Aromatherapy is a well-known form of alternative medicine and a booming business for many spa owners.
Masseuses use essential oils to help their clients loosen tense muscles. Some healthcare providers also use the oils to treat specific physical and mental ailments.
Essential oils have become so popular, you can find them in stores worldwide.
But before heading out to purchase some bottles, talk to your doctor for advice. Also, choose a reputable aromatherapist to ensure you receive proper professional treatment.
Creating essential oils
When you extract the compounds of certain herbs and plants, you’ll get its oil. The extracted oil contains the plant’s ‘essence’, which has its flavour, scent, and potential medicinal properties.
The plant undergoes a distillation process via water or steam or another method like cold pressing. The manufacturer will combine the aromatic extract with a carrier oil, making it suitable for use.
Always choose pure essential oils as much as possible. Some brands might have other oils or ingredients added which can make it less pure and may cause allergic reactions in some people.
It’s important to keep in mind that the purity and quality of essential oils will vary. It’s best to find a reputable Australian supplier like awo.com.au that offers a wide selection of 100% pure essential oils and blends suitable for your needs.
How to use essential oils
You may notice several cosmetic products containing specific oils as ingredients. However, most essential oils come in small tincture bottles you can carry anywhere. Their portability makes it easy for you to smell, apply on your skin or include in your bath, as examples.
The health benefits of essential oils only appear when you use a specific oil for a particular ailment. It’s important to note that not every oil works the same way, and below are some examples of how to best use specific essential oils:
Possibly the top choice for aromatherapy, lavender oil helps in relieving stress and mild anxiety.
It works by lowering heart rate and blood pressure, helping to improve your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping or feel constantly anxious, rub some lavender oil on your skin or breathe in its vapour.
Chamomile is a popular aromatherapy essential oil due to its relaxation properties. Like lavender, this essential oil is rich in a compound called linalool which effectively calms the nervous system.
To ease your nerves, help you sleep better or improve your mood, you can apply chamomile oil to your body whenever you need it.
If you’re an athlete or a regular at your local gym, you’ll appreciate the beneficial properties of orange oil. It’s both a refreshing and invigorating scent that can enhance exercise performance.
Orange is also an anxiety-reducing food recommended by dietitians. Orange oil is an excellent alternative to lavender and chamomile if you prefer a sweeter scent to lower your anxiety levels.
If you find you are still exhausted after your morning coffee, try picking up a bottle of peppermint oil. This oil helps prevent fatigue and improves athletic performance.
Take a whiff of it before going to the gym or participating in a sport. Be careful where you apply this oil to your body though – the scent and concentration of peppermint oil is too strong to put near your eyes, nose and mouth.
Rosemary oil is a suitable substitute for peppermint if you’re not fond of the latter’s intense scent. It wakes you up and also stimulates brain activity.
So, if you have a big exam coming up or an important meeting to attend, dab on a bit of rosemary oil to awaken your senses and enhance your focus and memory skills.
Soothe your frustrations with a touch of cinnamon oil. This essential oil may help you focus on your work or studies.
It will target the part of your brain that controls your concentration and alertness. As such, it could also boost your energy to do the tasks you need to perform.
Another favourite at many aromatherapy spas, ylang-ylang oil enhances relaxation. It’s a potent aphrodisiac that can lower heart rates and blood pressure but has other benefits, too.
The fragrant scent of ylang-ylang, often found in perfumes, can also help treat nausea and headaches. Ylang-ylang oil may even help heal certain skin conditions thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another stress-reducing essential oil is bergamot. Take a quick sniff of this scent when you’re beginning to feel distressed.
Bergamot is a great mood-booster, too. Like ylang-ylang oil, bergamot may also soothe inflammation and other skin ailments such as eczema.
If you suffer from allergic rhinitis or occasional sniffling, your best friend is eucalyptus oil.
The essence reacts with your mucous membrane to reduce excessive mucous. When you have nasal allergies, put one to two drops in an essential oil diffuser and enjoy the benefits as you breathe it in.
Eucalyptus oil is strong, so use it sparingly.
In a bad mood? Sniff some tangy lemon oil from time to time.
The scent of lemon might improve your mood better than its citrus cousins, orange and bergamot, can. It may also aid in digestion and reduce headache pain.
As you can see, essential oils have many benefits you can acquire through aromatherapy. There’s a whole lot to choose from as there’s always a type of essential oil you can use for just about any discomfort in your body.