Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing. Although scent is a key component in the use of essential oils, they can also be applied to the skin in a massage for other direct health benefits.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing – for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections. Others are used for their emotional value – they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant.
What I like most about aromatherapy is that anyone can benefit from it, and essential oils are easy to use. I believe that everyone should have an aromatherapy kit that contains these three essential oils.
1. Lavender oil: Mostly used in perfumes or to add fragrant scent to linens, it also has many therapeutic benefits. Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves, so it’s great for stress, insomnia and anxiety. Place 5 drops in a small spray bottle with water and spray your linens before bed, for a restful sleep.
2. Tea tree oil: I know it is not going to win in the perfume stakes, but tea tree is antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal and also an insecticide. I have used this personally in a shampoo to deter fleas and ticks on our dog. I have also used a drop in shampoo to help with children’s cradle cap.
3. Eucalyptus oil: The health benefits of eucalyptus oil can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. If you are congested, a couple of drops in a humidifier or a bath can help open up the sinuses and enhance breathing.
Do you use essential oils? What are your favorites and how do you apply them?