Therapeutic Use of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000
years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used
essential oils in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. They are concentrated
extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants.
The efficacy of essential oils is in the speed at which they are
absorbed into the bloodstream. When inhaled through the nose, this happens
almost instantly; through the skin in as little as 15 minutes. The oils'
fragrances are believed to activate nerve cells in the nasal cavity sending
impulses to the limbic system, which is the area of the brain associated with
emotions and memory. When applied topically (onto the skin) they activate
thermal receptors and destroy microbes and fungi, since many essential oils are
antiseptic and some are antibacterial.
Purveyors of the highest integrity oils harvest particular parts of a
plant when they are considered to be at their peak for maximum results. All
plants have peak growth energy times during specific times of year, so I
recommend certain oils to coincide with this energy for even stronger effects
for healing. Working with certain oils each season is a great way to align
yourself more closely with the cycles of nature.
Aromatherapy during this Spring season of cleansing and
detoxifying, presents many choices. A quickie treatment is to put a few drops
on a tissue or cloth handkerchief and hold under your nose. Try dropping a
couple drops on your yoga mat before practice or pillowcase right before you go
Read more: 17 Uses for Essential Oils
Another effective way to use essential oils, is by bathing
in them. You only need to use 5 or 6 drops of oil in a medium sized bath of
water. Drop them into a clean tub of warm water so you can absorb the oils and
their beneficial properties INTO your
body. Save the super-hot sauna-like purging for another time. You should also
save your scrubbing and soaping off for another bath. Let the oils stay on your
skin for as long as possible.
Heliocrysum (Helichrysum italicum): Heliocrysum is harvested
mostly around the Mediterranean region, and has a ball-shaped golden flower
with a pungent, curry-like smell with a faint honey sweetness.
Greek in origin,
(helios sun and chrysos gold), the oil supports the "I Am" consciousness and is a
great aid in meditation when one wishes to contact their higher knowledge or
when seeking their karmic path. It stimulates the right hemisphere of the
brain, which connects us to our artistic and creative expression.
It has been found to be beneficial in clearing
stagnation in the liver as well as being helpful in overall detoxification
since it stimulates and supports the lymphatic system. In France, it is widely
used for respiratory issues, such as asthma and bronchitis. This oil also
provides relief from fever and other general states of inflammation and gently
soothes the body when a few drops are added to a cool cloth pressed on the
forehead or pulse points of the body.
cytophylactic properties, in that it encourages recycling of dead cells and
production of new cells. This property can be particularly beneficial for skin care, making heliocrysum excellent as an ingredient in rejuvenating facial oils.
By adding 2 to 3 drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut or olive,
heliocrysum is the ideal Spring revitalizing remedy.
Juniper Berry (Juniperus
communis): In Chinese five-element acupuncture, Spring supports the liver
& gall bladder meridians. Juniper is recommended to detoxify both these
organs and their meridians bringing balance and harmony to the body. Juniper also protects against infection and is
a perfect defense against those lingering winter colds and flu. It stimulates
the immune system to bring rejuvenation and vitality to the body after months
of hibernation and stagnation. Juniper is renowned for its diuretic and
detoxifying properties. The use of this essential oil in massage will help to
eliminate toxic wastes and release sluggish body fluids.
This powerful, detoxifying oil extracted from
the berry of the plant, is a purifier, and helps avert nervous tension. Juniper
essential oil is an antiviral, antiseptic, diuretic, and can help relieve pain,
and expel uric acid from the system.
Juniper's spicy aroma helps to strengthen
and fortify the spirit during times of low energy, anxiety, and emotional
overload. It protects against unwanted energetic influences and clears the air
of psychic debris. As it detoxifies the body, so can juniper detox the mind.
(Avoid rubbing directly on the skin as it can be irritating for some
people. It should be avoided during pregnancy.)Read more: 25 Ways Essential Oils Will Make Your Life Way Better
Spring Detox Aromatherapy Blend
Here is a wonderful combination of quintessential seasonal aromas that
instantly confer all the rejuvenating and uplift that seem to be in the air
right now. These are essential oils that everyone should have on hand as part
of a basic Aromatherapy starter kit.
4 drops of Lavender essential oil
2 drops of Bergamot essential oil
2 drops of Lemon essential oil
Add oils to a one ounce of a light carrier oil
such as raw, virgin coconut or almond. Massage on temples and pulse points. You
can also add the oils to a four-ounce bottle of purified spring water. Shake well
and spray around your head, on your pillow before sleeping at night, in your
car, or any place you want to replace old, stagnant air and energy with new.
Lavender, bergamot and lemon stimulate the
lymph system to work more efficiently, and are the easiest and most common oils
to find; their scent is pleasing and familiar to most everyone, providing a
source of comfort when used. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can
be rubbed directly on just about anyone's skin without causing irritation.