Aroma essential oils
For those moments when you feel yourself prantically vibrating with stress, an aromatherapy bath can be extremely relaxing. Aromatherapy also works in the shower, where a zippy rosemary - or spearmint-scented soap can provide an invigorating jump start to your day, and it's a pleasurable addition to any massage oil. Although die-hard aromatherapists dabble in 300 essential oils, most of us, for the purposes of bath and body care, can satisfy our needs with dozen of product.
Because pure essential oils are so strong, commercial products are always diluted with a "carrier" oil. The best carriers are almond, apricot kernel, grapeseed, safflower, and sunflower oils because, unlike olive oil, for example, their scents don't interfere with the scent of the essential oil. If you want to make your own, mix a drop of two of essential oil with a few teaspoons of carrier oil.
Pure essential Oils-buying essential oils
Now that there are so many good essential-oil preparations available commercially, there's no need to mix them yourself. It's easy to buy what you need from a bath-and-body shop, health food store, cosmetics emporium, or quality pharmacy - but there are vast differences in price and quality. For something to provide an aromatherapeutic benefit, it must contain pure essential oils that are deried from plants or pressed from flowers.
It pays to spend a bit more on aromatherapy products, because pure, quality oils contain vitamins, antibiotics, natural hormones, and antiseptics not available in synthetic formulations. Besides, they smell nicer. Products that contain pure essential oils will say so, and this is what you want. Watch out for phrases like "extract of....," "essence of....," or "aromatic oil of...."-these are ways companies fudge about exactly what's in a product. Most often, products labeled Oil of Rose, Oil of Geranium, and so on are inexpensive synthetics. Unfortunately, most mass-market drugstore brands are worthless. Here are some companies you can turst:
- Essentiel Elements
- L'occitane Aroma Vera
Studies conducted in Japan and France have also suggested that inhaling different essential oils can shorten or lengthen alpha or beta waves in the brain, resulting in a feeling of calm or of stimulus, depending on the particular oil. Researchers at Yale's Psychophysiology Center are claiming that certain scents can reduce stress and increase alertness. But because our sense of smell is so subjective, proof that plant deep into the psyche is hard to come by. In the meantime, aromatherapy smells good, it softens our skin, and it makes us feel good. And that's good enough for me.
Best essential oils-healing and treating
1)Bergamol- Stimulating, energizing
2) Chamomile- calming, soothing to skin
3) Eucalyptus- Strong, invigorating,
clears the sinuses
4) Geranium- Calming, uplifting
6) Lavender- Soothing, relaxing, good for burns (my personal favorite because it evokes delicious memories of
7) Mint- Stimulating, soothes tired muscles the south of France)
8) Lemongrass- Stimulating, energizing, tired-muscle tonic
10) Rose- Soothes stress, uplifting9) Neroli- From orange blossoms, soothing
11) Rosemary- Invigorating, energizing cleans the mind
13) Ylang-ylang- Soothing, calming
Essential oil tip: Look for an "Herbal Comfort Pack," a pillow stuffed with flaxseed, lavender, chamomile, or jasmine. Throw it in the microwave for a few seconds so that the plant oils fully release their scent. Place over your eyes while relaxing on the sofa or in the tub.
Warning: Pure essential oils are strong and can irritate, even burn, the skin. This is especially true of the spicy ones (clove, cinnamon, organo). The citrus oils (grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, tangerine, bergamot, neroli) are photosensitive and if applied directly to the skin can cause hypopigmentation (sun spots).