How To Use Essential Oils (A Crash Course For Beginners)

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"Essential oils? More like snake oils!" you might be thinking. 🐍

Wroooooong-o.

When we're new or unfamiliar to something, often our defenses can be up and we might have preconceived ideas.

For the sake of learning, I'm going to ask you to check your reservations in at the door and open yourself up to learn some new things today! Everything we're going to cover is 1) backed by science and 2) has the potential to change your life

So, let's get started, shall we? 😉

Using essential oils is extremely uncomplicated, so explaining how to use them should be extremely uncomplicated too...right?

Right.

That's why I'm breaking this up into three parts that explain the what, the why, and the how! I like to make things easy, and I also want you to know what you're getting into before you dive in. 

The three questions I'm going to answer here are...

  1. What is an essential oil?

  2. Why do I want to use essential oils?

  3. How can I use essential oils?

I've included clickable links to relevant information and sources for this information. 

Also, I've included a link to my FREE Essential Oil Guide at the bottom of this post. Scroll down right now, if you dare. Just make sure you scroll back up to read through the juicy good stuff! Ok?

1. What is an essential oil?

Very simply put... 

essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted and distilled from plants. 

In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. 

There are over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds, and each offers unique support. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, so no two essential oils are alike.

Essential oils have been used for nearly six thousand years in food preparation, beauty treatment, and to support personal health. They are more concentrated than herbs, and can affect us on a cellular level.

2. Why do I want to use essential oils?

two kinds of support: emotional & Physical

Essential oils offer powerful physical and emotional support! Emerging research continues to back up these incredible benefits!

Since they are aromatic compounds, one of the quickest ways essential oils can influence us is through our sense of smell. Our olfactory system is directly linked to the limbic system in our brains.

The limbic system is the emotional seat of the brain and controls basic emotions (such as fear, pleasure, and anger) and drives (like hunger, sex, dominance, and familial love), and plays a big part in perception and forming memories.  

Essential oils are an awesome tool to support positive psychology and develop a healthy response to things like stress, anxious feelings, and negative emotions.

Like I said earlier, essential oils can affect us on a cellular level, so the benefits are not limited simply to our sense of smell.

Because of the nature of the aromatic compounds that make up essential oils, specific essential oils can elicit specific emotional and physiological responses! 

3 Ways to Use doTERRA Essential Oils Infographic

3. How can I use essential oils?

three ways to use essential oils

How you can use essential oils can be broken down into three super simple categories:

  • aromatic use

  • topical use

  • internal use

Each mode of essential oil usage comes with it's own benefits and offer unique support.

Each also comes with it's own set of precautions and recommended guidelines.

Since essential oils are so concentrated and potent, I definitely recommend  education yourself on proper usage practices for safety, as well as get pure essential oils intended for therapeutic use. 

More on that below.

1. Aromatically

One of the most commonly known and practiced ways to use essential oils is aromatically. Breathing in and smelling essential oils can have a powerful effect on us, emotionally and physically.

Each essential oil elicits unique emotional responses. Some essential oils can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing.

My favorite way to use essential oils aromatically is to use an essential oil diffuser (this is the one I have!) - I have multiple essential oil diffusers throughout my home and keep one at my desk at my office. 

Diffuser jewelry is another great way to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils throughout the day.

2. Topically

Topical use is the second way you can use essential oils. Essential oils are easily absorbed by he skin to support health, and many can be safely applied topically.

Essential oils can be applied topically where you physically need the support (occasional skin irritation or blemishes, tired muscles and joints, reflexology zones, etc) and for emotional use as well (e.g., aromatherapy pulse points, chakras, etc.).

When using essential oils topically, diluting them is important. I recommend using a carrier, such as fractionated coconut oil or an organic, nontoxic lotion. 

Also, remember to keep essential oils out of eyes, ears, and nose for safety!

Because of their therapeutic benefits, essential oils are commonly used for topical use in massage and beauty products.

I personally apply essential oils to the bottoms of my feet every morning to start my day. After I shower, I like to apply a personalized essential oil blend of choice using a roller bottle, diluted in fractionated coconut oil.

3. Internally 

Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as a dietary supplements for physical support.

Because they are so potent, I only recommended educated and moderate internal usage of essential oils.

Some examples of internal usage in action:

  • When I experience occasional stomach upset, I like to add Peppermint essential oil to a veggie capsule and take it internally because of its soothing properties. When it comes to internal usage, a little bit goes a long way.
  • As part of my daily routine, I also like to take Frankincense sublingually (a drop applied under the tongue) for quick absorption and Frankincense's grounding effect and natural neurological support.

Only certain essential oils can be used internally, and an essential oil's purity is a big factor to consider  - more on that below.

why dōTERRA Essential oils?

There's something I like to call the dōTERRA difference. 

More than any other essential oil company I've come across, dōTERRA goes out of their way to provide the most purepotent, and therapeutically beneficial essential oils. 

dōTERRA employs a self-imposed standard for purity called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade - all of dōTERRA's essential oils must meet this standard to be sold and used. In order to be labeled Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (or CPTG for short), a batch of essential oil must pass eight different tests read up more on the process here!

Because of this testing process, you can be confident that dōTERRA essential oils are safe, pure, and effective to use in the ways described above and why I choose to use them in my integrative health coaching practice. 

Each essential bottle also includes a Quality ID # that you can use to track where your oil was sourced and view the GC/MS test results for the batch. How cool is that?!

From my experience, dōTERRA essential oils are the best out there.

BUT you don't have to take my word for it.

Learn how you can get your hands on some of my favorite essential oils here, and don't forget to get your FREE essential oil guide!

Get your FREE Essential Oil Guide!

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MEET HAPPY HEALTHY JOE

Joseph Struhs (LA-based Integrative Health Coach) is an essential oil educator and wellness passionisto by day, marketing consultant for health pros by night! When he's not working, you can catch him fitting in a workout at the gym or getting crazy in the kitchen.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

None of the statements made should be construed as dispensing medical advice or making claims regarding the cure of diseases. One should consult a licensed medical professional for medical advice.