How to Use Essential Oils

What are Essential Oils?

An essential oils is an oil extract of a plant, which concentrates the odour, flavour and goodness of the plants from which they are derived. 

How to Use Essential Oils?

Many uses of essential oils can be generally classified as follows,

1. Oral administration

Not all essential oils are qualified to be administered orally. Essential oils which come from digestible plants such as spices can be consumed after dilution. As essential oils are highly concentrated, they have to be diluted with a carrier oil or another base before oral administration. Due to the potency of essential oils, uncooked oral administration is not recommended without the prescription of a health care professional.

  • Spice essential oils can be used in cooking for added nourishment, flavour and aroma.
  • Spice essential oils can be taken as a supplement with tea, coffee or shakes, after diluting with MCT oil.
  • Due to its refreshing and antimicrobial properties, certain essential oils such as Turmeric, Lime, Clove, Ceylon Cinnamon, Black Pepper, and Peppermint can be used in tooth pastes, mouth washes and oil pulling formulations to treat dental problems, bad breath and help detoxify the body. Such essential oils can also be used in a gargle for soar throat discomfort. For example, one drop of Lime essential oil could be diluted in water and gargled before spitting out.

2. Topical Application

Essential oils can be used in the bath or topically applied on the skin or hair, when mixed with a carrier oil. A carrier oil which does not have a strong smell of its own and which is easily absorbed by the skin is preferred. Examples include, Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond oil, Grapeseed oil, Apricot Kernel oil and Fractionated Coconut oil (MCT). Most essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin without being diluted, as it may cause allergic reactions. However less potent essential oils such as Sandalwood, Lavender and Jasmine can be used undiluted on small areas of skin and hair. In all other cases, a carrier oil or another carrier substance is recommended.

If you use water as a carrier, be sure to shake or mix the solution well before application. The dilution ratio again depends on the potency of each essential oil. As a rule of thumb, if applied on any area or portion of the body, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier at no greater concentration than 3% - 5% (3 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier). For massage or for application over a large area of the body, a 1% solution is generally considered safe (1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier). For infants, using a 0.25% - 0.5% solution  is recommended.

When used in the bath, it has to be noted that essential oils are insoluble in water. Thus they will float on top of bath water and pass through the skin exposing oneself to the full strength essential oil. Hence only healthy concentrations have to be used in the bath and precautions have to be taken to avoid contact with the eyes. If you haven't tried an essential oil before and are unsure about an allergic reaction, test patch on inner elbow before application. It is recommended that all carrier oils be mildly heated before topical application for best results. However, essential oils should never be directly burned as the chemical structure could be changed due to incineration, diminishing its therapeutic value. 

3. Aromatherapy

Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy with or without dilution. Essential oils can be directly inhaled, steamed, diffused in a diffuser, used in candles, room sprays, sanitizer sprays, laundry, and cosmetic products. Many essential oils can be blended together to formulate therapeutic blends. There is no definitive list that specifies which essential oil is used to treat which health condition. The best bet is to study the therapeutic value of the plant from which an essential oil is extracted before deciding on its application. For example, Turmeric and Lime, two plants which are reputed for their cleansing and antimicrobial properties could be blended together in an aqueous or alcohol solution to be used as a disinfecting spray on yoga mats.

In blending essential oils for fragrance, such blending could be done according to the note families (Top, Middle and Base) as the ultimate focus would be on the final aroma rather than its therapeutic value. The perfumery note of an essential oil refers to the rate at which the oil evaporates and the strength of its fragrance. The perfumery note of an oil refers to the rate at which the oil evaporates. Top notes evaporate more quickly and base notes more slowly. As a result, top note scents are perceived more quickly than base note scents. Essential oils can also be blended according to the family of its origin.






Fruity, Tangy

Lemon, Orange, Lime, Petitgrain, Bergamot, Lemongrass

Floral, Minty, Spicy, Woody


Sweet, Soft

Lavender, Lotus, Jasmine, Geranium, Rose, Ylang Ylang

Citrus, Spicy, Woody


Green, Grassy,


Rosemary, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Coriander

Minty, Woody, Citrus, Spicy


Cooling, Earthy


Citrus, Woody, Herbaceous, Earthy


Sweet, Musky, Earthy

Sandalwood, Vetiver, Patchouli

Floral, Herbaceous, Minty, Spicy, Citrus


Warm, Invigorating

Clove, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Turmeric

Floral, Woody, Citrus


Fresh, Piney


Citrus, Floral


Note: This is not an all-inclusive guide. If you are unsure about which application method to use with essential oils, consult a qualified aromatherapist. 

What does Sri Lanka has to Offer?

Sri Lanka is well known for the variety and quality of spices it provides to the global market. Our signature range of Spice Essential Oils have been organically sourced from local manufacturers of Sri Lanka.