How Do I Start?
Are you intrigued by essential oils and would like to try them yourself? Our first recommendation would be to educate yourself! Put yourself in the hands of someone knowledgeable in the field, locally if possible, or if not, through the internet or library. Read about the oils and their effects, and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Lavender is a familiar scent and one that many of us started with. Lavender essential oil is a virtual “first aid” cabinet in and of itself. A touch of lavender essential oil (properly diluted) on the temples and back of the neck can ease a headache. A diluted drop of lavender can soothe and help heal a minor burn.
It is a potent antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. It’s also one of the less expensive oils (in general.)
If you have a local source for true essential oils, use it. (Or you can order from Nature’s Gift!) Check the botanical (Latin binomial) name on the bottle label. You want to see either Lavandula vera, Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis. There are other varieties of oils similar to true lavender that are sometimes sold as lavender. They have different properties and won’t be as effective. (It’s a good idea to always check the Latin name of any oil you buy.)
Now that you have your lavender, what can you do with it other than for the “first aid” purposes listed above?
Lavender is lovely in the bath and will relax tired muscles and a tired mind. It’s a wonderful way to unwind before bedtime. As with most essential oils, 6 to 10 drops is enough. Rather than adding the oil directly to the bathwater (because essential oils don’t mix with water) try diluting the lavender in a tablespoon or so of foaming bath gel or a teaspoon of unscented bath oil (but watch getting out of the tub, it may be slippery from the oil!)
Ten to fifteen drops of lavender mixed into an ounce of your favorite carrier oil makes a wonderfully relaxing massage oil.
To induce restful sleep, you can put a drop or two of lavender on a cotton ball and tuck it into the corner of your pillowcase. You may perfume a room by adding a few drops of lavender to an aroma lamp, or you can tuck Aroma Pods (passive diffusers scented with several drops of essential oil) in a sock drawer or closet. See our “ Methods of Application ” page for other suggested and appropriate uses.
If you’re pleased with your lavender results, now try experimenting with some other oils (either alone or in combination). Other good beginner oils are Orange, Mandarine, Geranium, Sandalwood, Rosemary, Cypress, Peppermint, or Eucalyptus. None are extremely expensive, and all are very useful. You could also investigate one of our Beginners Kits.
Sometimes you will see a recipe such as “to one ounce of jojoba oil, add 6 drops of German Chamomile and 7 drops of Lavender.” In order to prepare that blend you will need (besides the Jojoba, German Chamomile and Lavender oils) an empty one ounce bottle and either an eyedropper or our Disposable Pipettes. First, pour one ounce of the jojoba oil into the one ounce bottle. (Note, the bottle holds a bit more than one ounce, so there will be headroom for blending.) Now, with the pipette or eyedropper, count the drops of German Chamomile added. With another clean dropper, add the correct amount of Lavender. Cap the blend bottle, roll it between your hands to mix, and there you have it.
Your nose is really the best guide to which oils will work best for you. We believe that people are drawn to certain oils, either mentally/emotionally or physically. Trust your nose, but educate yourself on the safe and effective uses of the oils you select.
For more information, you may like to read What is Aromatherapy? How are Essential Oils Produced?, and How to Use Essential Oils.