Essential oils are an extremely versatile product used in aromatherapy. The idea behind aromatherapy is that certain concentrated scents can enhance the well-being of your emotions, mind and/or body.
- You can use Jasmine oil to help combat exhaustion, and depression
- Use Peppermint oil to help with concentration and memory and/or to combat headaches and nausea.
- Use Bergamot oil to help combat depression and stress.
For more information about essential oils and how they can help you in your daily life, please see the included links. Books such as The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and and Herbalism by Julia Lawless may also be helpful.
Essential oils come from natural botanicals. These oils are the essence of the plant, not fragrances chemically made to mimic a specific scent. They are distilled (via steam or water) from parts of the plant. Essential oils vary in price depending on how hard they are to get from plants. For example, Rose essential oil is extremely expensive whereas Peppermint essential oil is cheaper.
Essential oils are extremely powerful and concentrated, so a little goes a long way. In addition, they should be stored in brown or blue glass containers and kept away from heat and extremely cold temperatures.
If you want to add aromatherapy to your life, you may be wondering how to use essential oils.
- Inhalation: Add a few drops to a tissue or a cotton ball and inhale for a few minutes. If you don't want the scent to spread through your office or home (and it will), you can put the tissue or cotton ball in a sealed container to quickly sniff and then reseal the container until you need it again. This is a wonderful method to keep the scent concentrated. If you know what you're doing and what to use, you can use aromatherapy during situations such as labor (please make certain there are no precautions against pregnant women using the specific essential oil).
- Add essential oils to a bath or beauty product. You can create your own personal lotions, body oils or massage oils by adding them to unscented bases. A great base for essential oils is sweet almond oil. A great base for lotions is shea butter.
- Add a few drops to running bath water. If you are looking for a relaxing way to end your day, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath. Remember that a few drops go a long way.
- Add essential oils to a personal spritzer. This is a great way to take a break during a busy day to relax or energize. Simply add a few drops (eight to ten) to some distilled water (four ounces) in a small squirt bottle and spritz yourself.
- Feel free to mix scents to enhance the therapeutic qualities. One recipe for a diffusion from AromaWeb (see link) calls for 10 drops Lime, 7 drops Bergamot, 2 drops Ylang Ylang and 1 drop Rose.
- Diffuse essential oils into the air of a room. There are many ways you can diffuse essential oils. A few ways include:
- An aromatherapy lamp. To use an aromatherapy lamp, you'll want to add your chosen essential oil to a basin with water and a candle is lit beneath it. In a short amount of time, the scent is spread throughout the room.
- A lamp ring. A lamp ring is hung on the inside of a lamp (near the light bulb). The heat from the bulb diffuses the scent.
- A personal ceramic diffuser (such as a ceramic disk). You can hang a personal ceramic diffuser somewhere in your home. Over time, the scent is spread throughout the area. These also work great in the car or in a closet since you don't have to worry about blowing out the candle and being home for it to work.
- Electrical or battery-based pumps or diffusers. These products vary, but they mostly heat the essential oil to spread the scent through the room. Electrical-based products are more expensive than other alternatives, and may be a little noisy, but they work fast, use less essential oils and are safer than candle based diffusers.
- These are only a few ways to diffuse essential oils. AromaThyme (see link) is a great website for more information about diffusers.
- Never put essential oils directly on your skin. If you want to use essential oils on your skin, always dilute them in a carrier base first.
- Never ingest essential oils unless you are under the care of an aromatherapy practitioner.
- Always read the precautions and understand what an essential oil will do before using it.
- AromaWeb has a great article on hazardous essential oils.