Discover how you can add aromatherapy oils to your arsenal of home remedies for instant relief.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils for health and wellness. Using plant oils in this way is an ancient and traditional practice.
A common misconception regarding aromatherapy is that any scent that smells good carries aromatherapeutic properties. True aromatherapy is derived from essential oils, which are distilled from different plant parts such as the roots, flowers and leaves. The molecules in these oils interact with scent receptors in the nose, sending a nerve impulse to the brain and creating their effect.
Different essential oils have various effects on the brain. Some are calming and soothing, others stimulating and refreshing. Some oils impart feelings of well-being and harmony to the whole body. Oils can also penetrate the surface of the skin, offering profound benefits.
- Lavender is probably one of the best-known and widely-used essential oils, as it’s readily available and famous for its healing properties. Use one drop of lavender oil in a cup of water as an antiseptic that’s soothing and cleansing for wounds or acne. This oil is also one of only two essential oils that can safely be used “neat” – meaning in its undiluted form. Dab a little lavender oil on insect bites and stings – instant relief! Did you spend too much time in the sun? Ten or more drops of lavender oil in the bathtub, along with half a cup of baking soda, will cool down your skin and take away the sting.
If you’re prone to headaches, there are several essential oils known for their analgesic (pain-reducing) properties. Again, lavender is one of the best oils for headaches. Rub some oil on the base of your neck and into your temple area and relax in a darkened room, or put 4 or 5 drops in a bowl of ice water and soak a cloth in it for a cold compress for your forehead – very soothing. Inhaling lavender oil can also help a headache. Simply place a few drops on a tissue and breathe in, or put a few drops on your pillow at night.
- Peppermint oil is another essential oil with many uses. Where lavender is soothing, peppermint oil is stimulating. It’s a digestive aid, an antidepressant, an antiseptic and it also has analgesic properties. To dispel nausea and intestinal gas, a drop of peppermint oil dissolved in a teaspoon of honey and then taken with an 8 ounce glass of water is very effective. If your feet are sore and tired at the end of a long day, place a drop or two in a rolling foot bath and soak for 10 minutes.
- When you’re driving home and feel tired and worn out, place 2 drops of peppermint oil along with 2 drops of Lemongrass oil on a tissue and tuck it into the vents in your car. The scent will refresh and revive you. Or you can purchase an essential oil diffuser for your car.
Essential oils are safe and effective when used properly, but as with all home remedies caution should be applied. Everyone reacts differently to things, so its best to consult with a trained aromatherapist before trying these remedies on your own. With the exception of lavender, essential oils should NOT be applied directly to the skin in undiluted form, and even when using lavender, start with small areas of the skin first to make sure you’re not allergic.
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries, and is growing in popularity. When used properly, in conjunction with knowledgeable advice, essential oils can be a welcome addition to your arsenal of home remedies.