A Beginners Guide to Essential Oils

On my journey to wellness I have been looking into essential oils but I wasn’t sure where to start. Essential oils have many different purposes and I wanted to make sure I was using them correctly. Some oils are not to be taken internally, and some not to be used with animals or children. So I headed to Holistic Health in Hackney to do a course with Julia Jeremiah. Julia was my Reiki teacher in London and also taught me many spiritual practises. Julia is someone I trust implicitly, which I think is very important, when you are learning a new therapy.

The world of essential oils is a fascinating place but definitely quite complex, so I am in the process of learning how to use them at the moment. I think I will do a series of posts on these, as one post is definitely not long enough, and Julia has very kindly offered to do a monthly Facebook live in my group for a few months, to get a bit more information on these oils, and to answer any questions people may have.

Here are the oils I have been using and what I’ve found so far;


Helps with;


  • Asthma
  • Digestion
  • Bacterial infections
  • Colds and Headaches
  • Diarrhoea

How to Use

Place a drop on a cotton wool ball and inhale to relieve headaches or sinus infection. Can be applied topically, properly diluted in a carrier oil, to the area of concern or to reflex points. Not to be used topically on children under 10, and not to diffused for, or inhaled by, children under 6.

Can be taken internally for adults. Place 1 drop to a litre of water, remember 1 to 2 drops is the equivalent of 26 cups of peppermint tea, so do be cautious on dose. Generally speaking, no more than one or two drops of essential oil should not be ingested daily. Ingestion of essential oils for holistic (medical) purposes should be done only under the advice of someone with experience and education in essential oils, such as a naturopath or homeopath.




Helps with;

  • Helps ease feelings of tension
  • Soothes agitation, bruising, insect bites, stings , burns,
  • mosquito repellant
  • Relieves insomnia and depression
  • Relieves PMS symptom
  • Helps stop bleeding wounds

How to Use

  • Add a few drops to pillows for a restful nights sleep
  • Add five drops of lavender essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Mix with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts. Add Epsom salts to bath water. Soak for 20 minutes to relieve stress.
  • Apply with carrier oil to the temples or back of the neck
  • Diffuse from a diffuser or inhale from a cotton ball.

I have been using 2 drops of lavender oil in some coconut oil, then rubbing it into the soles of my feet before bed. I have found this really helps me have a calm, restful night sleep.


Melaleuca (Tea Tree)


Helps with;

  • Builds confidence and strength
  • Uplifts the spirit
  • Combats feelings of victimisation
  • Sanitiser/germ killer

How to Use

8 – 10 drops to 1oz carrier oil for minor cuts and wounds. Apply to area topically.

Apply after shaving, with carrier oil

Bathroom Cleaner

(Not for Cat owners whose cats go in the bath)

3 oz water
2 Teaspoons Castile Soap
1 Teaspoon Vinegar or  hydrogen peroxide (3%)
1 drop Melaleuca oil



Helps with;

  • Supports reflection and introspection
  • Encourages emotional healing on all levels
  • Quiets the mind
  • Supports focused attention and tranquility
  • Reduces pain/swelling
  • Skin nourishing
  • Tension headache

How to Use

Healthy adult ; use 10 -12 drops Frankincense oil to 1 oz carrier oil (coconut oil is good) apply topically to area.

Children age 6 -12; use 5 to 6 drops Frankincense oil to 1 oz carrier oil, apply topically to area.

Diffuse for peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.

Nourishing Face Mask

2 teaspoons green clay
Add water to get a soft texture
1 drop Frankincense oil
Spread on face and leave 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing off. Skin should feel nourished and soft.

Wild Orange

Doterra Essential Oils are food grade oils so you can add to recipes or drinks.

Helps with;

  • Soothe perfectionism
  • Energises body and mind
  • Calms tension
  • Relieves overwhelmed mind
  • Emotionally uplifting

How to use

Put three drops of Wild Orange in your bathroom sink or bathtub drains to help dispel any unpleasant odors or grime.

Add 3 drops of Wild Orange essential oil and 3 drops of Frankincense essential oil to 1 ounce coconut oil for body lotion. (Do not use this on your face.)

Diffuse to uplift mood.


Safety around using Essential Oils

Generally speaking, if you are using a diffuser, you can diffuse most oils around pets and children, providing they are not sleeping directly under it, and the room is well ventilated, and the child or pet has the ability to leave if the aroma becomes too much. It’s best to diffuse for 15 minutes on, an hour off when first starting to use oils and never diffuse overnight. If you notice your pet or child become irritated at all, stop diffusing immediately and remove them from the room. Should the condition persist or worsen, seek medical attention.

If burning, redness, itchiness, etc, occur when an essential oil or a product with essential oil has been applied, Do not wash with water first. Oil will retreat from water and go deeper into the skin causing further damage. Therefore, apply a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba wax, or vegetable oil) to the affected area. When the irritation subsides (this should occur within seconds), wash the area gently with soap and water, pat dry and then apply another application of carrier oil. Should the irritation persist or worsen, seek medical attention.

The main problem with certain oils is when they become ingested. For example, lemon is great for a natural worktop or floor cleaner, but if your pet walks on these surfaces, then licks their paw, they ingest the oil. Or if you use Tea tree on a cut, wash your hands before petting your animal, as this is toxic to pets. Cats are missing a liver enzyme which helps them break down certain essential oils, I have listed below the toxic oils, so always think about the safety element first before using oils around pets and children.

How to Use Essential Oils Safely around Children

It’s important to always use essential oils with caution and education especially with children; so I’ve explained a bit more on how to use these but you can contact Julia with any questions or concerns you may have here.

Essential oils should be neither diffused nor used topically on the skin of children under 6 months. Infant’s systems are still developing and adjusting to the “outside world”. Essential oils are concentrated plant material and are too strong for their little bodies. Gentle hydrosols (such as Lavender and/or Roman Chamomile) can be diluted with water (1/4 hydrosol, 3/4 water to start) when needed, but not every day. If baby cries or pulls back when the hydrosol is put by his/her nose, dilute further.

Essential oils still should not be used on a daily basis on children from 6 months to 6 years old. Their immune system is not fully developed until the age of 6 or 7 years, so it is wiser to use hydrosols on children under six, or using a couple of drops of essential oil diluted in an ounce of carrier oil (such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba wax, or vegetable oil) for emergency situations such as bug bites or bee stings.

Essential oils may be used on children from 6 to 12 years old, at a 1% dilution (5 to 6 drops per ounce of carrier oil).

Peppermint essential oil should not be used on children under 10 years old. The high menthol component in peppermint essential oil can slow breathing and cause respiratory problems.
Essential oils with a high 1,8-cineole content, such as certain chemotypes of Rosemary and Eucalyptus should not be used on children under 12 years old as it can slow breathing.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

If you are interested in purchasing any of the Doterra essential oils, please contact Julia so she can advise you on what oil is best for you and how to use it. Julia has very kindly offered a free Wild Orange essential oil with every order when you quote SHIRLAW on your order.

Or you can follow Julia on Facebook and learn lots of great ways to incorporate essential oils into your life and home. Look out for a post coming here soon on home made cleaning products using essential oils.


Natalie x


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About Me

Hi, I’m Natalie Shirlaw, a professional hair stylist on a personal wellness journey.

My aim is to help women live a more natural life that will leave them looking and feeling amazing. Ever since I was 10 I’ve been fascinated with the hairdressing business and officially started working when I was 14. I’ve worked in some of the top UK salons and for some of the best hairdressers in the world, and I now have my own salon in Kent.

 As a hairdresser I’ve always wanted to give my clients the latest and best products and even ended up being a technical consultant for L’Oreal, but one thing was common throughout my career - 

I am passionate about finding natural and organic products that work just as well as the big brand alternatives, and that are ultimately better for you too. For over 10 years I’ve been actively researching, and testing as many products that I can. Everything from skincare, to makeup, to food and even home wear. I’ve been incorporating these products and tactics into my daily life since and I’ve never felt better. Outside of my regular work I’ve studied martial arts and other Eastern practices like Reiki, meditation, Feng Shui, EFT and NLP.

 So as you can see I’m a big advocate for all around healthy and natural living. I’ll be sharing my best tips, tactics and products here, that you can implement easily to live a more natural life, where you can feel and look amazing. I’m really excited to have you with me on this journey and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!

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