Aromatherapy is a method of therapy with the use of natural essential oils which enter the organism via respiratory tracks (sniffing, inhalations) and via skin (massages, baths or compresses). The therapy is based on the use of healing and therapeutic properties of plants in their corresponding essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants cultivated in all parts of the world. The oils appear in all parts of the plants – flowers, leaves, stems, seeds and roots. There are even plants from which you can extract more than one oil, for instance the orange tree has 3 oils in fruit skin, leaves and flowers (every one of them has its unique qualities). All oils, to a varying degree, have antibacterial, disinfecting, anti-inflammatory and even antiviral qualities. Proper use of aromatherapeutic oils stimulates immune system, enhances resistance to infections, improves blood circulation and alleviates pain. An important area of essential oils' influence concerns the human psyche. Extracting oils from plants is very expensive, which has an effect on their prices. The price is, for instance, a reflection of difficulties concerning material acquisition. For example, in order to produce 1kg of jasmine oil you have to pick 8-10 million flowers by hand, at dawn, whereas if you want to produce 1kg of rose oil, you need 5000 petals from freshly-opened flowers. The main aim of aromatherapy is the restoration of body and mind balance and the improvement and stimulation of our own, natural body defense. Aromatherapy helps to feel better, boosts temperament, makes it possible to relax and enhances self-confidence. It is a great antidote for the problems ensuing from a modern way of living, stress, irritability, the feeling of tension and insomnia.
Essential oils are fully natural plant extracts and only they possess therapeutic qualities. The natural ones usually have one dominating aroma note, which has a distinct, unique smell. On the other hand, aroma oils are compositions of natural oils with synthetically obtained aroma notes. These oils have very complex aroma notes. Synthetic fragrances are very poor when compared to the extraordinary natural aromas. They are commonly used in all types of cosmetics, but they do not bring any benefits for the skin, unlike natural oils. Unfortunately, very often they become irritating, cause allergies, skin irritation, breathlessness or headaches. The quality and the origin of oils constitute a very important element of aromatherapy. As we've already mentioned, aromatherapeutic qualities are only exposed by natural, pure essential oils, which are unprocessed, undiluted and non-synthetic. It is worth remembering that synthetic oils, which are much cheaper, do not possess such properties.
The application of diluted oils on the face or the massage of the whole body
You should add 4-6 drops of an essential oil to 15ml of base oil. If an oil prepared in such a way will be rubbed into the large areas of the skin, it will enter the bloodstream and cause general effects. A massage with the use of oils is relaxing, helps to reduce muscular tension as well as improves blood circulation and mood.
Aromatic baths are extremely beneficial in the case of insomnia, stress, as well as joints and muscles pains. You should add 5 drops of an oil or oil mix per a tub of water. Water should have a temperature of 40-45 °C. The bath should last for 20-30 minutes. Inhalations. For this purpose, you should inhale the oils with water vapor, for instance with the use of aromatherapeutic oil burners in which, with the use of a candle, one can heat up a small container filled with water and 4-5 drops of an oil. You can also use an air humidifier. Thanks to this method, the air is purified, moisturized and smells beautifully.
In order to do that you should use a wide dish with boiling water into which you should pour 3 drops of an oil. Then you should cover ourselves with a towel and lean over the dish for 10-15 minutes. It’s an effective method for problems with acne, helps in removing all impurities and cleans the pores. Facial steaming is the best way of using essential oils for respiratory diseases and severe asthma. Active substances included in an oil will, during an inhalation, very easily get through the nasal mucosa and throat up to bronchi, and from there to the bloodstream. Thanks to this, their effects will be quick, effective and will bring immediate relief.
Both cold and warm compresses can be used. You should wet a cotton fabric in the mix of water and 4-5 drops of an oil, and put on a painful spot. Warm compresses are used against arthritis, menstrual pains, joints pains and neuralgia. Cold compresses are helpful for headaches, bruises, and swellings.
Essential oils can also serve the function of fragrance in our cars, wardrobes, or even replace perfumes. In order to use the oils as perfumes, you should dilute an oil with the use of alcohol or light base oil.
Use the blessings of aromatherapy and unique properties of natural essential oils for your health and pleasant experiences.
• Choose the oils and essential oils mixes whose fragrances you like best.
• While making a mix, do not combine more than 5 essential oils. Every one of them still has numerous valuable elements.
• A maximum oil dose should not exceed: 10 drops in an aromatherapeutic oil burner, 10-15 drops in a bath tub, 10 drops when mixed with base oil for a massage.
• It is forbidden to use oils orally on your own.
• Do not use undiluted oils directly on the skin. For a massage, dissolve them in the so-called carrier, which should be a natural vegetable oil.
• Before your first aromatherapeutic treatment make a 12-hour allergy test.
Rub a drop of an oil on the skin behind an ear or on a sternum. If during this time a red spot, itching, or burning does not appear, you can use an oil.
• Do not combine aromatherapeutic baths with washing your body in foam fluids. Immerse yourself in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes and relax.
• Remember about general contraindications. In the case of pregnancy, allergy, young age, and exposing skin to UV radiation, follow the aromatherapist’s guidance.
• Choose only the essential oils of the highest quality. Use the oils when you are sure of their healing qualities
and experience pleasure connected with their beautiful fragrances.
• Make yourself familiar with the information and warnings on a package. Some oils shouldn’t be combined with medicines.
• All citrus oils increase sun sensitivity and, therefore, after using them one should avoid sunbathing for 6 hours. The most phototoxic oil is bergamot oil, the second one is a cold pressed lime oil, then neroli, lemon and grapefruit oils.
• Using essential oils during pregnancy and by people afflicted by epilepsy is not advisable.
Essential oils have wonderful therapeutic and healing properties, but if they are used in an improper way they can cause danger to our health.