Table of Contents
Now that we’re all looking for ways to stay healthy and keep our mood up, essential oils are an easy way. I’ve got 7 recipes for you to use at home in your DIY inhaler.
First of all, you will only use natural fragrances in your inhaler. Never use synthetic fragrances that were concocted in laboratories and factories. Why? Because you want to avoid phthalates, undisclosed ingredients and allergens that cause untold harm to your endocrine system, and long term health.
Synthetics fragrances are used in most perfumes (so that they smell the same on every skin type) and last really long (think of washing powders and detergents where the smell lingers for weeks).
Natural fragrances include – essential oils, absolutes, CO2 extracts and concretes. All are made from raw plants. Essential oils are available in most towns and through the internet so I will refer to those for this article. The other 3 are specialist items used by aromatherapists and natural perfumers.
Aromatherapy Essential oil inhalers
Essential oils are powerful. But because they are so concentrated, they can be overused and can cause skin allergies and irritations when undiluted. Even professional aromatherapists get skin reactions from overuse of the same oils in their massage treatments. It happens.
So this is where these nifty inhalers are perfect – you don’t run the risk of overdosing. They’re made of plastic so if you drop them, no worries! You can also give them to a child to sniff at school. Or store one in your pocket or under your pillow. There won’t be any leaks or spillage.
These are plastic tubes with an inner wick that you add your own essential oil blend to.
Similar to the Vicks nasal inhalers, you can make your own with essential oils .
Take them with you – in your pocket, a purse or bag. If you’re travelling on public transport and suffer from anxiety you can sniff your inhaler to calm yourself.
Same thing with studying for, or writing exams. You can add a brain enhancing blend to the essential oils inhaler and use that as a study and memory aid.
You can adjust the essential oils to suit whatever is happening in your life right now.
If you’re uncertain which oils to use, there are ideas below and in my newsletter. You can also ask your aromatherapist or acupuncturist for blend suggestions.
How to use aromatherapy inhalers
An aromatherapy inhaler consists of 4 parts – wick, inner tube, closure, and outer tube.
Add 20 drops of essential oil to the absorbent wick.
Insert this into the inner tube. Seal it firmly with the closure.
Screw on the outer lid. Add a sticky label to the outer tube, because you will forget what was inside!
- your name and/or function of the blend eg Wendy’s calming/stress relief
- the date
- your blend eg Lavender and Chamomile
When you’re not inhaling , keep it screwed closed to prevent loss of essential oils through evaporation.
Essential oil inhaler recipes
With these recipes, the overall number of drops you’re aiming for is 20. If you add 22 it will be fine. Just aim for 20, in total.
You can find the essential oils at your health store or from a professional supplier such as Tisserand or Quinessence. Keep the lids on and store the bottles in the cool and dark. Use them up before the expiry date. If your health store has the bottles stashed in a sunny/hot display window, be wary. Essential oils do not like being stored in sunlight.
Colds and flu
– 10 drops each of rosemary and eucalyptus (total 20 drops), or 10 drops ravensara, 7 drops thyme or oregano and 3 drops peppermint.
Exams and studying
– 20 drops rosemary, or 10 drops lemon and 10 drops rosemary.
Stress and anxiety
– 10 drops lavender and 10 drops bergamot, or 10 drops sweet orange and 10 drops lemon.
Focus at work
– 10 drops lemon, 5 drops basil and 5 drops rosemary.
– 10 drops chamomile, 5 drops bergamot, 3 drops mandarin, 2 drops vetiver
– 10 drops frankincense, 8 drops bergamot or sweet orange and 2 drops cardamom.
Children over 5 calming bedtime blend
– 10 drops sweet orange, or 5 drops bergamot with 5 drops lavender.
Notes – you’re aiming at 20 drops for an adult inhaler, and 5-10 for a child.
Woudl you like to download these recipes as a pdf?
Essential oils have many properties – they act on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
This means that they can be antibacterial and calming at the same time (think of chamomile), antiviral and uplifting (rosemary)
With the change of season, our body can do with some support to keep colds and flu at bay.
Diffuser vs vaporiser
I prefer a vaporiser as it adds moisture to the air. Ideal for parched air from central heating.
A diffuser simply blows air over the oils, which disperses them into the room. I’ll use this when humidity is high.
Both gadgets help spread the essential oils through the room.
Why should you use a vaporiser or diffuser for your essential oils?
Diffusing essential oils into your home (or office) can help you stay healthy when those around you are coughing and sneezing.
Many essential oils contain components that have antiviral properties. As colds and flu are viruses, they cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Essential oils can also be blended to increase their synergy.
Not to mention they also make the air smell good. Without the side effects of toxic ‘fake’ air fresheners sold in supermarkets.
Using a diffuser or vaporiser is a safe way to enjoy the oils – you don’t need to worry about how many drops you can add to your oil mixture.
You don’t need to worry about a reaction on your skin.
You dab them onto the pad (in the diffuser) or into a bowl of water (vaporiser) .
essential oil inhaler recipes
Essential Oil recipes for room scenting
My current favourite essential oils for scenting the air are Sweet Orange and Lavender.
The ratio either 50: 50 or 60:40
Adjust to your taste. You’ll need about 10 drops in total for your diffuser or vaporiser – don’t overdo it as it can cause your eyes to sting.
The scent will fade over 1-3 days. Then replenish.
How do orange and lavender work?
Don’t let the pleasant aroma fool you into thinking they are nothing but ‘pretty smells’
Sweet Orange actually works to uplift your mood and restore a sunshiny feeling. Now that the days are drawing in, that sweetness is comforting. (Are you like me and find it hard to let go of the glorious summer days?) Sweet Orange will restore joy. It’s one of the fruits used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to lift and brighten mood.
And Lavender.. well apart from the relaxing and calming effect, Lavender actually zaps micro organisms. It’s a must-have in the home, not just for your diffuser but also to use as part of your natural first aid kit.
Other ways to enjoy essential oils
Now if you aren’t into diffusing essential oils into the air, or don’t own a vaporiser or diffuser, how else can you enjoy them?
You can use them in your skincare routine, as a body oil, scalp treatment, face cream or hand cream.
They can be mixed into a bath oil or your shampoo or shower gel.
You can sprinkle them on a tissue to tuck into your pocket or under your pillow.
They can be added to a bowl of boiling water and inhaled to unblock congested noses.
My most favourite way though, is through combining the two most neglected senses – scent and touch.
That means… and aromatherapy massage. Yum.
Aromatherapy Massage with Essential Oils
It’s an effective way to prepare your body for the change in seasons.
- You get the antiviral, antibacterial effects of the essential oils
- combined with physical relief from aches and pains
- plus your body releases feel-good endorphins. ( think of Runner’s High, without doing the running)
- And did I mention your skin feels soft and silky afterwards?
- Or that tension line melt away from your face and neck?
That’s why nothing beats an aromatherapy massage. It’s like several treatments all at once.
(Of course, if you have a fever, you need to self-isolate, stay at home until you are well. Do NOT go for a massage when you have a fever. It is not safe for the therapist or those in the community with weakened immune systems, eg older people, those with diabetes, heart troubles and other disease.
How many drops in 1ml
This depends on which oil you are using as well as the size of dropper. Some oils are viscous(runny/thin) others are thick, and seem to take a year to leave the bottle(eg vetiver) .
For formulation, you’ll need to weigh the oils and remember that each supplier/batch may differ.
For aromatherapy massage, using in the bath or diffuser, you can count the drops.
- Never use undiluted essential oils on the skin
- Maximum 5% Inclusion (Normally 0.1-3%)
- Body – 3% Maximum
- Haircare – 2% Maximum
- Face – 1% Maximum
- Lips – 0.5% Maximum
- Eye Area – 0.1% Maximum
- Lower levels for ‘leave on’ products (e.g. moiturisers) than for ‘rinse off’ products (e.g. shower gel)
- Use lower percentages for children, during pregnancy and for anyone with compromised skin
- Hydrosols can be useful alternatives to essential oils when formulating
Oil for scars
Yes certain essential oils are amazing at reducing scar tissue, even the old keloid scar tissue.
My all time favourite that does not smell pretty to many (but I totally love it!) is the gorgeous hay-like Everlasting Flower – aka Helichrysum. I use it with other scar-tackling extracts in Empress Elixir. (se the products page) Sadly though, most of the essential oils that work best on scars are rather expensive. But, you will be diluting them first so a little does go a long way.