My Basic Essential Oils Guide For Beginners
Essential oils are one of the top natural remedies to use for health and healing. However, they also happen to be a little intimidating for beginners.
Perhaps you have seen advertisements for essential oil companies, or your friends or relatives have started using EO’s themselves. If you have been hearing about them, but aren’t quite sure how to get started, my Essential Oils for Beginners guide is for you.
You will learn everything from the basic essential oils to start with, to how to use them, the different health benefits, diffusing essential oils for beginners, and more. This is a good starter’s guide when you want to add Essential Oils and Aromatherapy into your life.
Keep in mind you can start off slow with just one or two oils, using them for very simple things. You can add to your kit of oils as you learn about them. And before too long, you will not only learn how beneficial they can be, but how easy they are to use in your every-day life.
All About Essential Oils for Beginners
1. Basic Essential Oils to Start With
Before you learn the basic techniques to use essential oils, you need to get a grasp on what oils to use. There are extremely common ones that others will talk about, like lavender and peppermint, but there are also some others you might not have thought of.
So what exactly are essential oils? These are natural plant oils that are extracted from herbs, plants, and flowers. Depending on the plant they are extracted from, the oils might come from the petals, leaves, or stems of the plants and shrubs. They cover everything from pretty flowers such as jasmine, to herbs you can cook with such as basil.
The Best Essential Oils for Beginners to Start With
These are excellent starter essential oils – with links to purchase top quality oils if you so wish.
LAVENDER. Lavender can be used for relaxation and resting, as well as reducing stress and anxiety. You can also use lavender oil to help with your skin and relieve headaches.
ROSE. Rose has similar health benefits of lavender, including reducing stress, helping ease the mind of worries and anxiety, and improving headaches. It is often combined with lavender and chamomile in diffuser blends.
CHAMOMILE. Many people know of chamomile as a way to relax and unwind, such as with chamomile tea. While it is definitely a soothing oil, it can also be used for your skin. Not only does it soothe your mind, but it soothes burns and bug bites.
JASMINE. Jasmine is a beautiful, highly scented flower that also makes healing essential oil. Use jasmine when you want to help with hormonal balance in women, increased breast milk production, and sexual dysfunction in men.
GINGER. Oh, the almighty ginger. Most people understand the health benefits of ginger as an herb that is used for cooking and various medicinal properties. But did you know you can use ginger essential oil as well? This helps with digestion, nausea, and heartburn.
FRANKINCENSE. Often thought of as King of the Oil, Frankincense has a multitude of health benefits! Plus it smells simply divine! Frankincense is great for the respiratory system, really helping a lot if you have a cold or flu. It is also excellent for emotional problems.
PEPPERMINT. Peppermint is a great essential oil to have on hand. This is good for the skin when you have a bug bite or burn because it has a cooling effect, similar to aloe. It also helps with muscle tension and headaches.
BASIL. When it comes to essential oils from herbs, basil is one of the most common ones to use. It also happens to be more of a beginner-friendly type of oil. With basil essential oil, it helps with brain health and development, including improving your memory. It is often given to people with Alzheimer’s disease or those suffering from depression.
BERGAMOT. This is a common essential oil though one that beginners often don’t recognize the name of. Bergamot is an oil that helps with mood and behavior. It can help with negative thoughts and anger, plus it also improves your metabolism.
LEMON. For a refreshing citrus oil, try lemon essential oil. This is more pure than just using lemon zest or lemon juice, so keep that in mind. It is good for improved energy and focus.
SAGE. Sage is highly recommended for women, as it helps with female health issues – such as like hot flashes and PMS symptoms. Sage can also ease labor pain. Sage is regarded highly for cleansing healing crystals – where Sage Smudge Sticks are burnt and the smoke is used.
2. Tips For Using Essential Oils For Aromatherapy
Now that you know which essential oils to buy as a beginner, you can start using them for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, while often just assumed to be for inhaling oils, is a little more complex. This is the practice of using oils to help with mental and physical ailments.
Aromatherapy encompasses many things, from adding the oils to your bath and having them on your skin plus inhaling them, to rubbing the diluted oils directly onto your skin. Here are some tips for using essential oils for aromatherapy purposes:
Use Only Pure Essential Oils
For starters, make sure you are using actual, 100% pure essential oils. Don’t use something that says it is “made with essential oils” as that is going to also have other ingredients. Also avoid fragrance oils. These are not the same thing as Therapeutic oils, and are only meant for the fragrance, similar to perfume. Real, pure essential oils aren’t just fragrant, but provide health benefits as well.
There are many places you can find essential oils, from drug stores to holistic shops and online. Look at the label and ingredients to make sure you are choosing the right type of essential oil.
Learn How to Dilute Your Oils
If you want to use essential oils for aromatherapy, you will most likely be putting them in your bath or directly on your skin. This is very important – you need to dilute them! Pure essential oils are far too strong and too harsh for most people’s skin. They can cause a severe reaction and even burn.
To dilute the oils, you must use a “carrier” oil. This creates a good balance so that the oil is just as effective as a topical agent, but it won’t cause a bad reaction. There are many carrier oils, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil. You require a larger quantity of carrier oil to the amount of essential oil.
Continue reading below, as I will cover this more extensively later in this guide.
Be Careful With Complex Blends
It is a great idea to blend your oils when using them in a diffuser, but you want to practice caution with complex blends. Not only can the smell be a bit much, but too many oils used at once on your skin might cause different reactions. When combining oils, use those in the same category, and start slow.
3. Essential Oils Vs Herbs
A common question asked by people who are learning about essential oils is how they differ from herbs. After all, they all come from herbs and plants. While they are very similar, there are some distinct differences.
Where They Come From
The primary difference between herbs and oils is where they come from and how they are obtained.
Essential oils come directly from the essence of the plant, where only the oils are extracted from particular parts of the plant. Herbs actually use all parts of a plant, including flowers, leaves, stems, and even roots. Herbs can be used fresh or dried.
Another way essential oils differ from herbs is that they are often much more concentrated. This is why you can’t rub pure essential oil on your skin, but you can crush up fresh or dried herbs and rub them on your skin without incident.
This can mean some oils are easier to use for health benefits, but there are also some drawbacks to them.
They Are Both Beneficial
There is no choice that needs to be made here. When you are focused on more natural, holistic health, it is good to use both essential oils and herbs.
4. How to Use Carrier Oils
The next important thing to learn if you are new to using essential oils is how to use carrier oils. As mentioned in a previous section, a carrier oil is a type of oil that comes from fruit or vegetable sources, which is used to dilute the essential oil. This makes it safe for application on the skin.
Only certain types of oils qualify as carrier oils, and are not all forms of fat. You will never use butter, shortening, or margarine on your skin. You will also not use any type of mineral oil as a carrier oil
Types of Carrier Oils
There are quite a few carrier oils you can use, but here are some of the most common:
JOJOBA OIL. This oil has a long shelf life and is good for moisturizing your skin, so it is a popular carrier oil for topical application. It is also a non-greasy oil, but it does have a slight nutty scent.
GRAPESEED OIL. Grapeseed oil is thinner in consistency and a little lighter than jojoba oil and many of the other oils listed here. It is good for moisturizing and massaging into the skin with your essential oil. The downside is that it has a short shelf life, so you need to use it quickly.
SWEET ALMOND OIL. You may also hear people of using sweet almond oil as a carrier oil. The only thing you need to be aware of is that if you have a nut allergy, you need to avoid this one. It is moisturizing with the vitamin E that is in the oil, and can absorb quickly into your skin. It has a sweeter aroma.
OLIVE OIL. If you don’t have these other oils, you can still use olive oil as your carrier oil. Since it is a thicker oil, it might leave a slightly oily feeling on your skin, so that is something to keep in mind. The shelf life is about medium, but it does provide omega fatty acids.
How to Use Carrier Oils
Using a carrier oil is very simple to do. You will first decide what essential oils and carrier oils you want to use. Then you will use the dilution guidelines in the next section to add a certain number of drops of oils to the carrier oils. You can do this in another bottle or jar, depending on how much you want to use.
5. Dilution Guidelines For Your Essential Oils
The last thing you need to learn before you get started using your essential oils is all about the dilution guidelines. This provides information about how much to dilute your oils with the carrier oils. This is really important to learn, so don’t be intimidated by it! Once you get used to diluting your oils, it will be a breeze.
Adults: For adults, the basic dilution for essential oils is to have about a 2 percent essential oil to carrier oil. If you have an ounce of carrier oil, you would add about 10 drops of the essential oil.
Children over 6: When you are using the oils on children who are over 6 years of age, you want to cut the amount in half, by using just 1 percent of essential oil to your carrier oil. This would be 5 drops of the essential oil compared to an ounce of carrier oil.
Children under 6: Younger children need even more dilution. Don’t use more than 1 drop of essential oil for 4 teaspoons of the carrier oil. This is about .25 percent dilution.
If you are not quite ready for this, you can often find essential oils that have already been diluted with carrier oils, providing store-bought blends. This is a good way to start using them!
Here are some high quality carrier oils available at StarWest, click on image for full details:
Essential Oils for Beginners Book
Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing by Althea Press.
This Best Seller is the perfect essential oils for beginners book. It is easily understood and very comprehensive.
It covers a history of essential oils, as well as how to work out which basic essential oils to start with. It also has a fantastic “look-up” guide for many ailments, to help you select the right oil. Click the link and go have a look inside the book.am
I hope you found my Basic Essential Oils Guide For Beginners to be helpful. And trust it will start you on your way to using Essential Oils every day. You won’t look back!