What is aromatherapy? Information about the therapeutic use of pure essential oils
by N J Howell
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Aromatherapy, as a complementary alternative medicine modality, involves the use of essential oils extracted from plants. These volatile essential oils are used topically and also sniffed for beneficial effect. I have used essential oils in my own health regimen for so long that I can't really remember not having them around. Some of my personal favorites are peppermint, tea tree, oregano and rosemary.
Purity matters. I definitely advocate getting pure oils. A lot of the "aromatherapy oils" you may find at pampering types of spas or at drugstores are not pure. The more additives that are used, the more chance of an allergic reaction. It's also important to get quality oils if you are going to use them for any type of medicinal purpose. One very unique way essential oils may assist the body in healing is called the raindrop technique.
Uses for aromatherapy:
In my own life, I primarily call on aromatherapy and essential oils for pain relief, relaxation, stress reduction, antibacterial, insecticidal and antiviral applications. For example, oregano oil, diluted in olive oil and applied to my neck and around my ears is one of my tried and true remedies to stop a cold before it takes root.
Another very common use of EO's in my own life is the use of peppermint for pain relief and relaxing oils in bath salts for stress reduction, soothing sore muscles and inducing more restful sleep. learn more about aromatherapy or, if looking for essential oils, I recommend organic essential oils.
Tea tree oil is useful for so many applications. I use on bites, scratches and scrapes. before going into crowded areas like malls or hospitals, I dab tea tree oil around my ears (believe it or not, most airborne bacteria and virus enter thru the ears) and under my nose. I use tea tree oil if I ever feel I'm developing a fever blister too.
Essential Oils as Bug Repellents:
I also favor essential oils as natural insect repellents and use thyme and oregano to protect against termites and ants, citronella to keep mosquitos at bay and tea tree oil for mold and bacteria control.
Aromatherapy and EO's in Massage:
I use massage oils with essential oils in them and insist that my massage therapist use these rather than the commercial creams and oils which can often irritate my skin and which impart no healing properties that I can sense or feel. My very, very favorite is an organic essential oil blend called Badger. I LOVE Badger massage oils. Just as an interesting sidenote, as a healer, Badger is one of my strongest totems..... Their sore muscle blend is fabulous and I also love the one with birch. In fact, I take both to every massage and my massage therapist blends them. They don't stain her sheets either....maybe because my body loves them so much it just gobbles them all up.
Aromatherapy for air freshening:
I use lemon oil in my sink and toilets for odor control and also keep a bottle of lemon oil spritzer for going through the house periodically and freshening the rooms. I like to put a combination of lemon oil and tea tree oil on a small piece of paper towel and slap it on the main air conditioner vent while the air is on, so that the antivirals and cleansing properties are sent through all the vents. In particular, I do this lemon / tea tree purification process whenever someone visits who has a cold or flu or when I have the flu and don't want to spread the germs to my family. I also wipe down door handles, the toilet flush lever, cabinet doors, etc. with teatree oil and spritz rooms as well.
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Health Disclaimer: Aromatherapy is not presented as any type of substitute for any needed medical attention. There are aromatherapy oils that can be hazardous if misused or not properly diluted. These include rue, wormwood and pennyroyal. Be wise with your health and consult with a qualified aromatherapist whenever you choose to use essential oils to address physical, mental or emotional issues. Recognize what aromatherapy is: a form of self-treatment involving personal responsiblity. Aromatherapy or the therapeutic use of essential oils is not presented here as replacement for any medical attention or evaluation you may need.