The word aromatherapy often appears in my articles, so I would like to share some simple tips on how you can use it to enhance the quality of your environment and to help improve your mood. First, go to your local health food store and check the lovely assortment of flora and fauna sitting there on the shelf! Always make sure it says 100% pure on the label. This means exactly what it says without that marker you may be purchasing artificial oil which will not have the same healing value. You can, of course, purchase essential oil online but going to the store allows you to sample scents prior to buying.
If you or anyone you live with has allergies, be very mindful when making your selection. Avoid the strong scents at first such as eucalyptus or tea tree. Though they have great therapeutic value, they can be very overpowering when introducing aromatherapy for the first time in your home. Try the more simple and equally beneficial scents of citruses! Grapefruit, sweet orange and even lemon are fantastic! Bergamot, a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit and the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea, is one of my favorites. Most people will not have a problem with these scents (unless they have a food allergy to them). In addition, they have the familiarity factor which make people feel comfortable and welcome. Citrus scents are great to use in those dark winter months to bring a little sunshine in your home and combat depression.
Lavender is known as “the mother of all aromatherapy scents.” It blends beautifully with almost everything including the essential oils I have mentioned so far. It is known to have an adaptable quality because it has a dual effect, in that if you are feeling down it can be very uplifting. If you are feeling restless or hyper, on the other hand, it has a calming and soothing effect. It is also very effective when you are itchy from a mosquito bite! It is safe to put on undiluted and directly on the skin. With most aromatherapy oils, however, it is recommended to mix/dilute prior to application.
I have always enjoyed the ceramic or glass type diffusers, which use a tea candle beneath them (see photo). They are very inexpensive, attractive and easy to clean. Always place water in the bowl almost to the top before the oil (seven to ten drops is usually sufficient). Do not put the oil by itself as it will burn up. To clean them (about once a week ) put some rubbing alcohol in the bowl for a few hours and then take a scouring pad and it should clean up well.
Imagine the home where you grew up or your local garden. What kind of flowers and trees were there? Did you have rose bushes? How about Geranium (aka the poor man’s rose?) Both of these scents can be very curative and are great for issues of the heart. We had lilac trees around the house where I grew up. To this day it is one of my favorite scents and always brings me back to the beauty of springtime. There were cedar trees around too. Cedar is a very grounding scent. All of the “tree” scents are grounding.
The use of aromatherapy is amazing on an airplane, but remember to be mindful of the other passengers of course! If you open the bottle quickly and sniff you will get the benefit without disturbing others. You may be surprised they may get a whiff and enjoy it! Why use it on an airplane? For several reasons: the air can be very stale and the right scent such as a citrus, lemongrass or peppermint can really help you feel more refreshed. Cedar, as mentioned, is very “grounding.” If you are nervous about flying and not being connected to the earth what a great way to trick your mind into feeling a bit more grounded and have a restful flight. Speaking of rest, lavender has a relaxing quality that can help you sleep on the plane.
Lastly, be aware that essential oils, therapeutic as they are, can be harmful in certain situations. For details visit: http://www.naturesgift.com/warnings.htm