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Aromatherapy

Step by step aromatherapy craft projects

buttonPotpourri

We all love the sweet smell of pot pourri. If you have a rose garden, follow these simple steps and make your own.

Aromatherapy

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Introduction and History

Aromatherapy only found its name in modern times, but it has been around for almost six thousand years. The system has a long and esteemed tradition and history, with the use of plants and their oils mentioned in the Bible and other historical annuls.

The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians have all used essential oils and plants in some shape or form throughout history, with the Egyptian physician, Imhotep, introducing them for bathing, massage, cosmetics and embalming.

Contemporary research has encouraged a recent upsurge in the use of essential oils, and, as a result, aromatherapy has scaled new heights as an alternative medicinal treatment, relaxant and cleanser in modern society. Aromatherapy now has an extensive following in the areas of, among others, pain relief for women in labour, the relief of pain caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients, the rehabilitation of heart attack victims, as well as in therapeutic massage and living environments.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are not simple. They normally contain close to 100 chemical constituents, with each of these, however minor, performing a vital function in relieving pain or revitalising different areas of the body. They are fragrant and it is well-known that odours have a large impact on how we feel, and therefore bring immediate relief in many situations.

Essential oils differ greatly to other oils such as heavy cooking oil. They are lighter than water, highly flammable and evaporate easily which is why they are mixed with other ingredients in order to capture their full effectiveness. Because of their high concentration they are measured in drops, with a bottle of oil going a long way.

A few general facts and tips

  • Essential oils have a shelf life of up to seven years if looked after properly.
  • It is a good idea to close one's eyes when inhaling the aromatic fragrance of the oil so that you are not distracted by your other senses.
  • Keep your oils in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep them out of reach of children.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and keep the caps tightened.
  • Certain oils can cause insomnia (such as ginger, grapefruit, eucalyptus & cinnamon), so be careful which oils you use at night.

Aromatherapy has become a huge part of homeopathic medicine and can reduce doctor's bills significantly. The user is, however, encouraged to consult a specialist before using essential oils to treat a serious psychological or physical disorder so that proper steps in their use can be advised.



Ten Uses for Essential Oils in the Home

When guests first enter your home the first thing that greets them is the aroma. Essential oils are often used to create a homely atmosphere within the home.

Add 6-8 drops of your favourite scent to water in a diffuser or place the drops directly into a bowl of boiling water. Sweet orange, lemon and your favourite spice oil are especially good when diffused during the winter months for a refreshing, warming aroma.

Candles fragranced with essential oil can also be used to give the home a pleasant ambience and aroma. Other ways essential oils can be used around the home include...

  1. Add a few drops of essential oil to water in a spray bottle to freshen linen or spray on garments before ironing.
  2. As an air-freshner put 6-8 drops in 600 ml of water in a fine spray bottle and spray into the air and towards carpets and curtains. Do not spray onto velvet of silk and avoid spraying directly onto wood.
  3. Place cotton wool balls fragranced with lavender in drawers and linen cupboards to deter moths.
  4. Put 4 drops of oil onto a cotton wool ball and place behind the heater or radiator in winter. Drops can also be used with the humidifier.
  5. Clean your fridge with a one-drop of orange, mandarin, mint, lavender or lemon oil added to the final rinse water.
  6. When washing down surfaces in the kitchen, use 1 drop of lemon, thyme, cypress, lavender or Palma Rosa placed directly on a cloth, or 7 drops in water for a refreshing fragrance.
  7. Put a drop or two of oil onto a cold light bulb in a lamp so the fragrance fills the room as it heats up.
  8. Essential oils are used to clean the air rather than mask smells in the home. To rid a room of stale tobacco or cooking smells use cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, orange, tea tree, rosemary or lime for their ability to freshen and cleanse the air of stagnant smells throughout the house. Saturate cotton wool balls and place in the corners of a room, in cupboards or out-of-the-way places to fragrance kitchens and living areas throughout the house.
  9. Hallways are the place where we greet our guests. Use lemon, lime, bergamot or grapefruit. Lavender or geranium can be mixed with any of these. Lavender is uplifting in the morning and geranium has a calming effect and good for afternoons when you may need to wind down at the end of the day
  10. Keep tea tree oil in your first aid kit for cuts, burns and headlice!
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