Aromatherapy as a healing art attempts to distinguish itself from simple scent therapy with the use of the term ‘therapeutic grade.’ If your essential oils are not therapeutic grade essential oils, then they are probably synthetic or have been harshly extracted with excess heat or chemicals and have lost many of the healing plant compounds that make Aromatherapy such a robust healing art. If it’s not therapeutic grade, then its just a smell.
Once you get on board with the idea that Aromatherapy might be helpful, the most frequent questions revolve around how to get started? There are two ways I recommend to do this.
1) Use essential oils to fix an existing issue in your life.
2) Start with three to five broadly applicable essential oils.
Both ways allow you to begin with a small sampling of essential oils. The following essential oils are where I recommend people to begin.
1) Lavender – Lavender is very safe and can be applied directly to the skin right on household burns and sun burns. Its scent stimulates calm, reduces anxiety, and soothes anger. Great to use in a diffuser to calm children before bedtime and on test days.
2) Lemon – Why are all of our cleaners scented with lemon or pine? Not just because we like the smells, but because of their very potent anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. Use Lemon Essential Oil to boost the lemon flavor in drinks and cooking. It also enhances circulation and cellular cleansing when diluted and massaged into the skin near cellulite or lymph nodes.
3) Peppermint – Has an interesting property of both calming and awakening the mind. This bolsters mental focus for studying and at the office. Dilute peppermint into some oil and massaging onto sore and painful muscles greatly increases blood flow and acts as a natural icy-hot. Peppermint has long been regarded as a great stomach soother; it increases general digestion but also calms nausea.
4) Tea Tree – This oil has a very broad range of uses. You can think of it as a supreme anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral oil. It can be applied on areas of redness, bruises, and other areas to reduce the spread of infection in the body. Used as a general sickness fighter, it is a great cleaning agent as well.
5 ) Eucalyptus – Most noted for its ability to increase blood flow in our respiratory system, this oil has great uses around cold and flu time when we need to breathe through all that mucus. Eucalyptus has spot cleaning and several other beauty benefits as well as being a nice hand cleaner when combined with salts and oils for after tinkering around in the garage.
CAUTION: While some Essential Oils can be used internally, this practice has many more potential side effects and should be undertaken with caution, if at all.
REMEMBER: Aromatherapy can be a valuable healing modality. There are, like everything, specific cautions and details that make it safe and effective. Committing to a small investment of time and money can pay off handsomely in increased health.