Sunday, July 02, 2006
Aromatherepy Alternative Healing
Here is yet another wonderful article by my friend Jen Bones owner of The Goddess Gift Shop, I was going to do an article on aromatherepy myself, but then "Bonesy" sent me this one, and it is so good and thoroughI no longer feel the need to, enjoy!
By Jennifer Bones
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the scents of various plant extracts to assist in healing the mind, body, and soul. The use of aromatherapy dates back over 5,000 years and has recently been rediscovered as a method of holistic healing.
The most famous Egyptian technique using aromatherapy was embalming. However evidence exists to show that aromatherapy was also used in cosmetic and medicinal applications. During the same time, records from China indicate that hundreds of plants were identified to exude healing aromatic properties. Ayurvedic medicine, which spans the history of India, has always incorporated aromatherapy into its healing methods and spiritual practices.
The ancient Greeks were quick to adopt aromatherapy from Egypt and began using olive oil as a base. Romans learned these methods from Greece and were soon using scented oils in their famous baths. Although Native Americans and other native cultures around the world continued to utilize the effects of plant extracts, after the fall of the Roman Empire the recorded information on aromatherapy was lost and Western Civilization would have to re-learn everything. (Not one of the most efficient cultures, eh?)
It took the scourge of the plague during the Middle Ages to begin to rekindle an interest in this ancient technique. It was discovered then that certain plant extracts seemed to prevent the spread of infection and assist in decontaminating a house after its occupants had been afflicted.
A Persian philosopher, Avicenna (980 AD – 1037AD), is responsible for the reintroduction of aromatherapy. Once a method of distillation was discovered by the Arabs, it didn’t take long for the unfortunate Crusades to bring these methods back to Europe.
Very slow to catch on, it took until the 19th century before Europe and Great Britain spent any meaningful time studying the effectiveness of aromatherapy on humans. (I imagine we were finding other uses for the Arabic distillation process.) Finally, after a French chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, burned his hand and healed it with some lavender oil he wrote a book on the antimicrobial properties of certain essential oils. Thus, aromatherapy as we know it today was born…again.
If it weren’t for Dr. Gattefosse and his burnt hand, we may not have such an overwhelming olfactory experience as we walk through a shopping mall. Most of the perfumes, candles, lotions, bath salts, etc. that we use today are centered on the fundamentals of aromatherapy. After all, we don’t really want to smell some of those ingredients listed on our favorite body lotion do we? However if we take this a step forward and learn how to best utilize the immense power of plant extracts we very well might spend less time at the doctor’s office and more time, well…shopping for bubble bath!
The sense of smell is a very powerful one. The average human can distinguish over 10,000 distinct odors and people who lose their sense of smell often suffer from depression and anxiety. It is believed that smell is processed in the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls moods, memory, emotion, and learning. When a person’s brain waves are monitored, it has been discovered that smelling lavender increases alpha waves in the back of the brain which are associated with relaxation while jasmine stimulates beta waves in the front of the brain and are linked to stimulation and alertness.
Further studies have allowed scientists to break down these scents in the following functional groups:
Monoterpenes: anti-viral, antiseptic, bactericidal, and can be highly irritating to the skin.
Examples: lemon, pine, frankincense
Esters: fungicidal, sedating, and very aromatically pleasing.
Examples: bergamot, Clary sage, lavender
Aldehydes: sedating and antiseptic.
Examples: melissa, lemongrass, cirtronella
Ketones: ease congestion, aid flow of mucus, can be toxic.
Examples: fennel, hyssop, sage
Alcohols: very antiseptic, anti-viral with uplifting qualities.
Examples: rosewood, geranium, rose
Phenols: bactericidal and strongly stimulating, can be highly irritating to the skin.
Examples: clove, thyme, oreganoOxides: expectorant and bactericidal. Examples: rosemary, tea tree
Essential oils are quite different from fatty oils (e.g. almond oil or sesame oil). Essential oils are volatile and will evaporate quite quickly when exposed to air. Essential oils are soluble in fatty oils allowing the fatty oils to act as a carrier or base for the essential oils. This is very useful when using an essential oil topically which may be irritating at full strength. Dissolving into a fatty oil dilutes the irritant while allowing the healing properties to be easily absorbed into the skin.
A safer and more gentle alternative to rare essential oils are hydrosols. These hydrosols are a by-product of the distillation process and contain the same therapeutic properties of the essential oils but in much smaller amounts. Hydrosols are also much less expensive and can easily be used in a mister or spritzers.
Please remember the following safety precautions:
-Never ingest essential oils
-Never allow essential oils to come in contact with the eyes
-Take care when using candle-lit diffusers
-Some essential oils are irritants or present other hazards. Research the use of any essential oil prior to implementation
Here’s a list of uses for essential oils:
Bath: fill the tub with bath water. Add 9-10 drops of essential oil into the bath water, mix before getting into bath. Or add 9-10 drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil and add & mix into the bath water so the essential oil is soluble in the carrier oil before adding to the bath.
Liquid Soap: add about 30-45 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of unscented liquid hand soap or unscented liquid shower body wash. Shake vigorously.
Body Oil: add about 12-15 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil and shake to blend.
Body Lotion: add 50-60 drops of essential oil to 16 ounces of unscented body lotion. Stir with a spoon or stirring stick to blend the essential oil into the lotion until smooth.
Body Mist: add 10-15 drops of essential oil to a 1 ounce glass misting bottle filled with spring or distilled water. Shake well and shake before each mist.
Liniment: add 25-20 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil. Shake well to blend.Compress: add & mix 3-5 drops of essential oil to a bowl of warm or cool water. Soak a wash cloth, wring and apply.
Shampoo/Conditioner: add 12-15 drops of essential oil to one ounce of unscented or mild shampoo and conditioner. Shake well to blend.
Hair Brush: place three drops of essential oil into the palm of your hand; rub over the natural bristles of a hair brush. Brush your scalp and your hair.
Diffuser: add essential oils to an electric diffuser, candle burner or a lamp ring.
Room Mist: add 17-20 drops of essential oil to a 1 ounce glass misting bottle filled with spring or distilled water. Shake well and shake before each mist.
Scent: add five drops of an essential oil to a hanky or tissue and carry with you throughout the day. Or place under your pillow case to ease you into sleep.
Scent: add five drops to a cotton ball and place in drawers and linen closets.Place: a drop of essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and inhale.
And here’s a chart on some common essential oils and their uses (physical ailments listed first, emotional ailments follow):
Blue Tansy (Tanecetum annuum), Amni Visnaga, German and Roman Chamomile, Helichrysum Lavender, Yarrow.
Prevention: Blue Tansy (Tanecetum annuum), Amni Visnaga.
Treatment: Frankincense, Hyssop, Inula, Litsea, Ravensara, Black Spruce, Blue Tansy (Tanecetum annuum), Cedarwood, Cajeput, Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, Cypress, Fennel, Eucalyptus Radiata, Hyssop decumbens, Lavender, Spike Lavender, Pine, Lemon, Mandarine, Myrtle, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Rosemary.
Lavandin, Helichrysum, Black Pepper,Ginger, Marjoram, Lavender, Lemon, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Cajeput, Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Angelica Seed, Roman Chamomile, Holy Basil, Clove Bud, Cypress Tips, Balsam Fir, Juniper, Nutmeg, Dalmatian Sage, Winter Savory, Seaweed, Thyme Borneol, Wintergreen, St. John's Wort oil as a carrier oil.
Athletes Foot and other fungal infections:
Myrrh, Patchouli, Lemongrass, Niaouli, Palma Rosa, Tagetes, Tea Tree.
Helichrysum, Lavandin, Black Pepper, Cajeput, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Spike Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Thyme.
Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon, Tea Tree, Thyme, Juniper, Geranium (in hot compresses)
Bronchial congestion: Hyssop, Inula, Frankincense, Black Spruce, Copaiba Balsam, Balsam Fir, Larch, Pine.
Helichrysum, Black Pepper, German Chamomile, Hyssop, Fennel, Spike Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary
St. Johns Wort infused oil.
Lavender, Helichrysum, Carrot Seed, Frankincense, Manuka, Neroli, Tea tree.
Candida (Yeast Infection):
Tea tree, Cajeput, Holy Basil, Melissa, German Chamomile, Lemon Eucalyptus.
Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Geranium, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit.
Topical Application: Black Pepper, Clove bud, Frankincense, Ginger, Juniper, Spike Lavender, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sweet Marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rose, Roemary, Ylangylang.Inhalation: Frankincense, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sweet Marjoram, Rosemary, Lemon Verbena
Cold Sores (Herpes simplex):
Melissa, Rose Otto, Myrrh, Bergamot, Eucalyptus Globulous, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Eucalyptus radiata, Cajeput, Niaouli, Ravensara, Teatree
Congestion (chest and bronchial)(For Nasal Suggestion, see sinus suggestions.):
Eucalyptus Globulous, Sweet Eucalyptus, Frankincense CO2, Inula, Sweet Basil, Black Pepper, Lemon Myrtle, Peppermint, Pine, Black Spruce
Sweet Fennel, Yarrow, Black Pepper, Sweet Marjoram, Rosemary, Carrot Seed, Peppermint, pine, sweet orange
Hyssop, Cardamon Seed, Balsam Fir, Inula (for dry, unproductive cough), Pine, Greek Sage, Oregano
Cramps, Muscle Spasms:
Sweet Marjoram, Black Pepper, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Thyme
Cuts and scrapes:
Lavender, Chamomiles, Tea Tree for disinfecting, Helichrysum
Bergamot, Atlas Cedarwood, Juniper, Cypress
Recent research published in Aromatherapy Today, the International Aromatherapy Journal, indicates that Tea tree oil, added to shampoo in a 5% dilution, is at least as effective as 2% ketoconazole and 1% terbinafine in the treatment of dandruff. In the test, the subjects used a 5% dilution in a daily shampoo, and left the shampoo in their hair for three minutes before rinsing.
Black Pepper, German and Roman Chamomile, Cinnamon Leaf, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Sweet Fennel, Ginger, Mandarinr, Neroli, Peppermint, Cajeput
Cistus, Angelica Root, Ravensara, Rosemary, Seaweed, Carrot seed, Sweet Fennel, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lemon, mandarine, tangerine.
Sponge the body with cool water with 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Peppermint oils added.
Ginger, Peppermint, Anise Seed, Fennel, Litsea, Oregano, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Roman and German Chamomile
St. Johns Wort oil with Wintergreen, Juniper berry, Lemon, Rosemary.
Lavender, Sweet Basil, Roman Chamomile, Clove Bud, Lavandin, Cajeput, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosewood, Rosemary, Thyme
Vitex, Peppermint Hydrosol, Passages Synergy
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure):
Bergamot, Roman chamomile, lavender, litsea, melissa, sweet marjoram, neroli, ylangylang
Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure):
Ginger, lemon, red thyrm, rosemary
Cardamon, Black Pepper, Ginger, Peppermint, Anise Seed, Coriander, Fennel, Lemongrass, Litsea, Melissa, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Leaf, Sweet Fennel
Helichrysum, Roman or German Chamomile, Coriander, Juniper, Fennel, Nutmeg, Yarrow
Cajeput (fire ants), Helichrysum, German Chamomile, Lavender
Red Mandarine, (a recent study indicates that Mandarine is even more effective than lavender in dealing with sleep disturbances.)Bulgarian Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Clementine Petitgrain, Bergamot, Ledum, Myrtle, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Valerian
Cistus, helichrysum, lavender
Clary Sage, Geranium, Rose, Vitex, Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang ylang
Clary Sage, Sweet Marjoram, Geranium, Sweet Fennel, Anise Seed, Sweet Basil, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress Needle, Yarrow
Lavender, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Marjoram, Valerian, Eucalyptus, Spike Lavender, Neroli
Lavandin, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Ginger, Black Spruce, Sweet Basil, Spike Lavender, Vetiver, Eucalyptus
Roman Chamomile, Petitgrain, Clary Sage, Fennel, Frankincense, Lavender, Sage.One client reports relief by spritzing St.John's Wort Hydrosol.
Ginger, Peppermint,Spearmint, Cardamon Seed, Sweet Fennel, Patchouli
Myrrh, Sweet fennel, manuka, peppermint, tea tree.
Geranium, Clary Sage, Rose, Sweet Fennel, Bergamot, Chamomile, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Neroli, Rosemary, Sweet Fennel, Palma Rosa, Rose Otto, ylangylang
Pressure sores (Bed Sores):
German Chamomile, helichrysum, geranium, frankincense, lavender,Calendula infused oil
St. John's Wort Oil, Black Pepper, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender
Tea Tree(5% dilution)
St. John's Wort Oil, Black Pepper, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender
All Eucalyptus species, especially Radiata, Peppermint, Angelica Root, Sweet Basil, Clove Bud, Hyssop, Inula, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Pine
Ravensara in a base of Calophyllum, Bergamot, Eucalyptus Globulous, Melissa with Rose Otto, Lavender, Tea Tree
Chamomile with Lavender, Blue Tansy (Tanecetum annuum), German Chamomile, Peppermint, Peppermint Hydrosol
Calendula infused oil, Cypress, Lemon, Geranium, Juniper, Rosemary
bergamot, chamomile, juniper, lemon, marjoram, rosemary, ylang-ylang
Chamomile,Jasmine,Marjoram, Palma Rosa,Rose, Rosemary,Ylang-Ylang,
Neroli, Bergamot,Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium (for balance), Lavender, Orange, Patchouli, Rose (for confidence), Sandalwood. Sweet Marjoram, Vetiver (for grounding)
Bergamot, Cypress, Frankincense, Jasmine, Orange, Rose
Cedarwood, Fennel, Ginger, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Thyme
Bergamot,Chamomile, Jasmine, Marjoram, Neroli,Rose
Chamomile,Lavender,Neroli,Orange, Tea Tree
Chamomile, Clary, Frankincense, Lavender
Basil, Clary, Cypress, Jasmine, Patchouli, Peppermint
Fatigue(emotional and mental):
basil, clary, cardamon, cinnamon leaf or bark, Clove bud, coriander, Eucalyptus citriodora, ginger, grapefruit, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper, orange, palmarosa, peppermint,rosemary, thyme, vetiver, ylangylang
Basil, elemi, ginger, lemon, lavender,orange, peppermint, rosemary
Chamomile, Clary, Coriander,Frankincense, Neroli, Orange, Vetiver
Chamomile, Clary, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper,Lavender, Neroli, YlangYlang
Benzoin, Jasmine, Rose, Rosewood
Lavender, Neroli,Rose, Teatree
Black Pepper, Ginger, Jasmine, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rose, Neroli, YlangYlang
Bergamot, Atlas Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, all Citrus oils, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rose (absolute and otto), Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylangylang.
Chamomile, Clary, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Rosewood
Since we often spend more time worrying about our physical appearance than our physical or emotional wellness, I’ve included a list of cosmetic uses for some essential oils:
Lavender, rose, rosemary camphor, cypress, geranium, chamomiles, rosewood, geranium essential oils and hydrosols
Tea tree, Manuka, Helichrysum, lavender, spike lavender, thyme linalool, rose geranium, tea tree, Petitgrain, grapefruit, sandalwood, Vetiver, mints, basil, German chamomile, atlas Cedarwood, rosewood, Palma Rosa, thyme, Cajeput, Niaouli, Yarrow Hydrosol
Grapefruit, yarrow, rosemary, lime distilled
Coriander, thymus vulgaris, peppermint, lemongrass
CHAPPED/ CRACKED SKIN:
Myrrh, patchouli, sandalwood, Vetiver, Cajeput, roman & German chamomile, lavender
Calendula infused oil.
Black Pepper, Cinnamon leaf, clove bud, ginger, lavender. (ie, circulatory stimulants to promote warming.)
Sweet Basil, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, Niaouli, peppermint
Geranium, Rosewood, Ylang-ylang, Rose Geranium Hydrosol, Neroli Hydrosol
(Thread veins, congested capillaries)
Lemon, Helichrysum, cypress, rose, lavender, parsley, roman & German chamomiles, geranium, calendula infused oil, Helichrysum or neroli hydrosols.
Eucalyptus globulous, myrtle, neroli, basil juniper, lemon, lemongrass, Niaouli, peppermint, pine, orange, oregano, rosemary, spearmint, geranium, grapefruit
Petitgrain, lavender, spike lavender, clary, rose geranium
Carrot seed, Cedarwood, clary, jasmine, geranium, lavender, orange, Palma Rosa, rose, roman chamomile, rosewood, neroli, Petitgrain, Mandarine petitgrain, Vetiver, sandalwood, ylangylang, carrot seed, lavender, rose or neroli hydrosol, Calendula infused oil.
German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Atlas Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Juniper, Myrrh, Palma Rosa, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Teatree, Yarrow, Ylangylang.
Calendula infused oil, Cranberry Seed Oil
Palma Rosa, sweet orange, Mandarine, tangerine, rose, most hydrosols, esp. Neroli
German chamo, Manuka, eucalyptus, lavender, myrrh, roman chamo, rosemary, spikenard, tea tree, thyme linalool, calendula, Palma Rosa, Niaouli, laurel, myrtle, rosewood
Helichrysum, st. johns Wort infusion, carrot seed, Cistus, galbanum German & Roman chamomiles, clary, myrrh, myrtle, rosewood, angelica, yarrow, Helichrysum, Witch hazel or Chamomile Hydrosols
Jasmine, heli, lavender, peppermint, roman chamo, Lavender or Witch Hazel hydrosol
Myrtle, lemongrass, rose, Cedarwood
MATURE, AGED SKIN, WRINKLES:
Carrot seed, elemi, Cistus, frankincense, galbanum, fennel, geranium, myrrh, patchouli, rose, Clary, rosewood, sages, cypress, fennel, lavender, neroli.
Atlas Cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, lavender, neroli, roman chamo, rose, rosewood, ylangylang, angelica, all hydrosols
Roman & German chamos, Cedarwood, (atlas, red, texas) geranium, Clary, lavender, Ylang-ylang, lemon, peppermint, Niaouli, Cajeput, cypress, calendula infusion, frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood, juniper, Melissa, yarrow, coriander, Petitgrain, lime distilled, grapefruit, thyme linalool, Lavandin, spike lavender, rose
Tea tree, Manuka, Lemon Myrtle, German Chamomile, Helichrysum italicuum, thyme linalool, Cajeput, oregano (spot only) Niaouli, rosemary
(extremely difficult to treat)
Bergamot, Helichrysum, Cajeput, carrot seed, German or roman chamomile, Lavender, Juniper, Sandalwood, Tea tree
Calendula infused oil, Cranberry Seed Oil
Oregano, Spanish marjoram, cypress, peppermint, rosemary, fennel, celery, clary, roman chamomile
Frankincense, lavender, neroli, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, teatree, Helichrysum, elemi, Vetiver, spikenard, caraway, Palma Rosa, Spanish sage, Clary, lavender, galbanum, myrrh, myrtle, calendula, carrot seed
REVITALIZING BASAL LAYER:
Carrot seed, Rosewood, Niaouli, tea tree, orange, calendula
German chamomile, Helichrysum italicuum, rosewood, Helichrysum hydrosol,
Roman & German chamomile, rose, Palma Rosa, Helichrysum, neroli, rosewood, carrot, angelica, jasmine, Neroli, Chamomile or Yarrow Hydrosols
Helichrysum (in a base of Rose Hip Seed Oil), carrot seed, lavender, petitgrain, galbanum
Calendula infused , lemongrass, chamomiles, lavender, neroli, orange, rose, frankincense, Petitgrain, lemon, hydrosols
For a fantastic selection of Aromatherapy Products like Aromatherapy Pendants, Candles Potpourri, Essential Oils, Oil Burners, Sets see Jen at The Goddess Gift Shop!