Essential Oils For Aromatherapy

 

Aromatherapy is the ability to heal with essential oils. Essential oils are the purified essences that have been extracted from plants. Essential oils can be used in massage and inhalation techniques, added to products (soap, skin cream, shampoo, etc…) and also used to produce room fragrances.

How Aromatherapy Works:

Through The Nose - When we breathe in a fragrance, we take into our bodies, its healing molecules.

Through The Skin - Essential oils applied externally to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream to take instant effect.

This hub focuses on the use of essential oils in aromatherapy but aromatherapy can also include the use of incense, potpourri, steam inhalation, scented candles and fresh flowers. These can all be utilized to treat ailments, raise your mood and improve your sense of well-being.

Essential oils (and blended oils) are probably the most frequently used aromatherapy paraphernalia. They are available in many stores, shopping malls and even online.

Undiluted oils can sometimes be expensive. But remember, in most uses, you will only require a few drops. You can use undiluted oils in vaporizers, baths, and steam inhalations. Undiluted oils can be diluted in a carrier oil base and then used for massage, in a shampoo or moisturizer.

Carrier oils are commonly used to dilute essential oils but can also be used alone.

Some of The Carrier Oils Used For Blending

NAME 
DESCRIPTION
Aloe Vera 
Provides nutrients to the skin and repairs cells. Helps reduce swelling and provides antiseptic relief to minor wounds.  
Avocado 
A thick heavy oil. Nourishes and moisturizes the skin. Best used to blend with lighter oils to use for massages.  
Calendula 
An anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Can help to ease rashes or dry, chapped skin.  
Grapeseed
Odorless, light and non-greasy. A good all-purpose carrier oil. Slightly astringent. Good for all skin types.
Jojoba
A liquid wax as opposed ro an oil. Nourishes the skin. Heals inflames areas. Used as an addition (10%) to other oils.
Rose Hip
Moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin. Beneficial in treating minor wounds, burns and eczema.
Sweet Almond
Helps to relieve itching, dryness and soreness. Good for all skin types. A good massage oil. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WITH NUT ALLERGIES.
Wheat Germ
Can alleviate symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. Used as an addition (10%) to other oils. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE ALLERGIC TO WHEAT OR GLUTEN.

The active ingredients in essential oils can alleviate muscle tension, enhance circulation, clear respiratory problems and uplift your mood. The healing property and fragrance of essential oils are established by the chemicals it contains, also known as its active ingredients.

One essential oil can contain up to several hundred different chemicals. These chemicals together are accountable for its individual character, fragrance and healing performance.

Alcohols - Alcohols possess antiseptic and antiviral properties.

Aldehydes - Aldehydes possess calming and cooling properties.

Esters - Esters possess soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ketones - Ketones possess sedative and pain relieving properties.

Phenols - Phenols stimulate the nervous and immune systems.

Terpenes - Terpenes are a huge family chemicals that end in "ene". Monoterpenes possess antiseptic and anelgesic properties while Sequisterpenes possess calming and balancing properties.

Take the time to learn which active ingredients are responsible for specific healing properties. This will make it much easier for you to decide which is the best oil for your needs.

Essential oils have unique qualities. Most fall into one of eight distinct categories. If there is a particular oil that you want and cannot find, a different one from the same group should also work just as good.

CATEGORY 
QUALITIES 
Antiseptic 
Has a camphorous smell. Potent antiviral and cleansing properties.
Fresh  
Stimulates the mind and the body.  
Spicy 
Possesses warming properties. Also a mood lifter and stress reducer.  
Herby
Stimulates good circulation. Are natural antiseptics. Uplifting effect on the body and mind.
Citrus
Stimulates the mind and bocy. A natural skin toner.
Floral
Calms the mind and body and stress reducer.
Earthy/Woody
Sooths and clams the mind and emotions. Possesses noursihing and mousturizing properties.

There are soooo many aromatherapy fragrances to choose from and some essential oils work better on certain parts of your body than on others. So how do you decide?

Below is an basic aromatherapy checklist that you can use for reference: 

OIL NAME 
FRAGRANCE 
APPLICATION 
BEST USED FOR
WARNINGS
Basil 
Sweet 
Massage, Bath, Inhalation 
Respiratory infection, fever, indigestion
AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Bergamot 
Spicy Citrus 
Bath, Inhalation 
Quick boost of energy 
DO NOT APPLY TO SKIN BEFORE SUN EXPOSURE 
Black Pepper 
Spicy 
Massage 
Muscle spasms 
MAY IRRITATE SENSITIVE SKIN 
Chamomile
Sweet, Fruity 
Massage, Bath, Compress, Inhalation 
Calming and relieving inflamation 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Cinnamon
Warm, Spicy 
Massage 
Digestive problems and nausea 
IRRITATION MAY OCCUR IF INHALED 
Citronella
Sharp Citrus 
Vaporization, Skin Care 
Skin moisturizer and insect repellent 
NONE 
Cypress
Pine 
Massage, Skin Care 
Helps to fight fluid loss and oily skin 
DO NOT USE IF YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE 
Eucalyptus
Camphor Like, Sharp 
Bath, Compress, Inhalation, Creams 
Antiseptic and decongestant 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Fennel
Sharp, Aniseed 
Massage, Inhalation, Skin Care 
Menstrual symptoms and constipation 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Frankincense
Musty, Rich 
Bath, Inhalation 
Anti-Inflammatory and calming 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Ginger
Warm, Spicy 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress, Creams 
Upset stomach and muscle aches 
 MAY IRRITATE SENSITIVE SKIN
Grapefruit
Sweet, Zesty 
Bath, Inhalation 
Depression and anxiety 
NONE 
Jasmine
Floral 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress 
Enhances mood and eases menstrual symptoms 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT OR BREAST FEEDING
Lavender
Floral 
 Bath, Inhalation, Compress, Creams
Relaxation, dry skin and acne 
NONE 
Lemon
Sharp Citrus 
Massage, Inhalation, Skin Care 
Circulation, respiration and toning 
DO NOT APPLY TO SKIN BEFORE SUN EXPOSURE  
Marjoram
Peppery, Woody 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress 
Insomnia, stress and muscle spasms 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Myhrr
Smoky 
Inhalation, Skin Care 
Respiratory and menstrual problems 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Orange
Sweet 
Massage, Bath, Skin Care 
Respiratory and oily skin 
 DO NOT APPLY TO SKIN BEFORE SUN EXPOSURE
Patchouli
Earthy 
Massage, Skin Care 
Damaged skin and aphrodisiac 
NONE 
Peppermint
Mint 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress, Creams 
Digestive problems, soothing sore feet 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Pine
Fresh 
Massage, Inhalation, Skin Care 
Anxiety, muscle aches, damaged skin 
 MAY IRRITATE SENSITIVE SKIN
Rose
Floral, Sweet 
Bath, Inhalation, Creams 
Dry skin and menstrual symptoms 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Rosemary
Floral 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress, Creams 
Dandruff, digestion and pain relief 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT OR IF EPILEPTIC
Sandalwood
Woody 
Bath, Inhalation, Compress, Creams
Insomnia, respiratory infections
NONE 
Sage
Camphor-Like 
Massage, Inhalation 
Joint pain, fever, stimulate the appetite 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT
Thyme
Spicy 
Bath, Inhalation 
Infections and stimulates the appetite 
 AVOID WHILE PREGNANT, USE IN SMALL DOSES
Vertivert
Smoky 
Massage, Bath, Inhalation 
Relieves stress 
NONE 
Ylang Ylang
Exotic, Heady 
Massage, Bath, Inhalation, Creams 
Depression and stress relief. Also good for the hair.  
 MAY IRRITATE SENSITIVE SKIN

Everone is partial to one particular scent. What's your favorite fragrance?

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Aromatherapy Vaporizers

Aromatherapy vaporizers (also known as oil burners or diffusers) are a simple way to make your environment smell delightful. They can be used anywhere - from the home to the office.

Vaporizers are available anywhere now-a-days and can be found at the majority of shopping malls, new age stores and of course online. They come in a variety of designs, colors and styles. I'm sure that there is one out there with YOUR name on it.

Vaporizers heat the essential oil, speeding up the evaporation process. When the vaporizer heats the oil, it is also heating the air around it. When the hot air rises, the air in the room circulates, spreading the fragrance around the room rapidly.

How To Use A Candle Vaporizer:

A candle vaporizer has a small bowl, which will hold the water and oil, that is perched above a candle. Fill the bowl with water and add 4-5 drops of the oil. Place a lit candle (tea light is preferred) in the bottom compartment of the vaporizer. As the candle heats the bowl, the oil will evaporate.

Note: You can use undiluted essential oils in a vaporizer. Oils that are ready blended for massage use are NOT suitable for vaporizers.

Essential Oils To Use In Aromatherapy Vaporizer:

Energizing - Bergamot, Lemon, Peppermint

Relaxing - Lavender, Marjoram

Sensual - Patchouli, Ylang Ylang

Easing Tension - Rose, Sandalwood

Easing Headaches - Chamomile, Lavender

Antispetic - Eucalyptus, Thyme

Use of Essential Oils in an Aromatherapy Compress

Compresses are an easy way to treat a wide variety of conditions with essential oils. How easy is it? Well all you'll need is a bowl of water (hot or cold depending on the use), a clean cloth, some plastic wrap and your essential oil(s).

We've always know that applying a compress (hot or cold) is good for treating bruises, sprains and muscle aches, but by adding just a few drops of essential oils (specific to the particular condition), your compress has just been kicked up a notch with improved healing effects.

From cuts and scrapes to bruises and sprains, a compress infused with essential oils has therapeutic properties that can help process of recovering significantly.

Since hot and cold compresses are used to treat different problems, it's important to know which type to use:

Hot Compress - Increases circulation and relieves muscle aches and pains. Good for arthritis, menstrual cramps, muscle cramps and abscesses.

Cold Compress - Reduces swelling. Good for swelling, sprains, headaches, bruises, inflammation and fevers.

Hot and Cold - Alternate between hot and cold for sprains, arthritis and rheumatism. Change the compress every three minutes, ending with a cold compress.

Making A Cloth Compress:

1. Add 5 -7 drops of oil(s) to a bowl containing 1 pint of water.

2. Take a washcloth and place it in the bowl to soak.

3. Remove the washcloth, wring out the excess water and place the washcloth over the area of the skin you are treating.

4. Cover the compress with the plastic wrap. If needed, cover the plastic wrap with a bandage or twoel to keep it in place.

5. Leave the compress on until it's cooled or warmed to your body temperature. Remove, resoak, and reapply as required.

 

Essential Oil Use In Massages

Combining aromatherapy with massage is the best of both worlds. Massaging heated oils into your skin lets their active ingredients go straight into the tissue of the affected area, while at the same time, the massage strokes work to improve circulation, and ease pain and/or stiffness.

There are some safety issues to consider when applying essential oils:

Medications - Some medications can interact with essential oils. Please check with your doctor prior to using any oils if you are taking medication.

Pregnancy - Some essential oils can be harmful to both the mother and baby. Oils should be avoided while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Sensitivity - Some essential oils may irritate sensitive skin. Dilute with a gentle carrier oil before applying.

Sunlight - Some essential oils will react to sunlight and cause skin irritation.

If used incorrectly, essential oils can be dangerous. Please read all warnings and take any necessary precautions.

 

Essential oils work much faster when they have been applied to a pulse point. Pulse points are the points on the body where the arteries lie closest to the skin, thus allowing your heartbeat to be felt. Pulse points are found on the wrist, the side of the neck, and the back of the knee.

Aromatherapy oil blends used in a massage, when applied (in small doses) over the pulse points can be very effective. The oil blend reaches the blood stream more quickly than if applied to a fleshier part of the body.

Aromatherapy massage is a great way to enhance blood supply to the feet as well as relieve stress. For problem feet, try these essential oils:

Thyme - Good for deodorizing smelly feet and treating athlete's foot.

Cypress - Good for sweaty feet.

Rosemary - Good for easing aches, pains and rheumatism.

Essential Oil Use For The Hair

Shampoos made with essential oils are wonderful tinctures that can moisturize your hair and promote a healthy scalp, overall improving their condition.

Note - Essential oil shampoos will not foam like a regular shampoo.

You can add essential oils to your regular store/salon bought shampoo. The ratio is six drops to 1/4 cup shampoo.

Some essential oils can react with the chemicals in commercial shampoos. I would avoid using these oils: Cedarwood, Cypress, Juniper, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Orange and Pine.

If you decide to try and make your own shampoo, I recommend using a light based carrier oil like jojoba. This will keep the mixture light as to avoid any remaining residue.

Instead of using a shampoo, you can try one of these prewash treatments:

1. Rub the essential oil(s) into your dry hair and wrap your head in a towel for thirty minutes to an hour before rinsing it out.

2. Wet your hair, then apply and massage the essential oil(s) over your scalp. Leave this on for thirty minutes to an hour, shampoo and rinse.

Some of the top essential oils for your hair are:

Dandruff - Chamomile, Lemongrass and Rosemary

Dry Hair - Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang

Lice - Eucalyptus, Geranium and Lavender

Oily Hair - Bergamot, Grapefruit, and Juniper

Scalp Problems - Frankincense, Tea Tree and Thyme

 

Let's See If You Remember What You Read...

Comments 10 comments

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

very well researched hub Patti, I need that right now -- warm bath with oil to soothe my skin! I like candle vaporizer as well, Maita


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Am impressive list of oils.


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

thankyou - lovely


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 6 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Hello Maita! I am always happy when you come by to visit and am honored to have you as my first comment :-) I could use a nice bath as well - such dry air in NY - wreaking havoc w/my skin! We need to meet up at a spa somewhere between Texas & NY for a nice aromatherapy day of pampering & beauty :-) Pattie

Sandyspider - Thanks - and that isn't even all of them! Hope you get to try some out & let me know what you think. Appreciate the visit & comment. Rock on!

salt - Much appreciated. Pleased that you liked my hub :-)


Missi Darnell profile image

Missi Darnell 6 years ago from Southern California

Love your hub!! Very informative and like the easy to read tables. Excellent! Good luck with the contest.


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 6 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Thank you Missi - you are so sweet. Glad you enjoyed the hub and found it easy to go through. I was hoping it wasn't too much. This is the first time I've entered a contest like this. Keep your fingers crossed :-)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Congrats on being selected in this week's contest. I love your hub, it is so full of information on one of my favorite things-aromatherapy. I am bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks for sharing and good luck! :)


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 6 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Thank you Money Glitch! It was a pleasant surprise :-) I am really glad you enjoyed my hub and am honored that you are bookmarking it. Rock on!


Demetre Winfield profile image

Demetre Winfield 4 years ago from chicago

this is a very informative hub. it can be used as a great reference for thous who use oils often (like me). merry met.

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Futamarka 3 years ago

Завивание визажной техники, являющейся предметом лизингового соглашения; Завивание гражданской ответственности перевозчика. Завивание гражданской ответственности при перевозке опасных юморов Завивание визажных вагин и механизмов от поломок Завивание юморов Завивание преимущества (завиваний, офисных хохотаний, визажных мастерских, гаражей, запасных частей, оргтехники и др.)

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