There are two primary ways to use essential oils: inhale them or apply them to the skin. Rarely are essential oils used “neat” (right out of the bottle) for these purposes, but there are several methods by which one can safely inhale these oils.

Inhalation Uses of Essential Oils

The inhalation of essential oils, also known as Aromatherapy, is one of the most common uses of essential oils and has become a very popular alternative therapy. There are a variety of ways for the oils to be inhaled.


For relief of congestion, and as an air disinfectant or antiseptic, add two or three drops of essential oil (such as eucalyptus, tea tree, or pine) to at least a pint of water and throw it on the hot stones. Avoid saunas if you suffer from heart disease or a serious respiratory condition like asthma or emphysema. Also, do not use sweet smelling oils such as rose, geranium, and ylang ylang in saunas because they can cause nausea or headaches. These aromas should not be inhaled in the confined space of the steamy sauna.

Room vaporizers and diffusers

Diffusers and vaporizers warm the essential oils and disperse the aroma throughout a room. This can be done to encourage relaxation, relieve anxiety, promote sleep, combat the spread of germs, relieve respiratory issues and headaches, or just make a room smell awesome. Vaporizers and diffusers are available that are warmed either electrically or by candles. Some are designed as a ring to fit on a light bulb. Be sure to read package directions and Precautions When Using Essential Oils. For most vaporizers, four to six drops are added to one tablespoon of water in the vaporizer bowl. Do not allow the water to dry up, as the oils may burn and smell nasty. Don’t let the oils burn for more than two hours.

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A few drops of oil can be placed on a tissue and placed in an air-tight plastic bag or container. If you experience travel sickness of any kind, try putting a three to four drops of peppermint, ginger, or Melissa oil on a tissue. Inhale it occasionally before and during travel.

Room Spray

A therapeutic air freshener can be made by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oil with three to four ounces of water in a mister spray bottle. Make sure you shake it before each use.


Add six to eight drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Breathe in the vapors slowly.

Facial Steam

For respiratory symptoms or relief of congestion, add three to five drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Drape a towel over your head, and place your head close to and over the bowl. Be sure your eyes are closed so the steam and oils won’t irritate them. Inhale for about a minute, rest, then repeat several times. Do this two or three times throughout the day.

Essential oils have valuable properties which enable us to not only enjoy the scents, but also to treat many emotional and physical conditions. Aromatherapy can be enjoyed in any of the ways listed above, and they will effect the human body in a positive way.