The following companies have an aromatherapist on staff, ethical sourcing and harvesting processes in place, high quality standards and transparency with chemical reporting easily available to consumers. Certainly, these are not the only companies doing these things, but these are the ones with which I am most familiar.
Eden Botanicals This company offers a free mini sample of an oil of your choice for every $20 spent. A cost-effective quality source for essential oils.
Plant Therapy offers a live chat function to get more information regarding any of their products.
Inhalation is a fantastic tool to deliver the chemicals in essential oils to the brain and bloodstream. An easy way to inhale essential oils is by putting 1-3 drops on a cotton ball and taking three deep breaths. The chemical constituents from the oils will enter the body and can produce desired effects simply through inhalation.
For on-the-go aromatherapy, a personal inhaler can be a convenient tool that may last up to 2-3 months. There are several options available like these personal inhalers. Using a single oil or blend, add about 20-30 drops of essential oil to the inner cotton wick, label it and keep it in your purse, at your desk, bedside, or any convenient spot. You may find it effective to place the inhaler close to the nostril and inhale deeply for 3-4 breaths once an hour or just inhale as you breathe normally for about 15 minutes 1-3 times a day. Personal inhalers can be helpful for small spaces and around other people when it may not be appropriate to share the aromatherapy.
Topical application is also effective in delivering the essential oils to your body. Correct dilution is important to prevent skin irritation and reactions. Be sure to dilute essential oils when trying them on the skin and for any medicinal application. The general rule is a 3% dilution for daily use (for healthy adults– this will differ for children and older adults) which roughly equals 5mL/about 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil to 3 drops of your essential oil of choice. Quality carrier oils can be found at your local health food store and online and include grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and others.
Roller balls offer a portable option for topical use. To make a topical blend, fill a 10mL glass roller ball container with 10mL (about 2 teaspoons) of a carrier oil. For a 3% dilution, add 6 drops of your single essential oil or premixed blend, cap, shake and label. Roll a small amount on the wrists, temples, and back of neck up to 3-4 times a day.
Room diffusion is a natural replacement for air fresheners and can help set a mood or enhance an environment. There are myriad options for an essential oil room diffuser available in home goods stores and online. I have used this one but it is useful to note that room diffusion should only last for about 20-30 minutes at a time. For a mood-setting boost, follow the instructions for your diffuser and add 3-6 drops of essential oil.
When it is possible to purchase them, organic essential oils are always the best choice, especially when purchasing citrus oils. The plants from which essential oils are extracted may be sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. When the essential oil is extracted from the plant matter, these types of chemicals are extracted along with them and can end up in the air and body in a concentrated form.
It is easy to information online regarding internal use of essential oils from sources with varying levels of credibility. Before using essential oils internally, always consult with a professional aromatherapist regarding application, safety, and dosing. Internal use should be reserved for acute situations only and not made a daily practice.