Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Fragrance…there’s so much information to share, and so many things I love about it, that I almost didn’t write this as a single post, but a series. Somehow, through many cups of coffee, and a few bottles glasses of wine, I’ve managed to compress the information
The very BASIC you need to know:
*Don’t use essential oils on your skin undiluted. Use a carrier oil to allow for best absorption and least chance for skin irritation (exception to this is Tea Tree oil, lavender oil, rose geranium oil, and sandalwood oil. These are widely recognized as safe to use directly on the skin, sparingly)
*the best carrier oils are jojoba oil, coconut oil, safflower or grapeseed oil, almond oil
*Do not EVER use undiluted on babies or small children
*to test the purity of your oil, place a single drop onto a sheet of construction paper. When it evaporates, the less visible the ring that’s left behind, the more pure the oil
*Essential Oils can last up to 10 years if stored correctly. (in their dark bottles, cap on tightly, in a dark cool area)
*Many essential oils are antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. They are wonderful to use in home cleaning products
*Most oils are not recommended for ingestion (i.e. don’t drink or eat them without a certified aromatherapist teaching you how) However, there are a few companies out there that have recipes and high enough grade oils that *should* be safe for ingestion. (Young Living is one such company. No, I don’t work for them. I’ve just used them)
So what exactly IS an essential oil?
A volatile aromatic organic compound. It is derived from any part of a plant or flower through a process of expression or distillation.
Here are some of my favorite uses:
Lavender- for cut scrapes and burns. For headaches and to relax. I put a few drops of lavender on my pillow or in a bath.
Tangerine- for energy. If I’m having a difficult time waking up in the morning, I’ll put a few drops on the floor of my shower, the steam helps dissipate the aroma through the room
Eucalyptus- to clear sinuses, to relax. I make something similar to the old Vicks shower disks with Eucalyptus.
Tea Tree- for acneic or oily prone skin. Helps to control oil production, and kill p.acnes bacteria that cause blemishes
Peppermint- headaches. I usually use a drop of peppermint and a drop of vanilla on a heating pad
Here is short list of what oils are commonly used for what:
Orange/tangerine, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus
Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Jasmin, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile, Rose