This time of year I like to make a few inhalers with essential oils that I can carry with me and use whenever I get a little stuffy. Inhalers are great in allergy season, cough-cold-flu season or even just for a light refresher and switching up your moods. Who wouldn’t love the aroma of some fresh flowers or a forest blend available at any time? I have tried so many different formulae – some for helping with focus, others for aiding sleep, and some even for travel sickness!
There are so many ways to prepare Essential Oils for use as inhalers. You can purchase inhaler tubes from most aromatherapy suppliers, either in your locale or on-line. And because inhalers are NOT inserted into the nose – merely wafted underneath the nostrils – you can think outside the box a little and make your own inhalers from small bottles or tins. Whichever method you use, always be sure you label your container carefully, and ensure it is clean and sterile before adding your carrier (cotton balls, salts, etc) and Essential Oils.
Method # 1: Bottle and cotton balls
If you save your empty EO bottles like I do, be sure to thoroughly clean and sterilize a used bottle and cap, preferably a 10ml or 15ml bottle.
Insert an organic cotton ball or pad into the bottle and add your essential oils, up to 15 drops for a bottle that size. Be sure to label the bottle with ingredient list and date.
To use, simply waft under the nose and breathe deeply. Heavenly!
Method # 2: Bottle and Salts
I like to think that I rediscovered my “inner Victorian Lady” when I first tried this method. No swooning allowed! We may giggle now at the image of the fainting Victorian women (likely because their “stays” were so tightly laced!) being revived by a waft from their jars of smelling salts. But these products were practical, portable and efficacious. Sounds good to me!
In earlier times they used fairly strong chemicals in smelling salts, but you can use a lovely blend of oils designed to stimulate such as peppermints, citrus scents, etc.
To a clean and sterilized dark bottle (again, try to use something in the 10-15 ml size, although you can go up to 30ml), add salts of your choice (preferably a fine or medium grind) such as Himalayan salts, sea salts, etc. Add your essential oils, roughly 1 drop per ml (so for a 10ml bottle, 10 drops, etc). Be sure to cap tightly – Essential Oils can evaporate.
As with a commercial inhaler, simply waft under the nostrils and breathe deeply to get the benefit of the oils.
Method # 3: Cotton Balls or Tissues
Make a master blend of your formula and store in a tightly sealed dark jar. Be sure to label with ingredients. Add 2-3 drops to a cotton ball or tissue, and inhale for quick relief.
There are so many on the internet, but let’s start with one that can support you when stuffed up due to allergies or colds:
ALLERGY AND HEADACHE RELIEF, formula for ONE inhaler:
(source: Aromahead Institute)
* 4 drops Balsam Fir essential oil (Abies balsamea)
* 3 drops Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
* 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
* 5 drops Frankincense essential Oil (Boswellia carterii)
This is just one of the many formulations out there. Experiment a little with the ratios and the oils, but always be sure to first RESEARCH any oil before using, to make you there are no contraindications for any existing health conditions you might have, or potential interference with any prescribed medications. If in doubt, consult a professional aromatherapist.