DIFFUSING AROMA OILS

Essential oils for aromatherapy and massage. Row of essential oils in glass bottles, rosemary, lavender and calendula, on the wooden board.
By Kavita Shyam

Haven’t we all experienced essential oils, when we’ve walked into a spa and breathed in the lavender, lemongrass or orange blossom that greets us or when we’ve cracked opened that reed diffuser mom gave on birthday? Stock up on trusted, all natural for your well-being.  Well, if you haven’t experimented with essential oils until now, it’s time to give way to the seemingly endless options of aroma oils and incorporate them into your beauty/health regime. Aromatherapy makes use of essential oils extracted from flowers and plants by steam distillation or cold pressing. Importantly, one must know the right oil for the job, besides choosing a top quality oil. With tremendous benefits from relieving depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, joint aches—to beautifying the skin and hair, aroma oils are a boon to humanity!

To help you master the essential oils aisle, we’ve got you a lowdown on aromatherapy, so get set for some pretty robust results. Put these oils together, and you have a blend that helps you put a positive spin on practically everything.

  1. For a therapeutic effect, add the oil into a bath. You could try mixing a few drops of your essential oils into a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream and add that to the bath water; this will help dispense the oils evenly in the water.
  2. Add them to an unscented oil or lotion. Unscented body oil is the apt vehicle for carrying the benefits of the essential oils into your skin. However, an unscented body lotion also works.
  3. Don’t shy away from blending the essential oils as they can be used on their own or combined to create a unique blend and end up with a more compelling benefit besides creating a delightful scent.

Some Aroma concoctions to savor life are:

  • If feeling down or angry, reach for jasmine, bergamot, lemon, chamomile, rose, tangerine, or ylang-ylang.
  • If feeling tired, reach for cardamom, cinnamon, clove basil, eucalyptus, fennel, lemon, peppermint, or sage.
  • If feeling stressed, reach for lavender, bergamot, cedarwood, frankincense, myrrh, orange, peach, neroli, or rose geranium.
  • For a quick-fix to feel happy, mix ylang-ylang, chamomile, orange, and lime.
  • If you’re moving into a new house or want to give a housewarming gift—orange, geranium, and clove bud is a great blend.
  • For a Confidence boosting shot—jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, or frankincense will surely do it. When you want to get in the mood, reach for jasmine, vanilla, ylang-ylang, or sandalwood.
  • If sleep-deprived or suffering from insomnia—blend marjoram and spikenard with lavender, clary sage, vetiver, and sweet orange will do the trick. Spray some on your pillow cover!
  • A rough patch solution—a combination of ylang-ylang, basil, jasmine, and bergamot will fix the problem.
  • For hair problems— try Tea Tree Essential Oil to repair damaged hair, eliminate dandruff, and to relieve the dryness and itching of the scalp. Mix a few drops of this oil in a tablespoon coconut oil and apply this blend over your scalp to promote hair growth. You can also add a few drops of this oil in your regular shampoo and use it to wash your hair to control hair fall problem.
  • Rosemary essential oil has significant antioxidant properties, which is proven to be very beneficial in controlling the condition of hair thinning and premature graying hence a gentle massage with this oil encourages the blood circulation, stimulates hair follicles, which in turn promotes healthy hair growth.

ALL ABOUT AROMATHERAPY

The use of essential oils dates back to ancient civilizations dating back to the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks, who valued aromatic oils and used them for religious beautifying and medicinal purposes. Today, essential oils are used in everything from foods to perfumes, to beauty treatments, and holistic healing.

Aromatherapy Expert Rupal Shabnam Tyagi gives us profound insights on aroma oils.

‘After a long day when it is time to unwind at home, often dab a blend of lavender and sandalwood essential oils onto the soles of my feet to help me relax. When my children were babies, I would apply peppermint oil onto their tummy to cure an upset stomach. And in winter, a mix of lavender, lemon, and peppermint would help me fight chest and nasal congestion for the whole family.

Aromatherapy uses the healing powers of the scents of leaves, flowers, stems, bark, seeds, roots, or peels of plants to cure ailments holistically.  Aromatherapy’s power comes from the fact that high-grade, organic essential oils are naturally healing and therapeutic. They can be beneficial for physical ailments such as stomach aches, allergies, migraines, or sore joints, as well as for finding emotional and spiritual balance. To enjoy the curative properties, smell the oil or gently rub it into your skin. You can also use oils on a hot compress, in a bath, diffuser, or humidifier. Be sure to follow instructions for use, and check the expiration dates of your oils, because some have relatively short shelf-lives, while others last longer.

The quickest way to benefit from essential oils is by deeply inhaling its aroma, and then just allowing it to envelop you. Hold the oil under your nose and breathe it in for a count of three, then slowly exhale through your nose. The effects can last up to about 45 minutes, and you can repeat this process as many times as you want throughout the day. If you want to experiment with applying essential oils to your skin, a good place to start is your pulse points—wrist, temples, neck—because the oil is quickly absorbed in these areas. Once it’s dabbed on, it works its way into your bloodstream and throughout your body. Since these oils are concentrates, do dilute them with a carrier oil, which is generally vegetable, nut, or fruit derivatives, such as coconut or olive or avocado oil. These, too, have healing qualities and also serve as a protective layer. Essential oils are a beautiful way to support relaxation, balance and clear your energies, manage stress, and contribute to overall wellness. Certain essential oils help our inner energies by helping us to relax,  move more quickly to a state of healthy balance and flow.

AROMATHERAPY FOR SKIN

Sunburn – Apply a cool compress of cold floral water which helps a lot and then follow it up with a blend of soothing balm made of aloe vera, lavender, and calendula — this will not only take care of the redness, swelling and discomfort of the sunburn but also reduce the scarring and tanning.

Prickly heat – A blend of German Chamomile, Lavender and Eucalyptus combined with Aloe Vera Gel can be very beneficial in such a condition.

Acne – Splash your face regularly with a blend of Cider Vinegar and Lavender to soothe the summer acne prone skin.

Detox- A dry skin brushing helps to eliminate the trapped toxins through the lymphatic system. For this, a soft hand towel or a loofa can be used. A few drops of thyme oil and eucalyptus oil can be sprinkled to this, and a dry skin brushing can be done starting from the feet and going upwards. Do this by using long sweeping movements towards the direction of the heart.

Stress- Aromatherapy can prove to be one of the finest treatments when it comes to mind-body balancing. It aids beautifully in reducing the stress and uplifting the mood. In adjunction to this, a regular full body aromatherapy massage with a blend of essential oils like lavender, geranium, and chamomile can be given to de-stress the mind and relax the stressed muscles. At the time of massage, oils like lemongrass and eucalyptus can be diffused into the air to clear the mind and help in uplifting the mood.

Haven’t we have often smelt a whiff of coconut or jasmine or roses and felt more relaxed and happy because of it?’