Basic Aromatherapy Oils and Tips

This ancient healing art can be particularly helpful for conditions associated with middle age, including insomnia, depression, elevated blood pressure, arthritis, poor circulation, and more. Plus, its a sensual treat!

| May/June 2000

Establishing aromatherapy as a habit in your daily life helps you take a little time for yourself. Essential oils can be used for their scent and for their cosmetic and medicinal qualities. Properly used, essential oils can help prevent and relieve many common complaints such as insomnia, headaches, colds, and aching muscles. Virtually all essential oils have antibacterial properties and some may help prevent and treat infectious illness. Essential oils can interact with all systems of the body whether they are used in a massage, bath, or as an inhalant.

In this articl, you’ll find some of the most popular methods of use and some simple recipes for you to try. Start slowly, perhaps with lavender oil, a must for the beginner. Once you understand the basic safety guidelines, try several ways to use the oils. Apply lavender or tea tree to cuts, add a few drops of other oils to the bath, or try your favorite scents in a diffuser. Notice how your body responds. Before long, you will wonder how you ever got along without aromatherapy in your life.

Safety First!

Essential oils should be used with care because they are strong, volatile substances that can interact with medications or be dangerous for persons with particular health problems such as epilepsy and diabetes. Undiluted essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin or taken internally. Use them only in minute quantities and keep away from your eyes. Store them in dark glass bottles in a cool place.

Bath and Shower Oils

Bathing can dilate blood vessels, slow heart rate, and release muscle tension. A few drops of well chosen essential oil can add to these benefits and nourish the skin as they are absorbed.

If you’re limited to or prefer showers, try some of the many soaps and shower gels available that contain herbs and pure essential oils (not fragrance oils). Or, at the end of your shower, add a few drops of essential oil to your washcloth or sponge and rub it over yourself briskly as you continue to stand under the running water. Breathe in the aromatic steam deeply. And don’t forget hand and foot baths, jacuzzis, saunas, and sitz baths—essential oils complement these bathing methods and can provide many therapeutic benefits.

Scented Honey Bath

Honey nourishes the skin. It has good anti-inflammatory properties, and essential oils dissolve easily in it. Mix 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey. Pour the mixture into the bathtub, relax, and enjoy.

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