Harnessing the power of essential oils with the ancient art of aromatherapy.
A scent can be a powerful thing - transport us to another time or place, calm our anxiety or make us stop for a moment. A scent can also be very therapeutic, and can be used to address many things from anxiety to quality of sleep. Aromatherapy has been around for years. It dates back to ancient civilisations in India, Egypt and China. It has become a popular practice in modern times for those that seek a more natural way of addressing common conditions and ailments.
Here's what you need to know;
What is aromatherapy?
"The use of aromatic plants and herbs primarily using pure essential oils as a form of therapy" according to the Australasian College of Aromatherapy. While there is a body of research into aromatherapy and its use is still growing, there are studies that have found it may be effective in various ways, from improving restorative sleep to relieving anxiety and improving mental wellness. Aromatherapy can also be used for chronic pain management, depression, stress and also helpful with some cognitive disorders.
How to choose essential oils.
The quality of the oils you choose is critical to your practice. It is important to understand that not all oils are created equal.
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts of various fruit, flowers, leaves, stems, grasses, roots and bark. The method of extraction allows the components to retain their bespoke aroma.
Quality can be affected by purity, extraction method and how oils are stored. It pays to do your research when understanding the brand, its practices and ingredients used. Always look for oils kept in casings that keep it in the dark. Light can change the composition of essential oils. They must be kept in casings that protected it from light.
Whilst it is important to understand the botanical names, it's often difficult for brands to put all that information on labels. Make sure you understand the underlying ingredients in any essential oil blend. Often you are buying a 10% pure or 50% pure blended with bulking agents.
Production of essential oils in Australia is regulated by standards set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, making sure Australian products are kept in check. Look for locally made products for the best quality. Of importance is knowing your product has been bottled and packaged in Australia to Australian standards.
How to practice aromatherapy.
Essential oils have two pathways into the body. Through your olfactory system (smell) or via the skin.
If you want to use an essential oil diffuser, six to eight drops of essential oil blends are enough for one-three hours in a 100ml diffuser. If you are applying to your skin use your roller blends for the right ratio. This can create a warming sensation on your skin. Depending on the carrier oil, you can use on any area of skin to create a nourishing and soothing moisturiser.
If you are looking to take a break and indulge in an afternoon soak, use one to three drops, add some drops of your roller blend refill bottle to add some moisturising Moroccan Argan Oil, or add whole milk in the bath as it is running to disperse the scents and oils.
It is important to know your own skin. Whilst essential oils are natural, there are some safety issues to consider. Some people do have allergies to certain elements in essential oil blends. Know the ingredients, and if any irritation occurs discontinue use. It's good to know what our skin likes and what it doesn't, but normally, because all the ingredients are natural, you'll most likely find the irritation goes away quickly. Read the details, follow the directions and never apply pure oils to the skin undiluted.
Consider essential oils like a condiment in your food. A few leaves of herbs are enough to flavour your food. This is the same with essential oils. They are sometimes more than 70 times potency, so they are very strong. A few drops is more than enough to entertain the scent. It is important to know that essential oils are not for everyone. If you are pregnant, lactating, suffer from epilepsy or have respiratory or hormonal symptoms you may not be able to use them. We encourage you to look to expert advice if this is you.
To reap the benefits of aromatherapy, make it a way of life, blend them into your rituals, make it part of your wellness practices and your daily routines. Make a space in your home and your schedule for you to benefit from natures nurture. You'll find this new habit will soothe your senses effortlessly at the end of any kind of day.
"Knowing the difference between how I felt on prescription sleep drugs versus using aromatherapy has made me rethink my daily routines, rituals and practices." Tess
Simply put, life is hard enough. Open your rituals to nature's elixir and reap the benefits of nature with plant based products.