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A Basic Guide To Essential Oils

May 27, 2008
Many people would have heard of aromatherapy, which is a form of therapy used to relieve minor ailments and improve health, and general well-being. Aromatherapy works hand-in-hand with the use of essential oils, which are the oils, extracted from plants, roots, seeds and bark. They are extracted mainly for the scent particles and therefore are not truly oils when in this form. These oils can be applied onto the skin, inhaled or taken orally.

Some essential oils are not always suitable for massaging, in which case some of the massaging oils are produced to be easily absorbed into the skin. Proper massaging oils have very specific scents and consistency, making it easier to rub into the muscles. Using essential oil may be too difficult to rub onto the skin and will have a thicker (often grainy) consistency to it. It is also important to remember what effects each essential oil has on you and how it will benefit you.

Couples may use these oils to create a certain mood or use it to create a desired aroma for a romantic setting. One of the more popular scents is sandalwood, rose, frankincense, jasmine and clove. These are so used because they evaporate into the air at a slower rate than any other oil, which allows the couple to enjoy the aroma for a longer period. They are also popular for their relaxing and calming sensations, when lit as a candle or on an oil burner.

Running warm baths using essential oils to relieve colds and flues are also a popular method of aromatherapy. Some of the oils that are effective in unclogging blocked noses are eucalyptus oils, peppermint oil and lavender oil. Lavender oil can also be mixed with chamomile oil, to aid in people suffering from insomnia or are generally light sleepers. Neroli is considered powerful herbal oil that is also used to relieve depression and insomnia.

Other oils such as rose, chamomile and lavender can be very beneficial for the skin, keeping normal skin looking moisturized and radiant. Frankincense, neroli and rose have also been a popular treatment for ageing skin, as the impact of smoke, poor nutrition and dehydration can cause premature ageing. This can be applied and mixed in with rapeseed oil or lanolin-free body cream. Cedar wood, lemon and rosemary have also been known to treat oily skin preventing spots.

Some oils are even used to improve mental functions such as your memory. This is something you generally do not think about until it begins to diminish and can be caused by poor nutrition of the brain and being exposed to external free radicals. Rosemary is generally used to help with this, which is either used for inhalation in baths or used to massage onto your head. This oil along with peppermint, lavender and cardamom is good for mental fatigue - again this is best taken in a bath or inhaled by diluting it in a carrier oil.

Essential oils have been an integral part of our method of improving general health and well-being for many centuries, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. These were originally a form of perfuming the body, until their true benefits and properties were studied to treat common ailments and relieve infections. Ancient India have also identified as Ayurveda (which is a medical treatment using dried herbs) and practise using these herbs as an existing form of medical treatment.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on essential oils, as she uses the aromatherapy principle to lead a more holistic lifestyle.
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