- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Most people do not realize how strongly we are affected by scents, but scents can trigger all sorts of memories. This is because smells are processed by the area of the brain responsible for emotions.
Just the other day I was walking along the street, minding my own business when I caught a sniff of a scent that an old boyfriend I had, used to wear. In an instant the image of this boy came into my mind, my nose following a bunch of men walking in the opposite direction I was coming from. My head lying on his shoulder, my nose tucked in his neck, his hands caressing my face… I dropped back down to earth when one of the men I was following turned around suspiciously to see why I was getting so close! You see, I am a girl who follows her nose. What can I do about it? Well, I stopped following the men on the street and phoned this boy. I suppose what happened next is not really the topic of this article. But that’s me; I get distracted easily when it comes to the senses.
A relaxing bath
Essential oils in a bath
What I was wanting to say is that scents can be used in healing, beauty treatments, and of course for pleasure because they are so powerful and influence us at different levels. I suppose that is how I got started in aromatherapy. My first tries at using essential oils were linked to creating sensuous baths, aphrodisiac perfumes and air fresheners. Later on I learned about therapeutic uses when I started using tea tree oil for treating women’s troubles.
I especially enjoy using essential oils in a bath because in a warm bath the vapours of essential oils are inhaled and the oils are absorbed through the skin. To make therapeutic baths choose fragrances that appeal to you, scents that evoke warm memories.
Grapefruit essential oil has a fresh, tart, citrus aroma. Believed to be a spiritual up-lifter and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin.
I like to have this bath when I am preparing myself for a night out. The sharp fragrance of grapefruits will wake up your senses and prepare you for a long night. Notice that because grapefruit oil can be a little bit too strong I usually mix it up with a few drops of lavender and dilute everything in a spoon of vodka before I drop it in the bath.
To prepare this uplifting bath you will need:
- 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 tablespoon vodka. If you are a teetotal and there is no vodka in your house, you can dissolve the grapefruit and lavender oils in a spoon of milk.
Combine the essential oils with the milk or vodka, add the mixture to a bath of warm water, stir and soak yourself in bliss preferably with a glass of vodka and red bull in one hand!
Sandalwood essential oil has a strong, sweet note which rapidly gives way to a woody note slightly reminiscent of Cedarwood
Now, if I am preparing myself for a torrid night with a special person, instead of an uplifting bath I usually go for a sensuous bath. This is a scented blend that lingers sensuously on the skin, especially when you are getting hot, and my boy knows I can get very hot!
To prepare a sensuous bath you will need:
- 4 drops of sandalwood essential oil
- 2 drops of rose essential oil
- 2 drops of clary sage essential oil
- 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil.
Mix everything and add to a tub of warm water. Stir well before you go in the bath. Do not forget your rubber ducky!
For a bath to ease muscle stiffness after a hard exercise session or simply to sooth the muscles after overexertion I usually go for this restoring bath. You will need:
- 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops of marjoram
- 4 drops of lavender essential oil
Vetiver has a very grounding, balancing and relaxing aroma. Good for acne, oily skin, wounds, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, stiffness, depression, insomnia and nervous tension.
For a deeply relaxing bath before a big day I like to try this:
- 4 drops of vetiver essential oil
- 2 drops clary sage
- 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
Mix well an soak ready to have sweet dreams…
General advice on preparing an aromatherapy bath:
- Do not add oils to a bath until your bath tub is full; adding oils under running taps reduces their potency as they have a tendency to evaporate.
- Do not mix too many oils.
- When you are using strong oils make sure you dissolve them first before adding them to your bath.
- Essential oils must be used with caution.
- Be aware that some oils can cause irritation to the skin and even severe burning.
Reference Guide to essential oils:
Following is a quick reference guide to the essential oils mentioned above.
Clary Sage essential oil:
It is an antispasmodic, euphoric, aphrodisiac, warming and tonic.
When to use clary sage essential oil? Use for PMS, menstrual cramps, digestive cramps, migraine, muscle cramps.
Eucalyptus essential oil:
This invigorating oil is an expectorant, deodorant, decongestant, antibacterial and diuretic.
When to use Eucalyptus essential oil? Use for respiratory problems, draining, urinary tract infections, muscle aches and migraine.
Grapefruit essential oil:
This is a antiseptic, antiviral and antidepressant oil. Grapefruit essential oil is said to increase confidence and a positive outlook.
When to use Grapefruit essential oil? Use for treating cellulite, PMS and depression.
Lavender essential oil:
A balancing, antiseptic, antifungal, sedative and rejuvenating essential oil. Lavender is soothing and calming, it regulates sleep patterns.
When to use Lavender essential oil? Use for cell regeneration, skin conditions, sensitive inflamed skin, leucorrhoea, high blood pressure and muscle aches.
Rose essential oil
This is a cleansing essential oil, a cell regenerator and moisturizer.
When to use Rose essential oil? Use as a gentle but potent antidepressant, to relief tension, sadness and low self esteem.
Sandalwood essential oil:
This oil is best known for its antiseptic, disinfectant, sedative and aphrodisiac properties.
When to use sandalwood essential oil? Use for genitourinary infections, dry skin and impotence.
Ylang Ylang essential oil
This essential oil is popular for its aphrodisiac, antidepressant and euphoric effects.
When to use ylang-ylang? Use for impotence, frigidity and high blood pressure.
Tea Tree Oil:
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- Tea Tree oil remedies for women
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The oils suggested for use above, are generally recognized as safe to use in accordance with specified instructions in the appropriate dilutions.
Never use an essential oil without being fully knowledgeable regarding its purity, its purpose and its proper application.
The following oils are very irritating to the skin and should not be used in a bath or massage:
The following oils are potentially irritating to mucus membranes such as the genitourinary tract. Discontinue using these oils if irritation occurs:
- Bay laurel