Six Quick Tips to Reduce Stress

There are so many causes of stress these days. It can often creep up on us without noticing or it can be a major bout due to perhaps an unpleasant event. Whatever does cause us stress, it is important that we try to get on top of it and take action to reduce it.

There are all sort of ways and methods aimed at managing and reducing stress that alone can make your head spin – but what to do first?

Here are six quick tips which may help to reduce and manage your own stress levels. I hope you find them interesting and useful.

Tip 1: Aromatherapy

Smelling nice things helps to make us feel good – nice fresh air, freshly baked bread and similar.

And nice smells can help us to relax and reduce stress.

Particularly some aromatherapy involving Lavender essential oil.

It’s easy to do too – pick up some Lavender oil and put it in to a diffuser in the room – straight away you the calming influence of gentle aromatherapy.

All sorts of other essential oils to try too including rose oil, frankincense oil and vanilla oil.

Inhaling the aromas of essential oils stimulates the olfactory nerves within your nose.

The limbic system gets involved which helps to control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance.

Tip 2: Shout it Out

The simple act of singing helps to the release of hormones to reduce stress.

So if you can, have a little sing song with yourself perhaps in the car or in the shower.

Or at home alone – crack it up and shout it out along to your favourite artist.

Or if you don’t feel like singing – close your eyes and immerse yourself in the music.

Don’t you feel better afterwards?

Tip 3: Give it a Squeeze

The simple act of squeezing on a stress ball can help to reduce stress – it’s what the ball is for after all.

Stress balls are everywhere – why not buy a couple for yourself.

Perhaps keep one at work and one at home.

Then when you feel the need – squeeze away!

Squeeze the ball and release for as long as you like.

Does that not help to reduce stress and tension?

Tip 4: Colour it in

Colouring can help reduce stress too.

I have fond memories as a young child spending time with colouring books – simpler times back then with no internet.

Now these days we have colouring books specifically for adults.

It can be very therapeutic and relaxing to have half an hour or so (or as long as you like) with the book and a pack of colouring pencils letting your imagination run riot.

No right or wrong – colour away and the stress with it.

And you have the added bonus of admiring your own work!

Pick up a colouring book and pencils next time you’re in town or from your online retailer of choice.

Tip 5: Glass Half Full

Are you a glass half full (optimistic) or glass half empty (pessimistic) person?

We all have tendencies either way though can lean more one way that the other.

If we see things as glass half empty it can mean we look on the bad side of things and that can cause stress and worry.

If that’s you – try to break out of that mind set and start to look for positives in any situation – the glass is half full.

It is said that in every problem there is an opportunity and negatives can be turned in to positives.

So next time you start to feel stressed – take a moment to think what the positives may be and try to concentrate of them rather than “glass half empty”.

Tip 6: Yoga

Practicing Yoga is all about the inner peace and tranquillity which all helps to reduce and cope with stress better also due to the state of mind.

If you have not tried Yoga before it’s easy to get going with some of the basic starter exercises.

There may be a local group you can join or you may have a friend who practices Yoga and who you can join to learn from.

Or simply buy yourself a Yoga mat and a book or load up YouTube and watch any of the many, many instructional videos which you can follow along against.

Even a few minutes of Yoga a few times a week can help with stress reduction and has general health benefits also such as helping with flexibility and muscle tone.

 

Homemade Sleep Lotion To Induce A Restful Slumber

 

It can be difficult for some of us to get to sleep. With around 9 million Americans taking tablets to sleep better at night, insomnia has become a major problem. And that doesn’t include the millions of Americans who have trouble sleeping and don’t take sleeping pills. However, this sleepy time lotion uses a relaxing blend of essential oils and magnesium to calm the mind and promote restful sleep.

Magnesium for better sleep

Magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including nerve transmission and function. Without sufficient amounts of this mineral, sleeplessness or general anxiety can often occur. Magnesium occurs naturally in certain foods. However, most of us don’t have enough due to soil depletion, sugar consumption and poor nutrition.

The topical application of magnesium on the skin is a good addition because only 30-40% of the magnesium consumed is actually absorbed by the body. Homemade magnesium oil is known to sting the skin a little, especially during the first few uses. The combination with coconut oil keeps the skin moisturized and prevents the characteristic stinging.

You can make your own magnesium oil using our simple recipe here and we also have a great recipe for making your own magnesium-rich sleep spray here.

Mandarin essential oil

Essential citrus oils are known to have an uplifting and invigorating effect. So you’ll be surprised if you use one in a sleepy time lotion. However, mandarine essential oil has been shown to promote restful sleep. It is often used in children and is therefore a good option for all ages.

Lavender essential oil

Lavender, one of the most popular and best studied essential oils, is known for its ability to relax and soothe. It is also one of the gentlest oils and is often used for young children. An overview of essential oils for sleep has been published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The researchers found that lavender was the best-studied essential oil for sleep disorders and no adverse events were reported.

Clary sage essential oil

Clary sage has a similar effect to lavender, although the smell is often described as pungent. This essential oil soothes and calms the nervous system and helps reduce stress and anxiety. Anxiety and nervousness can affect healthy sleep and make clary sage the perfect antidote.

Homemade Sleepy Time Lotion

ingredients

equipment

  • Small bowl
  • mixer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sauce pan or small saucepan

Directions

  1. Place the magnesium flakes in a small bowl. Heat the water or hydrosol until it boils and then pour it over the magnesium. Stir the mixture for a few minutes or until it has completely dissolved.
  2. Put the coconut oil and the beeswax in a saucepan, melt on a very low heat until everything is completely melted and mix.
  3. Pour the oil mixture into the blender and put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. You want the oil to be opaque, firmer, and mayo consistency. Don’t make it difficult!
  4. Switch the mixer to medium speed and drizzle the magnesium water very slowly while the mixer or mixer is running. Continue mixing the ingredients for about 30 seconds after all of the magnesium water has been added.
  5. Use the spatula to scrape the lotion into the jar. Protect from direct light and heat.

How to use the Sleepy Time Lotion

  • Apply this lotion generously before bed.
  • It works even better when applied to the upper body or feet.
  • It can take a while for the coconut oil to sink into your skin. Therefore, apply it at least 10 minutes before jumping under the covers to avoid greasy leaves.

 

10 Essential Oil Recipes for Cleaning Your Entire House

Use of essential oils in the kitchen and bathroom
as a cleaning agent is a natural and aromatic way to maintain these worldly ones
Jobs! Your house will not only be clean, it will also smell aromatic by nature.
without the aroma of some of the more toxic cleaning products you might find
in large grocery stores.

Here are ten essential oil recipes for cleaning your entire home so you never have to buy a toxic detergent again!

1. Surface cleaner for essential oils in the kitchen

This simple but effective kitchen surface
The cleaner can be used as many times a day as you need to maintain your kitchen
smell fresh and clean!

You need a 4 ounce. Glass spray bottle to get you started – although you may choose a larger spray bottle and want to increase the amount you make. For example if you use this 16 ounce. Spray bottle then multiply all ingredients by four.

Ingredients:

Place all ingredients in the 4-ounce spray bottle.
Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Spray liberally on the kitchen
Surface. Wipe with a clean sponge or cloth.

Precautions: Possible skin sensitivity on contact.

2. Daily bath spray with essential oils

Use the following aromatherapy bathroom spray
Every day, so that your wash basins and bathtubs stay sparkling clean!

You need a 4 ounce. Glass spray bottle to get started.

Ingredients:

Place all ingredients in the 4-ounce spray bottle.
Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Spray liberally on the sink
and tub. Wipe with a clean sponge or cloth.

Precautions:
Possible skin sensitivity on contact. Avoid using it in pregnancy with high
Blood pressure and epilepsy.

3. Window cleaning spray for essential oils

Clean your windows with this simple aromatherapy
Window cleaning spray for a natural and aromatic cleaning! This spray can also be
used on mirrors.

You need a 4 ounce. Glass spray bottle to get started.

Ingredients:

Place all ingredients in the 4-ounce spray bottle.
Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Spray generously on the window and
Mirror. Wipe with a clean cloth.

Precautions:
Possible skin sensitivity on contact.

4. Essential oil & baking powder floor cleaner for carpets

You need to use another aromatherapy
Floor cleaner for carpets compared to other floor surfaces (see below). consequences
the instructions for each floor cleaner as recommended.

You need a container with a shaker lid to get started.

Ingredients:

Combine the ingredients in a suitable one
Container. Sprinkle the mixture lightly on the carpet. If possible,
Leave on for a few hours before vacuuming.

Precautions:
Do NOT use this mixture if you have pets or babies and children under 5 years of age
Age at home. Alternatively, you can also remove essential tea tree oil and use 12 drops
instead, essential lavender oil in the recipe. Make sure the mix is ​​up
completely sucked into the carpet before pets and children are let back into the carpet
Area.

5. Floor cleaner with essential oils for linoleum & tiles

This aromatherapy floor cleaner can be used
Most floor space except carpet and wood.

You need a 4 ounce. Glass spray bottle to get started.

Ingredients:

Place all ingredients in the 4-ounce spray bottle.
Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Spray lightly over the floor
Surface. Rub with a microfiber dust wiper.

Precautions: Possible skin sensitivity on contact.

6. Citrus Aromatherapy Dish Soap

Once you use this citrus aromatherapy dish soap,
You will want to wash dishes all the time due to its uplifting, light aroma!

You need an 8 ounce. PET plastic bottle with hinged lid for entry.

Ingredients:

Combine all of the ingredients together in the 8-ounce.
Bottle. Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Add a dash (or so much)
as desired) to running warm water in the sink. Rinse dishes cold
Water after washing.

Precautions:
When using distilled lemon essential oil, there is little to no risk
Sensitivity to light should keep liquid soap on your skin when you go outside
into sunlight after use.

7. Aromatherapy linen & laundry spray

Use this linen and laundry spray after washing
washed and dried and / or to refresh the laundry between washing.

You need a 4 ounce. Glass spray bottle to get started.

Ingredients:

Combine all of the ingredients together in a 4-ounce.
Bottle. Cap and shake well. Shake before each use. Spray on a few times
Refresh clothes, bed linen and towels.

Precautions:
Possible sensitivity in some people.

8. Detergent for essential oils

This simple detergent uses a natural mass
Basis that makes guesswork easier when formulating an effective detergent,
but to that you can add an essential oil blend of your choice.

This essential oil recipe is formulated with 1% for 1 pound (16 oz) base.

You need a 16 ounce. Container to get started. I suggest using an airtight PET plastic box like this, in which you can use a scoop to measure the amounts for each load of laundry.

Ingredients:

Combine all of the ingredients together in a 16-ounce.
Container. Add a scoop of the aromatherapy detergent mixture
Washing machine for every load, depending on the size of your washing machine. You could
have to experiment with the crowd first.

Precautions:
Possible sensitivity in some people.

9. Aromatherapy air freshener-diffuser mix for the home

You can use an aromatherapy air freshener diffuser
Mixture for every part of the house. The mix may change depending on the room.
For example, you may want to use a bedtime mix in the bedroom. The
The following aromatherapy blend is formulated as a general “cleansing” blend
Suitable for spreading in the common living areas of your home to keep it free
of unwanted smells.

You need a 3 ml glass bottle with an opening reducer to get started.

Ingredients:

Put the amount of each essential oil in the 3 ml glass bottle. Attach the opening reducer and the cap. Shake well. Place about 5 drops of the mixture (or more) in an aromatherapy diffuser. Distribute and switch off for twenty minutes. Leave on for two hours before redistributing.

Precautions: Make sure the area where you diffuse is well ventilated. Avoid spreading pets, babies and toddlers. Be careful with the elderly, pregnant women and people with serious health problems.

10. Toilet and all-purpose peeling with essential oils

If you need to clean something deeper or inside
Just try this in areas that require a little more attention
Exfoliation for toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs.

You need a 16 ounce. Glass to get started. This recipe contains a 2% dilution of the essential oils. For stubborn stains, you should increase the dilution rate to 3%.

Ingredients:

Combine the essential oils with the baking soda in
a 16 ounce. Jug. Sprinkle a ball of the mixture over the toilet or sink.
Showers and bathtubs. Add in small
Amount of water and scrub with a suitable brush. Alternatively, you can add white
Vinegar.

Precautions:
This is an effective cleaning mix. Do not use near pets, babies and toddlers.
Avoid use during pregnancy, high blood pressure and epilepsy. If you have
Pets, babies and toddlers in your home, you may want to skip tea
Tree essential oil and increase the other essential oils proportionally.

If you have pets or small children in your home, make sure you keep your cleaning mixes out of reach. Don’t leave them where they can get in. Spray or use detergents when pets and children are safely out of the area to avoid possible accidents. Take any additional precautions listed for each of the recipes above.

 

5 Essential Oils For Back Pain Relief

Back pain affects millions of people every year. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Back pain can be acute or chronic. Certain essential oils have been found in scientific studies to help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with back pain.

If you are unfamiliar with the use of essential oils, consult a certified aromatherapist before using them and read our safety guide for essential oils. Also ask your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications (either prescription or over-the-counter medications).

Symptoms of back pain

Back pain can include, but is not limited to, the following conditions:

  • muscle pain
  • Pain running down your leg
  • Stinging pain
  • Stinging pain
  • Dull pain
  • Walking and standing for a period of time can make back pain worse
  • Lifting objects and stooping can make back pain worse
  • Resting can relieve the pain.

5 best essential oils for relieving back pain

1. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil is extracted from the rhizome root of the ginger plant. Ginger is a perennial herb with white or pink buds that ripen to yellow flowers. It is a medium-sized herb at three feet in height.

Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It acts as an analgesic in reducing acute and chronic inflammation, as demonstrated in this study, which tested the use of Swedish massage and ginger oil in adults with chronic low back pain. The results showed a significant improvement in pain intensity and disability in Swedish massage and ginger oil treatment compared to traditional Thai massage.

Ginger essential oil is best used in a massage mix for back pain. Due to the low risk of photosensitivity and skin sensitization, dilute ginger oil in a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil or carry out a patch test. Combine essential ginger oil with frankincense (Boswellia carteri) essential oil for a relaxing back massage.

Buy it: Plant therapy ginger root essential oil – 10 ml

2. Lavender essential oil

The lavender essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the evergreen herb. It has a sweet, floral, slightly woody aroma that goes well with most other essential oils.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is used for a variety of diseases in aromatherapy practice, but one of its lesser known properties is its use in relieving back pain. Lavender oil is analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Studies have shown that the use of lavender essential oil has helped relieve symptoms for back pain. In a randomized control study, an intervention group underwent eight sessions of acupressure and acupuncture stimulation with lavender oil in addition to the usual care. The intervention group experienced a 39% reduction in pain intensity, improved walking time and a larger area for lateral flexion of the spine compared to the group that received only the usual care.

Dilute the lavender essential oil in a base carrier oil such as apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca) Oil. Combine with Roman chamomile in a blend for the greatest effect (Chamaeleum nobile) and sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorana) essential oils. Massage into the affected area if necessary.

Buy it: Plant therapy lavender essential oil – 10 ml

3. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil is probably the most popular of the mint oils, but it may also be the “most effective”. It contains a higher proportion of the chemical components menthol and menthone, which are responsible for its effectiveness. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the small perennial herb.

Peppermint oil in combination with other oils can help relieve the symptoms of back pain. Peppermint oil has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect like other essential oils for back pain.

Peppermint essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy. It should also never be used with or near babies and toddlers. It can cause breathing difficulties in this age group. In all cases, dilute in a carrier oil before use on the skin and use in moderation.

Buy it: Plant therapy bio-essential peppermint oil – 10 ml

4. Roman chamomile essential oil

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is a small, unremarkable herb with daisy-like flowers. The essential oil is extracted from these flowers. Do not confuse the Roman chamomile with the German chamomile of her botanical cousin (Matricaria recutica) although the two can often be used for similar purposes.

Chamomile has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory and can be useful in the treatment of osteoporosis. I personally used it in a mixture with lavender and incense (Boswellia carterti), in a base of apricot kernels (Prunus armeniaca) Oil for temporary relief of the symptoms of back pain caused by fibromyalgia.

Buy it: Plant Therapy Roman Chamomile Oil – 5 ml

5. Sweet marjoram essential oil

Sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorana) is another little herb related to peppermint, lavender and peppermint. The leaves and flower tips are extracted for the essential oil.

Sweet marjoram oil has a warm and spicy aroma, but is camphor-like and less spicy than essential ginger oil. In combination with other essential oils, sweet marjoram has been shown to have a calming effect on back pain.

Sweet marjoram has analgesic, antispasmodic, soothing and calming properties.

Avoid using sweet marjoram oil during pregnancy.

Buy it: Plant therapy marjoram Sweet essential oil – 10 ml

Use of essential oils for pain relief

Always dilute essential oils in a base like vegetable oil before applying them to the skin. Read our guide to carrier oils to see twenty-one different base oil options to try.

Apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca), sweet almond (Prunis dulcis) and Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) In my experience, oils are a good base for blends to relieve back pain. Dilute with 2% if used regularly. Only use a 1% dilution for seniors (over 65 years). Consult a certified aromatherapist for use in pregnancy or in infants and young children before using an essential oil blend.

If you notice any side effects of the essential oil blend (such as nausea, rash, headache, or others) stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.

How to Mix Essential Oils

If you make an appointment with a trained aromatherapist, you will find that he or she will take time to ask you in some detail about your lifestyle and your medical history. Diet and exercise, sleep patterns, stress levels, mood, bowel habits, menstrual cycle if you are a woman – all have some relevance as they will help the therapist to draw up as complete a picture as possible of you, the patient, rather than ‘it’, the problem for which you are seeking help. All the information will help in the selection of oils that are likely to be the most beneficial to you as an individual and as a whole.

You will notice, as you read the check some of the essential oils in the website, that several oils may share the same basic property; for example, quite a few have a relaxing effect, while others act as antidepressants. Within each group, there will be one or more that are particularly appropriate for individual cases, when other relevant factors are taken into consideration. Depression, for example, can manifest itself in different ways. A person who feels anxious, agitated and has trouble sleeping at night should be treated differently from one whose depression manifests itself in flatness of mood and lethargy.

Mixing for Both Fragrance and Effect

When the aromatherapist selects which oils to use, he or she will also be considering which ones work in harmony with each other, both for fragrance and for effect. A successful, harmonious blend of oils that work well in combination with one another is known as a synergistic blend. As many as seven oils may be used in combination, but the art of blending is one that takes quite a lot of practice. When preparing blends at home, it is generally better to keep it simple at first and work with no more than four essential oils at a time. If you work with simple blends initially, you will gradually build up a repertoire of blends that you enjoy using. Write everything down as you go along – mistakes should be remembered so that you do not repeat them – and then, gradually, you will find that you are able to add to and alter your recipes. Successful mixing takes a combination of time, patience, expertise and intuition. Remember, however, that it is not necessarily the case that complicated blends are more effective. Often, keeping it simple is better.

How to Mix Essential Oils with Base Oils

Mix your blends in small quantities. Once essential oils are mixed in base oils, they do not last as long. It is better to work with small quantities, making fresh blends each time, than to make up large amounts if you are not certain whether you are going to use a particular blend again in the immediate future. Blending small amounts also makes mistakes less costly.

In order to achieve a blend that is approximately a 2 per cent dilution, use six drops of essential oil to every tablespoon of base oil. For even smaller quantities, use two drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of base. Remember that some base oils have their own distinctive qualities; if you make a blend of essential oils in almond oil, for example, a light base oil that is virtually odorless and suitable for general use, it will not be the same if you use a different base the next time.

Guide for Blending

With time and practice, you will be able to build up your own ‘menu’ of favorite blends. The following may help you in your initial selection of essential oils in blends that you prepare. As a general rule, like blends well with like, so the spice oils can be blended with each other, the oils from the same plant family – for example Labiateae which includes basil, clary sage and hyssop – will work quite well together, the woody oils can be used in combination with each other, and so on. There are other broad guidelines that can be followed as well: citrus oils, for example, have an odor that is short-lived, but they blend well with the woody oils, whose fragrance is more lingering, so you can make blends that have a fragrance that changes in quality as time goes on.

Perfumers consider that a good perfume should have a top note, a middle note and a base note. The top note is the shortest-lived, but probably makes the first impression. The base note is the longest-lived, the last lingering element of the fragrant blend. The middle note is the basis around which the fragrance is built – the substance of the perfume. Thus, in an aromatherapy blend, each oil will have its own distinctive qualities but, put together with others, will form part of a dynamic fragrance, changing its impressions on the individual all the time.

Whilst this might sound a little complicated to the novice, it does serve to make the point that it is more than the instant first impression that counts when blending oils. If you are trying out a blend for the first time give it time. What is your first feeling about the blend? What comes through immediately after the first impression? What is it like after half an hour or an hour? How does it change?

Remember also that the therapeutic qualities of the oils that you choose should complement each other. Think of the outcome you are hoping to achieve.

Finally, if you are intending to give a massage to another person or are mixing a bath blend for the benefit of another individual, his or her likes and dislikes cannot be ignored. No matter how you might feel about the blend that you are making, it is the recipient who counts. In order for that person to get the maximum benefit from the oils, the blend should smell good to him or her.

How to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils work on two distinct levels, the psychological and the physical. Imagine some of your favorite aromas. How do they make you feel? Certain smells can trigger happy memories of places or people, taking you back to early childhood, to the kitchen at home, perhaps, or to a particular person, such as your mother. Some smells will make you think of a certain time of year – the freshness of spring or the sun-baked days of summer. Other smells that you find enjoyable might be harder to explain – they simply make you feel good. If you are trying to sell your house, the estate agent may well tell you to put a pot of coffee on the stove before prospective buyers come to view, or make some bread or cakes to fill the house with the scent of fresh baking.

Scent of Essential Oils

Smell is a primitive and powerful sense. Not only can it alert us to danger (think of the odor of meat that has gone bad or the smell of a gas leak), it can also trigger memories, alter our moods and either attract us to, or put us off, potential mates. Recent research has shown that human beings have not yet become so sophisticated that the sense of smell has become irrelevant in the process of sexual attraction. No matter how beautiful, intelligent and witty you might be, the object of your heart’s desire will still be affected by your own, very individual smell.

The fragrant essential oils of many plants can have quite a powerful effect on the mind, altering mood quite noticeably when they are inhaled. This is what makes aromatherapy particularly useful in the treatment of mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety and the consequent effects these problems have on the individual’s ability to function properly. Some oils will have a definite sedative, calming effect, whilst others are useful for their stimulant properties, increasing mental and physical energy. Certain oils are particularly good at helping to focus the mind; such oils are often burned in incense, as an aid to meditation. Some oils will stimulate sexual appetites and can be used as aphrodisiacs.

How Do Essential Oils Enter the Body?

There are three ways by which essential oils can enter the body. The first of these is by inhalation, which allows for the oil molecules to enter the body through the tiny capillaries supplying the respiratory organs.

Essential oils can also be absorbed into the body by skin absorption – by bathing in hot water to which oils have been added, by applying essential oils in topical preparations or in compresses, and by massage.

The third means by which essential oils can enter the body is by ingestion. Some qualified aromatherapists will prescribe the use of some essential oils in this way, but on the whole massage is the preferred method of treatment. Ingestion of essential oils is potentially very dangerous and should never be tried in the home.

Enhancing Immune System

One property that many essential oils have in common is the ability to stimulate the body’s immune system, that is, to encourage the body to heal itself. Antiseptic and bactericidal properties are also common to most essential oils eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil being particularly useful in this respect. Many oils (tea-tree oil falls into this category too) have antiviral and/or fungicidal properties.

Antibiotics have for many years been an invaluable weapon in the war against many diseases, but overuse has led to an increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Antibiotics also kill off many other, harmless and/or beneficial bacteria, leading to problems such as Candida albicans; or thrush, and they can have unpleasant side effects. When suffering from a relatively minor infection that is likely to respond well to treatment with essential oils, it makes a lot of sense to choose this option rather than resorting to antibiotics

Application Methods for Essential Oils

There are several ways for how to use essential oils. Among these, massage is the most common practice. However, it is also possible to benefit from essential oils by way of inhalation. Moreover, bathing should also be mentioned as people tend to use aromatherapy in connection with spa as well. Let us go deep into detail about these now 🙂

Massage with Essential Oils

This is the main method of treatment used by qualified aromatherapists. Massage allows for a combination of the beneficial effects of the absorption of essential oils through the skin and those of therapeutic massage; as the therapist’s hands work on the patient’s body, circulation and lymphatic drainage will be stimulated and the patient’s muscles will relax. At the same time, helped by the heat caused by the friction of the therapist’s hands on the patient’s body, the oil molecules can enter the body through the skin and will start to take effect on the patient. The patient will gain further benefit as he or she breathes in the fragrance.

While not all the oils that are used by aromatherapists in practice are recommended for use in the home, there is nonetheless a wide variety of essential oils that can be used perfectly safely by people who lack the aromatherapists’ expertise but want to derive some benefit and pleasure from home massage. Essential oils for massage can be diluted in a base oil, either singly or blended with one or two other harmonizing, synergistic, oils.

Base oils suitable for aromatherapy include almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and wheatgerm oil. Doubtless you will have your own preferences, but each has its own qualities; avocado, for example, is beneficial to dry skin. Try to establish that the base oil you intend to use has been cold-pressed and preferably is organic and thus as pure and chemical-free as possible. When it comes to the dilution quantities, 1-3 per cent essential oil to base oil is generally a safe option, but if you have any doubts, you can check with an aromatherapist.

Inhaling Essential Oils

Steam inhalation is used mostly for the treatment of respiratory disorders. To prepare, fill a fairly large bowl with very hot water and add a few drops of the essential oil, or oils, of choice. Drape a towel over your head and ‘tent’ it all round the bowl then breathe in the scented steam deeply. Continue treatment for a few minutes, but stop if you feel too hot. Place the bowl on a surface at a height that does not require you to bend over it. Raising your head suddenly, especially if you have been bending over, might cause dizziness. Steam inhalation is beneficial to respiratory ailments in two ways. Firstly, the steam moistens the airways and helps to loosen mucus and clear blocked sinuses. Secondly, the essential oil vapors will enter the bloodstream rapidly and work their own individual ‘magic’, whether this is to promote expectoration or fight off infection.

Dry inhalation is also beneficial with certain aromatic oils and can be useful in the treatment of asthmatics, whose lungs may be irritated by steam inhalation. A few drops of essential oil can be applied to a handkerchief that is then held a few inches under the patient’s nose as he or she breathes in. Alternatively, a few drops can be placed on the pillow (away from the eyes) at bedtime. Eucalyptus oil is a favorite for use in dry inhalation to ease the discomfort of blocked noses. Lavender oil on the pillow will help promote restful sleep.

If you are treating oily skin with aromatic steam, it is pleasant to finish treatment with a refreshing splash of rose water, which will tone the skin. Steam treatment is not recommended if you suffer from thread veins or if you have any inflammatory skin condition.

Steam Facial with Essential Oils

A steam facial, taken in much the same way as a steam inhalation, can be a very effective way of opening the pores and cleansing the skin, particularly skin that is prone to oiliness and spots. There are several essential oils that can be used in this way. It is pleasant and refreshing to finish off the treatment with a splash of rose water.

Caution!

Do not use steam facials if you have broken veins or very sensitive skin.

Bathing with Essential Oils

Aromatic bathing is a wonderful way to treat yourself and do yourself some good at the same time. Bathing with essential oils allows for the oil to be absorbed firstly through the skin and secondly, as the oils evaporate in the steam from the bath, through inhalation of the fragrant steamy atmosphere in the bathroom. This form of treatment has the advantage that, unlike massage, it can be done without the help of another person.

Run a hot bath with the door and windows closed and add a few drops (3-10, depending on the oil or oils of choice) of essential oil into the water. Make sure that the oil is thoroughly dispersed in the water to avoid the possibility of concentrated amounts of oil coming into contact with the skin. Prolonged and frequent use of essential oils can damage the surface of some baths; make sure the bath is thoroughly cleaned out afterwards. To avoid problems with sensitive skin, and also to preserve your bath, dilute the essential oil in a base oil before you add it to the bath. You can also dilute the essential oil in milk.

Choose your essential oil or oils according to the desired effect you wish to achieve – rosemary to revive your flagging spirits, perhaps, or chamomile to set you up for a good night’s sleep. Take all the time you need – lie back in the water and breathe deeply – an aromatic bath should be a very pleasurable experience.

A Little Note for Bathing

Don’t use soaps, bath oils or shampoos in an aromatic bath. If you want to clean yourself with soap, or wash your hair, do this beforehand – have a quick shower or wash before you run your aromatic bath.

An aromatic footbath is also a soothing and refreshing way of treating tired, aching feet and will benefit not only your feet but also your whole body. If you only have a shower at home, treat yourself to a footbath from time to time. Lavender, peppermint and rosemary are particularly beneficial at the end of a long day. Footbaths can also help to warm cold feet, and the addition of appropriate oils will stimulate the circulation.

Sitz Baths

Sitz baths, or hip baths, are particularly beneficial in the treatment of menstrual disorders, thrush, cystitis, hemorrhoids and constipation. When treating hemorrhoids or vaginal thrush keep the water around body temperature, but otherwise the water should be quite hot. Tea tree oil is particularly useful in the treatment of thrush.

Compresses

Some problems respond well to treatment with compresses, made by soaking cloths or towels in either hot or ice-cold water – whichever is appropriate – and adding a few drops of essential oil. Cold compresses are useful for treating headaches, fever and pain from recent bruising or muscle strain. Hot compresses, applied to the relevant parts of the body, can alleviate menstrual cramping and muscle and joint pain and can be particularly soothing for chronic pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism. Hot compresses can also be used to treat boils.

To prepare a compress, fill a bowl with either hot or iced water, according to your needs. Soak a folded cloth in the water and wring it out. Add three or four drops of essential oil to the water in the bowl and swirl it round to disperse it thoroughly. Lay your cloth lightly back on the surface of the water, then wring out again and apply to the affected part for treatment.

If you are using a hot compress, place some polythene or clingfilm over the compress with another cloth on top. This will help to retain the heat.

If you are treating headache with a cold compress, make sure that the compress is well wrung out and will not drip. It is important that the essential oil is kept away from the eyes.

Mouthwashes with Essential Oils

Some essential oils can be added to warm water and used as mouthwashes or gargles to combat gum inflammation, bad breath, oral thrush and mouth ulcers. In order to avoid irritation of the mouth, the oil should be first diluted in a small amount of alcohol – vodka is generally recommended. Add two drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of vodka and mix into half a glass of warm water to prepare your mouthwash. Tea-tree oil is safe to add to warm water without alcohol, but this is the exception.

But you should always be careful not to swallow!

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg is native to the Middle East and the West Indies, and is cultivated in the West Indies, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The tree is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) high and has aromatic leaves. The spice mace is obtained from the covering of the seed shell. Nutmeg is the kernel, which has been dried over heat in its shell. The spice has been used in cookery for many years. Nutmeg has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years, mostly for the treatment of digestive complaints, such as flatulence, indigestion and diarrhoea, and also for kidney disorders.

Essential Oil

Essential oil of nutmeg is obtained from the dried seeds by steam distillation. The oil is white or pale yellow in color. It has stimulant and analgesic properties and is warming in its effect when used in massage. It is beneficial in the treatment of muscular aches and pains, rheumatism and arthritis. It can also help in the treatment of digestive problems, such as flatulence, indigestion and nausea, and can stimulate a jaded appetite. Its effects are calming and strengthening and can benefit those who are chronically tired, depressed and lacking in energy. Nutmeg oil is not recommended for home use as it can, when used in high dose, cause hallucinations and hypnosis. It is unsuitable for bathing as it is a skin irritant.

Precautions

Warning: Use only under the supervision of a trained aromatherapist. Not suitable for bathing. Avoid during pregnancy.

Palmarosa Essential Oil

The plant Palmarosa is a relative of lemongrass and citronella, coming from the same plant family, Gramineae. It is also related to ginger-grass – Cymbopogon matinii var. sofia – which is used to obtain an oil that is similar but considered by most to be inferior in quality. The plant grows wild in India and Pakistan. It is now cultivated for commercial purposes in India and in Indonesia, the Comoros Islands, East-Africa and Brazil, all of which produce the oil. The plant has fragrant grassy leaves.

Essential Oil

The oil is obtained from the leaves of the plant, either fresh or dried, by the process of steam distillation. It is pale yellow or green in color and has a sweet floral smell. Palmarosa essential oil is used in the perfume industry as a fragrance ingredient. It is also used in the production of soaps and bath products.

Essential oil of palmarosa is useful in the treatment of stress-related feelings of depression. It calms troubled spirits and lifts the mood, encouraging a more optimistic view of life.

The oil can be used in the treatment of various digestive problems, combating infection and improving digestion. It can stimulate a poor appetite and can help the intestinal flora to return to a state of balance after a bout of infection or following antibiotic treatment. Use in massage or in bathing.

Palmarosa oil is very useful in skin care, where its balancing qualities make it suitable for the treatment of a variety of conditions, either associated with dry or oily skin. It helps regulate the production of sebum and also moisturizes dry skin. It can be used to good effect on mature complexions, reducing wrinkles and improving the skin’s tone and appearance. It will also help reduce scar tissue. Use in facial massage, creams or in facial steam baths.

Suitable methods of use

  • Bathing
  • Compresses
  • Inhalation
  • Massage
  • Skin care
  • Vaporizer/diffuser

Precautions

Palmarosa is quite safe to use in dilution. It is nontoxic, nonsensitizing and nonirritant.

Parsley Essential Oil

Parsley is either grown as a biennial or a perennial, although the latter will not live for many years. It is native to the Mediterranean area, but now grows extensively throughout Europe and in parts of Asia. Parsley is a member of the plant family Apiece (Umbelliferae). In Great Britain, it is a very popular garden herb with many culinary uses. For the purposes of oil production, it is cultivated in countries that include Germany, Holland and France.

Parsley is high in vitamins A and C. In herbal medicine, it is used for problems of the kidneys and urinary tract and also in the treatment of arthritis. Parsley is pleasant to chew on as a breath deodorizer after spicy or garlicky food. It is also a digestive aid.

Essential Oil

Essential oil of parsley is obtained by steam distillation of the plant. Two different oils are obtained – one from the seed and one from the foliage. Parsley oil is used to treat cystitis and other urinary infections. It also acts as a diuretic. It is an emmenagogue so can be used to treat scanty and irregular menstruation.

Massage with oil of parsley can aid digestion, having a carminative and stimulating effect. Parsley oil is also used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. Owing to its possible toxicity if used inappropriately, however, parsley is not recommended for use at home.

Precautions

Warning: Not recommended for home use. Parsley oil can be toxic unless used in strict moderation. It is also a skin irritant. Warning: Not to be used during pregnancy. Parsley oil is an emmenagogue.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli belongs to the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae) and is tall, bushy herb with large aromatic leaves. It is native to tropical Asia. It is cultivated for commercial use in Asia, India, China and South America. The plant has white flowers and the leaves are hairy in texture. The plant has been widely used in Asia for many years as an incense ingredient. The leaves were used in woven materials to perfume them. Patchouli is also used as an insect repellent. (Patchouli oil)

In herbal medicine, particularly in China and Japan, patchouli is used to treat colds, headaches and digestive upsets, including vomiting.

Essential Oil

Essential oil of patchouli is obtained by the process of steam distillation from the leaves of the plant which are previously dried and fermented. The oil is thick and viscous and is orange-amber in color. It has a distinctively sweet and earthy smell that is long-lasting and, unlike that of other essential oils, actually improves with age, although the fragrance of patchouli oil is not to everyone’s liking – some people dislike it intensely. Patchouli oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes and soaps and is an ingredient in Indian ink.

Patchouli oil has various therapeutic applications. It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and can be used in skin care to treat acne, oily skin and open pores as well as minor sores that are weeping and reluctant to heal. It is also beneficial in the treatment of athlete’s foot, chapped and painful skin and eczema. Patchouli is particularly beneficial to ageing skin and will also help prevent scars and stretchmarks.

When used in a massage blend, particularly in abdominal massage, or alternatively in a warm compress, patchouli can relieve constipation and combat flatulence.

In massage oil or in room vaporizers, patchouli oil is an effective room deodorizer. Used in this way, it can also be used to strengthen the spirits when exhaustion has set in and will help restore a sense of calm and determination in stressful times. The oil also has aphrodisiac properties and can benefit in particular those whose desire or sexual performance has been adversely affected by stress and fatigue.

Patchouli oil can also be used as an insect repellent.

Suitable methods of use

  • Bathing
  • Compresses
  • Inhalation
  • Massage
  • Skin care
  • Vaporizer/diffuser

Precautions

None. Patchouli oil is nontoxic, non-sensitizing and nonirritant.