Essential oils are derived from the leaves, flowers, bark, stems and roots of plants, usually through steam distillation. Through this process essential oils carry the true essence of the plant from which it was derived.
Essential oils are used by aromatherapists, holistic therapists, masseurs and other healing practitioners either independently, alongside other treatments or as an alternative to conventional medications.
Smells can evoke certain emotions, trigger memories and bring back vivid impressions of past experiences. Smelling bread cooking can take a person back to their childhood and visits to their grandmother baking in the kitchen. A whiff of pine can transport a person to the countryside where in their mind they might see pine trees blowing in the wind, feel the breeze against their face and smell the freshness of the air. Smells can trigger so many emotional and psychological responses that can bring an instant uplift. It is these responses that form the basis of aromatherapy.
Essential oils are used in many beauty and skin products: shampoos, soaps, toners and bath salts to help enhance mood and emotions. Another way essential oils can enhance the mood of the environment is through candles and essential oil diffusers. These are many different ways to diffuse the essential oil so its aroma spreads through a room, filling it with the natural fragrance. Drops of essential oil can be added to a cloth which when placed on a warm radiator, will fill the room with its delicate scent. Drops of essential oil can be placed on logs before putting them onto a fire. Other types of diffusers include: fan diffusers, candle diffusers and clay pot diffusers.
Essential oils can be used for skin care, to help moisturise dry skin, keep ageing skin subtle or to boost and rejuvenate listless-looking skin. Many essential oils can have an uplifting effect on the mind and emotions, helping to balance and stabilize emotions and clear the mind.
Health wise, essential oils are used to help ease many physical ailments including allergies, asthma, athlete’s foot, coughs, cystitis, gout, hypertension, insect bites and migraine.
Anti fungal essential oils can be used to clear musty drawers and cupboards and to help keep linen fresh. Essential oils can also be used for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. Choose lemon or grapefruit essential oil for instance to wipe down kitchen tops or to clean mirrors and dishes.
As well as the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of essential oils, through creams, lotions and beauty products, essential oils can be used in the home for deodorising, cleaning and freshen the atmosphere.