Aromatherapy Made Easy – Balancing Body, Mind & Spirit with Pure Essential Oils

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What is Aroma Therapy?
 
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for therapeutic uses. It has a long history of use in ancient Egypt, China, and India. In the West, Aromatherapy is thought to have begun when a French chemist, Rene Gattefosse, applied lavender oil to a burn on his hand. Noticing that the burn healed quickly and left no scar, he began studying the healing effects of plant oils. In 1928, he coined the term aromatherapy.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile and aromatic materials contained within plant cells. They are believed to play a role in protecting the plant from disease and are sometimes referred to as the plant’s immune system. Essential oils are found in all parts of plants, including seeds, bark, root, and flowers. They are derived through physical processes such as distillation (the process of repeated evaporation and condensation which produces a purified liquid) or expression (the process of squeezing the essential oils out).
How does Aromatherapy work?

Many people assume that aromatherapy is just about scents. While scents do play an important role in the science, there is much more to it than nice-smelling oils. Aromatherapy as a treatment is applied to the body or inhaled, essential oils work on three different levels: pharmacological, physiological, and psychological.  Pharmacologically, the essential oils enter the bloodstream, where they interact with the body’s chemistry. On a physiological level, essential oils affect the body’s systems, producing a stimulating or sedating effect, for example. Psychologically, we react to the scents of the essential oils
 
How do I use Essential Oils?Essential oils can be used in numerous ways. Below are the most common methods.
Lotions:
Essential oils can be added to a fragrance-free lotion and be applied as usual after a shower or throughout the day. They can also be used in a massage.

How to: Add 20 to 30 drops of the desired essential oil (try Lavender) to unscented, non-mineral-oil based lotion. Apply as usual. This lotion is ideal for lifting your spirits and soothing your senses.

 

Carrier Oils:
Carrier oils, also called base oils, are oils derived from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They are used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin or added to bath water. Common carrier oils include apricot kernel oil, avocado, borage, grapeseed, jojoba, olive, safflower, sesame, sweet almond, and sunflower. Hazelnut, peanut, and Soya oils can also be used.
How to: Add a few drops of essential oil to a handful of carrier oil. To make a bigger batch, add 20 to 60 drops to 100ml of base oil.
Different Carrier Oils:
Apricot Kernel Oil: This oil is good for skin-care products and for all types of skin, especially sensitive and aging skin.
Avocado Oil: This nourishing oil contains vitamins and fatty acids, making it beneficial to all skins. Good to use as part of a facial oil blend.
Grapeseed Oil: This super-light oil is ideal for body massages.
Jojoba Oil: This oil is nourishing for the skin and hair.
Sweet Almond Oil: This nourishing oil is good for massage, bath, body, and skin-care products, plus it has no scent.
Wheat Germ Oil: This oil is high in vitamins, minerals, and protein, making it great for the skin.
Others: Borage, olive, and sesame oils are thick and nourishing oils.
Diffuser:
There are many different types of diffusers available. Candle diffusers consist of a votive candle with a small dish above the candle.
How to: Simply add a few drops of the desired essential oils and then light the candle. The heat from the candle helps the scent permeate the room.
Electric diffusers work the same way, except that the source of heat is a light bulb. How to use: Add a few drops of essential oil and then switch it on. The heat from the light bulb helps the scent permeate the room.
Bath:
Essential oils can be added directly to the bath, but for best results, add them to a carrier oilHow to: Add 5 to 10 drops of oil to the bath water when the tub is full and mix well. Or add the essential oils to of carrier oil and add to the water as the tub is filling up. Try 4 drops of chamomile and 2 drops of lavender to warm bath water. Or add oils to a Carrier Oil first, and then add to bath water. From Aromatherapy An A-Z (Daniel, 1988). first and then add them to bath water. This ensures that the oils will be evenly distributed and that the undiluted oil won’t get on your skin. Another option is to add the essential oils to the carrier oil, apply the mixture to your body, and then step into the bath.
 
Steam Inhalation:Breathing in essential oils is a speedy way to get them into your system.

How to: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water, cover head and bowl with a towel and breathe deeply for a minute. Uncover head for a minute. Then repeat. Try the Cold & Flu Steamer. Fill sink with hot, steamy water. Add 3 drops eucalyptus and 1 drop peppermint oils. Place towel over head and sink. Inhale for 5 to 10 minutes.

 
Emotional Effects of Aromatherapy
To Ease:
Try:
Aggression
bergamot, chamomile, juniper, lemon, marjoram, rosemary, YlangYlang
Anger
Chamomile, Jasmine, Marjoram, Palma Rosa, Rose, Rosemary, YlangYlang,
Anxiety
Neroli, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium (for balance), Lavender, Orange, Patchouli, Rose (for confidence), Sandalwood. Sweet Marjoram, Vetiver (for grounding)
Fear
Cedarwood, Fennel, Ginger, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Thyme
Grief
Bergamot, Chamomile, Jasmine, Marjoram, Neroli, Rose
Hysteria
Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Tea Tree
Impatience
Chamomile, Clary, Frankincense, Lavender
Jealousy
Jasmine, Rose
Loneliness
Benzoin, Marjoram
Fatigue(emotional and mental
Basil, clary, cardamon, cinnamon leaf or bark, Clove bud, coriander, Eucalyptus citriodora, ginger, grapefruit, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper, orange, palmarosa, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, vetiver, YlangYlang
Fatigue (physical)
Basil, elemi, ginger, lemon, lavender, orange, peppermint, rosemary
Nervousness
Chamomile, Clary, Coriander, Frankincense, Neroli, Orange, Vetiver
Panic
Chamomile, Clary, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Neroli, YlangYlang
Sadness
Benzoin, Jasmine, Rose, Rosewood
Shock
Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Teatree
Stress
Bergamot, Atlas Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, all Citrus oils, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rose (absolute and otto), Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver, YlangYlang
Tension
Chamomile, Clary, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, YlangYlang
 
Read more about Aroma Therapy in the February issue!
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