You’ve probably read or heard a little something here or there about Aromatherapy. The first time I heard about it, it sounded like something you could only do if you had lots of time or you could experience only at the local spa. But the truth is, it’s not just some airy fairy spa treatment or some time consuming activity, in actuality, it can be an uplifting and relaxing activity.
I was stressed, feeling lethargic, under the weather, moody, frustrated… And just an array of feelings kept dominating my thoughts as I came home from work. Having to deal with my own autoimmune condition and on top of that the daily stresses of juggling work and life duties.
When a friend suggested aromatherapy, I was slightly intrigued but not at all believing it would help. I was up to the point that I’d try anything, but at the same time expecting it to fail (not a good attitude to have). I went out, bought all the ‘basics’ such as some aromatherapy oils including lavender, peppermint and sandalwood. But where do I begin?
I got into researching ways to use them and the meanings of each oil and what benefits they could bring. What started out as somewhat of a ‘project’ began a new passion for practicing aromatherapy on a day-to-day basis to relieve my worries or encourage bringing back the vibrancy to my life.
How to use Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Whether you’d like to practice aromatherapy on your own or with a partner/family member, I’ve found it to be quite beneficial for a number areas in your life. You can use these essential oils in:
Self-massage or have a partner/friend massage painful areas, or the head for feeling refreshed and relaxed
- using a steaming bowl of water wherein you put your head under a towel over the bowl and just breathe
- dabbing a few drops in a handkerchief
- in a steamer machine (like the facial sauna you can get from Watsons)
In the house
Using a humidifier: dropping a few drops along with water to clean the air as long as give out the fragrance of your choice
As a cold compress
Using a chilled towel and a mixture of water with a couple of drops of essential oil, can help relieve pain or a fever for instance
In the bath
One of the most common aromatherapy treatments, throw in a few drops in the bathtub or mix a few drops into a neutral shampoo, conditioner, facial wash or body wash
In a footspa
Either at the local spa, or in your own footspa there are a variety of ways to use essential oils, such a throwing in a few drops, or using special foot spa powders, crystals, powder bombs, to add the pizazz to your regular foot spa
As a mouthwash
Some oils such as lemon can be used this way to help bleeding gums
Using oil burners, incense, and candles you can vaporise oils to fill the air
Like the cold compress, except with hot water, add oils to promote healing and strength on body parts such as elbows, knee joints, can be equally as helpful as cold compress in the promotion of blood circulation in cases such as arthritis
Essential Oils Guide
So what are the basic nature of all the different kinds of essential oils? Well they can generally be uplifting, stimulating, soothing, warming, purifying and balancing. Their properties including among the following, being used as a tonic, antiseptic, relaxant, stomach/digestive, deodorant, anti-fungal, used a meditation aid, bactericide, as an aphrodesiac, hair/scalp tonic, anti-depressant, insect repellant, for skincare, and so on.
The following list, is just some of the essential oils, what they do and how you can use them:
- For Bronchitis, headaches, migraines, as a digestive aid, mouth ulcers and gum infection.
- Use as a mouthwash, hot/cold compress, in massage, vaporisesd, and in the bath.
- Blend with Lavender and Bergamot.
- Needs to be diluted, as it’s full strength can irritate skin.
- For Cystitis, anxiety, skincare, urethritis, as an appetite regulator, as a digestive aid, and for acne.
- Use as a cold compress, vaporised, in the bath, and in massage.
- Blend with Neroli and Jasmine.
- Use at night, as it can cause sensitivity with sunlight
- For Antiseptic properties, bronchitis, catarrh, cystitis, urinal and vaginal infections.
- Use in massage, as a hot compress, inhalations, vaporised, and in the bath.
- Blend with Sandalwood, Bergamot, Jasmine, Neroli and Juniper.
- Do not use during pregnancy.
- For inflammation, insomnia, sprains, stomach upsets, eyes, earaches, hair and soothing properties.
- Use in massage, inhalations, cold compress, mouthwash, vaporised, and in the bath.
- Blend with Lavender, Cedarwood, and Neroli.
- For pain, flatulence, rheumatic pains, aiding digestion, and stimulation of appetite.
- Use in massage and in the bath.
- Blend with Jasmine, Sandalwood, Bergamot and Neroli.
- Do not use during pregnancy.
- For nasal congestion, it is antiviral, good for colds, influenza, antiseptic properties, wounds, burns, and muscular burns.
- Use in massage, as a mouthwash, cold compress, vaporised, in the bath and as a hot compress.
- Blend with Bergamot, Chamomile, and Lavender.
- Do not overuse.
- It is Carminative, digestive, PMT, regulates menstrual cycle, used for flatulence and detoxifying.
- Use in massage, as mouthwash and in the bath.
- Blend with Sandalwood and Juniper.
- Do not overuse.
- For respiratory infections, soothing, anxiety, asthma and as a uterine tonic.
- Use in massage, inhalations, vaporised, in the bath, and hot compresses.
- Blend with Neroli and Sandalwood.
- For high blood pressure, colds, heart disease, cough, blood circulation and cholesterol.
- Use in hot compress.
- Blend with Lavender and Peppermint.
- Do not use during pregnancy.
- For uterine, menstrual pain, antidepressant, cramps, coughs, childbirth and chest area.
- Use in massage, bath, and vaporised.
- Blend with Neroli, Sandalwood and Cedarwood.
- Do not ingest.
- For diuretic, detoxifying, astringent, tonic, eczema, cystitis, and purifying.
- Use in massage, bath, vaporised.
- Blend with Sandalwood, Bergamot, and Rosemary.
- Do not use during pregnancy and do not overuse.
- For analgesic, antibiotic, acne, antiviral, headache, inflammation, and menstrual pain.
- Use in massage, hot/cold compress, in the bath and vaporised.
- Blend with Bergamot.
- For the stimulation of the immune system, corns, warts, bleeding gums, digestive and circulatory tonic.
- Use in Massage, hot compress, bath, inhalations, mouthwash and vaporised.
- Blend with Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Fennel, Juniper and Cedarwood.
- Do not overuse, best diluted, full strength irritates sensitive skin.
- For antidepressant, gums, mouth, insomnia, gentle sedative, shock and antispasmodic.
- Use in massage, in the bath, vaporised and cold compress.
- Blend with Sandalwood, Lavender, Jasmine and Bergamot.
- For colic, diarrhoea, indigestion, vomiting, stomach pain, cold, fever and headache.
- Use in massage, inhalations, vaporised, and in the bath.
- Blend with Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary.
- Do not use before bedtime. Use diluted since full strength irritates sensitive skin.
- For heart, liver, colds, catarrh, speech, sinusitis, asthma, gallbladder, sight and memory.
- Use in massage, cold compress, vaporised, inhalations and in the bath.
- Blend with Peppermint, Bergamot, Basil and Cedarwood.
- Do not not use during pregnancy and do not overuse.
- For antiseptic properties, dry skin, sore throat, cystitis bronchitis, and urinary infection.
- Use in massage, inhalations, bath, and vaporised.
- Blend with Frankincense, Jasmine and Ylang Ylang.
Tea Tree Oil
- For influenza, fungi, viruses, warts,ringworm, cold sores, blisters and acne.
- Use in massage, mouthwash, inhalations, and in the bath.
- Blend with Lavender.
- Use diluted, full strength will irritate sensitive skin.
Ylang Ylang Oil
- For the relief of sexual anxiety, high blood pressure, slows breathing and serves as an antidepressant.
- Use in massage, bath and vaporised.
- Blend with Sandalwood, Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmine and Neroli.
Aromatherapy Oils aren’t for everyone
As you can see, there are just so many uses, benefits and fragrances you can use. It opens up a whole new world to healing the body and calms the mind to deal with stress, anxiety, depression etc.
There’s a lot more information especially about the essential oils themselves. Some go as far as saying that certain oils can encourage inhibition; anger that has been held in; and other conditions that need to warn people to not use them if they have certain conditions such as epilepsy (don’t use basil if you do); or certain zodiac signs to avoid oils like Basil shouldn’t by Fire signs.
For serious cases, of course still follow doctors orders and take your medicines, but it doesn’t hurt to try alternative healing such as aromatherapy to give you that lift when you need it. I wish you the best of luck in your practice and learning so much more about this wonderful activity.