Who Is
The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Exploring Aromatherapy with TFM:
Conventional (and TFM-style Unconventional) Methods of Using Essential Oils

Cyndy of 110Penned recently asked me to do a post on ways to use essential oils.  

There are many ways to implement aromatherapy into your life.  Below I offer two lists. The first list offers a few common methods and guidelines to help you get started. These guidelines are approximate. Exact recipes depend on potency and concentration of the oils used. If you want a stronger formula, adding a drop or two is easy, but removing a drop is not possible!   The second list is my not-so-conventional use of oils for your information and, possibly, entertainment.

Please keep in mind when using essential oils, they are powerful plant medicine and need to be used with respect.  When in doubt, err on the side of caution! 
Here is a post I did on essential oil safety, including some foolish mistakes I've made over the years.

Methods of Using Essential Oils: The Conventional

Room Spray: 10 drops to 1 oz of water

Use glass or PET plastic bottles.  Shake well each time and spritz into air for masking unpleasant odors and killing germs.  Avoid wood furniture as the oils will eat the varnish.

Full Bath:  2-4 drops (kids) 4-8 drops (adults)  Add essential oil after the bath is drawn.  Gently stir water to disperse oil.  Soak for minimum 15 minutes.  Relax and breathe deeply.  If you've never had aromatherapy training, use only oils that you are not harsh on the skin such as lavender, geranium, clary sage, cedarwood.

Tissue Inhalation: 1-4 drops  Add drops to a tissue and inhale.  Good in moments of stress, depression, fatigue.  Good for a "quick fix" and opening nasal passages.

Nasal Inhaler:  10-15 drops  Add essential oils to a small bowl, roll the cotton insert in the oils and pop it into the inhaler.  Superb for travel.

Room Diffusion:   Here is a long, detailed post I wrote last summer that covers all aspects of diffusion.

Cleaning: Here is another detailed post I wrote on green cleaning with essential oils.

Methods of Using Essential Oils: The Un-Conventional

In my 19 years of handling essential oils and using them on a daily basis, I've come up with some creative and unorthodox ways to use my oils.

The Sleeping Bag Rubdown

When Gianluca was six, I had him all tucked in bed for the night when from the kitchen  I heard a little voice asking me to "please diffuse some Eucalyptus" for his stuffy nose.  Mine really are sons of a died-in-the-wool aromatherapist.   Frankly, I was tired.  The notion of getting the diffuser, filling it with water, plugging it in, etc. all seemed too much to a tired mother in that moment.   Bottle of Eucalyptus radiata (best for kids) and a damp sponge in hand, I returned to his bedroom, picked up a nylon sleeping bag left on the floor from a recent camping trip, spread it over him and wiped down the sleeping bag with the oil.  He was thrilled to pieces and it only took 2 minutes.  

Campfire Sinus Relief:

I've mentioned in other posts like here and here  that ours is a family that loves the outdoors and camping in our 18' tipi.    If you've never been in a tipi there's always a fire burning inside and when the wood is damp, smoke can become a problem.  Nothing will stuff me up faster than a snoot full of smoke.  When this happens, I add boiling water to an old enamel mug (used only for this purpose) and add two drops of tea tree and maybe one drop of peppermint.  I stick my nose in the mug (much to the delight of everyone around who begins to laugh) and inhale deeply for several minutes.  Humiliation aside, this always makes me feel better because my nose starts to run and I can breathe again.

Aromatic FireWood: 
My husband and I have added 2-3 drops of essential oils of Atlas Cedarwood or Cypress to our tipi firewood, letting it soak in before lighting.  It doesn't last long, but that one minute of aroma is divine.

Aromatic Art:

Sometimes when I'm working on my art journal backgrounds, I'll add a drop of essential oil to the paint.  My journal smells divine!   When I made my altered art car, I added Bergamot essential oil to the rabbit fur lining.

Minty Ride:
I will put 2 drops of Peppermint on a tissue and stuff it in the vent of my car on long trips.

Fragrant Finances:
I've been known to infuse dollar bills with essential oils.  Place a drop of any essential oil (deep notes like cedarwood, sandalwood, vetivert, myrhh last longer) on a couple of bills and stick them in a ziplock bag overnight.  I like to think of the people's reactions who handle the money afterward.
  I also bless the bills before I use them.

Energetic Annointing:  I do a class on the Energetics of Essential Oils where I teach some of the less clinical and more energetic ways to use essential oils.

Yes, I may be something of an essential oil eccentric, but my world sure does smell good and I rarely get colds or the flu!.


lavenderprincess said...

Love your ideas on using essential oils. I have a long drive ahead of me and I am going to try the peppermint in the car. May I add that when you use an essential oil in a tub to soak that you put the oil in a teaspoon of milk before adding it to the water. Put the milk in the water and stir then relax and enjoy your relaxing time in the tub.

MagnificentDebra said...

I have never seen pics of your tipi before! How wonderful is that! I can just imagine your boys growing up inside and loving it. Now it's the Beans turn. I love that you share your passion with us. You even inspired me to make potpourri last week.

la pianista said...

Hey Liz, I'm looking for some nice storage for my oils. I thought i saw something on one of your posts a while back that was a "box" or something similar. Where should I look for that kind of thing?

♥ Char

aka Tippyrich
aka La Pianista

Cyndy said...

Liz, this is perfect! Thank you! You have made it all seem so manageable for me now. Seriously, when I hear the lingo, sometimes it throws me. Telling me to put a couple of drops into a hanky or tissue is something I can do! Telling me to put a few drops into a bottle of water and spray? I think I can handle that! I really do pay close attention to your lessons on WHAT an oil can help, but that doesn't do any good unless I know HOW. I will be sure to follow up with you to let you know how it goes, hoping it may help others out there who are newbies, too.

Really, thanks again, Liz!

Kitty said...

Liz, I hope you know how extraordinarily helpful your posts are to me. I'm going through a really rough time right now, and your tutelage in aromatherapy has been a Godsend. Thanks so much! Peace, kitty

Janet said...

I especially love the idea of adding it to your art journal. SO COOL!!

Marie Young (Young Creative) said...

My coworkers joke about my peppermint sniffing habit at work. Now, thanks to you, I have a great way to bring it into the carpool.

spudballoo said...

OMG i totally love you....fragrant finances? Brilliant. You are so inventive, can we bottle you and keep you forever? x