The ancient science of healing, relaxing and energizing oneself with the use of plants and its parts like roots, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and nuts is called Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the amalgamation of two words “aroma” and “therapy” that mean “fragrance” and “healing” respectively.
Essential oils, extracted from plants and its parts form the crux of aromatherapy. These oils stimulate the brain, effect our body, hereby improving our mood, relaxing and rejuvenating us. Extracted in various ways, they are highly concentrated and should not be used directly onto the body. They should be blended with carrier oils such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, etc, for best results.
If you are new, then explore this world of fragrance at home with a handful of inexpensive oils. To avoid allergic reactions to essential oils, perform a skin test before you indulge yourself. Take a drop of the oil on a cotton swab. Apply it to the inside of your wrist or inner elbow. Cover the area with a bandage and avoid washing for 24 hours. If there is no itching or redness, oil is safe for external use.
Basic oils that any beginner can start with:
- Lavender – Most basic and very important oil in aromatherapy. Helps in relaxation, calming and balancing of mind. Acts as antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, detoxifier and sedative. Soothes cuts, burns, bruises and insect cuts. Relieves stress if blended with your usual bath oil.
- Rosemary – Acts as stimulant for mental health and physical body on low energy days. Relieves muscular strains, sprains and headaches. Alleviates fatigue, congestion and prevents scar tissue formation.
- Bergamot – Oil for refreshing and upliftment. Acts as antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative, expectorant and deodorizer. Could be a slight irritant to skin.
- Peppermint – A great mental stimulant and digestive aid. Eases headache and fatigue. Behaves as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and expectorant.
- Tea Tree – A versatile antiseptic that is very gentle on the skin. Remedy for infections, ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete’s foot, gum disease. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic oil.
- Lemon – Great for dispelling a somber mood, lemon oil can be used to treat insect bites, alleviate tension, headaches and stimulate immune system.
- Tangerine – Works well to create a bright, uplifting atmosphere. It’s soothes and calms insomnia and promotes digestion.
- Floral oils – Great stress relievers. Add floral oils like rose, jasmine along with carrier oils to your bath oils for a soothing massage.
- Germanium – Eases stress, acts as antidepressant, adrenal, hormone balancer, detoxifier, sedative and antiseptic. Helps during PMS.
- Clary Sage – Relieves PMS. Soothes and relaxes mind and body. Works as antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, aphrodisiac and sedative.
- Clove – Relieves toothache pain, asthma, sinusitis. Avoid using it directly on the skin. Acts as antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic and disinfectant.
- Eucalyptus – Cools the body in summer and warms in winter. An effective treatment for candida, diabetes, sunburn, congestion, cough and neuralgia. Also works as antiviral, antiseptic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.