If you’re new to the world of aromatherapy, it can feel a bit overwhelming getting started. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! The good news is that aromatherapy can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. It’s a truly personal experience for everyone, and it can also be fun! Continue reading to learn more about how you can enhance your life with aromatherapy.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated mixtures made from different parts of plants like leaves, seeds, or roots. Plants contain a lot of different chemicals that are not only good for plants, but are also good for people too. However, it takes a lot of plants to make even one bottle of essential oil. For example, you need about 250 pounds of lavender flowers to make 1 pound of lavender essential oil. While it might seem like a lot, it shows that many plants are needed to make effective botanical oils.
What is aromatherapy?
People have been practicing aromatherapy for hundreds of years, which involves smelling essential oils for health benefits. Research is still ongoing on the effectiveness of aromatherapy and essential oils, but the results so far provide evidence that the practice can potentially affect our mental state and well-being. Experts believe that the aromas we inhale from the essential oils travel from our nose and directly to the brain, where it targets and stimulates areas responsible for our emotions. Aromatherapy can be done by smelling the essential oils straight from the bottle, using a diffuser, or inhaling them from a bowl of hot water.
The dos and don’ts
Now that we know how helpful aromatherapy can be, let’s dive into how we can use essential oils properly and effectively.
- DO use them if you’re stressed. Essential oils like lavender are known to help you relax and destress. You can use them to help you before, during, or after particular rough times. Aromatherapy isn’t a cure-all, but it can help take the edge off.
- DON’T use just any essential oil. Although essential oils are made out of plants, this fact can be a bit misleading for most. They have the potential to cause irritation or allergic reactions in some people. Just like any other medication or topical you buy, you should test a little bit of the oil on a small area of your skin to see how you react before you commit to using it.
- DO read the labels. Because the formulation of essential oils can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it is highly recommended that you pick manufacturers that are transparent on the oil’s source. Look for labels that detail the plant’s botanical name and the part of the plant used.
- DON’T use edible oils. Even if an oil is safe to eat, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to apply to your skin. In fact, it may cause damage, such as blisters or burns. This applies the other way around too! Essential oils are great for smelling or rubbing into your skin but are not so great when ingested and can even cause serious health complications.