Aromatherapy and Stress
Aromatherapy has been around since the beginning of time. Through the ages people have used aromatherapy for everything from medicinal purposes to just plain enjoyment. After all, there is nothing better than walking into a room that smells like vanilla cookies or a field of lavender flowers. Not to mention that wonderful subtle perfume type aroma coming from a person walking by. There is so much information about aromatherapy and its healing properties that I had a hard time settling on any one area. After much thought I decided to write about aromatherapy and the herbs that can help relieve stress.
All of us have stress. Our jobs, relationships, families, and many more things can bring stress into our daily life. My life is certainly filled with stressful moments. Aromatherapy is an pleasant option that can be used to help calm the nerves and tame the temper that stress often unleashes. You will find many different herbs and spices that combined together will help calm and relax.
There are so many essential oils and herbs that are said to be effective in treating stress, anxiety, tension, insomnia,and feelings of depression that I felt it best to reduce the list down to the most popular selections.
- bergamot - a fresh clean smell with a hint of citrus fruitiness and spice
- chamomile - a sweet, fruity (apple-like), herby aroma
- cinnamon - a sweet spicy fragrance
- clary sage - a nutty, woody aroma that blends well with other oils to create a heady aroma to make a more powerful blend
- jasmine - an exotic rich, warm floral with a sweet fruity undertone
- lavender - a sweet, floral fragrance with a touch of herbal and balsamic undertones
- lemon - a clean, sharp citrus aroma
- marjoram - w arm, spicy aroma with a floral undertone
- orange - a sweet citrusy orange aroma
- rose - a sweet and floral scent with a spicy undertone
- sandlewood - a soft woody aroma that blends well with most scents
- ylang ylang - a heady sweet floral scent with a spicy undertone
Essential Oils - Method of Use and Recipes
There are many methods of using the essential oils for aromatherapy. As a matter of fact, there are so many that I am only naming a few. I am also including a sample of how to put together and use each method.
This is the quickest and easiest method to use. You can make a compress using cold or hot water. For our purposes we will be using hot water. If you have a stress of migraine headache you would need do the following:
4 - 5 drops of essential oil (any listed above will do)
1 cup hot water
Add essential oil to hot water. Soak a soft cloth in the water blend. Wring out and place across forehead.
- Massage or Body Oil
This is a good method to release tension from your muscles.
1/2 tsp essential (any from above list will do)
4 ounces any vegetable oil
Mix together and store in an air-tight container.
Any vegetable oil is good to use in this recipe, however canola oil does not have a scent of it's own and is easy to find. To help any massage or body oil last add a couple of Vitamin E capsules to the mixture.
- Bath Salts
There is nothing better than a relaxing hot bath. When you add you bath salts to the hot water it becomes a stress melting experience.
1/2 tap essential oil (look at the list to find one)
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup sea salt
1 cup borax
Mix together baking soda, sea salt, and borax. Add essential oil. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of stress relieving bath salts to hot bath water.
This is can also be a great gift. Buy a pretty bottle, add bath salts, and tie on a pretty bow. You can give each person on your list their own personal formula.
- Room Spray
This is a great way to have a stress relieving aroma surround you in your home.
4 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops chamomile essential oil
2 drops rose essential oil
1 drop clary sage essential oil
2 ounces water.
Add oils to water and place in spray or spritzer bottle. If you find this mixture too overpowering simple add a few drops of water to the mixture at a time until you are satisfied. You can also pick your own mix of essential oils.
- Scented Candle
For all of you out there that enjoy scented candles, this is an inexpensive way of having a one of a kind scented candle. You can turn any unscented candle into a designer candle by simple adding a few drops of essential oil to a candle wick. You need to wait at least 24 hours before you can burn the candle. As the candle burns down you may need to add an extra drop or two of essential oil.
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© 2009 Susan Hazelton