Essential oils are concentrated compounds extracted from plants, roots, seeds, bark, and flowers. The oils capture the plants flavor and scents or its “essence.” Since they are so concentrated, it is best to start slow. A little goes a long way.
Scent is one of our strongest senses. Pleasant aromas can conjure happy memories. A pleasant fragrance can lift our spirits. Aromatherapy uses the scents of essential oils to stimulate both our olfactory glands and our brain.
If you have a diffuser, follow the directions using distilled water, several drops of essential oil and turn the machine on. Try mixing different combinations of oils. The scented steam adds moisture to the air which is good for skin and can be calming or revitalizing, depending on the oils. The aroma can also freshen up a room.
If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and place on a small plate anywhere you want a fragrance boost. This also works perfectly when added to a kitchen or bathroom trash can, a gym bag, or even your dryer with a load of towels or sheets.
Place a few drops on your hands. Alone or with added lotion or oil, rub your hands together and inhale the aroma on your palms. Essential oils are often added to massage lotion, but can also be added to coconut, almond, even olive oils and applied to the skin. Try using a combination of oil and lotion to limbs, back, neck, temples, or abdomen. Diluting in oil or lotion also reduces the strength of the aroma, so something that may seem unpleasant in concentrate can become quite appealing once diluted.
As with any care product, use mindfully. Do not ingest essential oils (unless they are specifically designed to be taken orally). Always avoid direct application to eyes, ears, nose, and genitals. If you develop an allergic reaction, discontinue immediately. Talk to your doctor first if you are pregnant or using cancer treating medications.
Some familiar scents and recommended uses:
Lavender: relaxation, stress reduction, bruises, digestion support
Rose: mood lifting, romantic feelings, anti-aging
Geranium: stress and anxiety, hormone balance, skin care
Clary Sage: anti-depressant, immune support, respiratory support, hormone balance