How to use aromatherapy in your home

Relax using aromatherapy in your home with essential oils to improve your mood.

Aromatherapy in the home

You have three methods of application to choose from when using aromatherapy in your home: consuming, inhaling or applying them to the skin. If you have an upset stomach, drinking herbal tea might be the best approach, while you could massage the oil onto your skin to heal a wound. When using aromatherapy in your home, you’ll be most likely to inhale essential oils through one of several ways.

Candles and diffusers

Kelly Patrick Reddington, founder and president of Givengi, believes candles or wax melts are the best ways to spread scents around your space. She recommends burning a candle for about four hours, then extinguishing it, letting it solidify and relighting it for the best results. However, you should look for the right candle, as many kinds are made with synthetic essential oil that won’t bring you the true benefits of the scent. Aromaweb.com recommends looking for candles that say, “Contains No Synthetic Ingredients,” “Made Exclusively With Soy Wax” or “Paraffin Wax Free.”

Diffusers can operate by candle power or electricity, and are useful when you want to blend several oils. Whichever diffuser you choose, make sure to never burn the oil directly — dilute it with water or a carrier (or base) oil first.

Cotton balls, clothes and cleaning

You can also add droplets of essential oil to cotton balls or cloths and leave them in open spaces, tuck them into clothing drawers or inhale them directly.

Certain essential oils with antiseptic effects, such as tea tree oil, can be useful for cleaning sinks, cupboards and countertops. Use just a little bit and make sure to dilute them, as they can erode paint and finishing, says certified aromatherapist Melanie McMillan. If you’re looking to deodorize or add a holiday scent to a room, or you want to affect your mood while sitting on the couch or in bed, you can try spraying your essential oils. Here, you will also dilute your oil with water or a carrier oil, then shake the solution and spritz it in the air.

Steam and bath treatments

Feeling ill? You can create a steam treatment just for you by adding one or two drops of essential oil to steaming water and placing a towel over your head. Dip your head towards the bowl as much as you can handle and breathe in the oil.

If you’d rather soak your whole body, add a few drops of oil to warm bath water or bath salts to absorb the medicinal effects through your skin and nose. The University of Minnesota recommends making a relaxing bath with 1 part baking soda, 2 parts Epsom salts and 3 parts sea salt — add 6 drops of true lavender essential oil to 2 tablespoons of the mixture, and swirl it into the bath.

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