Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extract, and they impart powerful healing powers though their wonderful aroma, as well as their ability to permeate the bloodstream. Specific oils have specific properties that can be beneficial towards targeted symptoms. They have the ability to help fight viruses, boost our immune system, stimulate circulation, relieve aches and pains, and even encourage cell regeneration. Essential oils can be used therapeutically, or simply for overall health and happiness, they are also very enjoyable to use whether you enjoy them as an air freshener, during massage or in scented baths.

A brief look on how they function:

The non-greasy aromatic molecules evaporate and permeate the air. As we inhale these molecules, they travel to our olfactory receptors where the information about the aroma is transmitted to our limbic system in the brain. The limbic system not only processes the aroma, but also influences our emotions, our production of hormones, our immune system as well as our nervous system. This is how the aroma of these oils has the ability to affect some of our basic functions.

After the ‘aroma’ of the molecules has been processed by our brains, they continue to travel into the lungs and into our bloodstream where they can now act on individual cells. These molecules can also be absorbed directly from the skin where they can also enter the bloodstream, go to internal organs and lymphatic systems.

Ideas how to Incorporate Aromatherapy in your life:

Aromatic Uses

1. Direct Inhalation

– Simply inhale scent directly from bottle or use a diffuser.

2. Air Freshener

– Add 25-50 drops of essential oil to ½ litre of distilled water and pour into spray bottle. Spray room to freshen up and benefit from the essential oils. Shake before each use.

3. Cupped hands

– This is a quick and easy way to directly inhale essential oil. Simply apply 2-3 drops of the oil to the palm of one hand, rub your palms together and then cup your hands around your nose and mouth. Inhale deeply to benefit.

4. Steam inhalation

– This is a great method for anyone with sinus problems, respiratory ailments, or with colds and flus.
– Use a large heat proof bowl and fill it halfway with steaming water, then add between 3 to 6 drops of essential oils (single or blend). Place towel over your head, lean over the bowl and use the towel to trap in steam. Inhale deeply for 5 to 10 minutes.

Here are a few ideas for aromatic uses:
Anxiety: Lavender, Patchouli, Ylang-ylang,
Confidence: Ginger, Lemon
Happiness: Orange, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Sinuses Congestion: Eucalyptus

Topical Uses

1. Massage (Full body, or Specific Area)

– Massages are effective for our physical, mental and emotional health. They stimulate circulation, help release toxins from our tissues, release tension and improve our overall health. Adding essential oils to the lotion adds the properties of the oil to the treatment. In this way we can create a powerful healing aid to our massages.

– Mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of essential oil per ½ litre of unscented natural body lotion or botanical oil such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. For specific ailments use 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.

2. Scented baths

– A perfect way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils while invigorating the skin, senses and spirit. Simply add 8 drops of essential oils to 1 cup water and add to the bath, or dilute oil in 1 ounce carrier oil first if you have sensitive skin, then add a few drops of the oil mixture into the bath water. Please use caution as some oils are skin irritants and should be avoided in baths.

– I encourage you to try soaking in a soothing rose infused bath, or an uplifting blend for relaxation and enjoyment!

Here are a few ideas for topical uses:
Backache: Eucalyptus, Marjoram
Constipation: Black pepper, Fennel (massage abdominal clockwise right to left)
Chest Infection: Eucalyptus, Fennel, (massage chest area)
Depression: Chamomile, Jasmine, Melissa
Muscle sprain: Marjoram, Lavender (massage on affected area)

Other ways to benefit:
Discuss with your qualified aromatherapy practitioners for how to benefit from the following methods.

1. Compress

– Add essential oils to your hot and cold compresses used for physical injuries, or for aches and pains. By adding the right oils you can increase the power of healing.

2. Mouthwash, Gargles & Gum Massage

– Essential oils can be helpful for mouth problems such as ulcers or gum disease, or simply for optimal oral hygiene.

3. Hair and Skin Care

– Can help ease any dryness or oiliness of the skin and scalp, assist regeneration of skin tissues, improve circulation of blood to your skin, and improve hair condition. Select oils that best match the healing properties for your specific skin type or hair type for the best results.

– Simply add essential oils to unscented shampoos, conditioners, lotions and cleansers. Always use a high quality natural product with no added scents, and then add 8 to 10 drops per ounce of product.

Caution
Always consult a qualified practitioner when using essential oils, extra caution should be taken for the following:
-Using oils for ingestion as not all oils are safe for consumption.
-Using oils with children
-Using oils topically, as some oils are skin irritants and should be avoided
-Using oils if you are pregnant, have a medical condition, taking medications, taking homeopathic remedies as there can be some contraindications
-Always keep out of reach of children, and always dilute oils before applying to the skin.

Whether using aromatherapy for special occasions or every day, I believe they are a highly beneficial to help heal and soothe your spirit. They are a wonderful complementary approach to help achieve overall health and happiness.

Michelle Cloutier

Nutrition & Lifestyle Educator at Refresh Natural Health
I am crazy passionate about empowering and educating others to take responsibility of their health, as I have seen such incredible transformation and believe everyone has the ability to be healthy and happy. My focus is on the education of healthy eating of high quality living foods and products that nourish and supports our body's ability to detoxify and heal. I incorporating digestive health, mind-body connection and lifestyle choices in order to enhance our overall quality of life. I am a Whole Food Nutrition & Lifestyle Educator, an Hippocrates Health Educator, and a Certified Raw Food Chef.