Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Aromatherapy at Home

Next time you peel an orange - watch the minute droplets that squirt out of the peel; this is Orange Essential Oil! Not all essential oils exist quite as readily as in orange peel - for example, it takes up to one tonne of Rose petals to produce just 300g of Rose Essential Oil!

Essential Oils are concentrated plant oils that occur in leaves, barks, resins, flowers, fruit & spices. The Bitter Orange Tree produces 3 Essential Oils - Sweet Orange Essential Oil from the fruit peel, Petitgrain Essential Oil from the twigs & leaves & Neroli Essential Oil from the Orange Blosoms.

Essential oils are extracted in different ways - usually by expression or pressure. All our essential oils are steam distilled, so no chemicals are used in the process to extract these precious oils.

Each Essential Oil has its own unique profile & can be used to ease everyday complaints, from headaches & muscle pain to digestive disorders, eczema & fungal infections.

Can Essential Oils be used directly on the skin?
Some essential oils such as Lavender & Tea Tree can be used neat on isolated areas, for example on spots & bites. As a general rule - you will need to dilute your essential oils before use, as they are highly concentrated. You can do this by adding approx 3-5 drops of essential oil to 10ml of a carrier oil such as almond or apricot, or milk/base cream.

How to use Essential Oils

There are many ways that essential oils can be used. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Health & Beauty

Hair Rinse: Several drops of an essential oil can be added to jug of warm water as a final rinse after washing the hair. This will help to cleanse an itchy scalp of dandruff & leave the hair strong & shiny. Great essential oils for hair & scalp include: Bay Leaf, Lavender & Rosemary - which encourage hair growth & help combat problem scalps.

Aromatherapy Facial: Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to yoghurt or unscented cream for a toning & conditioning homemade facial cleanser to remove make up & dead skin cells. Select a carrier oil & essential oil blend to massage into your face to improve skin tone & reduce inflammation & dull, congested skin. Here are a few suggested Essential Oils for different skin types.

Oily skin: Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Grapefruit
Sensitive Skin: Chamomile, Lavender
Mature/Dry Skin: Rose, Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli
Black heads & Spots: Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree
Thread Veins: Rose, Chamomile
Eczema & dermatitis: Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium

Body Oils: Body Oils are a great way of feeding your skin with the caring qualities of essential oils. They can help ease skin conditions, be used to treat conditions such as cellulite & poor circulation. To make your own, you will need: a Carrier Oil, Essential Oils.
Alternatively, choose from our selection of ready-blended Body Oils:

Lavender & Geranium - relaxing & soothing with a sweet, flowery aroma. Geranium is also believed to be a natural anti-depressant. Great for stiff muscles & skin complaints.
Kalahari Watermelon - with zesty lime & may chang. for a refreshing skin tonic. Helps to detox & enliven dull, congested skin.
Island Flower - with organic ylang ylang, exotic, soothing & balancing. Great for all skin types.
Frankincense & Myrrh - Spicy & warming, an energising skin tonic. Excellent for dry, thirsty & mature skin

Baths: A great way to experience essential oils is to soak in a bath with them! You can add approx 10 drops of essential oil, or an essential oil blend to your bath water.
Relaxing Blend: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Mandarin, Chamomile
Energising Blend: Frankincense, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit

Don't forget our Aromatherapy Baths Salts, ready blended with pure essentials oil to match your mood!

Inhalations: Add 4-8 drops of an essential oil onto a tissue, for colds, congestion & coughs. Essential oils - such as Lavender can also be sprinkled on the pillow to help conditions such as insomnia. Add a few drops of Frankincense Essential Oil to a bowl of steaming water & breathe in the vapours to help with chest infections & to relieve stress :)

Home & Pets

Room fragrances: Essential Oils can be used on Oil burners & vapourisers to release their fragrance & aromatic properties into your home environment. They can be used to scent your home, to promote a calm & peaceful setting & to help keep colds & germs at bay.

Immune Support: Ginger, Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree, Manuka
Calming & Relaxing: Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Mandarin
Meditation & Yoga: Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli
Focusing & Energising: Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, Grapefruit

Essential oils such as Lavender, Eucalyptus & Peppermint can be applied to your pet's shampoo or a drop added to their collar to repel fleas.
Lavender is great for cuts & wounds - the smell will also stop your pet from biting at it when it is healing, if that is an issue & also prevent infection. On dogs, you can drop a drop of lavender onto "flea hotspots" - for example the back of the neck, behind the ears & base of the tail. As cats wash themselves & so might ingest the essential oil, it would be preferable to wash their bedding with some lavender essential added or put a drop on the back of their collar.
Citronella is another good essential oil to use as a fly-repellent, you can use this in a shampoo base/on bedding/collars/coats etc. For horses - you can use it in a water based spray & spray over the coat to ward off any pesky insects!