Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years across many cultures.
It is a holistic approach to healing that uses essential oils to improve the mind and body. Essential oils have certain properties that aid in treating and preventing a variety of issues, from migraines to insomnia.
You can use essential oils in a variety of forms, depending on your preference. If you need a little jolt of alertness or relaxation on-the-go, you can waft the oil from a bottle. You can also put a few drops of an essential oil into your warm bath water for a relaxing and sense-stimulating experience.
Always dilute your oil with either water or a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil. Before applying any oil to the skin, do a skin patch test to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
Here are the essential oils you should stock in your cupboard.
Lavender oil is probably the most popular essential oil, known for its calming properties and ability to improve the quality of sleep. You will often find lavender in lotions or creams that will say “relaxing” or “soothing” on the bottle. These are good to use before bedtime if you face difficulties falling asleep.
Try combining 10 drops of lavender oil with 1 ounce of water into a spray bottle then spray it on your pillow for a soothing scent when you go to bed. But before you do this, make sure to check that the lavender oil won’t stain your sheets or linens.
If you don’t want to make a spray and prefer a more lazy approach, then simply waft a bottle of lavender oil before you go to bed to immediately calm your mind and prepare yourself for a state of relaxation.
Lavender oil can also be used in a calming face toner, but make sure you dilute it with either water or witch hazel.
Eucalyptus oil is known for its invigorating scent and ability to relieve congestion.
If you’re suffering from sinus congestion, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of boiling water, place your head over the bowl, and inhale the steam. Your sinuses will start to open up and you’ll find yourself able to breathe a little better.
This oil is also good for soothing a cough and is something you want to keep nearby when you’re sick. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the side of your pillow before going to bed so you’re breathing in the oil while you sleep, and make sure it won’t stain the material.
Known as one of the most energizing oils, peppermint is perfect if you have a headache and need to ease some tension.
Dilute a few drops of peppermint oil with some water and then dip your fingers in the mixture. Rub your temples with the diluted oil and it will help relieve any tension you have in that area.
If you’ve had a stressful day complete with a migraine, add a few drops of peppermint oil to your nighttime bath. Turn off any harsh lights and breath in deep. The peppermint oil will help ease your migraine and hopefully prevent it from getting worse.
Lemongrass is a plant that is often used in cooking and herbal medicines. It’s well known in aromatherapy for relieving stress and anxiety, so try diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil and rub it into your temples next time you’re feeling stressed.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re feeling sore after an intense workout, add a few drops of lemongrass to an unscented lotion or a carrier oil and rub it into the areas of your body where you feel tight or sore. The lemongrass can help soothe the areas and prevent the pain from worsening.
Aromatherapy provides a natural approach to healing that utilizes your senses for therapeutic benefits. Essential oils don’t work for everyone, but I recommend giving them a try as you will still reap the benefit of a welcomed boost to your mood.