Essential Oils & Aromatherapy For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon
Aromatherapy is built around the healing properties of essential oils to help treat minor — and even more severe — ailments to enhance relaxation and boost your mental acuity. Buying the right type of oil is important to realize the full benefits of aromatherapy.

Advantages of using essential oils

Turn to essential oils as a natural alternative instead of using an over-the-counter drug to ease a cold, headache, indigestion, or bee sting — the simple complaints that you already take care of yourself without consulting your doctor.

After all, that’s what aromatherapy is — a healing therapy. The aroma part of the word refers to the aromatic plants that are used in this therapy. The following list shows some of the advantages of using essential oils as aromatherapy:

  • Smell great
  • Inexpensive
  • Compact
  • Work with, not against you
  • Improve your mood
  • Go directly to the affliction
  • Work quickly
  • Limited drug interactions
  • Few side effects

How to buy essential oils

To gain the myriad benefits of aromatherapy, you have to buy the essential oils. Your shopping days will be much easier if you follow these simple tips when choosing which essential oils to buy:

  • Buy oils from companies that have an established reputation.
  • Ask: Are they pure? Where do they originate? What are the botanical names?
  • Look out for synthetic essential oils, such as carnation, lilac, strawberry, rain, or cucumber. If you find one, all the oils in that line may be synthetics.
  • Check for purity. Put a drop of essential oil on a piece of paper. It should quickly evaporate, leaving no oily mark (an oily mark indicates it’s cut with vegetable oil).
  • Check for quality. Sniff out fuller and rounder scents. A little should go a long way.
  • Purchase only a small amount of essential oil from a company you haven’t tried before to test their quality.

Having the scents to relax with aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a relaxing therapy. Relaxing fragrances help you deal better with stress and tend to produce slower frequency brain waves. You may not need it, but scents, including those in the following list, have antidepressant properties when you smell them.

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Petitgrain
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang

Benefits of essential oils

Essential oils enhance both the health and beauty of skin, hair, and nails. Aromatherapy puts these oils to use for their healing benefits for your body and mind. As an added bonus, they smell wonderful when applied to the body!

The following list shows the most important properties found most often in essential oils:

  • Kill bacterial, viral, and fungal infections
  • Seal wounds
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Regulate hormones
  • Tone and moisturize skin
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Repel bugs
  • Attract a mate
  • Heat the skin in a liniment
  • Aid blood circulation and digestion
  • Decrease sinus and lung congestions

Scents to help you think better

The same essential aromatherapy oils that pep you up and reduce your drowsiness also decrease the likelihood that you’ll become irritable or get headaches. The following list shows the mind-stimulating scents.

  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Kathi Keville is the director of the American Herb Association and the author of ten previous books on herbs and aromatherapy, including Herbs for Health and Healing.

This article can be found in the category: