Aromatherapy: A Fragrant Way to Feel Better

We don’t always think of Aromatherapy as being a healing modality. Many times, we think of Aromatherapy as essential oils which are wonderfully fragrant, but not in the healing realm. Actually, there is an essential oil for any health issue you may have. Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years in China, Egypt, and India. The Persians enjoyed essential oils around the tenth century as they used it for the oil, making balms and resins. Essential oils were used for religious as well as medical purposes many years ago.

Aromatherapy or essential oils are used today to help with many health issues as the oils are inhaled and used on the skin. Because our skin breathes and is porous, oils go directly into the skin, bypassing the digestive system where they will enter the bloodstream where they will be delivered to the necessary systems and organs.
There are several ways to administer essential oils. One way is through a cool-mist diffuser that sends an oil mist through the air for not only a fragrant experience but a healthy experience as well. Another way is to inhale the essential oil directly from the bottle, which is an economical way to enjoy the healing properties of an oil. Adding a drop or two of a carrier oil such as Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, commonly known as EVOO in the culinary world. I mentioned EVOO last, as it is a heavier oil but if you have a larger area on your body you want to apply an oil, EVOO may be your best bet. All these oils glide on easily and will spread nicely over the part of your body you wish to zero in on.

Applying Essential Oils

One of my favorite ways is rubbing an oil mixed with a carrier oil on the bottoms of your feet. I know, many of you may be uncomfortable with massaging your feet or putting an essential oil on your feet, or allowing someone else to apply an essential oil to your feet. However, our feet have the largest pores, so oils travel rather fast to places in which your brain directs the oils. Because the pores on the bottom of our feet are so large, it takes seconds for an oil to arrive at its destination. You can also experiment with adding essential oils to fragrance-free creams for your skin. Being a reflexologist, I realize how important it is to take care of your feet. Allow yourself the luxury of giving your feet, hands, and ear lobes the benefit of a short massage. Adding an essential oil will make a huge difference in your health as well as your body, mind, and spirit. Massaging your feet also relaxes you so the oils can help alleviate your health issues.

The one way I do not suggest using an oil is by burning the oil in an oil burner, This can cause the oil to go rancid and not be very beneficial to you or the room you are burning it in. Oils are powerful! They pack a punch that no other modality does.

Which Oil Should I Chose?

There are many oils available through a plethora of companies. Some oils are single oils and there are other oils that are considered blends or combination.

Peppermint
One of my favorite fragrant oils is Peppermint. It smells divine, wakes up your senses, helps you stay alert, cleanses your breath, calms your stomach, relieves a headache or nasal congestion, helps relieve cranky joints in your body, as well as improve your concentration and enhance your focus. Peppermint is a potent essential oil, so many times it is best to inhale the oil from the bottle or even mixing a drop of peppermint with a carrier oil and rub on your feet or diffuse.

Lavender
Lavender Oil is one of my favorite calming oils. It is also one of the more versatile oils. I use lavender oil in sachets to place in my drawers, as well as create heating pads with lavender oil and buck wheat kernels for those days when I just desire that AhHa moment. You can also rub a drop of lavender oil on your feet for a calming effect. Lavender oil is good for sunburn and chapped or sunburn lips when you mix a few drops in a spray bottle with distilled water. I like to put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and place it in my pillow case. The scent helps me fall asleep. A drop of lavender oil helps alleviate motion sickness by placing a drop on the tongue, behind your ears or around your navel. It is also great for insect bites as it will stop the itching while reducing swelling. Mixing a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil will help people with eczema or dry skin. Do you have an itchy scalp or dandruff? Lavender oil is great for your scalp. Just rub a few drops of the oil on your scalp. You will enjoy that AhHa moment. One of the benefits of lavender oil is it repels moths and insects. Some people sprinkle a few drops of the oil on a cloth and hang it in their closet. As you can see, lavender oil is such a versatile oil which can be used in many ways. Try it! If nothing else, it will help reduce your stress.

Lemon
Lemon Oil is by far my favorite citrus oil. It contains compounds that have wonderful effects on the immune system. It is great if you are groggy and need a wake up call. I like to keep a bottle of lemon oil in my car if I start to get drowsy while driving long distances. Lemon oil has such a clean scent and is wonderful for cleaning and disinfecting areas in your home. It also is good if you want to lose weight, A few drops of lemon oil in warm water in the morning helps cleanse your digestive system and satiates your stomach so you may not eat as much. Lemon oil is also great for the skin as it cleans up acne, removes excess oils from your skin, and tightens pores and firms up the skin preventing wrinkles. It can also brighten your skin and give you that soft healthy glow. Diffusing lemon oil can help purify the air and eliminate allergens which may hamper one’s day and clear up sinuses from allergies, colds or flu. It is also a great mood lifter and helps with concentration and staying focused.
CAUTION: Do not go out in the sun or go to a tanning bed if you have applied lemon oil or any other oil in the citrus family for seventy-two hours as they are photosensitive to the sun rays. In other words, you may experience an uncomfortable burn. Having said that, it advised to use oils such as lemon, lemon verbena, orange, bergamot, lime, tangerine, orange, mandarin, or angelica with caution if you plan to go out in the sun or visit your favorite beach.
Tea Tree & Melaleuca
Tea Tree Oil or Melaleuca is your first aid kit in a bottle. It is extracted from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia plant. This oil is a wonderful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal oil which helps heal and eliminate undesirable health issues. It is great for cuts and scrapes and is also has effective anti-inflammatory properties which will help with psoriasis, acne, eczema, and other potential skin inflammation. Tea Tree Oil is very effective in treating staph infections, such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, sinus infections, and upper respiratory infections. In addition, tea tree oil is a wonderful disinfectant and can be used to clean surfaces such as counters, washing machines, or places where people have placed their hands. It is also a marvelous natural hand sanitizer. This amazing oil can also help those suffering from dental issues such as gingivitis, thrush, and general mouth bacteria. This amazing oil is also an anti-fungal. So if you or someone you know has toe fungus, have them dab tea tree oil on their toes and watch the fungus disappear. It may take a while, but the results are so worth it. If you have an itchy scalp from dandruff or your children come home with head lice, applying tea tree oil in their shampoo so it glides nicely on their head will help eliminate the insects and kill the eggs.

You will definitely want to have Tea Tree Oil available as it is known as a “First aid kit in a bottle.” It is more cost-effective than other products out there, and it’s in One Bottle!

Thieves Oil
I would be remiss if I did not write about Thieves Oil. This oil is from a particular company and is a blend of several oils which makes this oil an antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory… Really, I call Thieves the anti All oil. Put it on your feet and within twenty-one seconds it has traveled through your system and gone beyond the blood-brain barrier. The main oils in Thieves are cinnamon, cloves, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and radiata. Thieves oil is used as a cleaner with vinegar and water mixed in a sprayer bottle. It is also great for sore throats, dental care, colds, flu, headaches, and just helps to eliminate that blah feeling, and also great for cleaning bacterial surfaces, and cleaning appliances. Thieves oil is one of those oils you will want to have around when children are in your home. Thieves oil is handy for cleaning children’s toys. We all know children tend to put toys into their mouths, and this oil is great for preventing children from spreading germs.

There are many essential oils as well as essential oil companies that offer a wide range of oils. Check the companies out, try some essential oils and experiment with the suggestions I made in this chapter. Get out of your comfort zone and fly!
Warning: It is vitally important when using any essential oil to make sure you wash your hands before you touch anywhere near your eyes. Many essential oils are high in Phenols that is an oxygenated compound which can cause a burn on the skin or can be toxic if not properly administered. When an essential oil causes irritation, Do Not attempt to alleviate the burn with water, that will only enhance the burn. Always make sure you have a carrier oil nearby and apply the carrier oil to the site. Carrier oils will alleviate a burning sensation in seconds.  
***If you want more information on the healing aspects of certain essential oils, contact Healthy Living with Marilyn.