What is Aromatherapy, anyway?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to support health and well-being—whether that means cleaning the house, recovering from a cold, sleeping more soundly at night, or any number of benefits!
Essential oils are naturally produced by some aromatic plants. It’s amazing how many different ways plants can produce essential oils. For example, Vetiver essential oil is stored in the plant’s rootlets, so we have to harvest those to obtain the oil. Cedarwood essential oil comes from the tree’s wood, and Orange essential oil is primarily extracted from the rind of the fresh fruit. Lavender essential oil comes from Lavender flowers, but there’s usually also some in the little leaves of the plant, too.
And do essential oils really work to support us? Yes, for sure!
Everything you use on or around your body will affect your body in one way or another. Aromatherapy is a natural way to support your body . . . and nudge it towards health and well-being.
What is Aromatherapy good for? Here are just a few things it can help with:
- To get a good night’s sleep
- To feel more energized during the day
- To sharpen your mental focus and concentration (great for studying or taking a test!)
- To feel more balanced and centered
- To prevent colds and the flu
- To recover quickly if you do get sick
- To clear away congestion and mucus
- To care for your skin
- To calm inflammation (either on skin, in the respiratory system, or around an injury)
- To relieve headaches
- To support digestion
- To reduce the presence of germs—whether they’re in your environment (you can make a natural cleaner for your kitchen!) or your “invironment!” (Try an essential oil inhaler to support your immune system.)
We have a lot of options for how to use Aromatherapy. Here are just a few . . .
A popular one is diffusion. You can get an essential oil diffuser (there are many kinds) and simply put a few drops of essential oil into it. The essential oil will fill the air in the room, making it smell amazing! You’ll also be inhaling the essential oil and receiving its benefits that way. You can blend a few essential oils together to create your own unique diffuser blend, too. That’s fun, and you can get very creative!
You can blend essential oils into a carrier oil, like jojoba or avocado oil, and use it for skin care. Essential oils also blend beautifully into a denser natural carrier, like a natural body butter blend or skin cream.
Another way to use Aromatherapy is in a bath. This is so luxurious!
And of course . . . you can inhale essential oils. For example, making an Aromatherapy inhaler is a great way to get the oils “to the scene of the action” if you have a cold.
However you use Aromatherapy, it’s important to understand how to use essential oils safely. At Aromahead Institute, we always stick with specific drop counts to dilute the essential oils. We usually dilute at 1%, 2%, or 3% when we’re blending for adults. That means that if we’re making a pain relief blend in 1 oz (30 ml) of avocado oil, we’d only use 15–18 drops of essential oil total (that’s a 3% blend). It doesn’t take much to get the job done! (And when we’re using Aromatherapy for kids, we use even less essential oil.)
Before I end this post, I want to note what Aromatherapy is not.
Aromatherapy is not the use of fragrance oils, which are created artificially in labs. Fragrance oils may smell nice, but they don’t offer the therapeutic benefits that essential oils do. In fact, fragrance oils may even cause irritation, sensitizations, or allergies.
Essential oils are natural, plant-produced substances. And while some of them do come with safety concerns (essential oils are powerful, and we don’t want to use them carelessly), when you understand how to use them safely, they offer so many natural benefits.
So what is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy empowers you to live more naturally—to care for your health (and your family’s health) without harsh ingredients or potentially toxic chemicals that can stress your immune system or throw your body’s systems out of balance. Essential oils help you maintain that balance, and can actually support your immunity while you use them.