Essential Oils

Essential oils, known as nature’s living energy, are the natural, aromatic and volatile liquids found in various parts of plants, flowers, herbs, fruits, woods and spices. They are extracted from aromatic plant sources via various processes of distillation, and are highly concentrated and far more potent than dry herbs. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils also assist the plant in healing, providing protection and help with plant pollination. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years. They were mankind’s first medicine and played a prominent role in everyday life. Today, essential oils are used for aromatherapy, aromatic massage, emotional health, personal care, creating a toxin-free home and so much more.

Essential oils have the power to go where they are needed within the body. They have quick healing properties, help to rebalance your system, and help to reinforce the immune system. Essential oils have the ability to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. They can take anywhere for 20 to 70 minutes or longer to be absorbed. Once they penetrate the skin, they can reach tiny blood capillaries and lymph, after which they are transported around the body by the circulatory system. When we inhale essential oils, they are transported through our nasal cavity to the olfactory epithelium at the inner nasal cavity, level with the bridge of our nose. The tiny hairs, which are endings of olfactory nerves, translate odour into nerve messages. These nerves messages travel to the limbic system in our brains, which is the centre of all emotional behaviour. This is why smells affect us so profoundly; they are strongly connected to emotions and our memories.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are three ways of using essential oils to be absorbed and utilized by our bodies:


Oils are applied directly on the desired location following dilution ratios or using personal preference. A little goes a long way. Roll-on bottles are another convenient way to apply diluted oils. Suggested application areas: most often the area of concern, temples, behind ears, wrists, neck, base of skull and soles of the feet.

  • DILUTED: Mix with carrier oil* before applying to desired area. I recommend that essential oils always be diluted for all individuals, unless for a specific reason, as stated below.
  • NEAT: means undiluted (straight from the bottle) as directed to desired area. This should only be used under specific circumstances and only with essential oils that are safe to use this way.

*Carrier oils are non-essential (vegetable based) oils used for dilution. They are used to ‘carry’ the essential oils that need to be diluted before being applied to the skin. There are many to choose from. Try to use organic, un-refined and cold-pressed if possible.

Examples: Fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, etc.


Using essential oils aromatically is the safest way to utilize essential oils. This method provides direct access to the limbic system in our brain via the olfactory system. The limbic system is the centre of all emotional behaviour.

Diffusing: Diffusing essential oils allows the oils to be dispersed into the air as tiny molecules and is a safe and easy way to experience the aromatic and therapeutic benefits.

  • Add 3-6 drops to water in a diffuser, check your usage manual for instructions specific to your diffuser. Depending on the diffuser, you may need to use distilled water to ensure the longevity of your diffuser. You want to make sure it is a cool mist, as heat will destroy the beneficial properties of the essential oil.
  • This is a very beneficial and easy way to introduce oils to your home.
  • Inhale directly: Put 2-3 drops of a diluted essential oil in the palm of one hand, rub palms together, cup hand over nose and mouth and breath slowly and steadily for 1 minute.
  • Inhale deeply directly from the bottle.
  • Add 2-4 drops to cotton balls or clothespins and place near air vents at home or in the car.
  • Diffuser jewelry – there are some beautiful pieces created for use with essential oils.


Ingestion is the fastest method of absorption but I do not recommend using this method unless under the direct supervision and care of a medical doctor who is educated about internal usage. The CFA – Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists does not condone or recommend the usage of essential oils internally. Regular internal usage can be harmful and may cause liver damage, so I definitely recommend using the other alternative, much safer methods.

Whatever method of use is chosen, the powerful constituents in essential oils eventually find their way into our bloodstreams, pass through our liver and are chemically changed/metabolized into water-soluble substances that will eventually be excreted through our kidneys and urinary tract.

Essential Oil Safety Tips:

  • Never use essential oils in the eyes or ears. If you accidentally get oil in your eyes, flush with carrier oil, NOT water. Or put a dab of carrier oil on the corner of your eye and it will draw the oil out.
  • Dilute, dilute, dilute! I feel that dilution is necessary, especially when first starting to use essential oils, to avoid sensitization and skin irritation. This will also make your oils last longer.
  • If skin sensitivity occurs, dilute with carrier oil, then wash with soap and water.
  • Be careful of where you purchase your oils. Quality oils definitely cost more and if the price is low, the likelihood is the quality is low. You want to make sure that what is in your oil bottle is 100% pure essential oil, with no added synthetics.
  • Invest in some good oily resources and learn! I can recommend several great tools for you.