Aromatherapy was invented in modern times, when a French parfumier burned his arm. He plunged it into the nearest vat of liquid (which happened to be lavender oil) and as it healed with no scars, he discovered the secrets of those who knew the benefits in years gone by. Below are the most sustainable brands in (mostly) plastic-free packaging.
Clarity Blend (Berkshire) is a brand created by a couple from the Bulgarian countryside. The containers are made from glass and bamboo, with rubber-capped glass pipettes and metal roller balls. All delivery boxes are in kraft paper with easy-to-recycle filling and biodegradable peanut pellets. Mix 5 to 6 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil.
Avoid aromatherapy for pregnancy/nursing or affected medical conditions (asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure). Keep essential oils away from pets (air rooms before allowing back in rooms and keep them away from scented (or any) candles and scented laundry or cleaning products (citrus oils are toxic). Avoid use if pets sleep in bedrooms.
Rather than use essential oils in cars, replace toxic ‘tree’ air fresheners with charcoal bags to absorb odours (can even remove cigarette smoke). Scent-free probiotic sprays are safer than essential oils.
The simplest way to use aromatherapy oils is to swish a few drops in a warm bath, or adding a few drops to base oil to use as a massage oil. For areas safe to use essential oils (see above), this plastic-free diffuser needs no heat or water and has a scent intensity control button and automatic switch-off.
how essential oils can heal
Just the Essentials is a wonderful guide by the founder of a natural beauty company (she also wrote a great book on natural skincare using kitchen ingredients), on how essential oils work, and how to use them to heal your skin. Adina Grigore was a real skeptic and changed her mind after studying them. This is a fresh and fun 21st century guide to the oils you may find on dusty shelves of indie health stores, an entertaining look at the oils available, safety guidelines and DIY recipes to get you started.