The basic elements of aromatherapy are essential oils. Essential oils are defined as the essence of a plant and are strong and volatile in nature. These essential oils are extracted by different processes.
However, currently the most common form of distillation is steam distillation. Essential oils are usually too strong to be used by themselves and require a carrier oil made of vegetables, nuts or seeds.
Organic essential oils are safer for therapeutic use. Some common applications of essential oils for the purpose of aromatherapy are oils, baths, facials, massage, candles and ambient fragrances. Any of these methods can be used as holistic therapy for the mind, body and spirit.
When using essential oils in massage, always dilute the oils in a carrier oil prior to application to the skin. Essential oils are very powerful concentrates, and unless indicated otherwise,
should not be directly applied to the skin.
Essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin.
There are instances when experienced aromatherapy users and practitioners make exceptions to this precaution, but only once significant essential oil knowledge is gained should you ever attempt to apply it undiluted.
Lavender and tea tree are listed by a large number of aromatherapy sources as being oils that can be used undiluted. Undiluted use of lavender and tea tree, however, should only be done on rare occurances as severe sensitivity still could occur in some individuals.
Again, the safest rule of thumb is to never use any essential oil undiluted.
If properly cared for, essential oils can have a shelf life up to seven years.
Direct sunlight and exposure to air are most damaging to essential oils. Keep your oils
out of the sun and make sure the caps are tightly secured.
Try to keep your oils in a cool dry place. They are sensitive to extreme temperature
A trained aromatherapist can help you find the right essential oils at the right concentrations for your particular needs.
For more info, download Aromatherapy, a free ebook.
Carrier Oils are the oils that carry the essential oil.
There are a wide variety available including the following:
• Almond Oil - very easily absorbed by the skin, is very smooth, has little smell, keeps well, contains vitamin D and has beneficial effects on hair, dry skin and brittle nails
• Apricot kernel Oil - light, contains Vitamin A, particularly good for use on the face if the skin is dry or aging
• Avocado Oil - heavy, rich in nutrients, very good for dry aging and sensitive skins
• Evening Primrose Oil - helpful for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, only keeps for about 2 months after opening
• Grapeseed Oil - light, good for oily skin, one of the least expensive oils
• Olive Oil - can be used in a pinch, but has a strong smell which may compete with the essential oil
• Hazelnut Oil - penetrates the skin very easily and is deeply nourishing
• Jojoba Oil - light, rich in vitamin E, beneficial for spots, acne, dandruff and dry scalp
• Peach Kernel Oil - light, contains vitamins A & E, very good for the face
• Soya Oil - easily absorbed, rich in vitamin E
• Sunflower Oil - contains essential fatty acids, rich in vitamin E, has a slightly nutty smell
• Wheatgerm Oil - contains vitamins A, B, C and E, firms and tones the skin, reduces blemishes, can help to reduce scar tissue and stretch marks, has a strong smell.
The right blend of essential oils could help change your life and improve your overall well-being.
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