Aromatherapy has been used for healing, beauty treatment and body care for centuries. EOs are the most concentrated form of any botanical, providing a concentrated dose of nature's vast pharmacological ingredients in a single drop.
I believe that, like homeopathy, essential oils work primarily on an energetic level—especially when they are used as a scent only, rather than applied directly to the skin.
The following affordable Eos are helpful for relaxation. If you are purchasing them, make sure that they are true essential oils and not perfume oils (which are artificial).
|Essential Oil||Mental/Emotional/Subtle Properties||Reputed Physical Properties|
|Lavender||Reduces stress, tension; anti-depressant; calming; helps with insomnia; relaxing||Strongly anti-inflammatory & antiseptic; cell regenerator, skin balancer; immune stimulant; good for all skin types; helps with headaches|
|Geranium||Calms nervous system; uplifting; balancing; good for stress; relaxing||Hormone balancer, skin softener; good for skin, esp. mature skin; helpful with menopause issues; immune stimulant|
|Orange||Balances stress; helps with insomnia; relaxing; restorative when you’re feeling “wiped out”||Helps treat dull, tired skin and acne; balances nervous system. Note: Stay out of the sun after using.|
|Tangerine||Calming; mood booster; helps with insomnia; helps with “wiped out” feeling; good for stress; relaxing||Balances nervous system; good for skin care. Note: Stay out of the sun after using.|
|Ylang Ylang||Anti-depressant; soothing; euphoric; helps when you’re feeling over-loaded; good for stress; relaxing||Good for skin care, esp. normal to dry skin; helps balance hormones|
|Patchouli||Antidepressant; good for stress; relaxing||Promotes cell regeneration, so good for all skin issues including acne, scars, and wrinkles; anti-inflammatory|
|Clary Sage||Helps with depression, migraine, nervous tension, fatigue, stress; mildly intoxicating, euphoric (therefore do not use while driving); aids creativity, relieves anxiety||Note: Do not use during pregnancy. Calming to the nervous system, lifts depression and stress, good for all female hormonal issues and imbalances, e.g. menopausal discomforts, painful periods, and post-partum depression. Helps with muscle pains, digestive disorders, and inflamed skin.|
Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, however you should never ingest them (take them orally).
The safest way to use them is simply to put a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale, taking care not to hold the tissue or cotton ball too close to your nose. They can be very strong!
If they are to be used on the skin, you should always dilute them in a carrier oil -- a maximum of five drops per ounce of oil. (They really go a long way!)
If you're looking for a source for high-quality, organic essential oils, I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs (The link will take you to the Mountain Rose Herbs website, where you can buy essential oils. If you do, I get a small commission, which helps me keep this website going. I really like this company for their high quality, good selection, and strong commitment to "green" principles.)
Please see the cautions for using essential oils at the end of this page.
Personally, I like jojoba oil best. Although it’s a little pricey and can usually only be found at health food stores, it’s great for the skin, absorbs quickly, and never goes rancid.
My next favorite carrier oil is grapeseed oil. It’s a light oil that can usually be found at the grocery store. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s where it’s very inexpensive.
Blend these EOs in a small glass container, and then use the blend in one of the ways described at the bottom of this section.
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