This beginner’s guide to aromatherapy can give you a crash course on the benefits of aromatherapy, should you choose to use it. Aromatherapy was developed in the west after a French perfumier burned his arm and plunged it into the nearest vat of liquid, which happened to be lavender oil. His arm miraculously healed with no scarring, and it became popular here thereafter.
Avoid essential oils for pregnant/nursing or allergies/illness. Avoid near pets (air rooms before allowing them back in). Do not use essential oils, if pets sleep on your bed. Avoid shea butter for latex allergies. Do not use essential oils or allergy oils on babies.
Used for medical and beauty use, don’t take aromatherapy oils internally or if you have epilepsy, asthma or other medical conditions, unless under guidance of a fully qualified aromatherapist (they should also not be used during pregnancy or nursing, or near young children.
Essential oils are very strong, made by distilling rose petals to rosemary leaves. You can use the odd neat drop of tea tree oil to zap a spot or swish a few drops in a full bath, but usually they are blended with a carrier oil, and used for massage. They have a very interesting history and are very powerful: in ancient Egyptian times, bodies were massaged with myrrh to preserve them as mummies. And in Tasmania, there is an island where a man bitten by a deadly spider managed to save his own life by using the local tea tree plant – amazingly, both the plant and the spider only live in that area of earth – could nature be telling us something?
Some essential oils are photo-toxic, which means they could cause reactions if you go out in the sun. So if using on a sunny day, wait for a few hours before you venture out under the beams of sunlight.
Books on Aromatherapy
- The Family Guide to Aromatherapy will show you how to mix the right oils to help everything from acne and anxiety, to indigestion and insomnia. Learn about the honest limitations and potential risks, along with aromatherapy for every life stage, and each chapter includes safety watch-outs. Includes a glossary of 30 common essential oils.
- Just the Essentials is a well-written book by natural beauty expert Adina Grigore. She was sceptical of the benefits, until she began to research them, and now offer a full history and tips to use them for acne & tooth infections (tea tree oil), circulation, pain & headaches (cinnamon oil), and digestion and cleaning (peppermint oil). If you have heartburn, peppermint can actually make it worse by forcing food back up again as it relaxes your digestion system, but for other stomach problems, it sometimes helps.
- Essential Oils for Soothing Anxiety includes profiles on the 10 best essential oils for calming including bergamot, cedarwood and lavender, along with soothing rituals for massage, meditation and breathing techniques.
- The Ultimate Guide to Aromatherapy is a lovely introduction to this popular form of health and beauty. Aromatherapy involves steaming the oils from natural flowers, to produce oils that when blended with carrier oils, are often used for massage. You can also swish a few drops in a full bath. Includes recipes for a Hand & Body Wash for Flu Recovery, Tummy Massage Oil for indigestion and Self-Love Botanical Perfume.
Green Tulip Cold Pressed Aromatherapy Oils
Green Tulip Organic Cold Pressed Oils are ideal to use with essential oils for massage on the body. Cold-pressed oils retain more plant nutrients and these are also free from pesticides and solvents. All items are sustainably sourced, and organic or Fair Trade where possible. Choose from jojoba, sweet almond or argan.
- Woody Pure Essential Oils are in 3 fragrances: cedar atlas, clove bud and frankincense
- Pure Floral Essential Oils are in four fragrances: geranium, lavender, ylang ylang and rose absolute (20%) in jojoba oil. Use 5 to 10 drops to carrier oil for a massage oil or in baths. Best within 24 months of opening.
- Pure Citrus Essential Oils are in 3 fragrances: orange, lemon and bergamot.
- Pure Medicinal Essential Oils are in 5 fragrances: lemongrass, tea tree, patchouli, peppermint and rosemary.
Essential Oil Mist Diffuser
Do not use this around pets, babies or during pregnancy/nursing.
Essential Oil Mist Diffuser is a plug-in retro yet modern design with a shell-like exterior made from bamboo. In light grey, pink or lavender grey, it’s fitted with a standard plug that complies with British safety standards. It also has a timer function to set for 1, 3, 6 ours. Just place on a flat surface, remove the shell and fill the container to the maximum water mark level. Add 5 to 10 drops of pure essential oils, then pop the shell back on. Plug in, switch on and enjoy a fine scented mist throughout your room. The diffuser will automatically switch off, when the water container is empty. Full instruction leaflet on use and maintenance included. Sold in a kraft card gift box, with some plastic packaging (recycle with household waste or at supermarket bag bins).
Aromatherapy Pulse Point Roll-Ons
These aromatherapy pulse point roll-ons are expertly blended and made by hand in Kent. Made from a base of safflower oil and an aromatic blend of pure essential oils. To use, just roll into your wrists, neck or any pulse point and reapply as desired, through the day. You can buy them individually (better than a set, as a few have rosewood oil, which is from an endangered tree). Ones to try are:
- Sleep (lavender, chamomile, vanilla, sandalwood, verbena)
- Serenity (sandalwood, frankincense, lemongrass, ylang ylang, clary sage)
Natural Lavender Wheat Warmers
Small Country Birds Lavender Wheat Warmer is ethically made from pure cotton. Filled with real lavender and wheat grains, heat in the microwave for effective pain relief, to mold to any part of the body. The Parus design reflects the splendour and charm of Britain’s Romanticism area. The cover can be machine-washed. Also in long tail birds design with cherry blossoms and birds drawn by hands, inspired by Japanese fashion trends in 19th century Britain.
Lavender & Cherry Aromatherapy Pillows
This lavender & cherry stone aromatherapy pillow is made with organic lavender and natural cherry stones, to you to relax, unwind and restore peace and calm. Made in the UK, it’s good to relieve aches, pains and tensions, and also idea for a yoga meditatin practice. Made from unbleached calico cotton, it has a cotton inner bag and also contains organic lavender flower buds and natural cherry stones. Sold in cardboard sleeve packaging, and made with wood sourced from sustainably-managed forests.
The Aromatherapy Companion is a book by two leading voices, to learn the science of how essential oils interact with our sense of smell, brain pathways and skin. The guide includes over 35 plant profiles plus recipes and blends for health and beauty. Included are remedies for digestive health, immunity and women’s health concerns. Recipes include a Hand & Body Wash for Flu Recovery, Tummy Massage Oil for indigestion and Self-Love Botanical Perfume.