5,000 years ago – Ancient Egyptians used essential oils for beauty and skin care. 1,800 B. C. – The first perfume was created by the Babylonians, using cedar, myrrh, cypress, labdanum, and storax. And the Three Wise Men – Boar gifts of frankincense and myrrh.
Aromatherapy, or therapy through aroma or fragrance, has always been used. But it wasn’t until 1928 that Rene’-Maurice Gattefosse’ (a French chemist) explored its possibilities and introduced them into our everyday lives.
Although most commonly used in baths and body rubs, there are many uses for aromatherapy. You can use them in manicures, pedicures, massages, reflexology, and facials. Aromatherapy has also been used for medical and preventative health practices.
The practice of aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils – oils that are extracted from various parts of a botanical source. Each batch of essential oils can have different fragrances due to weather, dew content, the time of day it was excavated, and what part of the plant it came from (seed, bark, root, leaves, wood, or resin). Direct contact with essential oils can sometimes cause skin irritations, and they may require a base oil or carrier oil.
Top Essential Oils and Their Uses
Antiviral, antibacterial, boost immunity, antidepressant, and relaxant.
Anti-inflammatory, digestive, PMS, stamina, nerves, and antidepressant.
Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, headaches, comfort, menstrual cramps, and antiseptic
Stimulates circulation, relieves pain, and decongestant.
Antifungal and antibacterial.
Astringent stimulates circulation, and antiseptic.
*Do Not Use If Pregnant* Digestive, clears sinuses/decongestant, antiseptic, energy, and stimulant.
Decongestant, antiviral, antibacterial, and stimulant.
Antidepressant, antiviral, antibacterial, water retention, and anti-inflammatory.
Tranquility, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory.
These essential oils can be used alone or in any combination. Just make sure the oils you are using will aide in the remedy. For example, for stress combine lavender and chamomile or for invigoration try using peppermint and lemongrass.
Carrier Oils and Their Uses
Sweet Almond Oil
Medium to light-weight multipurpose massage/skin oil or lubricant.
Light-weight massage oil used for aged, dry skin,
Medium to heavy-medium oil for dull and dehydrated skin.
A fine textured, light odor-ed massage oil.
Light to medium weight oil, excellent for moisturizing and emulsifying properties.
Few things can move us so deeply or have such a profound impact on our psyche, as the memories evoked by specific smells. Aromatherapy has been known to alleviate depression ailments, illnesses, and/or insecurities; it can enhance our lives, our health, beauty, and psyche. It can improve your sleep, increase your energy, eliminate skin disorders, and improve your general mood as well as the mood of those around you. Aromatherapy is for everybody, and everyone can benefit from its incredible healing properties. But remember, essential oils are like medicine; so use them with caution. Make sure you know and understand what you are using. And when purchasing essential oils, be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and make sure the oils are the quality you are looking for.