Ways to Use Essential Oils:
Aromatically: Inhaled or diffused using a cold air diffuser, so as not to damage the oils with heat. You can also place them on a cotton ball or felt pad, and place in a good spot, or breathe in deeply while cupping your hand over your nose.
Topically: Can be applied to the skin directly. Many oils can be applied "neat" or undiluted, but some oils are considered "hot" oils (Oregano, etc.) which can cause a bit of pain and are to be used with some type of carrier oil, such as grapeseed or olive oil. Young Living also carries a V-6 blended carrier oil as well.
Internally: It is recommended not to use essential oils internally! They are very concentrated versions of a plant.
Essential oils are oil soluble - not water soluble:
Oil and water do not mix. If you use too much of an oil, dilute it with a carrier oil (grapeseed, etc.)
Some oils can cause pigmentation changes and skin burns if the area the oil was applied to is exposed to UV rays or sunlight. Use caution with citrus oils such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot, angelica, etc. Check with a reference guide for which oils can cause photosensitivity.
Oils and Pregnancy:
Caution should be used when using essential oils with properties that affect hormones, like clary sage, fennel, and sage. No adverse reactions have been reported in humans, however, caution should still be taken, as with any product used during pregnancy. Consult your obstetrician for guidance and recommendations.
Oil Use For Infants, Children, and Pets:
For children, diluting oils is always the best idea. Pure essential oils are extremely potent and affect children and animals more directly. KidScents oils from Young Living are pre-diluted and can be used safely with children!!
In Regards to Ears:
Do not drop oils directly into the ear canal. They can be diluted and rubbed all around the ear, or placed on a cotton ball just inside the ear.
In Regards to Eyes:
DO NOT drop essential oils into the eyes. Placing oils around the eyes is okay as long as they are a "neat" oil, or they can be safely diluted with a carrier oil.
"Hot" oils that may hurt skin should be diluted with a carrier oil before use on the skin. Some common hot oils are clove, cinnamon bark, oregano, etc.
Storage of Oils:
Oils should be stored in dark colored (blue or brown) glass bottles. Protect them from both heat and light. The storage temperature should be less than 80 degrees. They can maintain their maximum potency for many years if stored properly, as they do not expire.
Do Not Use Plastic:
I recommend the use of glass (brown or blue) for any essential oil storage.
A 15 ml bottle of essential oil contains approximately 250 drops. A 5 ml bottle contains about 80 to 100 drops. The amount if based on the oil's viscosity (how thick the oil is.)
Inhalation if the fastest way for essential oils to enter the body. The second fastest application is via the bottoms of the feet, or to the outside of the ears. Testing has shown that the oils reach the heart, thyroid, and pancreas within three seconds through topical (skin) application.
One drop of essential oil can cover every cell in our body. Starting slow is a good rule of them with oils - sometimes less is more, and you need to get used to using them.
Warm compresses can help drive an oil into the body quicker.