How to Use Aromatherapy

Supplies for Aromatherapy

You will need only a few basic supplies to begin practicing aromatherapy. In fact, you probably already own most of them -- though you'll probably want doubles because of the potent oils you'll be using.

A measuring cup, measuring spoons, and perhaps some small funnels will start you on the road to aromatherapy production. Unless you are adding essential oils to a ready-made product, you will need appropriate bottles or containers for storage. Simple bottles and vials are sold at drugstores; for fancier ones, check out your local natural food store. Mail order sources offer a greater variety of containers. Buy some labels for the bottles, too. Make sure to have paper towels and rubbing alcohol on hand for clean up.

A good set of measuring spoons is one of the basic supplies you'll need to practice aromatherapy.
A good set of measuring spoons is one of the basic supplies
you'll need to practice aromatherapy.

You will need a way to measure small amounts of the essential oils and transfer them from bottle to bottle. Some essential oils are sold in bottles that have an insert called a reducer that allows only a drop of oil to come out at a time. It may take a few tries to get comfortable using it, but do not shake the bottle or several drops will come out at once. Glass droppers work well for obtaining just the right amount of essential oil and are sold in drugstores, some natural food stores, and by some essential oil suppliers.

Be careful not to contaminate your essential oils by putting a dropper from one oil into another, but you don't need a separate dropper for each oil. Simply rinse the dropper in rubbing alcohol and wait a few minutes for the alcohol to completely evaporate before putting it into another oil. Having two or three droppers allows you to rotate them for rinsing and drying.

If you prefer, use a long, narrow tube called a pipette to measure out small amounts of essential oils. Pipettes can be made of glass or plastic; however, the easiest to use -- but hardest to clean -- is plastic with a squeeze bulb at one end. Practice with these using water before attempting to get exact measurements with your essential oils. Pipettes are sold in chemical equipment catalogs, some drugstores, and aromatherapy supply catalogs.

To measure larger quantities, use a Pyrex measuring cup with a pour spout. A set of measuring spoons is also useful for measuring more than a few drops of essential oil. (See the box below.) In addition to the equipment, you'll also need some essential oils and various carriers such as vegetable oil, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, and vodka. You can buy or order fancier vegetable oils, such as almond, apricot, grape seed, and jojoba, at most natural food stores.

We'll learn more about carrier oils on the next page.

Aromatherapy Measurement Conversions
Use this chart of equivalencies to help you measure out your essential oils when making aromatherapy preparations.
12.5 drops 1/8 teaspoon
1/48 oz.
1/6 dram
5/8 ml.
25 drops  1/4 teaspoon
1/24 oz.
1/3 dram
11/4 ml.
75 drops  3/4 teaspoon  1/8 oz.
1 dram
3.7 ml.
100 drops
1 teaspoon
1/6 oz.
11/3 dram
5 ml.

To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:
  • Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
  • Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
  • How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
  • Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
  • Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider