Essential oils are liquid substances extracted from leaves, stems, roots of plants and wood that may be aromatic or have certain therapeutic properties.
Since antiquity man has had a special relationship with aromatic plants, having used them for preparing remedies and perfumes. Well known historical figures such as Cleopatra knew of the healing power of plants and took advantage of their curative powers.
Scientists have placed a new focus on plants once again in the hope of finding a cure for the many incurable diseases presently inflicting our society. It is now considered scientific fact that essential oils can contribute in a positive way to our physical and emotional wellbeing.
These are some simple and basic applications for Essential oils:
Bath: aromatic baths with essential oils are highly therapeutic, particularly in the case of bruising, muscular pains, fatigue and stress. They are great for relieving everyday tensions, lifting your spirit and for relaxing. Choose your favourite essential oil and place 3 to 6 drops in your bath or alternatively 3 drops of each essential oil if you are using 2 essential oils. A simple and relaxing combination would be 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of sandalwood. Essential oils are not soluble in water therefore you should dissolve them in a little bit of milk before placing in the bath.
Inhalation: this method is particularly effective for relieving cold, flu and sinus symptoms. It is also very useful for relieving nervous tension and headaches. Place 2 to 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a basin filled with hot (not boiling) water, place a towel over your head and the basin and breathe the vapours for 15 to 20 minutes.
Massage: using essential oils in massage is very effective for relieving physical stress. Before using any essential oil for massage it should be diluted in a carrier oil (see Carrier oils). Most essential oils may not be applied directly onto the skin as besides being toxic they may cause allergies, burn the skin and cause nausea (see Precautions). Body massage with essential oils combines the benefits of a vigorous massage with the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil itself. To prepare you own massage oil mix 10 drops of essential oil with 20ml (2 teaspoons) of a carrier oil.
Compress: aromatic compresses are very effective in relieving pain or reducing inflammation. Cold water compresses are recommended for headaches, fever, inflammations, burns and recent sprains. Warm or hot water compresses calm menstrual pains, earaches, cysts and are recommended for old bruises and muscular pain. To use this method place a cloth or gauze with a blend of essential oil, carrier oil and water on the affected zone.
The information presented is purely informative and introductory. Before starting any treatment we strongly advise you to consult your doctor or qualified practitioner.