6 Ways to Use Essential Oils

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Have you been wondering how to use essential oils?

How to Use Essential Oils - Whole New Mom

Seems like everyone is getting into essential oils these days.

From adding them to DIY personal and home care products, to touting them as cure alls, information about essential oils is everywhere.  I myself was skeptical about them for a long, time, not having any idea about how to use essential oils or whether they would really be effective.  I found out that they are really effective and loved what they were doing for me and my family.

I later ended up doing a bunch of research to choose which company's oils I wanted to use and recommend, but now they are pretty much an “everyday thing” in our home.

I use them in my Homemade Hair Spray, DIY Chest Rub, Nourishing Hair Rinse, Homemade Body Wash, Hand and Body Cream, and at bedtime to aid in sleep.

If you're new to essential oils, or even if you're a seasoned user, I think this list will be of interest to you and will hopefully give you a few more ideas about how you can safely use essential oils for a more natural approach to beauty, home care, and healing.

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running. You can read more here about my hunt for the best essential oils company.

How to Use Essential Oils

1.  Diffuse

This is my current favorite method of use. I finally found a diffuser that I love and I have literally been using it round the clock for about 2 months.  (Many of you have been asking about diffusers.  I will share a post as soon as I can, but here are several great options.)

Simply put water and the oils in the diffuser according to the manufacturer's instructions, and your home (or room) will soon be filled with the oil's scent and properties.

I have been diffusing my DIY Antibacterial Blend frequently, as well as Orange and Peppermint on occasion. The citrus and mint are invigorating when the afternoon slumps occur.

2.  Inhale

Simply open a bottle, bring it close to your nose and inhale. I have done this with peppermint oil for a headache and with both Peppermint and Helichrysum (here's a link to both versions: Gymnocephalum or Italicum) after I sustained a head injury.

3.  Apply topically

Just apply the oils to the desired location.

If you are just getting started with how to use essential oils in your daily life, you should start by blending the oils with a carrier oil.  The most commonly used carrier oil is Fractionated Coconut Oil.  It has a long shelf life and is odor-free.  However, you can use any oil that you have in your home.  I have personally used olive, but more commonly coconut.

Many people like to apply the oils to the bottoms of their feet.  I do that occasionally, but I personally use essential oils more frequently directly on the area that is affected.  I have used essential oils effectively this way for many issues – sleep aid (Lavender), tendon injuries (Peppermint and Lemongrass), body support for headaches (Peppermint), head injury (Peppermint and Helichrysum), skin support for acne (Grapefruit or Immune Strength, or my DIY Antibacterial Blend)

4.  In the Bath

Pour 5-10 drops of essential oil into your bath. Oils that would be perfect for this would of course be lavender or rose.  Or use oils such as eucalyptus for respiratory issues. A nice steamy bath with Eucalyptus Oil might be just the thing for your stuffed up little one so he can get to sleep.

5.  Compress

Try perhaps 6 drops of your essential oil of choice to about 4 oz of water. Soak your compress pad in the water, squeeze the excess water out, and apply. You could do this with either a hot or cold compress. Peppermint would be a great choice for an injury or back pain. I've had many friends feel so much better after applying peppermint oil to stubborn back pain.

I personally do what I consider to be a simpler version of a compress.  I put the oil (diluted or NEAT) on my skin and then apply a warm heating pad on top.  That helps to drive the oils into the injury and avoids the added messiness of having to soak a pad in the oils, plus avoids waste of the oils.

6.  Internally

There is a lot of controversy over this issue, but here is my official stance.

I recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils.  Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on.  With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

Of course, none of the above is medical advice. Please talk with your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine or before using essential oils :).  (Sorry but I have to write that.)

If you are interested in learning more about how to use essential oils, this short report on 10 Things to Know About Essentials Oils is a great resource as well.  Plus you get access to my VIP newsletter.

Do you use essential oils?
What is your favorite safe way to use essential oils?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I have two questions.

    One: Do you apply the lavender oil neat, and if so, where? (Counting that as one question…)

    Two: A friend of mine told me that you could apply peppermint oil in a line down the inner arch of your feet to help you sleep. Do you know anything about that or if it’s true?

    • I do not recommend using essential oils neat in general due to the potential problem of sensitization. I have heard that lavender is one that is less problematic but I don’t wish to recommend that.

      I have never heard about that w/ peppermint but lavender is typically a great sleep help. Peppermint is more of a stimulant. Odd recommendation, I think. There are some nice sleep blends on the market.

      • Do you mix the lavender with a carrier oil then? I’m assuming you apply it topically since it’s under the “Topical” use category. Maybe that’s presumptuous. If you do apply it topically (with a carrier oil), where do you apply it? Under the nose?

        • Yes, I do. I put it in a bottle mixed with the oils. I put it on my son’s temples or on the wrist. I just gave some to a friend – he used it for an ear issue. He didn’t know it was for relaxing but later told me it made him feel relaxed :).

  2. Hi Adrienne. I enjoyed reading your post however j didn’t come across the brand that you purchase from. What was your end result?

  3. Have you tried Jade Bloom oils? What do you know or think of them? Thanks

  4. I’m sorry I should’ve clarified INTERNALLY….. How many drops would you have taken internally to try to prevent getting a nasty virus or bacteria possibly airborne that you may have inhaled as the sick person had been coughing a lot near you…..

    Thank you!!!

  5. Hi, and THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for all of your hard long hours of research so that people like us can learn from you!!!!! My question I have is how many drops of Thieves (Young Living) or Immuno Strength (NAN) would ‘you have used’ if /when you were trying to avoid getting a nasty bug like say pnemonia, that you were around someone directly that had it? Thank you for your opinion!

    • Hi there. I of course can’t medically advise, and I can’t say that it is a good idea to take essential oils internally. I recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils. Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on. With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

  6. Maxx Ratto says:

    I love putting a few drops of Lavender oil in my bath at the end of the day. It helps me unwind and release stress.

  7. The reason that it is a good idea to add the essential oils to Epsom salt for a bath is so that the epsom salt can help to disperse the oils throughout the water instead of floating on the surface. Since they are fat soluble and not water soluble, this keeps the oils from clinging to sensitive parts on the body.

  8. Hello! I have spent a number of hours researching your research on essential oils and have really enjoyed what I’ve read. Just today I have been looking on your website for your top NAN oils that you use…is there a list you’ve given? I’m a bit overwhelmed with the choices on the website, though nicely laid out and easy to navigate. Could you point me to a post I must be missing on your favorites please? Thanks again for your work.

    • Hi there. I haven’t done that — what kind of things are you thinking you will use them for?

      They have some kits that might be helpful for you and you get a small discount that way. Let me know. Thanks!

  9. I also wanted to know thoughts, we do not have alot of extra funds right now and I have ordered through Young Living because I do worry about getting oils that are not 100% pure but I have heard some pretty good reviews on a place called Planet Earth and there oils are way more than half that of YL and I just wondered if anyone else has used them and if they are quality oils

  10. I always really look forward to your posts especially about EO’s. It was your series on discovering the best company that lead me to NAN! Thank you! One thing that I have learned (the hard way) is to never put essential oils straight into the bath tub. Mix it with milk, or Epsom salts or something. Otherwise you are bound for a pretty painful experience! You may want to mention that in your post to save others from a lot of discomfort. 😉

    • Interesting — you mean that all that water isn’t diluting it enough?

    • oh yes, for people with sensitivities I guess but I caused this pain on my son,,,(ikr bad mamma) he is hitting I guess prepubescent stage and got a ingrown hair infected on his testicle so my hubby told me what it was and of course I cannot trust him to take care of it so I put some tea tree oil in his bath and let me tell you it burned him up!! But I do it all the time and put different mixtures an dI am fine but they also say that people born prematurely their skin hasn’t fully formed so they will usually have skin irritations and senstivities

  11. As a skeptic, who has recently been introduced to EOs, I want to say “Thank you” for doing all of this research and posting about it. I am definitely interested in trying NAN, but want to know if you have an opinion regarding the Eden’s Garden brand? Thanks so much:)

    • Yes, I looked at them and decided against them for a number of reasons. I have to be really careful what I share about other companies but I hope you can trust me on this one. Thanks!

  12. Joe Roberts says:

    Sure do like your post I know it is a lot of work. I have ordered some from NAN, but are their any lower priced oils like Heritage you might comment on for low income people like me.

  13. Yes I have Lemon, Peppermint, & Ginger oil. Can those be put in hot water to drink? Reason I got those was to help with stomach problems. I get a sour stomach a lot & was hoping they would help.

    • I personally can’t recommend that you take essential oils internally unless you are under the care of a professional. From Rocky Mountain Oils:

      We recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils. Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on. With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

  14. I have a really bad knee pain post delivery. I did take chiro sessions but didn’t help. Am going to be starting physical therapy soon. Was wondering if u havr anu recommendation for an Eo I can use? I recently got young essential oil kit.

    • Hi there. I guess it depends on the cause but I was told Relieve Me is fabulous from Native American Nutritionals. It is supposed to be similar to YL’s deep relief or pan away. Here is the affiliate link to it: http://bit.ly/1tYd4ml I can’t medically advise, but that is one option.

      For tendon issues I use their lemongrass and helichrysum typically.

  15. This is also my favorite diffuser!! I’m new to your site and was wondering if you had heard of a Zyto scan and what your thoughts on that are. I just had one done and it was pretty accurate as to issues I already know I’m having.

    • I have heard about it and had it done a few times on myself and my sons. I am not sure. I like the practitioner but talked to 2 other practitioners whom I respect and both said that they think it can be accurate but that they would choose other supplements, etc to deal with the issues.

      I’m still on the fence about it. What do you think?

  16. Love your series on essential oils!!!! Thank you for taking the time to research and put everything out there. I am interested in your diffuser post and am hoping there is a glass/ceramic option that doesn’t use water. My son has CF and any kind of water diffusion (humidifier) is not recommended.

  17. Thanks again for a great article. My interest in EOs has definitely been reignited! Am hoping you could comment on the necessary dilution of oils. I used to use YL and I was never, ever told to dilute….just put several drops of whatever scent directly on my skin. Now I’m learning it seems important for safety to dilute and I’m reading on the web about making VERY weak dilutions of any EO prior to direct topical use that would be for frequent use. In doing this the scent of the oil just seems a lot weaker and I’m left feeling a bit frustrated feeling I’m not getting very much of the oil itself in a single application. Was I indeed harming myself before? Is a 1-2% solution upon final dilution the best way to go? If I was never instructed to dilute before does that perhaps mean the “oil” was already diluted? The YL labels don’t say “100% pure oil” or anything that would let me know it’s NOT already diluted. I still have some of the old YL oils and I’m not sure if I should now dilute them. I’ve purchased a few of the NAN oils and am diluting them with the FCO they offer.
    I look forward to reading about the diffusers. I’ve researched SEVERAL online and with so many of them there are complaints about them suddenly stop working even after just a few usages. It would be nice to find one not made of plastic as well as dependable.

    • Thanks! As far as dilution, I am for sure no expert. I have no idea why YL would say never dilute. I don’t understand that. I guess some people would say you were harming yourself, or potentially doing so – and others would say that you were just putting yourself at risk. Others would say it wasn’t a problem. I think that the owner of Native American would say that you dilute at first and work up to where you are comfortable using them with the hot oils of course, almost always being diluted. And of course, things vary depending on where you are using them. You wouldn’t want lemongrass straight on sensitive skin, for example.

      Here is some info on diluting from one of the employees at the companies that I recommend (since Rocky Mountain and Native American have the same oils). Here is my affiliate link to Rocky Mountain in case you would like to check out their site – they have fewer options of different oils so it might make for simpler shopping for you: http://go.rockymountainoils.com/aff_c?offer_id=2&aff_id=1026

      There is a dilution chart on here: http://www.rockymountainoils.com/educate/essential-oils-for-children/

      Most people over analyze the idea of diluting oils. There isnt a set rule for each oil and it varies based on who is using it and what other sensitivities you have. Usually I recoomend to people to start lower and then work their way up. If you are worried about being sensitive to oils then start low at maybe one drop of oil to 3-4 drops F.C.O.. If that doesn’t bother you then work your way up to 1 drop EO to 2 drops FCO. Then try 1:1, and eventually neat.

      Most of my friends and families use oils neat, with the exceptions of the hot oils like cinnamon, helichrysum (only sorta hot), and wintergreen. With children you want to be more careful since they are smaller and more sensitive. In general follow the chart on that page. Oils like lemon or orange are no big deal for kids, but some of the more powerful oils will need to be diluted.

      We have a guide for using essential oils with children which will be out soon and it will address these concerns in more detail.

  18. While we use essential oils almost daily now in our house. For a whole host of common things, I have been grateful for the “Relieve Me” blend in the last week. My son broke his femur a week ago and meds have done almost nothing to help him (in fact he is reacting to all the crap they putt into the mixture to make it palatable with an all over torso rash). Even though his leg is in a full cast, in desperation I put the blend on his toes as he was screeching in pain and we could not give him anymore Tylenol or ibu, and within 10 minutes he was asleep again…..and this has happened multiple times. We have also relied heavily on Digest Zen to help his belly…without it, he didn’t want to eat because all the NSAIDS were hurting his tummy….with an application of the blend, he is ready to eat within the hour.

    • Wow. That is so good to hear Tessa! I don’t have it but I can maybe cobble it together and my son has an injured finger. Thanks!!!! I love the Digest Zen. 🙂

  19. Adrienne, it looks like you might have forgotten to put the link in to your current diffuser (under point #1). Thanks for all the info you make available!

  20. Jorgee Johnson says:

    I was excited to see this post today. I can only imagine the time and research it takes to write these. Thank you for doing what you do! When I read this one today, I expected a picture or name of the diffuser you have been using. I know you said you will write a post soon, but it sounded to me like a picture was to be there, but I didn’t see anything. Do you mind sharing the name/kind of diffuser for now, until you have time to write the post on that? Thanks again.

    • Hi there. I am so sorry. I just added the link. I’ll be sharing more about the diffusers soon but I have a crazy busy month 🙂 Thanks! See the post for the link. I love it!