Guest Post by Lea of Nourishing Treasures
When I first heard the term “aromatherapist,” I immediately had a picture in my mind of some crazy person who thought the world’s ailments would be cured simply by sniffing smelly things. Pretty nutty, right?
Well I have learned that picture isn’t accurate – at least not very 😉
The truth is aromatherapy is much more complicated than that. Although we might all be a little crazy, it’s true that many health issues can be alleviated or eliminated by using essential oils.
Essential oils are more than aromatic substances. Although fragrance oils are made from man-made synthetic chemicals, essential oils are extracted in different ways to produce a concentrated oil full of therapeutic properties.
Examples of therapeutic properties are:
- antiseptic (cleans wounds)
- analgesic (relieves pain)
- rubifacient (increases blood circulation)
and many, many others.
Using Essential Oils for Common Ailments
It’s helpful to know which oils contain the therapeutic properties you need in order to alleviate any symptoms you may have.
For instance, if you have a cold, essential oils with decongestant properties would be good to have around. Open your bottle and inhale, or put a few drops on a cotton ball and place near you, put a couple drops on a clay pendant, or 1-2 drops in a steaming bowl of hot water and breathe in. Eucalyptus is my favorite one to use for decongestant issues, although Rosemary and Peppermint are also good (just don’t steam with Peppermint!). Read: Inhaling Essential Oils.
Your child fall down and scrape his knee? Lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil to 1% can help soothe the burn. Helichrysum essential oil can help the skin to heal. Read: Properly Diluting Essential Oils for using essential oils with children.
Did you forget the bug spray and end up with bug bites? Tea Tree essential oil is a great choice for relieving the itch. I came up with a formula that not only helps bug bites, but rashes and other skin annoyances: Itch-Be-Gone.
Always Keep in Mind…
The important thing to remember is to know your oils. All oils have safety precautions associated with them, such as:
- some oils should not be used while pregnant and/or breastfeeding
- most oils should not be used on babies and/or young children
- many oils should not be used internally – ever
- most oils should not be applied to the skin without dilution
All essential oils are not created equal. They are similar to herbs in the fact that each herb has a purpose. Using the wrong one in the wrong way at the wrong time could not only fail to help your situation, but could actually do harm.
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Lea Harris is a newly-graduated Certified Aromatherapist residing in the mountains of New Hampshire. Find the new website, LearningAboutEOs, which is packed with lots of helpful information, “like” the LAEO Facebook Page, follow on Twitter, join the Pinterest page, and register as a member of our new forums where you will find expert advice from noted aromatherapy and best-selling authors.