What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the science and art of using aromatic materials including essential oils for the well-being of the body and mind. Aromatherapy has been practiced for 6000 years. Romans used scented water for baths made from rose petals and other flowers and they enjoyed using these aromatic baths.
Nature provides us with lots of plants that have healing properties and are fragrant. When we look at nature around us, we see how it works wonders in our life through healing and uplifting. Essential oils are one such healing medicine we find in nature.
We get essential oils from trees, herbs, shrubs, grasses, and flowers. Oil is concentrated in different parts of plants. Vetiver oil comes from roots, bay oil from bay leaves, geranium from leaves and stems, cumin oil from seeds, Lemon from the peel, cinnamon from bark, and rose oil from fragrant petals of rose flower.
How to use Essential oils
Carrier oils are needed to dilute essential oils and the blends as they are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin. Sweet almond, Apricot oil, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame, grapeseed, coconut, wheat germ, sunflower oils, and jojoba are all examples of carrier oils. Base oils or carrier oils are vegetables or nut seed oil. They are from the seeds of plants that produce heat and are a source of protein. Base oils used in aromatherapy should not be chemically processed rather they be cold-pressed
Properties of Essential Oils
Each oil has its own specific medicinal and healing properties, which are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory antidepressant, diuretic digestive, and many more.
Why are some oils costly?
The price of the oil depends on the type of oil, and how much of the base plant is required to make the oil.
It takes 1000 pounds of jasmine flower to make one pound of jasmine oil and 2000 pounds of rose petals to make the rose otto oil. Therefore rose otto oil is extremely expensive.
Lavender requires only 150 pounds of flower head for the same amount of oil. That is why lavender is significantly less expensive than rose oil.
Healing properties of essential oils
Lavender essential oil is one of the most commonly used and well-known aromatic oil. It is calming and relaxing. Used for many skin problems like acne, bites, boils, psoriasis, sunburn, etc. It also helps in lowering high blood pressure, headaches, migraine, throat infections, anxiety, palpitation. Being anti-bacterial it kills the bacteria, and it unclogs pores of the skin. It can also help heal burns.
It is usually diluted with a base oil such as hazelnut or almond oil. 3 drops of essential oil are required for every 10 ml of base oil.
For acne, you can use 2 drops of lavender and the same amount of tea tree to 10 ml of base oil, almond, or hazelnut oil. You simply need to wash your face and dab it with cotton wool. It is also used to treat minor burns.
Lavender oil was discovered by Rene Maurice chemist who was studying essential oils at the time. He accidentally burnt his hand with some chemicals in the lab and immediately put his hand in a cold liquid that was near him at the time. It happened to be lavender and immediately took away the pain and inflammation caused by the burn.
The lavender essential oil should be used for minor burns only. Lavender oil can be used neat. Put one drop directly on the wound two to three times a day for a few days.
Immediately seek help for any severe burns.
Geranium oil has a sweet, pleasant floral uplifting aroma, relieves anxiety, and gives you a calm feeling and deep sleep. It helps to tighten and contract the skin it is an astringent.
Geranium oil is also a natural insect repellent and can be used outdoors. It is also antimicrobial and anti-bacterial. It brings hormonal balance to your body, so it is good for menstrual and menopausal problems
You can add a few drops to the cream you use on your face or add it to your massage oil. It will instantly give you healthier-looking skin. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner.
Chamomile Roman is a clear to soft blue color depending on the chamazulene present. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and, analgesic, and it is used for sunburn. Chamomile Roman is extremely calming and sedative. It is therefore often used for nervous conditions, depression, and insomnia.
Chamomile German is known to be deep blue to bluish-green liquid with a medium viscosity. German chamomile promotes relaxation and reduces swelling inflammation.
Rosemary is an analgesic essential oil, it is used in the treatment of all muscular problems, as well as arthritis and rheumatism. It is a stimulating essential oil, energizing when are mentally stressed. It is good for enhancing memory and it also helps with depression, anxiety stress, and headaches
Tea tree oil
Tea Tree oil is often used to treat antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal infections, like candida, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Toothaches, sunburn, and cuts can also be treated by it.
Like geranium oil, it is also often used as an insect repellent and for insect stings. It has been hailed for its effective treatment of acne.
How to test the purity of your essential oils
Essential oil does not dissolve in water. They dissolve in vegetable oil or mineral oil, and they dissolve in fat. They are not greasy, they don’t leave a mark on blotting paper, they have a lot of penetration power through the skin
How to use essential oil
Essential oils can be used for both inhalations and for external applications. Each oil will have its own aroma and its own unique effect. Since it passes through the skin and into the bloodstream, oral use should be avoided. The oils become altered materials when they come into contact with hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Certain essential oils are said to be ok for ingestion but we recommend leaving that to a specialized practitioner.
- If you want to relax and improve your mood or reduce anxiety, you can put a drop on a pillow or cloth, and smell it. Oils like lavender sandalwood chamomile can help relax and relieve anxiety. Always be careful not to ingest any oils or put them directly in your nose while smelling.
- You can also use a diffuser to fill the air in a room with tiny particles of essential oils. When the diffuser gets activated, the hot water will send steam throughout the room. The room will then be filled with aromatic oil and it will enter your body through breathing.
- You can also add the aromatic essential oil to the carrier oil that you are already using for your skin, and put it in warm bathwater. This will relieve and relax your tension and anxiety. A massage in the bath is a wonderful way of relaxing muscle tension and using the essential oil will give you an added benefit.
Essential oils may not be conducive with other medication you are taking, and therefore it is always best to check with a doctor first. The oils are excreted through urine, feces, perspiration, and exhalation
Ways of storage
- They should be stored in dark bottles as they are sensitive to light
- Their evaporation rate is high
- After use cover should be put back on
Price will vary according to grade, its authenticity, and where it is produced. We must use the right concentration of oil. Don’t think that the more they use the better the result
The volatility of different oils vary
There are 3 types of oils. Top notes, Middles notes, and base notes
Top nodes oil evaporates quickly, e.g., basil, eucalyptus, bergamot.
Then there are middle notes which are moderately volatile e.g., chamomile rosemary lavender.
Lastly, the base notes are slow to evaporate e.g., sandalwood, rose jasmine
How to Blend essential oils correctly
When you combine two or more essential oils you can create a more beneficial blend Blends should have the right proportions of oil
We can blend essential oil by mixing two or more essential oil to make a new compound or formula. When making a blend we must use the correct proportion e.g. if you add lavender to camomile in the right proportion the anti-inflammatory healing is increased greatly.
When we mix in the base note oil i.e., slow to evaporate with top notes i.e., quick to evaporate it helps to retain the volatility of that oil
The formula for blending is 3 drops per 5 ml. This will provide you with a therapeutic blend. You can use each of three types of oils – a top, middle and base oil
Blend for children and elderly 1 to 2drops per 10ml. The safest oils are lavender and tea tree
As essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin in undiluted form also referred to as neat application, so dilute it with a carrier oil.
They can be damaging when taken internally so keep them out of reach of children. Pregnant women and lactating women should be careful when using essential oil as some of them are harmful so do your research before using them. Some people may have an allergic reaction so you may want to do a patch test which may help you find out whether you react to a specific oil
Aromatherapy is the science of healing using aromatic oils to improve physical and emotional health. It is one of the complementary therapies used for treating several diseases. Studies are showing that smell being a powerful sense can trigger a memory with a sniff. cents are said to stimulate the olfactory system that brings about a sense of calm relief from anxiety plus having other health benefits.