Aromatherapy – Part I

August 23, 2007 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

I gave two Aromatherapy classes last month so I have had essential oils on my mind recently. Researching a topic is so much fun for me, although it can be a bit overwhelming when there is so much information out there and especially on the internet (truth be told I’m an internet junkie…I love it!). Because it’s easy to get information overload I stop and tell myself go back to the basics. It makes everything so much easier. The class was a beginning class so I started with the basics to give a good foundation on how to use essential oils safely and effectively. I thought I would share some of the information with you so you woudn’t feel left out!

A LITTLE BACKGROUND:

Essential oils have been used since ancient times for their many healthful benefits. In Persia and later in India, China, Babylon and Egypt, essential oils were used for medicinal purposes, as well as for anointing, embalming and making perfume.

Fast forward to the development of modern chemistry and essential oils became neglected. The good news is that early this century, a French chemist named René-Maurice Gattefossé began studying what he later named “aromatherapy.”  He accidently discovered the wonderful healing properties of lavender oil when he severely burned his arm in a lab accident and thrust his arm into a vat of what he thought was water but was actually lavender oil. His burn quickly healed without leaving a scar and he was very pleased with his discovery. He spent the rest of his life researching the value of essential oils.

This brought aromatherapy into the spotlight and it became popular throughout Europe. But only recently have the benefits of aromatherapy captured the attention of America. As a result, more and more people are enjoying the benefits resulting from Mr. Gattefossé’s exciting discovery, making aromatherapy a multimillion dollar business in the United States.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?:

Essential Oils are substances that come from roots, flowers, resin, seeds, trees, stems, bark and fruit. They are volatile, highly concentrated substances extracted through a process of cold pressing or steam distillation.  Essential oils comprise between .01 percent and 10 percent of a given plant source. Tons of plant material are needed for just a few hundred pounds of oil. That is why some essential oils can be more expensive. Rose Bulgaria is one oil that is priced higher because it takes over one ton of petals to yield one pound of pure oil.

Essential oils are used to promote health and wellbeing. They affect us on the physical level as well as the emotional level. They can be uplifting, relaxing, soothing and energizing. They also have disinfecting, deodorizing and immune-boosting properties.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

Two oils that I think are a must to have in your medicine chest are Lavender Fine and Tea Tree. They are multi-purpose oils that you won’t want to be without.

Lavender Fine: This versatile oil has long been considered the wonder oil of essential oils. Lavender’s cool, mellow, peaceful fragrance has traditionally been used for its balancing effects and soothing properties. Lavender is good for all skin types, even sensitive skin, and can be used undiluted topically. It mixes well with other essential oils as well.

  • use undiluted as an antiseptic on insect bites, stings, and small (cooled) burns.
  • use in a bath to calm irritable children
  • place a drop on the temples for headache relief
  • Lavender baths with Epsom salts (2 cups per tub) are very beneficial for enervation, nervous exhaustion, excess stress, anxiety.
  • Lavender baths can also help fight fungal infections in both children and adults
  • diluted with massage oil, Lavender oil can be used for a calming massage, applied topically for throat infections, skin sores, aches, inflammation, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  • it can be massaged into the chest, with a little chamomile added, for bronchial and asthmatic spasm.
  • add a few drops of Lavender oil to a little water for burns, scalds, sunburn.
  • massage diluted oil into the nape of the neck for tension headaches or at the first sign of a migraine.
  • dilute in water and apply rinse to hair for lice.

I love this oil for freshening the air. I mix about 10-15 drops in a 4 0z glass spritzer bottle filled with filtered water and spraying in a room that needs deodorizing. I also spray it in my bedroom before I go to sleep to help me to fall asleep. As you can see Lavender oil is used for so many uses and once you start using it you will come up with even more ideas on how to incorporate it into your healing repertoire.

Click here to purchase Nature’s Sunshine Lavender Oil.

WARNINGS

Do not use Lavender oil in cases of depression. Do not expose skin to sunlight after applying as it’s photo reactive and will bleach and blotch the skin.

Stay tuned for information and uses for Tea Tree Oil.

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Entry filed under: Aromatherapy.

What can I eat for breakfast? Holiday Gifts

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Welcome to my Natural Health Blog – My name is Paige and I’m a Certified Natural Health Professional writing about what I know and love, natural health.

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