Since many of my products use essential oils, I thought I would break down a bit of information about aromatherapy, its uses and benefits.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils to encourage good health and wellbeing. Essential oils are the fragrance essence of a plant; they are truly holistic in the fact that they can have a powerful and positive effect on our mind, body, and spirit. Ancient civilizations in China, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome used aromatherapy for their physical and mental well-being over thousands of years ago. Aromatherapy today has developed to become a holistic approach, treating the body as a whole and promoting wellness on all levels. Oils are chosen that work on several levels: mental, physical and psychological.
Aromatherapy works by the oils entering our body in several different ways. They can be absorbed through the skin, passing into the circulatory system. They can also be inhaled, passing into the blood system through the lungs or, by the scent being transmitted through the nervous system directly to the limbic system of the brain. When we inhale, scent molecules travel up the nose and into the brain where messages are sent to stimulate the release of various happy hormones which help to balance and stimulate our body and emotions.
What are Essential Oils?
They are highly concentrated oils that are extracted from various parts of plants, such as leaves, seeds, flowers, roots, grasses, and trees. They contain the life force of the plant and have the ability to strengthen our immune system and to stimulate our body’s natural healing abilities. It takes 60 roses to make 1 drop of rose essential oil and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to drinking 30 cups of peppermint tea. So as you can see they are very potent!
Safety tips on how to use Essential Oils:
Essential Oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin or near the eyes, they should also not be taken internally. Using oils neat (without the use of carrier oil) on the skin can create a rash, itching, an allergic reaction, and even severe pain. For example mix 1-2 drops into a teaspoon of carrier oil such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, etc for adults. For children over 5 years old mix 1 drop essential oil into 2 teaspoons carrier oil. Coconut oil is another great option.
Don’t let kids use the oils on their own, as they are easy to spill onto the hands, get into eyes, and accidentally ingest.
They must always be diluted into a carrier oil for massage and blended with soap, oil, salts, or bath dispersant when adding to bathwater. Essential oils should be kept away from children and pets and stored in dark-colored glass bottles away from sunlight and heat. Certain essential oils are contraindicated for pregnancy, sunbathing and some health problems.
Uses and Applications of Aromatherapy Treatments
Aromatherapy can be used in a variety of ways for many benefits: Massage, Inhalers, Baths, Foot-baths, Vaporizers, Compresses, Diffusers, Skincare, Meditation, and Deodorizers.
A very popular way to use aromatherapy, the oils are blended with a carrier oil. They are absorbed into the skin as well as inhaled and can affect the body both psychologically and physiologically.
Inhalation, Vaporization, Deodorizing
Aromatherapy, combined with deep breathing, can be very calming for the respiratory and nervous system. Vaporizing essential oils in your home or office can have a peaceful and stress-reducing the effect, and leave behind a delicate scent.
Skincare and Baths
Always be careful to properly dilute aromatherapy oils. A great way to do so, and to enjoy them to the fullest, is to add 3-5 drops to a bath premixed in oil, milk or salts. They are also amazing in your skincare products as they have a direct healing action on the skin. See my natural Rain Natural Skincare products.
While ice is the most common go-to for sprains and swelling, an aromatherapy compress can be beneficial for minor skin irritations, joint traumas, and fatigued muscles.
Scent and meditation go hand in hand. We’re all familiar with the popular combination of meditation and incense. If you meditate, consider adding in a few aromatherapy options for full relaxation. For example, you could try meditating in an aromatherapy bath, or recline in your bedroom while you vaporize your favorite scents and apply a relaxing compress to your sore muscles.
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
Using essential oils in natural home cleaning products is another great way to get rid of toxic chemicals while bringing in beneficial oils to our body’s systems by not inhaling those strong synthetic fumes and toxins. Many essential oils have germ-busting properties, making them fantastic replacements for harsh chemical cleansers.
Benefits and Uses
Aromatherapy can be soothing, uplifting, even healing, and it’s easy to incorporate into your day. It can boost the immune system; relieve muscle pain, and helps with insomnia. It has also been found to relieve stress and tension.
Here are just some of the essential oils that I use in my natural skincare products and their benefits:
- Lavender essential oil softens fine lines and rejuvenates tired dull skin, leaving skin feeling hydrated, calm and youthful. The aroma is calming and relaxing, perfect for getting a regenerating night’s sleep.
- Frankincense essential oil is one of the most important oils for aging skin as it is cytophylactic which means it regenerates skin cells. Frankincense tones and rejuvenates; it’s one of the most important oils for improving skin tone, as well as reducing scar tissue.
- Ylang Ylang essential oil helps to balance sebum production and aids in calming irritated skin. It has a blissful aroma, which makes it sensuous and calming. It can also be useful for treating anxiety, depression, stress and tension.
- Mandarin essential oil is great for calming tired minds, easing insomnia, and is antibacterial as well.
- Grapefruit essential oil is wonderful in cleansing products as it’s fresh and uplifting, so it helps to lift your mood. It’s an antiseptic, astringent, and tonic which helps detoxify and tone the skin to help improve complexion.
- Neroli essential oil promotes healing of the skin, its suitable for all skin types (especially mature) and is particularly good at healing scars and stretch marks. Neroli is an antidepressant, giving a feeling of inner peace and contentment.
- Geranium essential oil is an uplifting floral oil to help ease mood swings. It’s suitable for all skin types; it cleanses the skin, helps to remove dirt and excess oil/grease, balances sebum production (the skin’s natural oil/lubricant), promotes healthy skin growth and is very healing for broken or wounded skin. It is such a good oil to use to help the body remove toxins and waste and any unwanted microbes. It also helps to boost the immune system.
- Myrrh essential oil- is one of the leading oils for skin repair because of its wound healing properties. Great for healing compromised skin, for aging skin and wrinkles.
- Carrot Seed essential oil contains a HUGE amount of antioxidants, vitamin C and Vitamin K. Carrot Seed oil is healing and rejuvenates skin cells because of its ability to stimulate cell growth and repair damaged skin.
If you are pregnant, around children and pets, or have a specific illness, there are oils that you should not use or which need to be diluted in smaller amounts. This is where you need to talk to someone who can answer your questions about the various oils and their properties such as an aromatherapist, and be sure to purchase essential oils from reputable companies and businesses.
This is just a tiny list of how essential oils are beneficial for our skin, bodies and minds. I will be touching on more detail in upcoming posts of how valuable essential oils can be, especially for our skin.
Please feel free to contact me at any time with any of your questions and concerns!
Here’s to your Health,