Welcome to our newest series on the Plant Therapy blog: Ask our Aromatherapists! Where you ask, and we answer your most burning oily questions.
Wondering who your Plant Therapy Aromatherapists are? You can get the full introduction to our whole team on our Meet Our Aromatherapists page! Because Plant Therapy is dedicated to being transparent, we knew we wanted to introduce you to the team behind answering your essential oil questions.
Without further ado, let’s see what you asked us this month:
How often can you use and diffuse your oils?
Debbie Schulkamp asks:
What are the guidelines for how frequently it’s safe to diffuse (every day? every night?) And how often you can repeat application of rollerballs and how often you can use inhalers.
There are a lot of things to consider when talking about diffusion and application guidelines and frequencies. For instance, the oils you use, the size of the room, the ages of the people in the room, and many other things can change the frequency you diffuse. Generally, we recommend diffusing for half an hour at a time, with at least a half an hour to an hour break in between. If you’re using stronger oils like cinnamon, clove, or other potentially irritating oils, we’d recommend cutting the diffusion time down.
If you’re following intermittent diffusion guidelines like above, it’s okay to diffuse every day or every night as needed. The keyword here is as needed. It’s important to diffuse with intention. For sleep-related problems, it’s okay to diffuse a sleep blend each night for a small amount of time. Does your living room smell a little stuffy? It would be okay to diffuse for half an hour off and on to improve the atmosphere of the room.
How often you can repeat topical application like roll-ons kind of relies on the same kind of information. It depends on the dilution and purpose of your oils. If your blend is 2% or under, it would be okay to apply as needed throughout the day. If it’s higher, like 5-10%, we recommend applying two-three times a day, only as needed.
It is good practice to occasionally switch up the oils and blends your using to avoid any potential negative reaction like sensitization. This is true for diffusion and topical application.
Similar therapeutic benefits? Here’s how to decide:
Tracey Johnston of SEOR asks:
When there are so many EO’s that have similar purposes, what is the deciding factor in the one that you decide to use in a blend?
This is what makes Aromatherapy so fun: It’s designed to be tailored to the individual! This is one of the most personal ways you can treat any ailment.
When you’re blending at home and have lots of different oils with similar benefits, the best way to choose oils for your blend is to choose the one that triggers the strongest response.
So, for me personally, my daughter really responds to citrus scents (she loves herself some Kumquat especially). When creating a blend for her diffuser to help her wake up in the mornings, obviously I chose citrus oils for their energizing properties, but when it came to deciding which citrus to use I let her choose the one that evoked the strongest positive response for her.
Basically, if you’re making a blend and you have multiple oils that have similar properties, you can pick ones that smell best or resonate strongly with you. Or you could also look at other properties of that oil and see if one oil helps more than the others. For instance, if there’s an oil that helps with respiratory issues, but also is antibacterial and antiviral, you pick that one!
Our Top Essential Oil Picks:
Leela Turek of SEOR said:
I would ask them [our Aromatherapists] to list the top 10 singles that address the most common issues everyday folks try to address in their day to day life. The top 10 oils should multitask and be able to blend to cover most issues like body ache, tummy problems, insomnia, stress, anxiety, tension, headache, congestion etc.
Great question Leela!
We actually just wrote a great blog post of the top 10 essential oils and how to use them, which everyone should check out for more great information. But we thought for fun some of our Aromatherapists would weight in with their own personal favorites:
Certified Aromatherapist and SEOR Supervisor
Blue Tansy: You all know that Blue Tansy is my go-to oil for… well, everything. It’s perfect for supporting respiratory health all year long. Whether it be seasonal threats common in the spring, or in the winter, Blue Tansy will leave your sinuses feeling clear. It’s also perfect for minor body tension and alleviating stress caused by everyday life.
Cedarwood (all types): These oils are very uplifting and relaxing. After a long day at work, I love diffusing it with other oils like Bergamot and Vetiver. It can be very supportive of skin health and is perfect at helping promote circulation.
Spearmint: This oil is the greatest! It’s both energizing, uplifting, and also helps support the respiratory system. It’s great at helping to comfort upset tummies, and when properly diluted is gentle enough to use on kiddos. Use it topically to reduce stress and tension in the neck and other places on the body.
Certified Aromatherapist & Content Writer
Neroli: If I was stranded on a deserted island and only had ONE essential oil, Neroli would be it. I love its unique, complex floral aroma, and how emotionally supportive it is. Not only does it calm and soothe the mind, but it’s a great support for inflammation and when you’re feeling under the weather.
Frankincense Frereana: Easily my favorite variety of Frankincense. It has a sweet aroma on top of a deep earthiness, which I love during meditation and yoga. I add it to some Jojoba in the evenings after washing my face to keep my skin moisturized and healthy.
Bergamot: This is my go-to for emotional issues, especially when dealing with worry and nervous tension. I love how its gorgeous aroma compliments just about every other essential oil, making it a great choice to blend with. It was the first essential oil I had ever smelled and holds a special place in my heart!
Lavandin: Lots of the same great benefits of Lavender, but with an aroma that, to me, is a bit less sharp than Lavender. I love adding a few drops to my body wash and using it in the shower after exercising to help calm my mind and body down.
Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin
Blue Tansy: This is my go-to oil for soothing sinus troubles caused by seasonal threats. Additionally, it is calming and makes me feel relaxed. It is supportive of the immune system, reduces twitchy muscles and helps with the discomfort. It’s an oil that is good for many different purposes and is one I would never be without.
Lavender: This oil has many therapeutic properties. It’s great for supporting the immune system, is helpful for discomfort, even nerve discomfort. It helps reduce stress and feelings of anxiousness so our body can function more efficiently.
Be sure to check out these 17 DIYs you can make using Lavender!
Bergamot: Bergamot is helpful for reducing discomfort and twitchy muscles. It can help reduce anxiety, is relaxing and helps with uplifting the mood. It is also supportive of the immune system.
Certified Aromatherapist & Content Manager
Tea Tree: Known for its strong scent and anti-microbial properties, this oil is the very first EO I bought and used. And it’s still in my cabinet! I use it in the shower to help clear my sinuses and my husband loves a couple of drops added to his shampoo. It’s also great to use on your laundry to help get rid of pesky smells!
Clear Again Blend: My son has chronic asthma, and we go through Clear Again like it’s going out of style (we’re talking a 30 mL bottle every couple of months). I diffuse this blend at night in his room to help him breath more easily and ease some of his allergy symptoms in the spring.
Kumquat: Like I said in my answer to the question above, Kumquat essential oil is my daughters favorite and a great choice for helping her wake up in the morning by increasing feelings of energy and alertness. And everyone loves it when their kids get up in the morning without being drug out of bed!
Kumquat was our Oil of the Month for March of 2018! Be sure to check out everything you need to know about Kumquat on our blog and read up on why you might love this oil too.
If you have questions for our Certified Aromatherapy team, head on over to our Safe Essential Oil Facebook Group and watch for our monthly post for your chance to get featured and have your questions answered!