How Do Essential Oils Work?


Essential Oils: How do they work?

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived.” Helen Keller

Essential oils enter the body in three ways depending on the oil. 

They can be:

  • Apply to the skin (topical)
  • Inhale (aromatic)
  • Ingest (dietary supplement)

At first, you won’t know which oils can be ingested and some oils, when applied topically can be uncomfortable when used undiluted on the skin. The best way to learn the specifics of each oil is to purchase an Essential Oils Desk Reference I also offer regular classes and training videos. 


There are many different types of Lavender, Peppermint, or any species of plant for that matter.  Many Lavindins are mis-labled as Lavenders. When you use Young Living, you can be assured that they have picked the right species that will give you the most benefit and the species has been authenticated, so you don’t end up with an unintended oil on your skin.

How does skin application work?

Essential oils can be applied topically to the skin. For example, Lavender is soothing when applied ot the skin and can help with occassional break outs or typical skin irritations, like a pimple. Many people like applying wintergreen (and helichrysum essential oil to soothe the skin after normal exercise, or German Chamomile  essential oil to ease dry skin.

Our Skin is Our Largest Organ 

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is farirly permeable. We absorb many things through our skin all day, both good and bad. The active naturally ocurring chemicals in essential oils are absorbed by the skin. When you are using a pure therapeutic-grade oil, this is incredbily supportive to all of the systems of the body.

Some researchers report that essential oils may be more readily absorbed from skin locations with greater concentrations of sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head, soles, palms, and armpits (Battaglia, 2003).

How do I inhale essential oils?

You can put one drop on your non dominant hand. Rub clockwise three times to activate the electrical prooperties in the oil. Cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply at least three times. If we don’t wish to topically apply an oil or ingest an oil,  essential oils can enter the body through inhalation through the nose or mouth. Common examples include inhaling eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules, E. radiate, or E. smithii) essential oil to cleanse and freshen the air or inhaling  wintergreen essential oil to provide an overall feeling of energy.

Interaction with the Limbic System (Emotional Brain)

During inhalation, odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the “emotional brain.”

Do people ingest essential oils?

The only essential oils that should ever be ingested are 100% pure, sustainably grown, essential oils labeled specifically as dietary supplements. The only absolutely pure essential oils that we are aware of are Young Living Essential Oils. Many companies claim to have pure oils, but unless you can actually go to the farm and see the process for yourself, I would not trust those oils. Young Living offers us a Seed to Seal purity promise. For more information, you can research which oils are safe by simply looking in the Essential Oils Desk Reference available at

SeedToSEalPUrity and Promise  © Carla Sridevi Cohen 2012