Working with Essential Oils

I have been using and loving Essential Oils for some time now and have even begun playing around with my own blends for specific ailments.

I won't go into all the amazing benefits of Essential Oils on this post but briefly most are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Each has its own wonderful properties, for example scientific studies have shown that rosemary essential oil helps your brain perform and Clary sage helps with PMS. Essential oils are absorbed well by the skin, making them perfect ingredients in personal care items that heal, soften, and nourish. And, they don't accumulate in the body so you get their healing properties and then they just pass on through.

Let me say that this is not intended to be a comprehensive post about using EO's but a little information about how to get started and some help on using and converting measurements.

You need to know that there is a BIG difference in fragrance oils and essential oils, they are NOT the same thing. If you see "fragrance",  "fragrance oil", or "perfume" on anything you can assume this is synthetic and NOT natural...even if it says natural fragrance.

You also want to go ahead and get the "good stuff". Forget those bottles on the grocery store shelf or even in your health food store. There's no need to buy essential oils that are not good quality, your just throwing your money away. I do recommend Spark Naturals because they are the highest quality but also reasonably priced. Spark Naturals  products are Certified Pure PharmaGrade – CPPG™.

Did you know there is simple test you can do to test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is?  Just put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes). Now that's a good thing to know.

Essential oils can be used in so many ways. They can be used in beauty and spa products, topically or inhaled for therapeutic value, used in cleaning products, to change your mood, or simply for fragrance. 

I am currently working on is a blend for my osteoarthritis. I'm using EO's with pain relieving (analgesic) properties and ones that help reduce inflammation. More on that later...  A tougher blend is one for my husbands sciatica. That one will be a bit tougher to get right I think. But back to the subject...

If you are trying to decide what oils to start with I would recommend first thinking about what you actually want the oil to do. Are you looking for something to help with headaches, or do you want to add something for germ control in your floor cleaner? Once you decide on what you are most interested in, do a little research and see what oils are recommended for that use. 

You may want to start with one of the following popular oils:

1  Peppermint. Use for headaches, fever, breath freshener, digestive difficulty, tooth aches, sooth and cool skin. Good for lip balms, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products. Peppermint is wonderful to use when someone is running a fever. Massage a drop or two on the bottom of each foot. It is very soothing for stomach upsets as well.  Works wonders on headaches, just swipe a tiny bit at the temples.  Great as a breath freshener, a drop on your toothpaste is awesome!

Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral and invigorating.

2. Melaleuca (tea tree oil). Heals cuts, wounds and skin infections, burns, candida, cold sores, fungal infections, viral infections, inflammation. Great for healing, getting rid of dandruff, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products. Melaleuca is unparalleled as an anti-viral or anti-fungal. Try on canker sores or nail fungus.

Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, strong antiseptic, anti-viral, digestive, expectorant, immune stimulant, insecticidal, neurotonic, stimulant and tissue regenerative.

3. Lavender.  One of the most versatile oils, not only is it a sleep aid, it soothes insect bites, and rashes. Great for all skin types, for relaxation, hair preparations, and cleaning products 

Analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmotic, antitoxic, antitumor, regenerative and sedative.

4. Lemon. Sore throats, runny nose, intestinal parasites, liver cleanser,  useful for household DIY cleaners, cooking, skin products. Great for lifting moods, cleaning preparations, and sparingly in toners and products for oily skin

Antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, refreshing and tonic. 

The following are also worth considering:
  • Rosemary (good for hair preparations, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
  • Sweet orange (good for all skin types and very soothing in room sprays for children)
  • Rose geranium (good for all skin types, creating perfumes, and for use in homemade moisturizers)
You will probably want to go ahead and get at least one carrier oil. Carrier oils, also referred to as base oils or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential oils before applying to the skin. They “carry” the essential oil onto the skin. Different carrier oils offer different properties and the choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought. Examples of carrier oils are sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, evening primrose, jojoba and others. Remember that while essential oils will last for years (keep in dark bottles out of sunlight), carrier oils will go rancid. 


When experimenting with making your own blends or adjusting a recipe you have, measuring is everything. It can be a bit confusing because you will be interchanging measurements for drams, milliliters, ounces, and even counting drops. Knowing how to use these interchangeably is important.

Start with knowing your abbreviations.

  • ml = milliliter
  • oz = ounce
  • tsp = teaspoon
  • Tbsp = Tablespoon
I often use this tool on the web for conversions. Its quick and easy to use .

You may also want to try using this little chart for quick conversions.

Here is an example of how I use these tools. Recently I was making "No. 2" Spray but wanted to make it in much smaller spray bottles than the recipe called for.

  • The original recipe called for a 2 ounce bottle and 20 drops of each of 3 EO's in each bottle, then topped with water. 
  • The bottles I wanted to use were 10 ml. 
  • One ounce equals 30 milliliters.
  • So....a 2 ounce bottle is 60 ml. 
  • That means I will be cutting ingredients by 1/6, follow me so far? 
  • 1/6 of 20 drops is 3.33. 
  • So I needed roughly 3 drops of each EO for each bottle. 

All I really needed to convert this recipe was to know how many milliliters was in an ounce but you get the idea.

You may find it helpful to have at least one dropper bottle. You can get accessories like droppers, roller bottles, and spray bottles here.

I get my essential oils from Spark Naturals. I have used other high quality oils but I use Spark Naturals because of the cost. I get the same high quality therapeutic oils but at a lower price. Honestly, their prices are much better than some of the others.

Spark Naturals  products are Certified Pure PharmaGrade – CPPG – a physical standard ensuring their products are of the appropriate identity, strength, quality, purity, and consistency standards used internationally for quality and purity. Their raw materials are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

Plus you can get a 10% discount by using code enjoy at checkout! How's that for a deal?

A final word about safety. Never try to wash off essential oils with water, used a carrier oil. Some oils should not be used when pregnant or nursing so do your homework. Be careful using essential oils on sensitive skin, the elderly or children.

As always I welcome your questions and comments!


I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your doctor or health care practitioner before using herbs, essential oils or other natural remedies.

1 comment:

  1. Essential oils helps a lot in the nourishment of the skin as well as it also helps to soften and heal the skin from any external harm or burns.
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