Aromatherapy is the use of fragrant oils extracted from plants in the treatment or prevention of disease and help in the reduction of stress, often called essential oils. The term essential indicates that the oil carries distinctive scent (essence) of the plant, not that it is an especially important or fundamental source.
Since essential oils are so potent, many can irritate the skin unless diluted with carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or olive oil. Essential oils are extracted by distillation but can also be extracted by expression or solvent extraction.
How To Use
Essential oils can be used through the skin (massage, shower, adding to bath water), and inhalation (ceramic burner, vaporizer, handkerchief, pillow).
Inhalation. Add a few drops into a ceramic burner with a lit candle underneath. When the oil warms up the scent will be dispersed into the air.
Vaporizer. Add a few drops to boiling water and inhale the vapours.
Skin Application. Add several drops to almond or olive oil, pour into your bath water, climb in and relax. You can also buy ready made oils for baths from some pharmacies. If you shower, mix up half the quantity and use on your shower sponge, flannel or body scrub.
Infusion. Some herbs and essential oils can be used as an infusion in a tea but always check before use.
Which to use
Firstly, you need to identify which essential oils are best for treating stress and meeting your needs. Lavender, clary sage, chamomile and lemon are a few of the common ones.
Lavender is a relaxant:-
add a few drops to warm bath water, climb in and relax;add a few drops to water and put into a spray bottle. Spray around your home when you feel stressful.
Clary Sage* gives a feeling of being uplifted:-
add to a vaporizer to help you relax;add a few drops to a carrier oil and get someone to massage you to help you relax.Caution:- Expectant mothers, those with active tumours or cancer must contact their medical practitioner before using this essential oil.
Chamomile is a relaxant:-
place a few drops on your pillow or on a handkerchief under your pillow to help you to relax and have a good nights sleep.
Lemon gives a feeling of being uplifted, helps you to relax and feel calmer:-add a few drops to a vaporizer to help you relax and feel calmer.
Mandarin* helps you feel more joyful and calmer:-
add a few drops to a vaporizer, sit back and relax
Peppermint* helps to clear your mind:-
add a few drops to a carrier oil and get someone to massage the stress away; can also be infused and drunk as a tea.
*Clary Sage, Mandarin and Peppermint oils MUST not be used by pregnant women as they could cause blood thinning and premature labor.
*Aromatherapy products are never to be used in place of medical treatment.
*Essential oils are potent, so they always need to be used in safe quantities.
*Using more than the recommended dose can be as dangerous as overdosing on medicines.
*If you are pregnant, epileptic, suffering from high blood pressure or already taking medication consult your medical practitioner or a qualified aromatherapist
Acne skin care products