<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1727321577525101&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Articles Health

Alternative Medicines (Aromatherapy) 2/3

Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils on the market  and for good reason. It smells great and is an effective stress-relieving oil. The name stems from the Latin word lavera, meaning to wash. In addition to stress-relieving properties, Lavender is a healing aid against colds, flu and migraine. Extraction and Application: Lavender is extracted from the flowers of the plant and steam distilled. Lavender can be used several different ways. Given the origin of its name, its a wonderful essential oil to use in a bath. Many massage therapists use it to help relax their clients. Add a few drops to a diffuser or even your pillow before bedtime to get a good nights sleep. Aromatherapy Uses: In addition to stress-relief, Lavender has the following therapeutic properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory decongestant, deodorant, diuretic and sedative. Caution: Discontinue use if you suffer an allergic reaction when using Lavender.

It comes as no surprise that lemon is a favorite essential oil. Lemon is widely appreciated for its clean smell, but has numerous therapeutic qualities as well. It improves concentration, aids in digestion and eases symptoms of acne and arthritis. Extraction and Application: Lemon comes from the Citrus limonum. The oil is extracted from the fruits peeling via cold expression. Lemon oil is a terrific fragrance for the house, given its lemony-fresh scent. Add a few drops of lemon oil to the vaporizer or diffuser for enhanced energy. Or apply it via a carrier lotion during massage. Want to boost your immune system? Add some drops to your bathwater. Aromatherapy Uses: Lemon oil is a multifaceted essential oil. It helps with everything from skin irritation to digestion to circulation problems. It is a natural immunity booster and can even help reduce cellulite! Lemon oil helps to alleviate headaches and fever, and is a quick mood enhancer. Caution: While lemon oil isnt toxic, it can cause allergic reactions such as rash. Its not wise to use lemon oil in the sun.

Got a hyperactive child? Try adding a few drops of Marjoram to his or her bath or vaporizer. One of this essential oils therapeutic properties is to calm hyperactivity and relieve anxiety. Marjoram was a popular plant used by the Greeks in medicines and also helps with digestion issues such as constipation and cramps. Extraction and Application: Marjoram oil is steam distilled once its extracted from the leaves and flowers of the herb. Use Marjoram in vapor therapy to ease symptoms of asthma or sinusitis. Add a few drops in bath water to increase circulation or relieve insomnia. Blend with massage oil to alleviate headaches and tension. Aromatherapy Uses: Marjoram aids in anxiety and stress relief, combats fatigue and depression and alleviates respiratory and circulatory issues. Caution: Although it is non-toxic, Marjoram is not recommended while pregnant.

A widely known essential oil, Patchouli is often associated with hippies or earthy types who are thought to use it for its mood-lifting properties. Patchouli comes from the plant Pogostemon cablin and actually has powerful skincare properties.

Extraction and Application: This thick essential oil is steam-distilled after its extracted from young leaves. Add a few drops of Patchouli to your bath or humidifier to alleviate depression and anxiety. Blend with massage lotion to combat skin infections and to facilitate healing of wounds.  Aromatherapy Uses: Patchouli serves as a powerful skin care agent; it even promotes skin cell growth when applied directly to the skin. Patchouli helps to relieve anxiety, depression, fatigue, curb addiction, reduce cellulite and bloating. Caution: Although non-toxic, its best to use Patchouli in small doses given its strength.

All you need is a whiff of peppermint to put the pep back in your step. Peppermint has a cooling, refreshing effect and is widely used to enhance mental alertness. Peppermint is a perennial herb that boasts natural energy-boosting properties. Extraction and Application: Peppermint oil is extracted before the herb flowers and is then steam-distilled. It is used in vaporizers, massage oils and lotions, baths, even mouthwash. Aromatherapy Uses: Peppermint oil has a number of therapeutic properties. It is a cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion, and aids in digestion. Caution: Although non-toxic, the menthol component in Peppermint can bother some individuals. It is also a skin irritant and should be kept away from the eyes. Keep away from small children and do not use while pregnant.

Women should keep Rose oil handy as its a powerful aromatherapy treatment for issues targeted mainly at females. Roses are some of the first plants to be distilled for their essential oil. Rose oil is pricier than other aromatherapy oils given the number of roses necessary to distill it. Extraction and Application: Rose oil is extracted from fresh rose petals and then steam distilled. Extracting rose oil is a delicate process. Aromatherapy Uses: Rose oil is an ideal essential oil to have on hand. It helps with a number of illnesses and conditions, such as depression, anxiety and digestion issues. It is also helps with circulation, heart problems and respiratory conditions like asthma. It is a protector of the heart and is also good for your skin. Caution: Avoid during pregnancy.

Rosemary oil is a wonderful mental stimulant. Feel yourself getting foggy? Add a few drops of Rosemary oil to your humidifier or bath water for a natural lift and memory booster. This essential oil packs a powerful punch when it comes to aromatherapy uses. Throughout history the herb has been thought of as sacred. Extraction and Application: Rosemary oil is extracted from the flowering part of the herb and then steam distilled. Add some Rosemary oil to your humidifier to enhance memory, relieve congestion and sinusitis issues. Blend it with massage lotions and oils to help stiff, aching muscles, arthritis, liver and gallbladder congestion and digestive disorders. Rosemary oil in shampoos are excellent for stimulating the scalp, and thus hair growth. Aromatherapy Uses: Widely known as a mental stimulant, the antidepressant properties of Rosemary oil make it ideal for enhanced memory, focus and overall brain performance. It also acts as an analgesic, soothing aching, cramping muscles, headaches and migraines. As an antiseptic it helps with digestive and liver infections. It is great for skin issues as well. Caution: Avoid Rosemary oil if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy or high blood pressure. Pregnant women should also avoid this essential oil.

References

  1. Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva. Toshiko Atsumi, Keiichi Tonosaki. Psychiatry Res. 2007 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17291597)
  2. Evaluating Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Sleep in Children with Autism: A Pilot Study. Tim I. Williams. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16951722)
  3. Aroma therapy for dementia. L. Thorgrimsen, A. Spector, A. Wiles, M. Orrell. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12917949)
  4. Essential oils and anxiolytic aromatherapy. William N. Setzer. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19831048)
  5. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. George T. Lewith, Anthony Dean Godfrey, Philip Prescott. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16131287)
  6. Evaluating the effectiveness of aromatherapy in reducing levels of anxiety in palliative care patients: results of a pilot study. Gaye Kyle. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16648093)

Subscribe to R1 Blog Updates