It is believed that the Chinese may have been the first to extract and use aromatic oils for healing, circa 3000 BC. The Egyptians, however, were credited with fully recognizing the many benefits of aromatic oils. Over 5000 years later a French chemist, Rene` Maurice Gattefosse` put a name to aromatic oil therapy; `Aromatherapy'.
His research concluded that the skin and nose help conduct therapeutic benefits to other parts of the body. Aromatherapists claim that the cells in the nasal passages send messages directly to the limbic system, the area in the brain that controls major functions of the body.
I have often used and reaped the benefits of a relaxing bath infused with lavender, neroli and rose essential oils. I personally found this combination of oils to be most beneficial for my particular need, mainly stress relief and to induce a restful night's sleep.
One's likes and dislikes are very personal and may change as we mature. Experiment with essential oils until you find a oil or blend suited to your particular tastes.
Listed below are a few practical ways that you can use the art of Aromatherapy without the need to purchase special equipment.
Fill the bath with tepid water and then add the essential oils, Six to twelve drops depending on the volume of water. Disperse the oils well prior to getting in. Essential oil is very condensed and should never be applied directly to the skin without mixing with a base carrier oil. e.g. 100% pure cold pressed vegetable, nut or seed oil, not mineral oil. Safflower, sunflower and sweet almond oil are good carrier oils for all skin types. Make sure you purchase a good brand.
A good blend to ease anxiety and stress related symptoms, is lavender, geranium and sandalwood. (8 drops lavender- 5 drops geranium and 8 drops sandalwood. Four drops ylang ylang can replace sandalwood in this blend.
Atomizers (sprays and spritzers).
Use glass container not plastic when preparing and storing blends. You can use cooled boiled tap water, distilled purified or spring bottled water. Use 3-6 drops of essential oil to each 1 oz (30 mls), of water. Do not make in large batches, only make what you will use in a twenty four hour period. Use to freshen a room or as a spritzer to revitalize the face.
Use 2 oz (50mls), of base carrier oil when mixing the following blends.
Relaxing: 8 drops of rosewood-4 drops geranium-3 drops orange. Mature skin:8 drops lavender-5 drops frankincense-2drops neroli. Regenerating and strengthening: 6 drops frankincense-6 drops geranium-3 drops cedarwood. Sensitive skin: 5 drops rosewood-5 drops neroli- 5 drops rose or jasmine. Oily skin: 7 drops lemon-3 drops tea tree-5 drops cypress. Uplifting massage blends. 10 drops bergamot-5 drops basil-5 drops neroli-5 drops patchouli, or 10 drops clary sage-5 drops neroli-5 drops sandalwood and 5 drops ylang ylang.
Massage oils are a wonderful way to reap the benefits of essential oils. Experiment until you get the right blend for you.
If you cannot pause to relax, try using a room vaporizer to revitalize your senses. Rosemary will stimulate the memory and concentrate the mind. Basil will promote alertness. Just a few drops added to a vaporizer will refresh and motivate you. This method works extremely well during the winter months when we spend most of our time indoors. You get the benefit of moisturizing the air with the added element of Aromatherapy. Additional blends for fighting fatigue;
Use only pure natural essential oils from a reputable company to gain the most benefit and ensure a healthy result.
Creating Healing Salves, Creams &
The oils used in making salve bases should be natural, and not too fragrant. It is best to use a double boiler to heat beeswax simply because it lowers the risk of the wax becoming too hot and catching on fire.
The best oils to use are almond oil, aloe vera, grapeseed, jojoba, calendula, and chamomile. Olive oil can be used to help with skin irritations, however, it is very greasy and can overpower the other essence oils you may use.
Use a glass jar, soak alkanet root in jojoba and grapeseed oil for 3 days. Then pour into saucepan and heat until warm. Melt beeswax in double boiler. Strain alkanet mixture, using cheesecloth and mix into the beeswax. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into glass jars and let cool. When cool cover and store.
Thyme & Calendula Cream
1T almond oil
5 drops of thyme oil
2T calendula oil
1/2t borax or 1/2 t powered elder flowers
Melt beeswax in double boiler. Add almond and calendula oils and stir well. Dissolve the borax in the glycerine and add to beeswax mixture, mix well. Add thyme oil and stir for one minute. Pour into glass jar uncovered and let cool. Once cream has set, cover to store.
Witch Hazel & Rose Astringent
2T rose petals
1/3 C witch hazel
1/2 C vodka
6 drops of rose geranium essential oil.(Rose scented geranium grows well in our area-zone 5- and retains its scent after drying)
Note: bergamot, lavender, juniper, lemon and lemon grass essential oils work well for oily skin. You can use basic recipe and add the oils you prefer.
Dry or sensitive skin: rose, sandlewood or chamomile. Acne: bergamot rosemary and lavender.
Place the rose petals in a glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka. Cap the container and let stand in a warm place for a week. Strain out the petals. Dissolve the borax in the witch hazel then stir in the strained vodka, glycerine and essential oil. Works well for oily skin.