The right dosage of essential oils
More is not always better
Finding the right dosage for essential oils is not that easy. Different applications and fragrance mixtures require different dosages. There are also individual preferences for individual fragrances or intensities. Here are some tips on how to find the right dosage of essential oils for your individual needs and avoid overdose.
Dosage of room scents
Many start with fragrance blends, of which you can simply add 5 to 15 drops to a scenting device according to your mood. But you can also choose a single fragrance and put 5-10 drops of this favorite fragrance in a fragrance device – so you get to know well the fragrance you selected well.
Small fragrance devices have a small odor radius, larger ones accordingly larger. So choose the scent device according to the room size. If you have a small scent device, but a larger space, you can first dose the oils higher. This works very well in a certain setting, but it should not be overdosed. Otherwise, the fragrance may become too intense near the fragrance device.
If you experiment with the fragrances for longer, you may soon want variety and want to mix the essences yourself. The most well-known principle according to which also perfumers work, is the division into head, heart and base notes. It is best to always use one or more essential oils from all three groups.
- Head notes have a high volatility, meaning that they dissipate relatively quickly after being spread
- they get into your nose very fast
- head notes include citrus scents such as bergamot, grapefruit, litsea cubeba, lemon etc.
- If you want to mix citrus fragrances with other oils, use about 5-10 drops of citrus scents
- Heart notes are flowery soft components that usually have a very intense aroma
- The heart notes include precious flowers such as jasmine, rose, magnolia or ylang ylang
- Use 1-3 drops of flower oil to give a mixture the necessary “heart”
- Herbs such as lavender, Roman chamomile and clary sage belong to the heart notes as well
- They are usually dosed a bit higher than flower oils: only about 2-5 drops
- Base notes are essences that are poorly volatile, such as sandalwood
- Base notes are needed in room scenting so mixtures do not go away too fast and fill the room
- Typical base notes are benzoin, rosewood, patchouli, vetiver, frankincense, cedar and cinnamon
- Base notes are dosed with 3-8 drops depending on the intensity of the aroma
Dosage of bath additives
Since essential oils do not combine with water, they must be mixed in a solubilizer (emulsifier) before they are added to the bath water. Natural, fragrance-free bases such as a neutral oil bath or base oil bath are best suited for this. For a full bath of your choice, you will need 10-15 drops of the appropriate essence to 1-3 tablespoons of a vehicle base. You can also dissolve the essential oils in fresh milk, cream or honey or drip on sea salt – as Aphrodite used for her beauty and health nearly 5,000 years ago.
It is important that the oil is stirred well in the carrier and that you add this mixture to the bath water when the tub is completely filled.
You can also mix different oils, such as lavender and anise. Your personally preferred mixing ratio can easily be found out by yourself. You can not go wrong if you always keep in mind that you do not use more than 15 drops of essence for a full bath, and you do not mix incompatible or overly contrite oils. Keep in mind that short, hot baths usually work after 5-10 minutes at 38-40°C, while longer warm baths at 32-38°C are used for about 20 minutes as a spa.
Bathing in the evening
To intensify the soothing, slightly tiring effect, baths should preferably be taken in the evening before going to bed. The maximum bath time should not be longer than 20-25 minutes! Even foot baths in the evening can be a nice, uncomplicated relaxation ritual. Simply add 3-7 drops of essential oil, dissolved in neutral oil bath, into the water and mix.
On our recipe page you will find simple recipes for scented bath additives.
Dosage of steam baths & inhalations
For a steam bath, pour about 2 liters of boiled hot water into a bowl or inhaler. Depending on the intensity of the oil, add 3-5 drops of the essence to the skin. The oil can also be dripped onto 1 tbsp salt or 2 tbsp chamomile flowers and then doused with hot water. Then check if the steam is not too hot. It should be hot, but still comfortable. Now put a big towel over your head so that it reaches over the edge of the bowl. Close your eyes and inhale the hot steam.
The inhalation should take about five minutes. It can be repeated in acute cases two to three times a day. The following essences are particularly suitable for steam baths: angelica, basil, cajeput, silver fir, eucalyptus, eucalyptus radiata, spruce needle, chamomile, pine needle, mountain pine, myrrh, myrtle, niauli, thyme white, juniper, cedar, lemon.
Be careful with strong essential oils
For thyme oil and other very strong essences, a maximum of one drop should be used per inhalation due to possible irritation symptoms!
If in doubt, only mild oils should be used during inhalation. Always remember that more does not necessarily help better, but lower dosages are often very effective and well tolerated.
Dosage of massage oils
For a massage oil mix essential oils with a base oil. To begin, look at the general dosing guideline that 1-2% total amount of essential oil in a base oil is well tolerated. If you want to dose with drops, you can assume that 1ml of essential oil contains about 25 drops. Therefore, dose about 25-50 drops in 100 ml base oil.
Some essential oils should be dosed on the skin only to a very low level, e.g. Citrus oils. Outstanding skin care oils can also be used in slightly higher dosages. These include, for example, rose and lavender.
On our recipe page you will find simple recipes for aromatic massage oils.
Dosage for the sauna
For a sauna infusion with essential oils just put 3-7 drops of 100% pure natural essential oil in the ladle. The dosage depends of course on the size of the sauna. Do not use skin-irritating oils and citrus oils only in very small doses of about 1-3 drops.
Use only pure essential oils
For those who want a more comfortable experience, they can resort to fully blended sauna essences with pure essential oils such as Baldini’s sauna essences – for a natural sauna experience free of chemical additives. For an infusion you need a half to whole cap.
Dosage for babies, children & during Pregnancy
Special rules of application and dosages apply to aromatherapy for babies, children and pregnant women.
The aromatherapy application should always be carried out in consultation with the midwife, a pediatrician or natural health practitioner familiar with aromatherapy.
In general, the following rules apply to the dosage for babies, children and pregnant women:
- Use only all-natural, essential oils from certified organic cultivation
- Before using it, read the appropriate description for each oil and let it know if the oil is suitable for children and pregnant women
- In any case, the dosage should be lower because children and pregnant women are more sensitive than adults.
More information can be found on our themed pages “Aromatherapy & Pregnancy” and “Aromatherapy for Babies & Children”.