Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy based on holistic principles, using the application of essential oils to improve mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Oils can be applied, diffused and used a variety of ways.
When choosing essential oils you will need to take into account the effect you would like them to have on you and your environment.
How do I use essential oils?
In the bath
Using essential oils in the bath is an extremely effective way of influencing mood, although rather wasteful as much of the essential oil sticks to the sides of the bath. Add essential oils to a spoon or two of oil or soap solution and add it to the bathwater just before you get in. 10 drops in 10ml (2 teaspoons) oil or soap solution, or directly to the water.
A footbath is useful when someone is immobile or too fragile for other methods.
Dosage: up to 6 drops in 10-15ml (2-3 teaspoons) of carrier oil or lotion.
Essential oils can be diffused into the air through dry heat, steam or mist or by fan-assisted evaporation. This is an effective way of changing mood, purifying the atmosphere or getting essential oils into the respiratory system.
Fill a plant spray bottle with water. To each 300ml add 8-10 drops of essential oil. Shake bottle vigorously before each use, as oils do not dissolve in water.
Which oils can be dangerous?
Below is a list of some of the traditionally accepted contraindicated oils for specific conditions. There is little scientific research to support most of these contraindications.
Basil, cinnamon, clary sage, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, origanum, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme
Mint, parsley, sage and jasmine (research has shown that jasmine inhibits milk production in lactating mothers)
High blood pressure
Cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme
Low blood pressure
Clary sage, garlic, lavender, lemon, marjoram and ylang-ylang
Fennel, hyssop, rosemary, sage and wormwood
Care when using machinery or driving
Clary sage and vertivert
Care if drinking alcohol