Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everything You Want To Know About Aromatherapy Oils (But Are Afraid To Ask!)

Enjoy this guest post by my fellow Spa Girl Nia (aka FoxyLayd!)

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

What is aromatherapy? According to Wikipedia, Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials, known as essential oils (EOs), and other aromatic compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person's mood or health.

Aromatherapy is the oldest method of holistic healing and is employed to modify a person’s psychological and physical well-being.

Since scent is the most enduring of our senses, it has the power to transform our emotions, and heal our bodies. It can take us to another place and time, it can invoke memories both good and bad (i.e. grandma’s kitchen, an old boyfriend or girlfriend’s cologne).

The Egyptians used aromatherapy for medicinal and cosmetic purposes as well as embalming. In China it was linked to other ancient therapies such as massage and acupressure. The Greeks found that the fragrance of some flowers was stimulating while others had relaxing properties. The use of olive oil as the base oil absorbed the aroma from the herbs or flowers and the perfumed oil was then used for both cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

Aromatherapy, although practiced for thousands of years, has only recently become popular in our culture as a result of a return to a holistic lifestyle. We are now considering all factors when treating illness, taking into account physical, mental and social conditions (mind, body & spirit).

Some of us practice aromatherapy every day. When we burn a scented candle, walk through a fragrant garden or even take a shower or a bath, we are practicing aromatherapy. Most of the bath and body care products we use contain some form of essential oil - the basis of Aromatherapy. One of the reasons aromatherapy is so popular today is it’s easy to practice and readily available.

Essential oils are liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds. The healing properties of Essential Oils are capable of treating our physical bodies, enhancing our state of mind (alleviating anxiety, fear, depression, insecurity, irritability, low self esteem, poor memory, sadness and stress) and extend into the effective treatment of a variety of physical ailments (i.e. headaches, acne, bruises, sunburn, indigestion, toothache, halitosis, colds, allergies and PMS). They have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely.

Essential oils have been used medicinally to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. They provide exquisite fragrances to balance mood, lift spirits, dispel negative emotions, and create a romantic atmosphere. They can be used in the shower, bath, diffused, applied, inhaled or taken internally.

Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs offer both psychological and physical benefits. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) can supply therapeutic benefit.

Essential oils that are applied to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream. They can aid in health, beauty and hygiene conditions (to apply essential oils to the skin, single oils should be diluted into a carrier oil).

In addition, essential oils are helpful in other applications. Essential oils can be used in household and laundry cleaners (lavender, melaleuca, peppermint); others can be used as a natural insect repellent and pesticide. Lemongrass & bergamot are effective against biting insects, peppermint is effective against spiders.

Essential oils can be blended together to create appealing and complex aromas. Essential oils can also be blended for a specific therapeutic application (Purification® (1) can be used to cleanse and soothe insect bites, cuts, and scrapes).

When purchasing essential oils, look at the ingredient label to make certain that the product does not contain fragrance oils or unpure (chemical) components (look for products that contain pure essential oils on their ingredient list and avoid those that have words like fragrance – they are not the same).

To learn what oils will be suitable your intended use (antibacterial, disinfectant, etc.), please contact me.

Remember, only purchase your essential oils from a reputable company (check out my website:

1. Purification is a Young Living Essential Oils registered trademark product.

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