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::: Introduction :::Top   

This brief guide is not written as a substitute for a full and proper consultation with a qualified Aromatherapist but as a basic introduction to the world of aromatherapy.

Information is provided for guidance purposes only. It is not meant as a substitute for the advice of your medical professional. You should carefully read all product packaging and labels. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your medical professional. As with most alternative remedies the benefits said to be received from their usage are usually based on historical information, sometimes passed down through the centuries. All products shown are offered in good faith and their usage is at your own risk.

Aromatherapy is the art of using natural aromatic pure essential oils, derived from various parts of plants or flowers. They have many different uses and their therapeutic properties are very varied. Each essential oil has its own distinctive smell - the "aroma" in aromatherapy. Scientific experimentation has shown that aromas can influence the brain, for example by relaxing or stimulating brain activity. The "therapy" of aromatherapy refers to the therapeutic benefits of essential oils to help with enhancing general well-being, improving the psychological and emotional state and assisting with certain illnesses. Aromatherapy also has an increasingly important part to play in reducing stress for many people in today's busy lifestyle.

Essential oils contain small molecules that enter the body through the skin and bloodstream. Once absorbed, the essential oils are directed around the body to affect the various organs according to the properties of the relevant essential oil. Essential oils can also be absorbed through inhalation.

The use of essential oils can have a significant impact on our emotions and our health. Many thousands of years of knowledge tells us that different oils can affect us in many ways. Whether you are looking to be more relaxed, more stimulated, more romantic or simply seeking a better night's sleep there is probably an essential oil that can help you.

::: How to Use Essential Oils :::Top   

Body Massage
The most effective way of using aromatherapy. When using essential oils in massage, it is very important that they be diluted first in an appropriate carrier oil such as grapeseed, sweet almond or peach kernel oil. Carrier oils can also be beneficial to the skin and will assist in the absorption of the essential oil. For one massage, use a tablespoon (about10 ml) of carrier oil and add up to 4-5 drops in total of your chosen essential oils.

Most essential oils are ideally suited for use in the bath. Add a total of up to 8 drops of essential oil just before you get in. Swirl the water around to ensure complete dispersion of the oil. Be careful not to let the droplets have direct contact with your skin as some oils may cause irritation. If you are new to aromatherapy, it is a good idea to dilute the oil first in a small amount of vegetable oil or milk and then add this solution to your warm bath. Soak for about 10 minutes.

Add 5-6 drops to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl allowing the water vapour to carry the oil to your nose. Inhale deeply for several minutes. Alternatively, add 1-2 drops of essential oil to a handkerchief, hold near you nose and inhale.

Half fill the bowl of a candle vapouriser with water and add a few drops of essential oil. Light the candle. Be careful not to let the bowl burn dry. You can also add a few drops of oil to a pot pourri or to the water in an atomiser as alternative methods of room fragrancing. If you are feeling particularly lazy, you could always use a bulb ring or invest in an electric vapouriser.

Add 5-6 drops of essential oil to a small bowl of warm water. Place a piece of cotton cloth on the surface of the water, allowing it to soak in the liquid for a minute or so. Wring out the cloth and apply to the part of the body needing treatment. Compresses are normally placed on the neck, forehead arms or legs.

Dermal Application
Most essential oils should not be used directly on skin but need to be diluted first in a good quality carrier oil or base cream. As a basic guide for adults, use 1 drop of essential oil for every 2 ml of carrier oil / base cream. For the very frail and elderly, halve the number of drops of essential oil used. For babies, use a mix containing only 1 drop of lavender or chamomile to 15ml of carrier oil / base cream. For children 1-6 years, use a mix containing up to 3 drops of lavender, chamomile or tea tree oil to 15ml of carrier oil / base cream. For children 7-12 years, use as for adults but halve the number of drops of essential oil used.

Some of the more expensive oils, such as Rose, Jasmine or Neroli, make an exquisite base for your very own designer perfumes. Why not experiment a little - you could be amazed by your own creations.

::: Caution! :::Top   

Before you use pure essential oils, please note the following:
  • Never take essential oils internally.
  • Never use essential oils neat, unless properly advised by a qualified Aromatherapist.
  • Never use essential oils on damaged, inflamed or broken skin.
  • Never use essential oils on babies and children, unless suitably diluted.
  • Never use essential oils if you suffer from epilepsy, high or low blood pressure or are pregnant, unless properly advised by a qualified Aromatherapist.
  • Never use bergamot or citrus oils if you are going in the sun or using a sunbed.
  • Always keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
  • Always take care with sensitive skin.
In summary, essential oils to avoid with::
  • Pregnancy: basil, black pepper, camphor, cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, sweet fennel, thyme.
  • High Blood Pressure: basil, black pepper, camphor, clary sage, ginger, juniper, rosemary, thyme.
  • Low Blood Pressure: juniper, marjoram
  • Heart Disease: basil, black pepper, clary sage, ginger, juniper, marjoram, rosemary, thyme.
  • Epilepsy: basil, black pepper, camphor, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, juniper, marjoram, neroli, peppermint, rosemary, sweet fennel, thyme.
  • Sensitive Skin: basil, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, rosemary, sweet fennel, thyme.
  • Sunbathing: bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange.
  • Babies: all essential oils except chamomile and lavender.
Our product pages show appropriate warnings by each essential oil. If in doubt, always consult a qualified Aromatherapist or your medical professional before using pure essential oils.
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