Even when we put effort into our health and fitness, the busyness of life creeps up and catches us out. Happily, there are wonderful, natural ways to support us through the ups and downs, or help perk us up when we’re not feeling quite right.
Herbs and natural plant oils have been an effective part of our medicine cabinet for thousands of years. In more recent times, the use of natural plant extracts has been developed into the holistic treatment of aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy.
Know Your Essential Oils
Here are just a few examples of the many essential oils available and a brief idea of how they can help.
- Lemon – An excellent natural stress reliever, so it’s ideal if you’re feeling low and need an invigorating pick-me-up.
- Eucalyptus – Relieves congestion, heals skin ailments such as bruises, burns and blisters, and combats cold sores.
- Ginger – Settles the stomach, eases nausea, fights inflammation and it’s good for your skin.
- Lavender – A soothing oil that promotes relaxation and sleep. It’s also good for healing burns and is thought to help ease anxiety and stress.
- Clary Sage – Great for stress, treating skin conditions, and alleviating menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
- Peppermint – Helps with digestion and digestive issues such as IBS, acts as an energising mental stimulant, and eases menstrual cramps.
- Jasmine – This has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s handy for general skincare and conditions as such psoriasis. It can also enhance your mood and promote restful sleep.
So How Does This Work Then?
Essential oils can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. You can do this in several ways.
- Diffusion – All oils have distinctive smells, so using them in a diffuser or oil burner will fill the room with a refreshing and uplifting aroma.
- Soaking – Pamper yourself with a few drops of oil in a hot bath for a relaxing and indulgent treat.
- Massage – Combine the healing properties of aromatherapy with a soothing massage to ease tissues, muscles and joints. This is best done by a qualified aromatherapist or massage therapist who will apply the oils while you relax.
- Steam – Clear a blocked nose by popping a few drops of oil in hot water and breathing in.
The Power of Scent
Our sense of smell can have an extraordinary effect. It links straight to our brains and every scent stimulates a different reaction. We can feel calm, invigorated, hungry or happy, and it all starts with a deep breath.
Natural ingredients soothe and heal in many ways but don’t forget essential oils have a powerful effect, even if they’re organic. For some, certain oils can cause allergic reactions so it’s always wise to take professional advice before you start to use them.
If you know you suffer from allergies or have a specific condition you should always consult your doctor before starting anything new. A qualified aromatherapist can also advise and prescribe a course of treatment. Aromatherapy can help or provide support in many situations, but for the best results you should find the right oil for your circumstances, so it’s good to do some research and talk speak to the right people.
Generally, a combination of oils is far more effective than using a single one and it’s important to get this combination right. Again, an aromatherapist can help and we also recommend AromaWeb as a trustworthy source of information.
We all deserve a little ‘me’ time so turn off the phone, fire up the oil burner and breathe.