Topical Applications

Bath – because essential oils tend to sit on top of water, it is recommended that they be diluted in a carrier oil, Epsom salt, or sea salts and then add them to the bath water.

Foot bath – dilute about 5 drops of essential oil(s) in either salts or a carrier oil and add to a lukewarm bowl of foot bath.  Soak feet for 10-15 minutes.

Mists – the base of a  mist could be simply water or a hydrosol (or a combination of each).  Because the majority of essential oils sit on top of the water/hydrosol, the bottle will have to be shaken before each use.  Another alternative is to use an emulsifier, which is a molecule which dissolves in both water and oil.  They allow normally insoluble lipophilic substances such as essential oils and vegetable oils (for lotion) to mix with water.  When emulsifiers are put into water, they turn the water milky as they are dispersed throughout the water without leaving an oily film on the surface.

Compress – add a couple of drops of essential oil(s) to a bowl of warm or cool water (depending on desired outcome).  Place a hand towel in the water and wring out excess.  Place compress on particular area of body.

Ointments – are typically made with a combination of carrier oils and beeswax.  There are many excellent recipes for making ointment depending on the desired outcome.  Typically the carrier oils are heated separately from the beeswax and it is important to make sure the temperature of the carrier oils is the same or slightly higher than the temperature of the beeswax, otherwise you may end up with a “gritty” texture.

Gels – are usually clear or semi-opaque and can be made from water and a thickening agent, such as a polymer of polysaccharide or be produced naturally in plants i.e., aloe gel.  Gels are usually oil-free but can sometimes have a small amount of oil.  Gels generally absorb better than lotion and creams and do not leave a visible film on the skin.

Sitz Bath – also known as a hip baths.  Using either a bowl or a bath tub, fill with enough hot water to cover the hips up to the waist only.  Add 5 drops of essential oil(s) to either a carrier oil or salts and soak in the bath for 5-10 minutes.

Douches – a douche is a vaginal wash using essential oils diluted in water.  Add 5-10 drops of essential oil(s) to one litre of warm water and shake the mixture well.  Add one tablespoon of cider vinegar to help maintain the pH balance.  This mixture can be used in a sits bath, bidet, or in an enema or douche pot (can be found at most drugstores/pharmacies.)  Douches should not be used on a regular basis because they can disrupt the normal, healthy bacterial balance.  Some aromatherapy associations do not recommend use of douches i.e.  the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

Lotions – very easy to make from scratch with the benefit of knowing exactly what is in the lotion.  Also, you can purchase ready-made natural lotions from many suppliers.


Disclaimer: All information or any other health topics covered by Drops of Sunshine Team has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Information given and/or products not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always do your own reading and research, as well as discuss the use of complementary methods with your physician, health professional, or naturopathic doctor. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

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