The art of aromatherapy uses plants and the oils from plants to help alter the mood, mental, emotional and physical health of humans and even animals. If you are just starting to learn about aromatherapy and essential oils then this is a great report for you to read. You’ll learn the basics of aromatherapy and you’ll be in awe of the power of nature to help heal us.
Aromatherapy works by absorbing the oil into the skin or inhaling it through the nose. You can also ingest some essential oils but do so only under the supervision and authorization of a physician. You can put diluted essential oils on the crown of your head, behind the ears, upper and lower back, abdomen, temples, neck, under the nose, inside the wrists, and on the collarbone. These areas are pulse points, which are usually warmer parts of the body and help act as a natural diffuser to distribute the oils into the air so that you can inhale them.
Using the right essential oils can help you with many parts of your life and improve your environment too. Need a little calming ambiance in your home, diffuse some lavender in the family room. Want to wake up easier add some lemon oil and mint to your bath wash. Have a headache, soak a compress in some eucalyptus and place on your forehead or neck. Do you have morning sickness? Try smelling some lemon essential oils and it will disappear. It really works; you just have to try it.
The reason essential oils work this way is that the oils are lipophilic which means that they dissolve in lipids or fats. This means that essential oils can cross the cell membrane affecting them in very healing ways. When you realize that not even antibiotics pass the cell membrane you can start imagining the way essential oils might be able to help you become healthier.
Benefits of Odor for Healing
You likely have certain smells in your life that remind you of things. Perhaps the smell of lavender reminds you of your grandmother, or the smell of fresh lemon reminds you of your best friend. Smells affect all aspects of our lives and help improve our moods and even can affect memory.
We are always inhaling smells. You may not even realize you do it. You go outside in the morning, stretch and breathe in the fresh morning air. Your nasal passages are filled with the aroma of trees, grass, flowers, wind, rain and more. Not only that, some research is suggesting that our skin can “smell” scents too but instead of realizing it, a healing effect takes place instead. So, even if your sense of smell has been affected by something, being around certain aromas still is healing and helpful to you.
Research has been conducted with brain scans to see what happens when you smell essential oils. The hypothalamus is brought to life, which is the center for the hormones which control energy and drive. That’s why smells can make you feel more energetic and centered.
There are different responses to different smells. For example, mint can make you more energetic, lavender can calm you down. You can choose which scents you want to use for your aromatherapy depending on your needs. You can even combine scents to make a unique to you treatment for your particular conditions.
• Improve Energy – Do you feel tired and lethargic? If so you can use aromatherapy to help energize yourself. Many smells can help you feel more peppy, like citrus and mint.
• Relieve Stress – Everyone has stress in their lives but with the right aromatherapy you can reduce your stress exponentially. Use lemon oil, lavender, peppermint and other essential oils to help lower stress levels.
• Reduce Anger – Some stress responses cause an angry outburst if this is the case for you or your child try using lemon oil as your stress reliever.
• Enhance Memory – Sage and orange are good essential oils to use for memory enhancement. One way to trigger memory is to smell the same things you smelled at the time you experienced the memory.
• Natural Antidepressant — If you suffer from depression or get sad sometimes, you can use aromatherapy to help. Chamomile, jasmine, lavender and peppermint are good scents for helping reduce depression.
• Get Rid Of Headaches – Eucalyptus, Peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood are good scents to help eliminate your headache so that it will go away faster. The best thing to do is determine the cause and treat that. For example, if you are stressed, you can use lavender to help instead of one of the above.
• Sleep Better – One of the most important factors in health aside from eating right and exercising is sleeping. Any of the calming scents will help you such as lavender and chamomile plus many others.
• Reduce Pain – Essential oils can help with chronic pain in many ways from directly putting on the painful area, to using as a compress on the affected area, or by inhaling to help you relax your body.
Using aromatherapy in conjunction with traditional medicine can do wonders for your life in all aspects. Plus, when used correctly it’s safe and effective for all types of issues.
The way aromatherapy works is that essential oils are extracted from the natural source, concentrated, and then used as scents for the treatment of various issues. The oils are used in candles, diffusers, lotions, and sprays. These oils can have many medicinal uses. Some oils are considered carriers, and some are considered scents. When used on the skin a carrier oil needs to be used to help aid in the distribution process and to avoid using too much of the scent.
Essential oils can be extracted from leaves, fruit, flowers, seeds, wood, berries and roots. Many oils are extracted using a distillation process and some is captured using a solvent. The structure of essential oils allows you to mix them with other oils and creams or use in a variety of ways to affect your emotional, physical and cellular life.
You will use various essential oils in different ways depending on the ailment you’re trying to treat:
• Painful muscles or arthritis: Mix the essential oil, such as sage, with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil.
• Stress Headaches: Rub a drop of lavender oil on the back of your neck.
• For Energy: Put some citrus oil like orange or lemon in some water and put it into a spray bottle. Spray the air around you.
• To Relax: Put some essential oil on a candle in the hot melted wax, and it will fill the room with the smell.
• Alleviate Depression: Put a few drops of each lavender and geranium in your bath at night to help reduce depression and improve sleep.
• Cure a Hangover: Fill a sink or small basin with hot water, add a few drops each of cedar-wood, grapefruit, lavender, fennel, rosemary, and lemon then wet a washcloth with it, ring out, and place on your forehead and/or neck.
• Reduce Driving Stress: Put some essential oil onto a cotton ball and leave it under the seat in the car, then you can relax, energize or clear your mind while driving.
• For Massages: Massages are stress relieving in and of themselves, but adding some essential oils is a great way to reduce stress, cure headaches, eliminate or relieve pain and more.
Using essential oils in this manner will go far in helping you improve your life. Finding the right mixture for you can be a lot simpler than you think. You can purchase essential oils in sampler sets so that you can try out different combinations to see what works best for you.
The Safety of Essential Oils
Many people erroneously believe that essential oils aren’t harmful at all, but studies have shown that overuse of essential oils can cause issues with the lungs and other problems not to mention lose their effectiveness. That’s why it’s important to understand that even natural components, overused, can cause side effects and issues.
• Dilute Properly – Essential oils are highly concentrated, and if used on the skin it could harm you if you don’t dilute it. The phrase “less is more” is important to remember with all aspects of using essential oils.
• Be Careful with Citrus – Due to photosensitizing molecules, it’s imperative that if citrus oils are applied to the skin that you don’t get direct sunlight for at least 12 hours otherwise a burn could occur.
• Watch for Proper Labeling – When you purchase essential oils they are required to have the name of the oil and the country from where it came.
• Store as Medicine – Don’t leave essential oils within reach of pets and children as they can be dangerous and deadly just like medicine. In addition, essential oil needs to be stored in a cool dark place to maintain freshness and effectiveness.
• Do Your Research – Don’t just use essential oils without reading about them and learning. When you discover new oils, find out how to use them before trying it.
• Don’t Ingest – Some people do ingest essential oils, but it’s not safe to do so without a physician’s experienced direction and supervision.
• Avoid the Eye Area – Don’t put essential oils near the eyes or other mucous membranes.
• Keep Away from Flame – Don’t put essential oils near flame as they can explode and are very flammable. For example when using with a candle, only pour on the hot wax, not the flame.
• Inhale for 1 Hour or Less – Each day it’s best if you only inhale vapors from essential oils a total of an hour or less. A few moments are really all you need. Some respiratory ailments have occurred from overuse.
Using essential oils is safe and effective when used in moderation in the right way. Learn about the methods that are used and best prescribed for the treatment of health issues before trying it yourself. Always do your due diligence before trying anything new when it comes to essential oils.
How to Store Essential Oils for Best Results
A very important factor with essential oils to ensure a long shelf life, and that the work, is to store them properly. In most cases storing in a cool, dark place is the best way to store the essential oils to ensure that they maintain effectiveness and don’t break down.
• Dark Colored Glass: Most essential oils are stored in dark amber colored glass jars. This allows it to resist ultra-violent light. But, you can get them in other colors too such as blue. The important part is that the glass is resistant to ultra-violet light.
• Dark Place: Even with the special glasses it’s important to still put in a dark place. Instead of leaving them out in the bathroom, or on a window sill, put them inside the cabinet.
• Cool Place: In addition to the right glass, and keeping them in the dark, putting them in a cool place will keep them fresh longer. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning try putting them in the refrigerator, especially citrus. Some oils may solidify, that’s okay, just remove them to warm up before use.
• Out of Reach: Store your essential oils out of sight and out of reach of children and animals. These oils can be toxic and deadly if ingested or can burn the skin too. Treat them as if they are caustic chemicals, because they are – natural or not.
Finally, never use plastic bottles with essential oils in high concentrations. You are probably okay with a few drops in some carrier oil, or water in a plastic container, but other than that use glass to avoid the oils from eating away and decomposing the plastic.
Getting Started with Aromatherapy in Your Own Life
If you want to use aromatherapy to help improve your health, it’s easy to get started, but there are some things you should understand first.
There are three main ways to use essential oils for health.
1. Aerial: This is a way to get the fragrance into the air such as putting it with water to spray in the air, or with other compounds. You will find these in air fresheners, candles and more. The oil evaporating into the air allows you to easily inhale the oil.
2. Inhalation: May be mixed with other oils, and even placed on a cotton ball, or into hot water to inhale the steam directly. This method is often used as a quick way to get the essential oil into the system to help with disinfection.
3. Topical: Used in lotions, carrier oils, compresses, and baths. This method is a great way to help people with sore muscles and other issues. You only need a few drops.
Using these methods to apply the essential oils will be used depending on what you’re trying to treat. The benefits of each method become clear as you use the essential oils.
• Massage: With massage, you get two methods of healing, one through touch and one through the release of the essential oils into the air.
• Baths: Just a few drops added to your bath or your baby’s bath can help so many problems and encourage relaxation.
• Inhalation: If you have stuffed sinus, a headache, or issues with respiratory passages, inhalation is the best way to help you if you have the flu, a cold or other sinus issues.
Aromatherapy can go far in treating a number of ailments if you think about first, which problem you have, then which method will work best, and finally which essential oil is known to treat that condition. When you take all three factors into consideration then you can treat the problem faster and more effectively.
Equipment You Need to Get Started with Aromatherapy
If you’re going to do aromatherapy it’s important to know about the different types of equipment you need to help you incorporate essential oils into your life in a way that works for the treatments you want to use.
There are many different types of oil burners you can get from electric, metal, glass, ceramic and soapstone. Oil burners fill the room with the scent of the oil you put into it. The oil burner warms and then warms the oil, causing it to evaporate into the air. All of the oil burners work about the same using either a tea light candle or a plug to warm the oil.
Burning oil like this can lessen some of the medicinal effects but it can be a great way to improve the room ambiance, as well as get the oil into the air quickly and effectively. You can buy oil burners in all different price points that will work for you. A great thing about an oil burner is you can put many different types of oil together to make your own treatment.
You can make a compress with gauze, essential oil sheets, and washcloths. A compress can be hot or cold. Simply put some of the essential oil in some water, then soak the compress, wring it out, and place on the affected area.
For example, if you have a headache you can put it on your forehead or your neck. If you have a sprain, place the compress directly on the sprain. Essential oils can absorb into the skin as well as be inhaled through the nose.
Get some colored glass bottles that keep ultraviolet light out so that you can mix your own medicinal oils into a bottle. For example, you might mix mint and lemon into one to use for extra energy, or chamomile and lavender to calm you. It’s up to you how you do it.
You can also add the oils into carrier oils such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil to rub on the skin. While you can use plastic in these cases, glass will keep it fresh longer. Having your own bottles will help you a lot so that you can premix.
These offer a way to distribute the oils into the air so that you can process it within your body. There are pros and cons of each one. Use the method that works best for you depending upon the reason you’re using the essential oils.
There are numerous types of diffusers that you can use such as:
• Evaporative – Using a fan which blows air on a cloth or pad with drops of essential oils to evaporate the oil into the air which is blown into the room. It makes the room smell good but it doesn’t give some of the healthful benefits of the essential oils due to destroying some in the evaporation process.
• Nebulizing – This is kind of the same idea as a perfume atomizer. It turns the oil into a fine mist with a burst of air. It turns the oil into very tiny droplets and helps conserve the oil and avoid using too much.
• Humidifying – This uses a combination of vibration and air to push the oils into small particles that are perfect for inhalation. Works great for respiratory problems and for infusing an entire room with essential oils.
• Ultrasonic – This method of distribution uses vibrations to turn the oil into a very fine mist creating tiny micro particles that are easily absorbed into the lungs. It’s accomplished without the use of any type of heat.
• Heat – This method uses a flame or electricity to heat and cause the essential oil to evaporate into the air. Many oils break down with the use of heat and sometimes this can ruin the medicinal effect.
The type of diffuser you use will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish and your budget. With diffusion you can improve the environment, reduce stress, help improve insomnia, feel happier, more alert, and even reduce airborne pathogens.
Uses for Common Essential Oils
Using aromatherapy is so easy to do but there are some basic oils and things you should include in a basic care kit to get you started.
There are many uses for essential lavender oil. These are just some of them. You can likely find even more uses for lavender oil if you wanted to.
• Calming – Inhale a few drops of lavender oil to help create calmness. You can use it in crowded places, in your car, or office discretely. Just put a few drops on a cotton ball and smell it, or put in a diffuser to spritz the air. You can also put it into a lotion to rub on your hands and arms, inhaling as you do to enhance calmness. It will also help you get to sleep at night.
• Insect Bites, Minor Cuts & Burns, Skin Issues, Cold Sores & Dandruff – Putting a couple drops of lavender oil into carrier oil then rubbing it into your skin, scalp or on a bit on irritation can help calm the skin and heal the problem.
• Nausea & Motion Sickness – Put a couple drops of lavender oil behind your ears to help with motion sickness and nausea.
• Nosebleeds – Make a compress with a drop or two of lavender oil on a tissue or cloth and then press it under the base of the nose to help stop the bleeding.
• In Food – While you should be careful about eating essential oils because you need to be sure to buy the right kind, lavender oil is especially good in recipes and iced tea. It can help reduce allergies and more.
Lavender is an amazing essential oil with many uses. Most people also love the smell so you can safely use it to help an entire household relax. On a side note, lavender is exceptionally easy to grow requiring virtually no watering or care after you plant it.
You can use tea tree oil to treat everything from acne to sunburn if you know how.
• Acne – Treat your acne with a couple drops added to lotion and then apply to the blemishes every night to help treat them.
• Athlete’s Foot – Add some to warm water to soak your feet in. This will help cure your athlete’s foot as well as help treat other types of yeast infection related illnesses.
• Antiseptic – Great for use on cuts, burns, and other skin problems because it kills germs and prevents infection.
• Chest Congestion – Put some tea tree oil into a vaporizer to help loosen chest congestion.
Using tea tree oil in these treatments will work wonders. Some people even say tea tree oil can treat headaches, colds, and even lice.
There are so many uses for peppermint oil when it comes to aromatherapy. One of the most used essential oils; it can treat everything from a cold to sore muscles.
Energy – When you are feeling tired during the day, just take a whiff of peppermint oil and it will pick you up fast. No need for caffeine. Great for road trips, studying, school and more – try adding a few drops to your shampoo for a morning pick me up that won’t quit.
Diet Aid – If you are hungry inhaling peppermint oil can help reduce cravings and hunger. Just put a drop or two on your temples or collarbone whenever you feel hungry to help get yourself back under control.
Muscle Care – Put a few drops of peppermint in carrier oils like sweet almond oil and rub directly on the sore muscles for best results to reduce pain and improve healing.
Focus & Concentration – Some people claim that smelling peppermint oil can help people and children with ADHD gain focus and concentrate better on tasks.
There are many more ways to use peppermint oil such as to help with teething, colic, balancing hormones and more. As you learn more about the uses of peppermint oil you’ll definitely want to keep it around.
Universally thought of safe by doctors and practitioners alike, chamomile is used for anti-inflammatory calming action.
• Calming – Put a few drops in some hot water, place a towel over your head and the bowl to inhale the steam.
• Bruises, bites, stings, skin irritation – Make a compress by putting a few drops of oil in hot water and then soaking a cloth in the mixture. Place compress on the bruises. Alternatively, put a few drops in a carrier oil and massage into the bruise.
• Allergies – Use a diffuser in your home or office during the day and during allergy season to help lessen symptoms. You can also spray on your feet and inhale directly during serious flares.
• Irritability & Insomnia – Inhale or drink chamomile tea to help experience the calming effects of this essential oil.
Due to chamomile’s anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, calming and relaxing properties, it’s a very commonly used essential oil.
This essential oil is an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal and expectant oil. Mostly used for respiratory issues due to the fragrant oil as well as the way the scent affects people psychologically.
• Increase Circulation & Blood Flow – Put a drop in the massage oil and rub into skin to help increase circulation.
• Improve Lung Function – Whether it’s bronchitis, asthma or congestion you can improve the lung function by using an inhalation tent to breathe in the steam.
• To Wakeup – Whether you have jet lag, trouble waking up in the morning or are just tired, adding some eucalyptus oil to your bath or shower can do wonders for your energy level.
There are many other uses for eucalyptus oil too, such as helping with kidney stones, reducing pain, and more. You’ll definitely want to keep this around regularly.
There are so many uses for lemon essential oils. You can use it for many purposes including antiseptic, cleansing and healing.
• Concentration – Put some lemon oil into lotion so that you can rub it on your arms and neck, inhaling deeply. Then take a test, or do work. You’ll find that your focus is better and your mind is sharper.
• Alertness – If you feel as if you’re dragging through the day and not really aware of what is happening around you, try inhaling some lemon oil using a diffuser in the room you’re working in.
• Positivity – Put some drops of lemon oil in candle wax, turn on some positive music and you’ll feel a lot less negative almost immediately.
• Nausea – If you’re suffering from nausea due to morning sickness or as a side effect to medication try putting a few drops of lemon oil onto a cotton ball and sniff it each time you are afflicted.
Lemon is so common that you’ll notice it’s in so many things that you use from shampoo to skincare, to cleaning products. That’s because the smell is so clean and fresh and inoffensive.
These are likely some of the most commonly used essential oils. There are many others that you can use to get started with aromatherapy. Studying scents and how they can affect your health and quality of life can make a lot of difference in your life. You can use essential oils in so many ways to help improve and complement other methods of health care. Used wisely, you can accomplish so much more than you ever thought.