After a short workshop with In Essence, I’ve rediscovered my love for aromatherapy. Apart from being an olfactory treat, essential oils can also have numerous therapeutic benefits. It’s important to note here that it is only the essential oils that have a therapeutic effect. Oils labeled ’fragrance oils’ or ’aroma oils’ are usually synthetic and do not contain the numerous components that enable the healing action of essential oils.
Essential oils are extracted from certain varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses and flowers. The oil is concentrated in different parts of the plant. For example, geranium oils comes from leaves and stalks, while frankincense is extracted from the resin.
According to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, “the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” This is easier than it sounds with essential oils. For bathing, In Essence recommends that you add three drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of base oil (such as sweet almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil) and mix it up before you add it to the bath. For the massage, add six drops of your chosen oil to two tablespoons of a base oil and gently massage into the skin. If you prefer a shower to a bath, then add six drops of your chosen essential oil to your face-cloth or sponge and rub it over yourself briskly as you continue to stand under the running water.
There are hundreds of oils you can choose from, but some of the most useful (and delightful) essential oils include:
Lavender essential oil is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-depressant and sedative. It is good for burns, inflammation, eczema, insomnia and nervous tension.
Tea tree essential oil has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can be used to relieve fungal infections such as tinea, viral infections such as colds and flus, and inflammatory conditions such as acne.
Geranium essential oil has antiseptic and astringent properties and is great for relieving reproductive symptoms from premenstrual tension to menopausal challenges.
There are a few types of chamomile essential oil. Roman chamomile is good for the treatment of nervous conditions and insomnia. It is also great for relieving inflammation conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis.
If you need a quick pick-me-up, orange essential oil is wonderful. It¹s also great for relieving anxiety, nervous conditions and muscular tension.
In Essence advises these general precautions for all essential oils:
-Essential oils are not recommended for oral use
-Essential oils are not to be used neat on the skin
-Keep out of reach of children
-If you are pregnant use only low doses of essential oils on the body. For example, three drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of base oil for a massage. Avoid the following oils: basil, clary sage, cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lemongrass, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, rose.