Essential oils are the natural substances extracted from herbs, grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, resins and spices. Obtained in various manners, these oils can sooth, rejuvenate, relax, energize, heal, and provide pain relief. ?These oils can affect the body on psychological, physical and emotional levels, and using the oils in this way is traditionally referred to as aromatherapy.

Essential oils can be absorbed through the skin, sometimes reaching the bloodstream, or inhaled through the nose, affecting the brain through the olfactory system. Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin, but should always be diluted in a carrier oil. Which carrier oil you use will be largely dependent upon your personal needs and tastes. Some are better for dry skin, some for oily skin, and some have a longer shelf life than others. See my previous posts for details on which oils to use for which types of skin type. Just remember that experimentation is half the fun!

Once the essential oils are diluted you can use them for local applications on body parts or for full body massages. Pure
essential oils can also be added to bathes for a soothing experience or in a compress to alleviate chronic or acute pain. [Chronic pain is a backache or arthritis, and acute is like a sprained ankle or headache. ] You can mix them in water and alcohol for a refreshing room spray, or vaporize them in burners to eliminate unpleasant odors or to create an atmosphere where you can unhale the benefits of a particular oil.

For inhalation, placing 5 drops of essential oil on a tissue and sniffing for five minutes is a fast and easy way to give yourself an inhalation treatment. You can put a few drops on your pillow before retiring at night, or you can also add 6 to 8 drops of essential oil to a bowl of almost boiling water, then lean toward the bowl, place a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale for five minutes. The steam treatment is especially great for facials and for colds and sinus ailments. For some great recipes see

For massage add 15 drops of essential oil to any carrier oil, or mixture of carrier oils that you desire. Be sure to read the tips for massaging and see the recipes in this post;

For bathing add 5 to 10 drops to warm bath water and soak for about 20 minutes. To prevent that oil ring around the tub, you can mix the essential oil in a cap full of pure liquid Castile soap or baby shampoo. You can also add 10 to 15 drops to an ounce of coconut oil and pour that into your bath.

Compresses; For chronic pain such as aching joints, tired or sore muscles, backaches, earaches, etc., prepare a hot compress by diluting 4 to 6 drops of essential oil in a large bowl of almost boiling water. Dip a cotton sheet strip (about 4 inches wide) into the liquid and wrap it around, or apply it to the affected area. Repeat when the compress has cooled off.

For acute pain such as headaches or sprains etc., prepare a cold compress by diluting 4 to 6 drops of essential oil in a large bowl of ice water. Dip a cotton sheet strip (about 4 inches wide) into the liquid and wrap around, or apply to, the affected area

Vaporization; Add a few drops of essential oil to a light bulb ring, fragrance burner or diffuser.

Dilution Rate; To be safe and effective, most aromatherapy formulas are blended at a 2 1/2% concentration rate. Although the number of drops will vary slightly with the density of the oil and the diameter of the dropper opening, you can use the following measurements as a pretty accurate base for measurements.

  • 2-3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon carrier oil
  • 7-8 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil
  • 15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil
  • 500 drops of essential oil per liter of carrier oil

Safety Tips;

  • When using essential oils it is very important to learn the safety aspects of the individual oils. Some are photo-toxic, while others are unsafe for use during pregnancy or with other medical conditions.
  • Reputable dealers will list the safety considerations of the oils that they sell, so be sure to read all of the information.
  • Never take essential oils internally without being under the care and supervision of a specialist. Even oils that are food safe require specialized instruction to properly administer.
  • Essential oils should be stored in amber bottles, in a cool location, away from direct sunlight. Never store an essential oil in a plastic bottle.
  • The color of some essential oils may change with time. This does not alter the potency of the oil.
  • Keep essential oils away from the eyes.
  • Essential oils are not recommended for babies or small children, and should be kept out of their reach.
  • Never apply essential oils directly to the skin, always dilute them first. *There are a few EO's that are safe to be used "neat" on the skin, but unless you know for certain what you are doing, it is safer to assume yours needs diluting! 
  • If you store essential oils in the refrigerator make sure to place it in an air-tight container so that the aroma does not permeate the food.
  • Some oils may solidify in cold temperatures due to a high wax content. If this occurs, simply place the bottle in a bowl of hot water to liquefy it before using.
  • Most essential oils have a shelf life of two years, with the exception of pine and citrus oils, which loose some of their potency after 6 months.


The art of massage therapy can be painted by any, not just the master artists! With a few simple tips you can treat your self, your partner, or be treated by your partner, to a fantastic and therapeutic massage.
  • If you do not have a massage table don't worry! Just cover your firm mattress with a towl or bath sheet.
  • Put on some relaxing music, light the aromatherapy candles, dim the lights
  • Make sure that the room is warm and the phone is unplugged. If you have children, make sure that they are cared for and that they won't disturb you. In other words, lock your door! lol
  • Use natural oils or cremes, as they are nourishing to your skin and create an easy glide on the skin to help with the actual massage.
  • Cold pressed oils maintain their natural vitamin content. These nutritive values will lubricate your skin and also will be absorb into the skin when you are finished with the massage, moisturizing it.
  • Aromatherapy assists by providing therapeutic benefits, especially when combined with essential oils that are noted for evoking relaxation responses. The fragrance you use should bring to mind pleasant memories. This, then stimulates positive and healing emory patterns.
  • The main reason for a massage is to activate the nerve endings in the body and stimulate the bloods circulation through the stroking of the skin, albeit gently or a bit more roughly.
  • When you use the right essential oils in massage therapy, you can relieve anxiety and stress, increase lymph production in the system, improve blood flow, detoxify the system, ease pain and soothe sore muscles.
  • You can custom blend essential oils to meet your needs, or just ask your herbalist to make you a blend.
  • The power of caring human touch is a healing catalyst, both to help release tension and lactic acid build up in mucles. Touch is a comforting, caring signal to the mind and the body.
  • A massage that is too painful will not yield effective results. There are many different types of massage techniques. Kneading, deep friction, rocking, compression, skin rolling, fingertip brushing, and percussion to name a few. Whichever you use will depend upon what feels best to you and what works best on you. Your preferences may change with your moods and that is okay too!
  • Do not get a massage immediately after exercising. The body continues the process of eliminating toxins through perspiration for a time after you exercise and this will interfere with the absorption of the oil by the skin.
  • Remain warm and relaxed after your massage for at least 20 minutes.
  • Since warmth is so important in keeping muscles relaxed, you may need to add a space heater to the room when getting a massage. At the very least, keep a few extra blankets nearby for after the massage.
  • Pour the massage oil into the palm of your hands first, then onto the skin to warm the oil.
  • Replenish body fluids and help to cleanse the body and remove toxins from it after the massage by by drinking 8 ounces of water or herbal tea.
In future posts I will cover more about essential oils and their therapeutic properties, but for this post, I am detailing some recipes for general health and well being. For the most part, you can change the essential oil in the recipes to fit your mood and needs. In this first recipe, the clary sage helps to alleviate fatigue, irritability and depression. The lavender is known for stress reduction, alleviating headaches, and stimulating the circulatory system, not to mention that it is very arromatic. Alone, or mixed with other oils, lavender is also known for inducing relaxation and promoting rest, but mixed with the clary sage, this blend is ideal for cleaning the body systems and ridding it of toxins and impurities. It promotes total physical and spiritual relaxation.
Grapeseed oil is a great oil to use for a massage blend because it is high in polyunsaturates. It is very light and very easily absorbed by the skin. Mix 1/2 cup grapeseed oil with 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 4 drops of clary sage essential oil. Blend them well, then massage into the skin. Try using the pit of the avocado that you used in other recipes as a massage tool. It is a great, natural massager! Remember to rest for 20 minutes after your massage. **VETIVER MASSAGE OIL** Jojoba oil is actually more like a wax than an oil. It is very rich in natural vitamin E and is very similar to natural human oil secretions, sebum. It is very easily absorbed by the skin and is suitable for all skin types, making it one of the most popular carrier oils. Jojoba oil blends well with most essential oils, and has the added benefit of having a longer shelf life than most carrier oils (2-3 years). Vetiver essential oil has a rich, woodsy scent and is known for calming and grounding properties. This recipe is good to use for full body aromatherapy massages or for local applications to sooth tired and sore muscles. Mix 1/2 cup of jojoba oil with 40 drops of vetiver essential oil. Mix the oils well and stor in an amber glass bottle. **MOISTURIZING MASSAGE OIL** You can add whatever essentyial oil blend to this recipe that you need. Here, the oil blend iteslf is the main focus. This recipe is for normal to very dry skin and will leave you with mositurized, amazing feeling skin! 1/2 cup sweet almond oil 1/4 cup coconut oil 4 Tbs. avocado oil 3-5 drops of essential oil(s) Store for 3-6 months in an aber bottle. Make sure to keep out of direct light and away from extreme heat.
Begin by taking some time to quiet yourself and prepare mentally. Once practiced this may only take three to five minutes of quiet time in a softly lit room, but in the beginning you may need longer. Start by focusing on the center of your diaphragm and quieting yourself by concentrating on your breathing. Deep breathing will help you to relax and focus yourself, drwing your attention to the task at hand. Take a few deep, slow, cleansing breaths. Relax and focus on your breathing. Clear your mind of any other thoughts. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly and steadily. Do not let yourself think of anything besides your breathing. Push all other thoughts away. Take as long as you need. Once you are relaxed, it is time to begin your massage. Begin at your feet. Pour some massage oil in the palm of your hands, then take both of hands and massage the bottom of your feet by applying pressure in a circular motion from the center of the foot outward. Then massage upward on each foot, from the ankle to the toes, using the thumbs to press firmly. Massage each toe, then massage the tops of the feet, moving up your legs to the calves, then the upper legs. Continue to apply oil as you go, and as needed. Use a kneading technique on sore muscles. After the upper leg move on to the shoulders and your neck. Start on one side, using your fingertips. Work down yoru arms and then massage your hands and fingers. Be sure to do each finger, just as you did the toes. Once you have finished, stay warm and relax for an additional 20 minutes. Remember to drink your replenishing fluids noted in the tip section above.


After a long, therapeutic soak in the tub, or even after a quick daily shower, you need to moisturize the skin. Your skin is constantly exposed to sun, wind, heat, cold, water and, if not cared for, will break down. Apply an appropriate moisturizer to your skin every day after your shower or bath. When finished bathing, never rub your skin dry, rather pat it. This avoids abrasion and allows some moisture to remain on the skin. Since it is better to apply the moisturizer while your skin is still warm and slightly damp, this works out great! Make sure that you use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin. That is to say, one that has ingredients that are suitable for your skin type. You may need to try several before you find one that does not feel greasy to you and will not clog your pores, but experimentation is the only way to know for sure! Rich, heavy oils are best for dry skin. Think olive oil, caster oil, hazel nut oil, and sesame oil. Lighter, finer oils or gels are better for normal to oily skin. Think sunflower oil, jojoba, sweet almond oil, apricot kernal oil, and grapeseed oil. Everyone should stay away from petroleum based and animal fat products (such as baby oil), as these are not easily absorbed by the skin and they tend to form a greasy layer on top of the skin which can cause irritation.
*Dry Skin Moisturizer Recipe* 2 Tbs. grated beeswax 2 tsp. distilled water 1/2 cup cocoa butter 3 Tbs. sesame oil 2 Tbs. coconut oil 1 Tbs. olive oil Over a low heat, in a small saucepan, melt the grated bees wax with the water. Once melted, spoon in the cocoa butter and stir. Once the cocoa butter is melted, gradually add in the remaining oils, blending well. Then pour into a glass jar and allow to cool. The lotion will thicken as it cools. Once cooled, apply liberally over your body! Sesame oil is one of the few natural oils that contains sun-screening properties. Olive oil is very nourishing externally, is very lubricating, and relieves the effects of stings or burns. Coconut oil is high in vitamins, minerals, and saturated fats. Both the coconut oil and the cocoa butter coat the skin's surface with a thin layer that locks in the skin's natural moisture, effectively protecting it from nature's damaging elements. All of these ingredients combined make this recipe great for over-exposed, dried skin, even sun or wind burnt skin. *Normal to Oily Skin Body Softener* 2 Tbs. grated beeswax 1/4 cup distilled water 1/2 cup sweet almond oil OR apricot seed oil 1/4 cup rose water (see for instructions on how to make rose water yourself) 5 drops galbanum essential oil 4 drops rose essential oil Over low heat, in a small saucepan, melt the grated beeswax. After it is melted, pour it into a blender and blend on low speed. While the blender is running, pour in the sweet almond oil (or apricot seed oil if this was your choice), rose water, and essential oils. The mixture should have the consistency of frosting. Pour into a glass jar and allow to cool. This is a very thick and rich lotion, so you will not need to use very much when applying. It should remain good for 3-5 months. Galbanum is a sap from the Ferula plant from Southern Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. When applied to the skin it is a peticularly effective skin regenerator. Rose oil, which is known to heal dry skin, help with circulation, prevent scarring and fight wrinkles and broken capillaries in the skin. Mixing these two main ingredients makes this recipe especially great for face and hands care, but is also good as an all over moisturizer! *Cooling Moisturizer* 2 Tbs. grated beeswax 2 Tbs. distilled water 1/4 cup wheat germ oil 2 Tbs. whitch hazel 2 drops lemon essential oil Over a low heat, in a small saucepan, melt the grated beeswax with the water. Once melted, pour into a blender and blend on low speed. While still blending, pour in the wheat germ oil and the witch hazel. Blend until smooth, then add the essential oils, stir to mix, then pour into a jar fro storage. The recipe will thicken upon cooling. Witch hazel is very cooling and posesses cleansing properties. Wheat germ is very high in vitamin E and is a very effective antioxidant. Lemon oil adds a very cool, refreshing scent. Add these all together and you have a moisturizer perfect any time, but especially in the hot summer months! *Dry Climate (or dry skin) Moisturizer* 1/4 cup aloe vera gel 1/4 cup cocoa butter (may sub 1/8c shea butter and 1/8c cocoa butter if desired) 1 Tbs. olive oil 4 drops essential oil (your choice of lavender, rose, chamomile) Over a low heat, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and the olive together. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the aloe gel and essential oil. Stir to mix well for at least a full minute or two, then pour into a jar for storage. The shelf life on this mixture is 3-6 months.


Bathing can be invigorating and rejuvenating or relaxing and soothing depending which herbs and essential oils you mix into the tub. You can help the body heal or calm aching muscles by just changing the additives in your bath. So here are some recipes for you to try. For those of you that missed the bathing tips, or if you just need to refresh your memory, please read this previous post; With all of these recipes, add essential oils after the bath is filled with warm water, and relax for 15-20. To help the oil mix in the water you can mix it with a cap full of baby shampoo or purse castille soap if you wish. ___Calming Bath___ 6 drop Juniper essential oil 6 drops Geranium essential oil This bath is soothing and acts as a sedative, while being spiritually uplifting. Juniper has many healing properties impacting the skin, immune system and circulatory system. In the bath Juniper helps combat mental fatigue and restores clam. Geranium oil is thought to balance hormones and stimulate the adrenals. ___An Aphrodisiac Bath____ 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil 3 drops neroli essential oil 2 drops bergamot essential oil 2 Tbs. honey 2 ounces fresh cream This recipe is said to relax the mind and stimulate sexuality and euphoria. ___Invigorating Bath___ 1/4 cup dried rosemary 1/4 cup dried sage 2 Tbs. oatmeal Rosemary relieves mental fatigue. Sage treats loss of concentration. Oatmeal softens the water. ___Stimulating Blend____ 1/4 cup dried basil 1/4 cup dried eucalyptus 1/4 cup dried peppermint Basil regenerates mental powers. Eucalyptus treats lack of concentration. Peppermint alleviates mental fatigue and lack of concentration, and revitalizes. ______Citrus Tonic_________ 1/4 cup lemon peel 1/4 cup grated orange peel 1 Tbs. dried parsley 1 Tbs. dried comfrey Lemon treats lethargy. Orange fights depression and anxiety. Parsley stimulates.Comfrey is a mild antiseptic. ___Relaxing Bath Infusion_____ 1 Tbs. dried peppermint 1 Tbs. dried lavender buds 1 Tbs. dried eucalyptus leaves 1 Tbs. dried chamomile flowers Peppermint alleviates mental fatigue and lack of concentration, it revitalizes. Lavender relaxes, soothes, promotes rest and sleep, and restores balance to the body systems. Eucalyptus treats lack of concentration, and helps you to breath deeply. Chamomile calms you and helps to tone the skin. You can also use bath additives to help with skin issues. ___Oily Skin Bath___ 4 drops cypress essential oil 4 drops orange essential oil Cypress oil is known for alleviating menopausal symptoms and circulatory problems, and will help remedy oily skin when used in the bath. The orange oil is a tonic for the muscular system and will combat wrinkles while rejuvenating the skin and giving the bath a fresh aroma. You should soak for the full 20 min. for best results. ___Dry Skin Bath___ 3 TBS. sweet almond oil 8 drops sandalwood essential oil Sandalwood has excellent skin healing properties, especially for cracked and chapped skin. Sweet almond oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. Put these two together, and you have a great treatment for dry skin. You should only soak for 15 minutes, but you should use this treatment daily until you are healed. Make sure that you pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer after your bath. ___Normal Skin Bath___ 3 Tbs. olive oil 8 drops geranium oil Geranium oil is a multi-purpose essential oil. It is a mood elevator, antiseptic, insect repellent, athlete's foot remedy and more. In the bath, it is very soothing , rich and relaxing, with a great aroma. Olive oil is high in vitamins and mineral and helps to maintain the correct water balance and level of acidity, both internally and externally.