Essential Oils 101: What They Are & How To Use Them


If you’ve ever enjoyed the floral smell of a rose bush or the minty aroma of a peppermint leaf, you have experienced the natural magic of essential oils.

This is because essential oils carry the distinctive fragrance or “essence” of the plant from which they came.

They are created simply by extracting the aromatic compounds from the plant. Contrary to their name, essential oils don’t actually have a fatty or oily component to them like cooking oils.

Most bottles of essential oils are concentrated between 10 to 70 times more than what you’d find in their actual plant of origin.

For example, about 150 pounds of lavender flowers are required to make a 15 milliliter bottle of lavender essential oil.

The result is a very high level of potency and therapeutic healing compounds in essential oils. Because the healing compounds are so small, they can actually pass into our cells allowing them to destroy viruses, pathogenic bacteria, parasites and other diseases in the body.

And since your body intuitively knows how to work with natural compounds from plants, essential oils are very gentle and effective for improving your health.

This is why many natural doctors believe essential oils work better than many modern medicines that are synthetic, toxic and riddled with negative side effects.


There is proven documentation showing that essential oils have been used for thousands of years. For example:

  • There are hundreds of references to essential oils in the Bible.
  • Frankincense and myrrh were brought as gifts to Jesus as an infant, because they were recognized as highly effective plant-based medicine that were worth as much as gold.
  • Essential oils were found in King Tut’s tomb.
  • Cleopatra ran a beauty spa and used essential oils in her treatments.
  • Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine who was famous for saying “Let food by they medicine,” prescribed essential oils for healing over 2,000 years ago.

As modern medicine progressed and pharmaceutical companies began to take over the medical community, the use of essential oils was all but abandoned in healthcare.

Now that people are sicker than ever, awareness is growing that these natural remedies used in ancient times are extremely effective and need to be put back into practice.



Essential oils can help with multiple health issues. For example, they:

  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Balance hormones.
  • Clear up acne.
  • Improve mood.
  • Alleviate age spots and scarring.
  • Support weight loss.
  • Detoxify the body.
  • Treat allergies.
  • Decrease anxiety.
  • Improve sleep quality.
  • Alleviate pain, muscle tightness and headaches.

Essential oils also work great for cleaning your home and making your own non-toxic personal care products like deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste.



There are 3 primary ways to use essential oils:

  1. Aromatically
  2. Topically
  3. Internally (Use caution!)

#1 Aromatic Usage:


Aromatic is the most common type of essential oil usage. It simply means you are smelling or inhaling the oil in some way. There are several methods for aromatic usage:


This is the simplest and most popular method for aromatic usage. When diffusing essential oils, it’s important to use a cool-mist diffuser like these that uses ultrasonic vibrations to break the oils up into a fine mist. This allows the oils to remain suspended in the air for hours to treat you to their therapeutic properties for an extended period of time.

Even if you have no specific health or emotional need for using essential oils, diffusing them into your home and work environment is a good idea for providing a delicious natural scent that can relax your mind, alleviate tension and make the air around you more enjoyable to breathe.

You can even diffuse essential oils in your car (click here to check out some diffuser options on amazon)!

The number of essential oil drops you should diffuse depends on the size of your diffuser:

  • 100 ml capacity = 3-5 drops
  • 200 ml capacity = 6-10 drops
  • 300 ml capacity = 9-15 drops
  • 400 ml capacity = 12-20 drops
  • 500 ml capacity = 15-25 drops
  • 600 ml capacity = 18-30 drops

  Room Spray:

Simply fill a 2-oz. glass spray bottle like this with water, add 10 drops of essential oil, shake and spray. Be sure to shake the bottle well before each use. Each batch of spray should be used within 30 days to ensure bacteria doesn’t have time to grow in the water.

  Direct Inhalation:

Certain essential oils like frankincense, lavender, lemon and peppermint are suitable for direct inhalation. This method involves placing a few drops of oil in the palm of your hand, rubbing your hands together, cupping them over your nose and inhaling deeply. You’ll take three to five deep breaths, relax for three minutes and then continue with your day.

You also have the option of simply cupping your hands around a bottle of essential oil (instead of rubbing the oil in the palms of your hands) and taking three to five deep breaths. Or, you can use an inhaler like this.

  Wear It:

This method involves wearing an aromatherapy necklace that allows you to breath in the benefits of essential oils wherever you go. It’ll also help you smell really good! Click here to check out some options on amazon.

  Hot Water Vapors:

This method is awesome when you are suffering from a cold, allergies or other ailment that affects your upper respiratory system. Simply put a few drops of essential oil like eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary or tea tree (AKA melaleuca) oil in a steaming bowl of hot water, put your head over the bowl and deeply inhale the vapors.

BONUS!!! It’s important to note that essential oils don’t just mask odors like most commercially-produced chemical air fresheners do. Instead, they interact with the molecules that our bodies interpret as odors, providing a natural and effective remedy for getting rid of unpleasant smells.

#2 Topical Usage:

Another common method of using essential oils involves applying them directly to your skin. This allows the oils to quickly enter your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body to work their healing magic.

Because essential oils are so concentrated and potent, very few of them are considered safe to apply directly to the skin without dilution. (FYI, the practice of applying undiluted essential oils to the skin is referred to as “neat” application.)

Lavender and tea tree oils are commonly applied to the body “neat” without dilution, but only a drop or two. For example, rubbing 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil on a cut, scrape or burn will help it heal much more quickly.

Since most essential oils need to be diluted before rubbing them directly on your skin, I am hooking you up with a helpful dilution chart below. Diluting an essential oil for topical use is accomplished by mixing it with a carrier oil.

Common carrier oils include argan oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil.

Essential Oil Dilution ChartCommon practices for using essential oils topically include:

  • Applying them to the bottoms of your feet or on the area of concern. For example, you may apply a diluted drop of peppermint essential oil on your temples to alleviate a headache.
  • Infusing them with the water in your bath or shower.
  • Massage.
  • DIY personal care products like deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste.

#3 Internal Usage / Ingestion:

This is the least common usage for essential oils, and it is somewhat controversial.

Personally, I am comfortable with adding a single drop of pure organic lemon essential oil to a large glass of water or using a single drop of pure organic peppermint essential oil in baking recipes that make a big batch of goods.

But, I don’t feel comfortable ingesting essential oils on a regular basis or advising you to do so.

It’s VERY important to work closely with an experienced aromatherapist and/or doctor of natural medicine before practicing internal usage.


There are many essential oil brands on the market and the list continues to grow as this gift of nature gains popularity in modern times.

It is critically important that you use a brand of essential oils that are pure, unadulterated and follow strict and consistent testing procedures to ensure quality and purity.

It’s always best to buy essential oils directly from the supplier as opposed to buying them in a physical store, because you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf.


My go-to brand of essential oils and the one I highly recommend is Plant Therapy. Here’s why:

 Plant Therapy’s standards of quality are some of the strictest in the industry. Before they sell an essential oil, they do everything possible to establish that it is 100% pure, natural and of the highest quality.

To ensure each oil meets these strict standards, Plant Therapy works directly with world renowned essential oil expert, Robert Tisserand, as well as several independent analytical laboratories. They publish all of their testing reports for public viewing, so you can see them for yourself.

Plant Therapy offers a KidSafe line of essential oils that’s formulated specifically for children ages 2 – 10. On top of that, Plant Therapy indicates on every bottle of their oil if it’s “KidSafe.” This totally takes the guesswork out of figuring out which oils are safe to use with your little ones!

 The label on every bottle of Plant Therapy essential oil provides instructions on how to use that specific oil (including the dilution percentage if applicable), so you don’t have to search around for instructions.

 Each bottle of Plant Therapy essential oil has a label on top of the cap that says which oil is inside the bottle. This is EXTREMELY helpful when you’re trying to find a specific oil in a drawer or essential oil organizer with other oil bottles.

 Plant Therapy’s prices are very reasonable, and they will never pressure you to buy a wholesale membership in order to enjoy their excellent pricing. Plus, their customer service is outstanding!

When you order from the Plant Therapy website, shipping and returns are FREE on every order!!!

Plant Therapy offers an excellent selection of essential oil blends, which they refer to as “synergies,” to satisfy a wide variety of specific needs. (Their Nature Shield blend makes the most effective insect repellent I’ve ever used!)

Plant Therapy offers a line of organic oils. They also have pre-diluted roll-on bottles, which make it very easy to get your essential oil fix on the road!


Although essential oils will not turn rancid like cooking oils with fatty acids, they do deteriorate and oxidize over time causing them to lose their therapeutic properties. Here are a few tips to help prevent premature deterioration of your oils:

  • Store them in glass bottles, as they can cause plastic containers to break down which will contaminate the oil.
  • Keep them in a cool space away from heat. You can even store them in the refrigerator, but allow them to come to room temperature before using them.
  • Prevent exposure to light. (This is why any reputable essential oil brand supplies their oils in tinted glass bottles, which are usually amber in color.)
  • Make sure you close the caps on the bottles tightly after each use.
  • Be aware of each essential oil’s shelf life – some stay potent for six months, while others remain fully potent for years. If your oil begins to thicken, smell more acidic or become cloudy, they are beginning to oxidize and shouldn’t be used for therapeutic purposes.


Take time to educate yourself on specific essential oils and how to use them. Never allow direct contact of essential oils with your eyes or put them inside your ears.

If you are pregnant, nursing, elderly or suffer from hypertension, heart disease or cancer, it’s important that you know how essential oils will affect your specific situation.

Click HERE for a great book that will help you learn all about them.

Cheers to enhancing your life with the natural benefits of essential oils!

With love and gratitude,


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