Aromatherapy For Nourished Life - By Kim Morrison - Founder of Twenty8
Aromatherapy is my life, it is my passion. It is a simple therapy and one that can make a huge difference in a matter of seconds be it emotional, mental or physical.
It is an ancient healing modality that has been around for thousands of years, however it is only in the last century that it has become more scientifically validated. Aromatherapy, put simply, is a therapy using aromas. These aromas are called essential oils, which are extracted from herbs, grass, bark, flowers, resin, peel, roots or various other plant sources.
Steam distillation is the most common method of extraction, which leaves two distinct liquids – floral water and the essential oil. Some companies will bottle and sell the floral waters as well as the essential oil. An essential oil is highly concentrated sometimes 70 times more than the plant is has come from. So the key point to remember with aromatherapy is less is best. Only a few drops are needed to make a difference.
Before you begin using essential oils it is important to understand that even though aromatherapy is a natural therapy it does not necessarily mean it is always safe. It is imperative you read and understand all contra-indications as there are some oils to be used with caution like on sensitive skin, people prone to epilepsy or high blood pressure. Some oils are said to be avoided during pregnancy or in direct sunlight. If you are unsure check with a qualified aromatherapist and have a good book as your reference or guide.
There are many fantastic ways to use essential oils including massage, vaporisation, bathing, compressing, inhalation, footbaths, spritzer and, in a few instances, directly. Here is a quick reference blending chart to give you the precise total number of drops to use for each method of use for a healthy adult. Less is required for babies, children, elderly and pregnant women.
Massage 100ml = 50 drops (2:1 ratio or a 2.5% dilution)
Body Rub 6mls = 3 drops
Vaporising 6-8 drops
Bathing 3-6 drops
Compress 3-4 drops
Inhalation 3-4 drops
Footbath 3-6 drops
Spritzer 3-6 drops
Direct Place 1 drop on damp cotton bud
Here are 10 of my most favourite essential oils and some of their properties.
1. Lavender - Lavender is calming, nurturing, relaxing and comforting. It is the 'mother hug' of all the essential oils! A fantastic oil for first aid, burns, bites, stings and wounds. Lavender is also an excellent skin care oil. Add a drop to your moisturiser and enhance the cell regenerating qualities. Lavender is a great oil for children to help calm and relax. One drop on a tissue or on the pillow can help enhance a better sleep.
2. Orange - Orange is enlightening, uplifting, radiating and celebrating. One of those 'happy' oils that makes everyone feel good. Orange is excellent to use in a vaporiser when entertaining or with lavender to help sleep. Orange is also excellent if feeling a lack of energy, anxious or stressed. Children usually love the smell of orange.
3. Geranium - Geranium is balancing, stabilising, comforting and regulating. It is excellent to help balance mood swings, relieve PMT and hormonal imbalances and helps revive congested and sluggish skin. If you feel life is like one big roller coaster with heaps of emotional extremes then this is the oil for you.
4. Frankincense - Frankincense is calming, regenerating, fortifying and comforting. One of the best oils to use in skin care as it is so regenerating for skin cells. One of the three gifts to Jesus Christ, Frankincense is renowned for its spiritual qualities. Excellent to inhale during meditation or prayer. Also a wonderful oil to use in a massage blend for respiratory conditions.
5. Clary Sage - Clary Sage is regulating, euphoric, uplifting and harmonising. It leaves you feeling uplifted and happy as it is an excellent mood enhancer. Whilst Clary Sage should be avoided topically during pregnancy it is fantastic during labour to help ease contractions. A good oil for PMT, menopause, depression, fear and anxiety. Clary Sage is a good anti dandruff oil particularly as a hair rinse after cleaning.
6. Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus is cleansing, refreshing, energising and easing. An excellent oil for clearing coughs, colds and flu, especially with a hot water inhalation using a towel over the head for at least 5 minutes. Eucalyptus is also a great aid to help relieve muscle aches and pains and is an excellent immunity booster. Applying eucalyptus directly is a safe and effective way to remove stains in clothing.
7. Lime - Lime is refreshing, revitalising, activating and enlightening. It is a great 'beam me up' oil. It is excellent to help relieve mental fatigue, congested oily skin, lack of energy and anxiety or depression.
8. Tea Tree - Tea Tree is energising, cleansing, purifying and healing. One of the most common oils used as an antiseptic for wounds, coughs, colds, rashes and acne. It is also helps treat fungal infections very effectively. Used in a spritzer bottle it makes an excellent air freshener and surface cleanser. It is a great oil to keep the body, skin and home clean!
9. Ylang Ylang - Ylang Ylang is sensual, calming, tranquillising and relaxing. Known for its aphrodisiac qualities and ability to help enhance moods, Ylang Ylang is a wonderful oil for a romantic interlude! It is good for combination skin, PMT and irritability. Remember to use in moderation as too much may cause headaches.
10. Peppermint - Peppermint is refreshing, warming, cooling and activating. It is known as the digestive remedy as it can help relive indigestion, upset tummies and travel sickness. It is excellent for cold or tired feet and a great decongestant. Peppermint is fantastic as a skin tonic and helps relieve tired achey muscles.
It is so exciting to be here and to know someone as passionate about a toxic free life as we are. We are so proud of what you have created and feel incredibly honoured to be a part of your Nourished Life Community. We all have so much to share when it comes to natural health, beauty and wellbeing and we feel very excited to be a part of your dream too!