7 ways to enhance your life with aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, the practice of using plant materials and aromatic plant essential oils for improving psychological and physical well-being, has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Today we know many of the same terpenes, which give essential oils their wellness potent affects, are also present in the hemp plant that CBD oil is derived from.
There are lots of wonderful ways to incorporate the mood lifting, stress busting and health promoting benefits of aromatherapy in your life. Using a diffuser or oil burner is of course the most straightforward method, allowing you to disperse wonderful soothing scents into the very air you breathe. Plenty of people also enjoy adding essential oils to skincare and haircare too – but be wary of applying them topically as misuse can be very problematic.
How to use essential oils safely:
- Consult an Aromatherapist wherever possible, especially if you are using essential oils around young children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and elderly people.
- Use the highest quality essential oils. According to the monograph of the European Pharmacopoeia, the plant raw material must be fresh, wilted, dry, whole, bruised or powdered, except for fruits from the Citrus genus that must always be processed fresh and the origin of the plant must be precisely defined by the scientific botanical name according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants rules.
- As stated by the Consumer Health Protection Committee in 2016, safe essential oils should have specific physical and chemical characteristics identified and be stored in well-filled, airtight containers, protected from light.
- Never apply neat essential oils directly to the skin. If you do wish to apply topically, around 2-3 drops must be well mixed into a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil.
- ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a small amount won’t hurt – the wrong oil for the wrong person in the wrong situation definitely can. Read up on every essential oil you plan to use and again, back to our first tip, consult an expert if possible.
To help you enjoy the therapeutic power of aromatherapy, we’ve put together a list of unusual (but inspired!) practical tips on how to bring essential oils into your daily life:
- Many aromatherapists use Rose oil to help boost confidence, partly thanks to the way this essential oil can act as a tonic for the nerves, even supporting those who use it in dealing with shocks and anxiety disorders. If you’ve got a big meeting coming up or a date where you’re hoping to impress, dab a drop of rose oil diluted in a carrier oil (such as jojoba) onto your pulse points.
- We all need a little emotional lift from time to time, and the wonderful citrusy scent of Bergamot can provide that. This oil’s sensuous, anti-stress properties lightens the spirit so you can feel calm and refreshed through the day. Harness those powers first thing by running your shower until it’s hot and steamy and then dripping a few drops into the shower base before stepping in. Your very own aromatherapy spa!
- If you ever leave your laundry sitting in the washing machine for too long, pop a couple of drops of lemon into the detergent drawer before giving the load a second rinse. Your clothes will smell fresh and you’ll feel energised when you wear them.
- Keep Lavender oil on hand for summer months for its natural antihistamine properties. If you suffer from Hayfever, diffusing lavender oil might really help you out by reducing any nasal and sinus inflammation and easing itchy eyes and skin.
- Camphor oil provides antiseptic protection, acts as an insecticide and, with its mildly stimulating effect, its aroma can give the kind of boost that is occasionally needed to combat tiredness. Soak a small cotton ball with this oil and suck it up with your hoover – next time you vacuum, you’ll fill the air with a cleansing scent and pep up your energy levels at the same time.
- Named for the Princess of Neroli who, in the 17th century, was known for wearing this precious aromatherapy oil, which is drawn from the bitter orange and Seville orange plants in Italy. Neroli is a bit of a magic-worker among aromatherapy oils and we adore it’s lingering scent. It’s known for treating stress and anxiety, thanks to its calming effects. However, Neroli also has been shown to stimulates the growth of new cells and is suitable for sensitive skin, making it a great choice for (safely) adding to hair and beauty products.
- Orange oil has a wonderful, uplifting scent which makes it ideal for a morning beauty ritual, stirring the senses and putting you in a great mood for the rest of the day, whilst simultaneously calming nerves, settling any emotional imbalance and promoting healthy sleep patterns when used in the evening.