Also known as essential oils therapy. Essential oils are taken from a plant's flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, rind, or roots to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The oils can be mixed with another substance (such as carrier oil, alcohol, or lotion) and then put on the skin, sprayed in the air, or inhaled. You can also massage the oils into the skin or pour them into bath water. Because essential oils are so highly concentrated, it is not often recommended that you apply essential oils in their pure form directly to the skin. It is believed that fragrances in the oils stimulate nerves in the nose. Those nerves send impulses to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion. Depending on the type of oil, the result on the body may be calming or stimulating. The oils are thought to interact with the body's hormones and enzymes to cause changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other body functions. Another theory suggests that the fragrance of certain oils may stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.
Aromatherapy Mood Blends
Aromatherapy is based on the principle that natural fragrances, or essential oils, from certain plants or flowers can affect our moods, and consequently how we think or feel at any given time.
In fact, practitioners of Aromatherapy base their entire belief system on the ideology that essential oils, or aromatherapy oils, have medicinal benefits – including antidepressant and antibacterial properties, and plenty in between!
Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects on their own. For instance, lavender is a widely known calming agent, whereas peppermint is a mood lifter. Other oils are blended to achieve a desired physiological or psychological effect. Blending ylang ylang with grapefruit relieves stress.
The following are popular essential oils (and blends). Add a few drops into a diffuser, a pot of hot water, or simply to a cotton ball to achieve the desired effect.
*Do not apply drops directly to your skin; blend with carrier oils or lotions if you want to apply it that way.
Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Patchouli, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang
Bergamot, Chamomile (Roman), Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood
Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange, Rosemary
Bergamot, Chamomile (Roman), Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood
Chamomile (Roman), Lavendar, Mandarin, Sandalwood
Chamomile (Roman), Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Rose
Basil, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary
Clary Sage, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang
Most Popular Essential Oils
Each essential oil comes with its own therapeutic benefits. Lavender is a stress reliever; peppermint is a natural energy booster. With so many essential oils available, it is sometimes difficult to learn which oil is best for your specific needs. I have compiled a list of some of the most common essential oils and what the benefits are of each.