AROMATHERAPY - Aromatherapy's benefits occur as the oils are absorbed through the skin and the inhaled scent reaches the brain
Never apply undiluted oils to the skin as they are likely to cause irritation. If you have sensitive skin, apply a little diluted oil and leave overnight to determine if it's safe to use.
Essential oils should
always be kept out of the reach of children.
Aromatherapy is an
ancient healing art which uses the natural perfumes of plants - their essential
oils - to help prevent and treat health problems. It can help you relax, lift
your mood and even sharpen concentration.
The practice of using
fragrances to relax and heal the body has been around thousands of years and
dates back to ancient Chinese civilizations. Aromatic oils remained in common
use for a variety of medicinal purposes until relatively recently, but their
use declined as modem pharmaceuticals took over.
Now, however, people
are once again taking an interest in essential oils, Aromatherapy is increasing
in popularity, both as a professional therapy and as a self-help remedy.
HOW IT HELPS
There are a number of
common conditions which can be helped by aromatherapy, These include insomnia;
headache and migraine; depression; digestive problems; skin complaints; poor circulation;
rheumatism; sinusitis; depression; anxiety and stress, Aromatherapy is also
being used more frequent1y in conventional medical settings to help treat a
wide variety of patients including those with cancer, mental illness, and muscular
OILS One of the simplest and most common ways of using essential oils is
by diluting them in a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil and then
massaging them into the skin. This is thought to make the most of the
fragrant oils because they are absorbed through the skin and seep into the
bloodstream. At the same time, the scent reaches the brain through our sense of
smell. The oils can also be added to bath water; used in inhalations,
compresses or as room fragrances.
sometimes recommend taking pure oils internally. This is not a do-it-yourself
activity, and should never be undertaken without the advice and monitoring of a
There's a wide
selection of oils available, but some are more suitable for home treatment.
CLARY SAGE Known
in the Middle Ages for its ability to heal eye problems, it's used as a
relaxant to reduce anxiety.
LAVENDER One of
the most versatile oils, lavender is the classic remedy for aiding relaxation and
LEMON Oil from
the rind has antiseptic properties and is refreshing and invigorating.
MARJORAM This is
a delicate fragrance and is wonderfully calming and fortifying.
NEROLI Oil Neroli
oil, which has an orangy scent, helps calm the emotions and works as a
ROSE One of the
least toxic oils, rose works as a powerful anti-depressant and helps with
problems of the female reproductive system.
YLANG YLANG A
sensuous, exotic oil, ylang ylang is reputed to work as an powerful aphrodisiac
and stimulate sexual desire. It also has a sedative effect on the nervous
FINDING A THERAPIST
You can find
aromatherapists at many complementary healthcare centres, physiotherapy
clinics, health spas and beauty salons. Many work from their own homes or
places of business. Not all are qualified or experienced, so when choosing a
therapist, try to get a recommendation from someone you trust or a professional
HOME Essential oils are available from aroma therapists , some chemists
and herbal or health shops. The most expensive, potent and desirable are those
that come in 'pure' form. Others may already be diluted in a carrier oil, or
even be synthetically manufactured. The synthetic oils will provide scent but
little therapeutic benefit
Essential oils are
always diluted for massage - use no more than five drops of an essential oil
for every 10ml (2tsps) of a carrier oil.
PLAYING IT SAFE
Pregnant women must be
cautious about using aromatherapy, as some oils could be harmful to mother and
baby. Ask a therapist for advice.
BABIES AND CHILDREN Essential
oils are useful for calming children so long as you take safety precautions.
Lavender, camomile, rose, and tea tree oil added to baths, as massages or
inhalants, or on the pillow or sheet are ideal. Children have an acute sense of
smell, so use only one drop diluted in bath water for babies, and one to four
drops in a child's bath.
BATHS This is a luxurious way to relax and also helps relieve aches and
pains. Add six to 10 drops of essential oil to a full bath and swish the water
around. Keep the windows closed, so the vapours won't escape. Immerse yourself
for 10 minutes or more, breathing deeply. Geranium, cedarwood, camomile and
lavender are pa11icularly soothing, while clary sage, tangerine and ylang
ylang have a revitalizing effect.
To soothe aching feet,
try four to five drops of peppermint, lavender or tea tree oil in a footbath.
Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
OTHER WAYS WITH OILS
If you have a stuffed
nose or blocked sinuses, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a paper tissue
or on your pillow and inhale gently. Alternatively add a couple of drops to a
small basin of steaming water and lean over it with a towel over your head.
Inhale the steam for a few minutes to ease your breathing.
Compresses are excellent for muscular aches. Make a soothing compress with four to eight drops of oil and enough water to soak a cotton wool pad. Try camomile, marjoram, lavender or lemon.
Taken from THE HEALTH
FILE A Complete Medical Encyclopedia, A MARSHALL CAVENDISH
REFERENCE COLLECTION, NATURE’S CLINIC by DR JOHN
CORMACK, WEEKLY Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia Singapore Malta RSA
Other Countries Namibia.
BS MRCS LRCP, is the medical consultant to The Health File. The senior partner in an Essex based practice, he is also a member of the General Medical Council and has written for numerous magazines and newspapers as well as for the medical press. He is a regular broadcaster on television and radio and has scripted a number of award-winning educational videos.
gender is unspecified, individuals are referred to as 'he', This usage is for
convenience only and not intended to imply that all doctors and patients are
male. Medicheck charts are only a rough guide to diagnosis, Always seek medical
advice if you have worrying symptoms.
Copyright Marshall Cavendish
1995, Printed in Great Britain, Published by Marshall Cavendish Partworks Ltd,
119 Wardour Street, London WIV 3TD
|Back to top