Applying Essential Oils

What are some of the ways to apply Essential Oils?
Ella, Alberta, CD

Methods of Application

Direct Application

Direct application onto the skin is one of the easiest ways to use essential oils. It is also a highly effective method since essential oils can easily pass through the lipid membranes of cell walls. They are able to penetrate cells and disperse throughout the body within minutes. The bottom of the feet is a good place to apply oils directly because many nerve endings are found there and the pores of the skin are large in that area.

Before you start, remember to test a small area of the skin first. Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow 10-20 minutes between each oil to give the body a chance to respond before applying the second oil.

The longer essential oils stay in contact with the skin, the more likely they are to be absorbed, so do not wash them off too soon.

Carrier oils extend essential oils when they are applied to a large area. When massaging, the carrier oil helps lubricate the skin, as well. Some suggested carrier oils are:

  • Grapeseed (cold-pressed)
  • Jojoba
  • Olive

When applying essential oils to children, always use a carrier oil. Lavender oil does not require dilution as long as it is not lavandin or genetically-engineered lavender. Add 15-30 drops of essential oil to one ounce of quality carrier oil and mix well.

How to Dispense Essential Oil

Hold the bottle of oil 1 to 4 inches above the fingers or palm of the other hand. Tip it over and wait for the oil to drip out. Then, massage the oil onto the desired area. Oil can also be dropped directly over the body in this way.

Some essential oil is thicker than others and requires a gentle rocking. Never touch the center of the drop dispenser -- let the oil drip from the edge freely.


Multiple oils can be applied, one at a time, using a technique called layering. For example, if marjoram is used on a sore muscle; it is massaged into the tissue until the area is dry. Then the next oil is applied - perhaps peppermint, until the oil is absorbed. Then the third oil, possibly basil, until the oil is absorbed.


Mix 3-4 drops of essential oil with ½ tsp. of Massage Oil to create a custom massage oil.


Is a specialized form of hand and foot massage that is very effective in delivering the benefits of
essential oils throughout the body. Essential oils are applied to the areas of the feet and hands that correspond to the systems of the body needing attention (similar to the reflexology points).


1-3 drops of essential oil can be applied to acupressure points. Using an auricular probe with its slender point can enhance the application. Dip the probe into a drop of oil in your hand, then press the point firmly and release. This technique can be used along the acupressure points and meridians or used on the reflexology or Vita Flex points. Once the small point stimulation is complete, the general area can be massaged with same oil.


Diffusing essential oils is a perfect way to improve your home, work, or living environment. Diffusing can purify the air and neutralize mildew, cigarette smoke or other odors as well as protect you and your family from viruses and bacteria.


  • Place 2 or more drops into the palm of the left hand; rub clockwise with the right hand. Cup hands together over the nose and mouth and inhale deeply.
  • Add several drops of an essential oil to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Inhale the vapors that rise from the bowl. A towel can be placed over the head and bowl to increase the intensity of the vapors.
  • Apply a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball, tissue, natural-fiber handkerchief, or clay necklace and inhale periodically.
  • Apply 2 or more drops of oil anywhere on your upper body, such as chest, neck, sternum under nose and ears or wrists. Breathe in the fragrance throughout the day.


Hot packs are an excellent way to get deeper penetration of an essential oil:

  • Rub 1-3 drops essential oil on the desired location.
  • Cover with a hot, damp towel.
  • Cover the moist towel with a dry towel for 10-60 minutes.

    Warming or burning sensations may be experienced as the oil penetrates. If burning becomes uncomfortable, apply Massage Oil, or any pure vegetable oil.

Do Not use a warm, moist compress on the chest of a female. (If there are any unlying problems, this can cause it to go deeper as well.) Always go from the back area with this procedure.

Cold packs are advised for anyone with neurological problems or for swelling and inflammation.

  • Rub 1-3 drops essential oil on the desired location.
  • Cover with a cold, damp towel.
  • Cover towel with ice packs.
  • Keep the cold pack on until the swelling diminishes.

Warm compress for children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin:
Use water temperature that is about 100+deg; F (just slightly warmer than body heat). If there are neurological conditions, use cool water.

  • Place 5-15 drops of essential oil into a basin of warm water.
  • Agitate the water and let it stand for 1 minute.
  • Place a dry face cloth on top of the water to soak up the oils that have floated to the surface.

Adding to Bath

Since oil does not mix with water, they need to be mixed with a dispersing agent. Mixing 2-3 drops of oil with some Milk, Epsom salts, or Dendrick salt will help the oils disperse evenly and prevent stronger oils from stinging sensitive areas.

Use a fun Bath Mixture provided here,

Fast Respiratory System Help - Diffusing Essential Oils

An excellent way to use essential oils for the respiratory system is by diffusing the them into the air and breathing them in. In fact, diffusing essential oils has historically been one of the most effective ways to purify the air and benefit the respiratory system. That is because diffusing allows the oils to bring their oxygenating qualities further into the lungs and allows the essential oils to stay in the air for a longer period.

  • Research at Weber State University proved that diffusing essential oils kills airborne microorganisms. It is so effective that many hospitals in England and France diffuse essential oils daily to keep incidences of drug-resistant bacteria low, and to keep the air free from microorganisms.

    The process of diffusing is so effective because it breaks up the oil molecules into micro-fine mist particles, which are able to stay suspended in the air for long periods. Not only does this reduce viruses, bacteria, mold and odors in the air, but it soothes the trachea and lungs. In addition, diffused oils increase the available oxygen in the air and produce negative ions.

    No one wants to get sick. If you eat well, exercise, and take care of yourself, you can lower the chances. So take care of yourself and your family the natural way - with therapeutic-grade essential oils.