Aromatherapy is kind of like a fragrant pharmacy. More than once, I have saved much time and not polluted my body with chemicals by using aromatherapeutics. However, this does not mean aromatherapy is always appropriate as a remedy. If you are physically ill, see a medical professional. S/he can help you make the decision.
Below is a list of some aromatherapy "helpers" (not cures) for common ailments. You can find the ingredients for most of these at your local "Pagan Supply Shoppe" or health food store. Please feel free to e-mail me with recipes of your own!
Personally, I use almond oil as a base for aromatherapy remedies. Other types of oils (such as vegetable, soybean and jojoba) may also be used. But remember: many people, like me, are allergic to certain oils (soybean in particular), so be aware of this when mixing concoctions for friends. Essential oils used by themselves are referred to as "neat" (i.e. one drop, neat, lemon oil). I will refer to mixtures as "mix." Also, with few exceptions, DO NOT apply essential oils ALONE directly to the skin; many oils can cause terrible discomfort, especially oils in the mint family.
Aromatherapy Tip of the Season: Aaaah, Allergies. The blooming of trees and flowers is often a painful reminder of our latest prescription refill. To help ease the common sinus headache: Get a piece of self-igniting charcoal (available at your local pagan supply shoppe or incense store), and create a "cup" out of tin foil. Put the "cup" on the lit charcoal, drop a few drops of Peppermint oil into the cup, and inhale the fumes. It's VERY strong, and may choke you up at first, but it definitely helps to relieve the pressure. Another option is to get out your good 'ol heat back (the bean-filled kind that you can heat in the microwave) and wrap it in a piece of cloth dabbed with Peppermint. If you have a particular aversion to Peppermint, other mints will help, such as Spearmint or Eucalyptus. As always, this is simply a non-medicated alternative. If it doesn't work for you, FOR PETE'S SAKE, don't be afraid to take some pain medication! This therapy is meant for sinus headaches, NOT migraines.
To relieve pain from minor frostbite (from shoveling snow or scraping car windows!), place a few (3-5) drops of essential Geranium oil neat (except on children--mix according to directions above) on the affected area. You may use Lavender as an alternative, if you don't have any Geranium oil handy. I tried this on my husband--and he looked at me in shock and said "Wow! that really works!" (DO NOT run hot water over the skin. It will make it feel worse.)
common cold: Put the following essential oils (neat) into a hot bath and inhale deeply. 2 drops Thyme; 2 drops Tea Tree; 1 drop Eucalyptus; 3 drops Lemon. For viral infections, try 10 drops each of Vetiver, Lavender and Geranium, mixed into two tablespoons of base oil. You may use the mixture as a massage oil on the areas of congestion (especially the chest and throat), or in a bath. If your humidifier has a space for oil or medicine to be placed, you can put some of the mixture in there to permeate the room overnight and help you heal while you sleep.
headache: Combine 3 drops Lavender and 1 drop Peppermint. Take one drop of the mix and blend it with 1 teaspoon of Vegetable Oil. Massage the mix around the temples, the base of the skull and along the hairline. *Also: eating a mint candy may help.
depression: In two tablespoons of a base oil, mix 15 drops Geranium; 5 drops Lavender and 10 drops Bergamot. Rub a small amount of the mixture on a candle or on Sandalwood incense and burn in your current space.
insomnia: Good 'ol Lavender works for this, almost every time. (*ATTN: MOMS! Having trouble getting your baby/toddler to sleep? Put a few drops of Lavender on her sleeper!) For a bath (adults only), blend 3 drops Clary Sage; 2 drops Vetiver; 1 drop Valerian and 2 drops Lavender. Use three drops of the mixture in your bath, or add 2 drops to 1 tsp. of base oil for a relaxing body rub.
digestive problems: First, try sucking on a peppermint candy (and all this time, you thought those mints at restaurants were for your breath!). If that doesn't help, mix 15 drops of Coriander, 10 drops Grapefruit and 5 drops Cypress in two tablespoons of base oil. Put it in your aromatherapy/potpourri burner (with area for oil on top, and candle in protected area underneath--do NOT burn oil!), into your bath, or place the oils neat on a tissue and inhale. For children, you may want to rub the mixture clockwise on their tummies. Massage tip: always rub the tummy clockwise, as your intestines are wound that way--the directional motion promotes digestion.
I hope these recipes are helpful for some of you! Please e-mail me if you would like to see a recipe posted on this page. I'm open to suggestions, and always happy to do the research! Bright Blessings and Be Well!
to Aromatherapy: descriptions of essential oils and
Bassett Aromatherapy: provides a full line of essential oils, books and seminars
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