A Beginner’s Guide to Aromatherapy
Coming across the right scent can bring about fond memories or begin new ones as the weight on your shoulders falls away. Aromatherapy is the ancient practice of using natural aromas to benefit a person’s well-being by altering their mood or awakening their other senses. While some alternative medicine claims may seem far-fetched, there’s no arguing with the scent of a rose and its ability to instantly change your mood and feeling of well-being.
Essential Oils and their Uses
Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids distilled from plant material and contain no preservatives. Amazon.com has a great selection as well as great deals on these oils. The potent nature of these oils and the variety of plants from which they are derived mean that you should practice using them safely. They are generally not to be ingested or, in most cases, applied directly to the skin without having been diluted with water or carrier oil.
Some commonly used essential oils include:
- Ylang ylang
There are countless other oils to choose from. Try combining a few scents to create a blend suited to your tastes. Here are a few ways to get the most from your preferred aroma:
- Make the switch to an Oil Diffuser. These look and smell great by using inexpensive unscented tea lights as an alternative to scented candles. Simply fill the basin above the candle with a small amount of water and a few drops of essential oil or an oil blend. As the basin heats up the desired fragrance will permeate your room. Bath & Body Works has great coupons on oil diffusers all throughout the year.
- Treat yourself to a Fragrant Bath with just 8-10 drops added to a tub filled with water.
- Make your own Massage Oil. Combine about 10 drops for every ounce of carrier oil. Massage oil should be mixed at the time of intended use to insure the integrity of the oil.
- Create a personal Body Spray or Perfume. Start with a clean spray bottle and up to 2 cups of distilled water. Use a fairly unscented alcohol to bind the oil to the solution, about 3 tablespoons. Dilute with carrier oil as needed. Perfume makers have often used techniques that combine top notes, middle notes, and base notes. Top notes are sharp, often citrus, and evaporate quickly. Middle notes last longer than the top notes and anchor the overall blend, usually with a floral scent. Base notes stick around after the others have gone with a soothing, sometimes earthy, fragrance.
- Affect your Clothes and Bedding by mixing oil with unscented laundry detergent, as needed. Add a few drops to a clean cloth for a fragrant run in the dryer.
You can create your own custom products by adding essential oils to unscented lotions, soaps and much more. As these oils have a very strong scent, it is best to add only as much as will get the job done. Whether it’s a seasonal scent or a reminder of spring in bloom, it doesn’t have to take much to find a little peace.
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