprisingly, these are only 25 of the ways of how to use essential oils to bring health and happiness to your life. We didn’t even touch on the ways to use essential oils for the health and maintenance of your environment.

 How NOT to Use Essential Oils






Aromatherapy for Massage Therapists












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