In 2001 I embarked on a learning journey into aromatherapy and natural health, which followed an already established passion in all things wellbeing.  That means when it comes to relaxing, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

This week I’m going to share with you the wonders of aromatherapy; where it started, how it works, what it works for, and a few oils to get your aroma-juices flowing.

Where did it start?

Aromatic oils have been used for thousands of years to soothe, stimulate and heal the mind and body. There’s evidence that Egyptians used essential oils for treatments such as embalming and even Hippocrates claimed an aromatic bath was the key to good health. Soldiers in the Second World War were treated with essential oils and around the 1950’s it turned up in beauty treatments and massage. Over the years aromatherapy has become increasingly popular and continues to be used for a whole range of treatments including massage, as an aid for mental wellbeing, beauty, physical relaxation or healing, and medical herbalism.

Does it work?

Over the past 30 years there’s been a growing interest in the effectiveness of aromatherapy, and many scientific trials have been undertaken.  There is clinical evidence pointing to it’s positive effects on emotional, physical and mental wellbeing; for example pain relief, skin conditions, depression and anxiety.  Tea tree is known as an effective natural antibiotic, and more effective than some of the orthodox antibiotics against certain strains of bacteria.  Lavender is known for it’s soothing properties on both mind and body, and many hospitals use aromatherapy for its therapeutic effects and positive impact on patients health and wellbeing.

B. Ali et al, stated in the conclusion to their systematic review…

“From above reports and study, we can conclude that aromatherapy is natural and noninvasive gift of nature for humans. It’s not only the disease symptoms which are eradicated but the whole body is rejuvenated by the use of aroma. Aromatherapy regulates the physiological, spiritual and psychological upliftment for the new phase of life”
(ref 1)

Give these a try for yourself

Soothing Bath Blend – just fill the bath and add the oils
> 5ml of grapeseed oil with 3 drops of lavender essential oil – mixed together
> 2 drops of pure geranium essential oil
> 1 drop of petitgrain essential oil

Goodnight Lavender Pillow
Drop 3-4 drops of pure essential lavender oil onto your pillow. For a more gentle smell, put the drops under your pillow.

Rosemary Foot Bath
Great for tired feet – Just stir into a bowl of warm (not hot) water.  Relax and soak for 15 minutes
> 2 drops of pure rosemary essential oil
> 2 drops of pure camomile essential oil
> 15ml of cider vinegar

Peppermint Compress 
Relieve tired eyes – Save your used peppermint tea bags and apply them (cool and damp) to both eyes to lessen redness, puffiness, and tiredness.  Leave for 10-15 minutes

Storage: Can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours

A few ‘oil benefit’ facts

  • Black pepper is used to reduce anxiety and is good for aches, pains and muscle fatigue
  • Bergamot helps to promote a calm mind and is balancing for the skin
  • Geranium balances emotions and skin
  • Jasmine is great for boosting self-confidence and nourishes the skin
  • Lavender is soothing for mind and skin conditions
  • Neroli lifts your spirits and nourishes the skin
  • Rose Otto is a great comforter in times of stress or emotional dis-ease
  • Sandalwood promotes mental clarity
  • Ylang Ylang soothes emotions and creates a sense of calm

You can experience the wonderfully relaxing benefits of aromatherapy during some of the treatments at the Flourish therapy room.

Ref 1:  B. Ali; N. Ali et al. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review


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