Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

It’s citrusy, sweet, with a spicy floral tone and it is one of the best essential oils for using during times of stress. Bergamot Citrus bergamia comes from cold pressing the peel of the fruit on the bergamot orange tree. It has a bright scent that can help to boost mood and aid in soothing tumultuous emotions. Bergamot blends well with black pepper, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, pink grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, mandarin, neroli, nutmeg, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang ylang.

It makes a wonderful addition to any blend meant to support emotions during times of grief and sadness. Bergamot has been historically considered one of the most effective essential oils for mental and emotional problems. Its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) actions have been studied frequently over the years with promising results. It blends well with earthy, grounding oils like sandalwood, patchouli, and vetiver for a beautiful meditation blend.

Bergamot, when used topically, is gentle enough for skin care and help with oily skin and skin problems common in teenagers. Have achy, overexerted muscles? Try bergamot blended with black pepper in a massage blend to help relieve tension and soreness.

Bergamot essential oil is rich in the ester linalyl acetate, the main constituent found in Lavender essential oil, that gives bergamot its anti-inflammatory action. It is also rich in d-limonene. D-limonene is a monoterpene thought to provide antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal action making bergamot a great choice to diffuse to help purify the air.

Bergamot contains a chemical constituent known as bergaptene. Bergaptene is a furocoumarin that is known to cause photosensitivity. It’s recommended to use a maximum of 0.4% to avoid phototoxicity. However, you can find bergapten-free bergamot at Plant Therapy and in all our blends containing bergamot at Airmid Holistics, so you don’t have to worry about skin irritation from sun exposure.

Bergamot is one of my favorite essential oils & I frequently diffuse it while I’m working at my desk. For me, it is soothing & uplifting. I enjoy blending it with lemongrass for a pick-me-up or sandalwood when I need to feel more grounded. It is a great oil to add to your regular lineup during stressful times! Our roller blend Stress Away features bergamot blended with clary sage & sandalwood.

5 Essential oils to beat the winter blues (+ how to use them!)

Winter is in full effect here in the northeast, as it snows outside my window and cold winds blow down from Canada. It’s a quiet time of year for most but it can also be a time of silent suffering for many. With the shorter days and colder temperatures comes SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the form of depression that revolves around the changing of the seasons, typically occurring during the winter. Also known as seasonal depression, it comes with all the mood changes and symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, losing interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, a loss of energy, difficulty with thinking, concentrating, or making decisions, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You can read more about seasonal depression here. It is a serious disorder that requires the care of a license healthcare professional as it can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.

–, 2022

Knowing that the two worst months for seasonal depression (January and February) are upon us, I wanted to share five of my favorite wintertime essential oils. These essential oils are known to be warming and will fill your home with a cozy aroma, along with some great immune boosting benefits.

Even if the long winter nights aren’t affecting your mood, these five warming essential oils are great for supporting hard working muscles. You can use them after a long day shoveling snow or trying out that new workout routine you promised you’d start as part of your new year’s resolution.

Ginger oil (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is an energizing essential oil with a warm, fresh, spicy aroma. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can act as a stimulant and aphrodisiac. Ginger essential oil is great to use for fatigue. It should be noted that ginger can cause skin reactions in some people (as can the other essential oils I’ll be mentioning here) so follow safe dilution ratios closely. I recommend a maximum dilution of 1% if using topically. Ginger blends well with citrus essential oils and woody oils like patchouli and frankincense.

Clove bud oil (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove oil has a distinctive smell that is rich, spicy, and fresh. Clove blends well with many different essential oils like bergamot, black pepper, and my two favorite oils for relaxation clary sage and lavender. Clove has a strong aroma and I typically only use 1-2 drops in a blend. I enjoy combining clove bud with cinnamon, ginger, and sweet orange for a beautiful winter diffuser blend. It should be used at only 0.5% maximum dilution in topical blends as it contains the powerful phenol, eugenol. Eugenol is the chemical constituent that gives clove oil its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Clove bud is also known to be an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiarthritic essential oil.

Cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Warm, spicy, and sweet describe the scent of cinnamon bark essential oil perfectly. This sweet and spicy oil is fantastic for diffusing to help stimulate your senses and get you feeling energized. Not only could it put a pep in your step, but it is also great for supporting the immune system during times when seasonal illnesses are lurking. It also blends well with many other essential oils including citruses, mints, and woody aromas like cedarwoods. Cinnamon essential oil has been found to have analgesic, anti-arthritic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Juniper berry oil (Juniperus communis)

Juniper essential oil is one of my go-to oils for many short-term topical blends. It has a fresh, fruity, balsamic aroma and blends well with essential oils like cedarwood, cypress, lavender, pine, clary sage, and cypress. Juniper is known to be an antibacterial and antimicrobial and is a natural purifier when diffused. Topically, juniper berry can produce a warming sensation, which I love in blends made for aching and sore muscles. Juniper essential oil comes with some safe use warnings – you shouldn’t use it if pregnant and should only use it topically for 4-6 weeks at a time before taking a four week break.

Black pepper oil (Piper nigrum)

The last, but certainly not least, of our warming winter oils is black pepper. Black pepper has a warm, fresh, woody scent that blends well with many different essential oils. It is a great addition to stimulating blends for heightening the senses and increasing alertness. It is also antibacterial and antiviral in nature making it a good choice for winter diffusions. Black pepper is great (especially when combined with juniper!) for easing sore muscles.

Winter diffuser blend

Follow the instructions for your specific diffuser. I usually use 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100mL of water when using an active diffuser. This blend was made when using 200mL of water in my diffuser. You’ll be diffusing:

  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 3 drops sweet orange essential oil

Warming muscle massage oil

With the new year comes new year resolutions, so if you are back to the gym or doing at-home workouts this great warming muscle massage blend may come in handy! You’ll need your essential oils, a dark colored one-ounce bottle, and one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of your preferred carrier oil.

You’ll need your essential oils, a dark colored one-ounce bottle, and one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of your preferred carrier oil.Put one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of carrier oil in a dark colored bottle, such as an amber dropper bottle, then add the following essential oils to the bottle:

  • 10 drops Black pepper Piper nigrum oil
  • 6 drops Ginger Zingiber officinale oil
  • 6 drops Juniper Juniperus communis oil
  • 5 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis oil

This is a 3% dilution ratio. Use the warming muscle massage oil on sore muscles as needed throughout the day.

Winter can be a dreary time but utilizing essential oils to create uplifting and aromatic blends to fill your home can be helpful to drive out the long, dark nights. These five essential oils not only create a warm, inviting space they can also help fight off seasonal threats. When used topically, they can help support sore muscles from any winter time activity whether its shoveling snow or starting a new workout routine.

If you don’t have these essential oils on hand or would rather buy a premade blend check out our Loose Limbs roller blend here. Loose Limbs includes black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and ginger along with some other muscle supporting essential oils. If you’re looking to beat back the winter blues, some of our pick 2 aromatherapy inhalers and our roller blends feature mood supporting essential oils that can be found here.

10 types of carrier oils + choosing one for your essential oil blend

When we talk about using essential oils topically, we always discuss how to safely dilute them (you can read more about that here). How do we dilute essential oils? We dilute essential oils with their plant-based cousins, carrier oils. Carrier oils are also derived from plant matter and are used to help carry essential oils to the skin. We dilute essential oils because these volatile plant extracts are potent! If used undiluted essential oils can cause serious irritation to your skin. Carrier oils come in a wide variety, most of which are unscented or lightly scented so they won’t interfere with the aromatic qualities of your essential oils. Many common carrier oils can also be used alone as they have their own beneficial uses for skin and hair care.

When choosing a carrier oil, take into consideration what your essential oil blend is being used for, availability of carrier oils, and price concerns of the carrier oil. You should also purchase organic, unrefined oils when possible and always from sources you can trust. I like to use Bulk Apothecary for my carrier oil needs. They have a varied selection of bulk oils at affordable prices, and many of their oils have organic options.

 The 10 most common carrier oils you’ll hear about are listed below.

There are many more carrier oils than those on the list above and each one has its own distinct properties and benefits to take into consideration. These ten oils are typically the most popular and most readily available for you to purchase.

Argan oil

Argan oil is made from the kernels of the fruit of argan trees and is rich in vitamins A and E and monounsaturated fatty acids, making it great for treating dry hair and skin. Argan oil is a favorite of mine for hair serums, especially when blended with rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil. Argan oil is also non-comedogenic making it a great choice for many different skin types.

Jojoba oil – nature’s sebum

Jojoba oil is a great choice for those with acne-prone skin. Jojoba oil has characteristics that closely relate to our skin’s own natural oil known as sebum. This makes jojoba oil noncomedogenic and a great choice for those with skin blemishes. It is easily absorbed, high in vitamin E, and typically won’t clog pores. It makes a great base for a massage oil, bath oil, or for face moisturizers. While jojoba oil mimics the consistency of our own sebum it should be noted that it does have a comedogenic rating of 2. This means that most people won’t have an issue with jojoba oil clogging their pores, but some might. It is typically suitable for oily skin as it will help balance out the production of our own excess skin oil.

Olive oil

Pressed from olives, olive oil is known as a healthy choice for cooking, but it also has benefits as a carrier oil for aromatherapy. Olive oil is full of healthy fatty acids and plant sterols that it makes it a good choice for dry skin. When choosing an olive oil, pick one that is extra-virgin and know that the natural scent of olive oil may interfere with some of the essential oils you use. Olive oil is always a great choice for beginner’s as it is easily available in grocery stores. It has a comedogenic rating of 2 and shouldn’t clog pores for most people.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is another readily available carrier oil you can find in local grocery stores. Coconut oil has its own distinct aroma as it is made from the meat of coconuts. When choosing a coconut oil, pick one that is unrefined. Refined coconut oil is bleached and deodorized to remove the distinct aroma and flavor associated with coconuts. Refined coconut oil is not an all-natural choice and typically not recommended. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and polyphenols and is in a semi-solid form. If you want coconut oil that will always be liquid, look for fractionated coconut oil. This type of coconut oil will remain in its liquid state regardless of the ambient temperature. Traditional coconut oil has a comedogenic rating of 4, making it a less than ideal choice for any facial blends. Fractionated coconut oil will have a comedogenic rating between 2 and 3 so it may still clog pores.

Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil is made from the kernels of sweet almonds. It is a lightweight oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins A and E, fatty acids, potassium, and zinc. It is one of the most popular carrier oils you will find in many DIY essential oil recipes. Sweet almond oil is a good choice for a variety of blends including bath oils, massage oils, soaps, and roller blends. It has a comedogenic rating of 2 and is usually suitable for those with sensitive skin types.

Grapeseed oil

A vitamin E rich byproduct of the winemaking process, grapeseed oil is a choice for skincare blends. Grapeseed oil is lightweight with a neutral scent. It is easily absorbed by the skin and can suit a variety of needs when choosing to make a blend. Grapeseed oil has a comedogenic rating of 1 making it suitable for most skin types.

Apricot kernel oil

Apricot kernel oil is high in vitamin E and fatty acids with a slightly sweet, nutty aroma. It can help to calm irritated, itchy skin and could be used in hair care preparations or any bath and massage oil blends. Apricot kernel oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is great for dry skin remedies but those with acne-prone skin should use caution. Avocado oil is a thick oil high in oleic acid that can increase sebum production. It also has a comedogenic rating of 3. This means it could clog your pores and may be the best choice depending on your skin type.

Sunflower oil

My personal favorite! Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower seeds and is rich in nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and linoleic acid. It is great for acne-prone skin and can help with skin inflammation and irritation. Sunflower oil is non-comedogenic (unless it is a hi-oleic acid type, then its comedogenic rating can be as high as 2) and has natural emollient properties that can help the skin retain its moisture. It is a gentle carrier oil and great for many first timers trying their hand at blending.

Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is the oil made from cold pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. It should not be confused with the general term “hemp oil” which is a term used for all oils that come from the hemp plant including CBD oil. Hemp seed oil has few to no cannabinoids and is high in omega fatty acids. It has a comedogenic rating of zero and is a great choice for many different skin types.

Making the mix

Once you have chosen your carrier oil that best suits your needs, it’s time to blend it with your essential oils. We discussed safe dilution tips in detail here but here’s a quick over-view.

First, conduct a patch test of your carrier oil to ensure you aren’t allergic to it. Place a small amount of carrier in the crook of your arm. Cover the oil with a bandage and leave it for 24 hours. In 24 hours, check the area for any redness or irritation. If you feel any discomfort before removing the bandage, immediately take the bandage off and wash your arm thoroughly. You should use caution when choosing a carrier oil if you are allergic to tree nuts. Tree nut derived oils include argan oil, apricot kernel oil, and sweet almond oil.

After your successful patch test, it’s time to blend! Follow safe dilution guidelines by checking out a chart like the one found here from Plant Therapy. You can also read this great post by the Tisserand Institute on safety guidelines for essential oil blending. A 2-3% dilution is typically all you’ll need for most blends intended for an adult. Don’t forget that some essential oils, like clove and cinnamon, are more likely to cause skin reactions and therefore have their own individualized safe dilution rates. Always do your research on your essential oils and if you can’t find an answer, don’t be afraid to reach out to a certified aromatherapist for help.

Choosing a carrier oil can be just as important as choosing the right essential oils for your blend. But don’t worry, you can’t go wrong with any of the oils listed here. Have fun trying them out and find what you like best. Once you’re confident in your blending skills, you can start to blend together carrier oils as well to make the perfect potion for your skin.

Diffusing essential oils

Using a diffuser is one of the easiest ways to utilize essential oils for aromatherapy. You can also get a chance to use the essential oils that are less safe for frequent topical use but extremely beneficial aromatically like clove and cinnamon. When diffusing essential oils there are two methods you can use: a passive diffuser and an active diffuser.

Passive Diffusers

Passive diffusers naturally release the essential oils you choose through their evaporation. Typically, these diffusers will give a less intense aroma. Some types of passive diffusers include ones like this clay lotus diffuser from Plant Therapy, aromatherapy jewelry like bracelets or necklaces, or reed diffusers. Even a simple gauze pad or tissue can act as a passive diffuser!

Passive diffusers are perfect for small spaces like your desk, bedside table, or car because they give off a light scent that’s perfect for smaller spaces. It is also a great way to use your essential oils for aromatherapy without bothering other people who may be sensitive to strong smells. If you have ever found yourself overwhelmed by the scent of essential oils, a passive diffuser may be the perfect option for you.

Active Diffusers

Active diffusers are pushed into the air and dispersed throughout your space by using a nebulizer or ultrasonic diffuser. These diffusers are great for filling larger rooms with the scent of your essential oils and are perfect for blends that help support the immune system or are meant to be used simply for their aromas.

Each active diffuser will come with its own set of safety instructions. Read these carefully! For example, most ultrasonic diffusers should only be used for 60 minutes before turning them off for at least 30-60 minutes. There are some diffusers now that even come with automatic shutoffs or timers like this one, making them convenient for everyday use.

The TL;DR version of active vs. passive diffusers:

Active diffusers push the essential oils into the air and can fill bigger spaces with a stronger aroma.

Passive diffusers use the natural evaporation of the essential oils to give a small space a gentle aroma.

There’s also a third choice I didn’t mention earlier and that is:

Personal Aromatherapy Inhalers

Personal aromatherapy inhalers don’t fit neatly into the active or passive category (although they are passive in that they don’t require outside stimulus to be activated). These discrete inhalers give the same strong aroma as an active diffuser. They are a great choice for using essential oils aromatically. Personal aromatherapy inhalers are small in size and convenient to carry with you.

Aromatherapy inhalers come in a variety of colors and options, from these sleek aluminum cased ones from Mountain Rose Herbs to plain, simple white ones like these found on Amazon. Those inhalers are sold “blank”, or without essential oils, so you can make your own blend just how you like it. I recommend sticking to 15 drops per inhaler. You can also find pre-made aromatherapy inhalers here with a variety of blends to choose from. This is a way to try out aromatherapy inhalers for yourself without the fuss of choosing and making your own.

Choosing A Diffuser

Choosing a type of diffuser to use is a very individual choice. It depends on the size of your space, how sensitive you are to smells, and if you share your home or space with other family members or pets. You may also choose to have both types of diffusers. A passive diffuser may be the perfect choice for your office so that you do not disturb coworkers. When you’re back at home, an active diffuser may be the right option for your living room so that you can fill your space with your favorite soothing scents.

Diffusing essential oils is a great way to use aromatherapy regularly without the worry of properly diluting essential oils for topical use. It is also a fun way to come up with inviting scents to use in your home along with their added therapeutic benefits.

Safety Considerations

Always make sure you diffuse your essential oils in a well-ventilated space and follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. Pregnant people, individuals with respiratory illnesses, infants, and pets can be very sensitive to the aroma of essential oils. Dogs, and especially cats, should always be free to leave the room if you are diffusing essential oils whether by an active diffuser or passive diffuser. Some essential oils can be harmful to your pets if they cannot safely leave the space.

Make sure you do your due diligence on researching safety precautions about your chosen essential oils. Some essential oils, such as the popular essential oil peppermint, are not safe for very young children. Others are contraindicated for specific health issues. You should stick to using 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100mL of water for an active diffuser.

In the case of infants, I highly recommend NOT diffusing around children under 3 months. You also should not diffuse for longer than 30 minutes without a 60-minute break and only repeat diffusing, if necessary, when children are present in the household. Also make sure that you dilute the essential oils properly in your active diffuser’s water – two to three drops per day for children. Just because essential oils are natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are safe for all.


Which diffuser do you think you’d prefer? Maybe an active diffuser at home and a beautiful piece of aromatherapy jewelry for on-the-go? Whichever type of diffuser you choose, if it’s the right choice for your needs then it’s the perfect one!

I love carrying aromatherapy inhalers when I’m out and about but at home I have a simple ultrasonic diffuser in my main room. It’s a well ventilated space for a big diffuser and my pets can get up and leave whenever they’d like.

We’re getting ready to launch our line of diffuser essential oil blends at Airmid Holistics in 2022 & I cannot WAIT to hear about how my fantastic clients & customers choose to use their essential oil blends.

Using essential oils safely

A lot of people new to using essential oils may ask, is aromatherapy safe?

Aromatherapy is generally considered safe when done properly. There are two main ways you’ll use essential oils: topically & through inhalation. We go into more detail about these methods here & also discuss how each method works differently in the body.

When using essential oils topically they need to be properly diluted in a carrier oil. Carrier oils act as your base for a topical blend & ‘carry’ the essential oils to your skin. Common carrier oils are olive oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, & many more. They are typically unscented, or lightly scented. Carrier oils also come from plants & many have their own benefits to add to the mix. If you’re looking for a quality supplier of carrier oils I highly recommend Bulk Apothecary. They have a wide range of carrier oils for reasonable prices.

Why should you dilute your essential oils? To quote Robert Tisserand, “One, to avoid skin reactions: irritation, sensitization, and phototoxicity. Two, to avoid systemic toxicity, such as fetotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and neurotoxicity. Adverse skin reactions are obvious when they happen, but systemic toxicities may not be. Skin reactions are totally dilution-dependent, and safety guidelines exist to minimize the risk.”

You should never apply essential oils undiluted to your skin. Also known as ‘neat application’, undiluted essential oils can cause serious irritation to the skin. Essential oils are potent extracts comprised of hundreds, possibly thousands, of chemical constituents that give essential oils their amazing therapeutic properties.

Even if you don’t have a reaction immediately to an undiluted essential oil they will begin to trigger your immune system & lead to an immune response known as sensitization. Sensitization, which is also known as allergic contact dermatitis, can lead to redness, irritation, hives, & even respiratory distress like shortness of breath & a tightening in the chest. It may happen at the site of application – or else where on the body. It is NOT a sign that your body is detoxing. Rather, it is a sign that your body is saying “enough is enough”. You should always note the max dermal rates for essential oils listed on the product information or on the bottle.

When I make a blend, I follow the Tisserand Institute’s recommended dilution ratios. Robert Tisserand has been at the forefront of aromatherapy research and is one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. If you are serious about creating your own safe aromatherapy blends at home, I highly recommend the book he co-authored Essential Oil Safety. It is a must have in my personal library!

Plant Therapy, an essential oil company that sells single essential oils, blends, and supplies, also has a dilution chart. Plant Therapy is a great source for purchasing essential oils, especially if you’re a beginner. They staff certified aromatherapists and have worked with Robert Tisserand personally on crafting some of their blends.

They also have clear safety guidelines for each of their individual essential oils & their in -house essential oil blends. Their bottles also come with the max dermal rate listed right on the label.

When talking about the max dermal rate, this is the maximum amount of essential oil you can use in a single blend. This is not a single rate for every essential oil either. Each essential oil has its own max dermal rate. Did you know that clove bud essential oil, & other ‘hot’ essential oils like cinnamon & oregano, should only account for 0.5% of an entire blend? That’s only a single drop in 10mL of carrier oil! Yet an essential oil like lavender could be used at upwards of 5% for short term use. That’s a LOT of lavender! I recommend most people stick with a 1-2% dilution in their at-home topical blends. Less can be more when it comes to essential oils. This is especially true in the case of children (who have their own safety concerns to be aware of, including essential oils you shouldn’t use for them), pregnant & nursing mothers, & the elderly.

It bears repeating that essential oils are the volatile chemical components of their plant parent. Even a seemingly benign oil from a familiar source, like lemon & other citrus-derived essential oils, can lead to complications if diluted improperly. Lemon is an amazing antibacterial essential oil & has such an uplifting, refreshing scent but it can lead to a temporary, severe skin sensitivity in the sun (known as phototoxicity) if diluted improperly. Lemon essential oil that is cold-pressed should never be used above a 2% dilution ratio. Steam distilled lemon is typically non-phototoxic.

After reading all of that you might be asking, “Then, how can I learn how to use essential oils safely?”

Taking classes is a great way to learn how to use essential oils safely for you and your family. The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists has a list of schools that are vetted for providing accurate information on the safe use of essential oils. You can check it out here. Many aromatherapists, myself included, will also happily conduct consultations based solely around education purposes. There are many of us who also go out into our local communities to conduct small, one-day workshops on essential oil blending and DIY help all while providing great information for beginners. Check out your local community boards for local DIY classes or see if a certified aromatherapist is hosting online workshops.

If you don’t want to dedicate time to a class, look for reliable resources on the internet. AromaWeb is a fantastic resource for those just starting out to find reliable information from essential oil profiles to recipes & blends. AromaWeb is run by Wendy Robbins, a certified aromatherapist and fellow American College of Healthcare Sciences alumna. You can also search for essential oils on PubMed Central (PMC). PubMed Central is an open access database that contains a wide array of essential oil research articles that are free to the public. Lastly, professional aromatherapy organizations such as NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) and AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists) will often have educational resources such as books, seminars, and more. They also both have a database of certified aromatherapists if you decide to use one.

Using essential oils safely at home doesn’t have to be a scary feat! You just need to do your due diligence in learning about the essential oils you choose to work with from a reputable source. Once you feel confident in using your essential oils your journey into aromatherapy at home will feel much less daunting.

How aromatherapy works & ways to use essential oils

Using essential oils for aromatherapy can be done aromatically (through inhalation) and topically (through absorption in the skin). And yes there’s a third way, & that’s internally (by ingesting them), but we’ll talk more about that later on.

Ways to use essential oils through inhalation

When used aromatically, essential oils enter the body via the nostrils. From there they travel to the olfactory system, the part of the body responsible for our sense of smell. This triggers a response in the limbic system, the emotional center of our brain responsible for controlling heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, memories, and stress levels. Have you ever had a certain smell trigger a long-buried memory? This is why! That specific smell activated your memory center & you probably felt a corresponding emotion (happiness, sadness, maybe even anger).

Molecules from the essential oils are also carried to the lungs and can interact with the respiratory system. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a fantastic essential oil to use aromatically when wanting to support the respiratory system.

To use essential oils aromatically you can diffuse them in an electronic active diffuser or use a passive diffuser. You can read more about diffusing essential oils here. You can also make an aromatherapy inhaler. Aromatherapy inhalers are small & discrete. They provide a mess free, simple way to provide you with aromatherapy throughout the day. And you can get basic ones, like these, or cuter ones in bright colors, such as these here.

Ways to use essential oils topically

When used topically, essential oils pass through the layers of the skin to enter the body. Their active chemical components are absorbed just like common topical pharmaceuticals you may use. Areas of the body that are more permeable tend to be areas with greater concentrations of sweat glands and hair follicles, as reported by some researchers (Battaglia, 2003).

To use essential oils topically they should always be diluted in a carrier oil. Carrier oils, such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or sunflower oil, help to disperse the volatile essential oils more evenly across your skin. Dilution ratios (more about that here) are extremely important to follow so you don’t suffer any unnecessary reactions to your essential oils. Essential oils should never be applied ‘near’ or undiluted to the skin.

Essential oils can be used in a massage oil, a roller bottle blend, in an aromatic bath with Epsom salts, & in the form of a salve. I love to combine herbal infused oils as my carrier oils with essential oils & create a salve. Each of our AROMAtherapeutic salves at Airmid Holistics combine herbal infused oils with a unique essential oil blend. Roller blends are a convenient and less messy way to use diluted essential oils compared to say a massage oil. They are also easily transported with you & can be tucked neatly into a purse or pocket. That’s why many of our Aromatherapy Wellness blends are available in roller bottles (you can check them out here).

Topical use and inhalation are great, but don’t people ingest essential oils too?

There IS a third way that essential oils can be used and that is by ingesting them. This method is NOT recommended for the general public. There are many who would tell you otherwise, especially because ingestion is a more common practice in France (however, only physicians & trained pharmacists may prescribe & dispense them!).

Essential oils can be used multiple ways! Whether you decide to use a diffuser blend, make an aromatherapy inhaler, or follow the safe dilution guides found here to make a topical blend, you can use aromatherapy in a way that best suits your needs.

If you don’t feel confident yet in making your own blends, check out our pre-made aromatherapy blends here or contact us about scheduling an aromatherapy consultation. We want you to feel confident & excited to try aromatherapy so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!


Battaglia, S., (2003). The complete guide to aromatherapy. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: The International Centre of Aromatherapy

What is aromatherapy? (And what it isn’t!)

As an aromatherapist, one of our biggest responsibilities is educating people on the safe use of essential oils. That education can range from questions about the best way to use a particular oil to the complexities of the chemistry behind an essential oil’s therapeutic uses. Sometimes the question is simply, what IS aromatherapy?

The simple answer is that aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit.

Aromatherapy is both a science, and an art. Aromatherapists learn about the scientific aspects of the plants and oils they use through their formal education. They learn how their properties work together synergistically in a blend to help provide support for a variety of health & wellness issues. Typically, aromatherapy is done topically by diluting essential oils in a carrier oil and via inhalation using diffuser blends or aromatic inhalers. Internal use should only be done under the guidance of a qualified and experienced health care professional. You can learn more about how essential oils work & safe use here.

Aromatherapy can help provide physical, mental, and emotional support in conjunction with traditional medical care and other holistic modalities. Research studies have shown that essential oils can help support a wide variety of health concerns. Ranging from infections, pain, anxiety, depression, PMS, nausea, and more, the research is there, but we still need more of it.

Well, if that’s what aromatherapy IS, what is it NOT?

Aromatherapy is great for support & using in conjunction with traditional healthcare. It is not used to treat, cure, or prevent health issues, nor can an aromatherapist diagnose you (unless they’re a qualified healthcare provider such as a naturopath or doctor).

For an example, aromatherapy will not cure your cancer (scientists are studying the anticancer properties of essential oils though – you can read one such study here). However, it can be used to help support the side effects you may experience during chemotherapy and other treatments such as anxiety, nausea, or physical discomfort. In fact, one of our AromatiCare Kits is focused entirely on cancer support.

Aromatherapy sounds amazing!

It is! Aromatherapy is an amazing holistic way to help support your health & wellness. Whether you opt to learn how to create your own essential oil blends, purchase pre-made aromatherapy products, or decide to reach out to an aromatherapist for a consultation, you can begin supporting your mind, body, & soul with essential oils.

Are you ready to get started using aromatherapy to help support your wellness goals? If you don’t want to jump in to making your own blends right away, check out our Aromatherapy Wellness line or schedule an aromatherapy consultation for a personalized, one on one first step into your aromatherapy journey.