Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing purposes; it is used in health spas, hospitals and at home to ease pain, enhance mood, and promote a sense of relaxation.
Essential oils are pure oils that are extracted from different plants and plant parts like the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, etc. These are then processed in such a way as to keep the “medicinal properties” of the plant fully preserved. Each essential oil contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines the healing properties of the oil.
How to use aromatherapy for lung problems: Inhale the steam from a bowl of hot water that contains a few drops of highly concentrated essential oils. A combination of eucalyptus, thyme, and lavender is beneficial. You can also use an oil burner
Kinds of Essential Oil:
- Benzoin: Vanilla-scented gum extract from an Asian tree. It is used in inhalation mixtures as it eases restricted breathing.
- Basil is used in aromatherapy for sharpening concentration, for its uplifting effect on depression, and to relieve headaches and migraines. Basil oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Bergamot is one of the most popular oils in perfumery. It is an excellent insect repellent and may be helpful for both the urinary tract and for the digestive tract. It is also good for skin conditions linked to stress, such as cold sores and chicken pox, especially when combined with eucalyptus oil.
- Jasmine is used as an aphrodisiac
- Chamomile: very relaxing antispasmodic oil that relieve tension headaches and insomnia.
- Eucalyptus: One of the best oils for respiratory complaints. Eucalyptus oil is particularly good for relieving the feeling of congestion and may be helpful to people with emphysema.
- Fennel: One of the best detoxifying oils available.
- Geranium: a rose-scented oil that is refreshing, it has antidepressant properties and is a very good treatment for nervousness and exhaustion.
- Jasmine: A relaxing, euphoric aroma makes jasmine a great mood lifter.
- Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic, to soothe minor cuts and burns, to calm and relax, and to soothe headaches and migraines. Lavender oil is mild and generally very safe, 10 drops can be used.
- Lemon oil is uplifting and anti-stress/anti-depressant. In a Japanese study, lemon essential oil in vapor form has been found to reduce stress in mice.
- Lemon oil is one of the least expensive and versatile oil.
- Orange oil: An uplifting and detoxifying oil that helps to combat fluid retention and muscular aches and pains.
- Peppermint oil has a strong cooling effect when used topically. It is an ideal treatment for tension headache, nausea, vomiting during pregnancy; and arthritic pain because of its analgesic and antispasmodic properties. Peppermint oil may also be added to hot water to relieve bronchial symptoms.
- Rose is used as an aphrodisiac.
- Sandalwood: heavy-scented oil with anti-depressant properties. It is also used as an aphrodisiac.
- Tea tree oil is known for its germ fighting properties. Any essential oils can be added to this oil to give a much nicer smell.
- Yarrow oil is used to reduce joint inflammation and relieve cold and influenza symptoms.
- Ylang-ylang: a strong scented oil from Indonesian tree it has a sedative, yet antidepressant action. It is good for panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
- Rose essential oils usually require 5,000 roses to make just 5ml (1tsp) of oil! For this reason it should be used sparingly.
- Aromatherapy generally affects our moods and emotional states therefore it is important not to use any individual oil for too long, as they become tolerated and less useful. As a general rule, do not use oil on a daily basis for more than 10 days.
- Do not inhale or mix too many different oils together at one time because an excess of essences can cause headaches or even nausea. Three or at the most four oils should be the maximum; two may be better.
- A good way to use essential oils for self-treatment is in the bath. Place 6 drops on the surface of the bath water just before entering. The drops quickly form a thin film over the surface which adheres to the skin and is partially absorbed, helped by the warmth of the water.
- Another important method for using oils is to dilute it into carrier or base oil (vegetable oil) and apply it to the skin. Common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil.
- Buy good quality aromatherapy oils. Blend small amounts at a time, as their healing properties deteriorate when in contact with air. Store in cool, dark place.
- Benefit of aromatherapy is best when essential oils are used in a highly diluted amount.
Warnings: Never take essential oils internally unless directed by a trained practitioner.