Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for physical and emotional well being. They are comprised of naturally occurring chemicals that work in synergy with one another. Unlike prescription drugs, the healing properties of essential oils date back thousands of years.
Two of the most versatile essential oils are lavender and peppermint. Think of these two oils as yin and yang. Lavender is warm and relaxing, while peppermint is cool and invigorating.
Each morning, add eight to ten drops of peppermint essential oil to a fragrance burner filled with water to help wake you up. Peppermint is also helpful for fighting the afternoon blahs and has a natural cooling effect. Put a drop or two on a cotton ball, close your eyes and inhale deeply. If you are prone to headaches, mix one-eighth cup carrier oil, such as sweet almond or extra virgin olive oil to 12 drops peppermint and massage your temples, neck, and forehead.
In the evening, add nine drops of lavender to your bathwater, dim the lights and take several deep breaths to help you relax. Try a few drops directly on your pillowcase or on a cotton ball if you have a difficult time getting to sleep. Lavender can help balance your emotions, relieve stress and aid in lowering blood pressure. It is beneficial for the skin and can be used for blemishes, scrapes, sunburn, and rashes. Add a drop or two to a wet cotton ball and apply to the affected area.
One of the simplest ways to use lavender or peppermint is to make your own body lotion. Purchase a high quality, unscented lotion and add thirty to forty drops of either oil or a combination of the two oils.
Essential oils are naturally antibacterial and antiviral and are effective for treating colds and flu. Fill a bowl with water, heat carefully, then add a few drops of lavender and peppermint. Put a towel over your head, close your eyes and inhale. When the water cools, take a washcloth and use as a compress to cover your forehead. This helps relieve headaches and sinus pressure.
Replace your room fresheners and their inherent chemicals and ozone depleting propellants. Add several drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil to a spray bottle filled with distilled water and gently shake before misting your room. Use lavender as a linen mist and peppermint on your counters and floorboards to deter household pests.
Did you know there are approximately 70,000 synthetic chemicals now used in commercial products? What health consequences do these chemicals pose with daily exposure? Use essential oils as an alternative to these products for everyday health and well being. A few words of caution – with the exception of lavender and tea tree, essential oils should never be applied undiluted, directly to your skin. Handle with care and feel good that you are helping yourself, your family, and your environment.