Aromatherapy is a popular way of using essential oils because it works in several ways at the same time. Your skin absorbs essential oils and you also breathe them in. Aromatherapy is so good for you!
The use of pure essential oils from plants dates back many centuries, and the history of aromatherapy is in many ways part of the history of herbal medicine as a while. The Arabic countries are credited with first discovering the process of distillation of oils, around a thousand years ago, and since then their use has spread both eastwards through the Indian sub-continent and westwards into Europe. Much modern research has taken place, for example, in France, ranging from perfumery applications to medicinal uses as powerful anti-infective agents.
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances – pure oil of rose, for instance, may require 5,000 roses to make just 5ml (1 tsp) of oil! For this reason they should be treated with respect and used sparingly – small is definitely better (and cheaper). In large doses many essential oils can become somewhat irritating to the skin and a few are quite toxic if not used correctly.
Since a large part of their effect on our moods and emotional states occurs through our sense of smell. It is important not to use any individual oil for too long, as they become tolerated and less useful. As a general rule, do not use and oil on a daily basis for more than 10 days. Similarly, do not inhale or mix too many oils together at one time; to olfactory centre in the brain becomes confused and an excess of essences can cause headaches or even nausea. Three of the most four oils should be the maximum; two may be better.
A common way to use essential oils for self-treatment is in the bath. Place 6 drops on the surface of the bath water just before entering. The drops quickly form a thin film over the surface which adheres to the skin and is partially absorbed, helped by the warmth of the water. For oils such as peppermint, which can make the skin tingle if used in large amounts, just 3-4 drops, whereas with a mild and generally very safe oil such as lavender, 10 drops can be used. If using a blend, the above suggestions represent the total number of drops to use in the bath. For compresses, use a maximum of 5 drops in a small bowl of hot or cold water.
Another important method for using oils is diluted into a base vegetable oil and applied to the skin in massage. For home use a general dilution rate should be 1 per cent; since essential oils are usually sold in dropper bottles, thus means a maximum of 20 drops per 100ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of base oil. Different cultures over the centuries have favoured various vegetable oils for massage, mostly dependant on local availability. Probably the most versatile oil is that of sweet almond; it is absorbed well into the skin and helps to nourish the skin too. Other good base oils are Grapeseed, Sunflower and Safflower, the lightest oil of all is Coconut, but it may become solid at cool temperatures.
I really hope this blog post wasn't too boring and I do hope that it really did help some of you out in some way. Have a wonderful day beautiful's!
With love, Alisha Valerie. x