Introduction to Aromatherapy: The Benefits of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. The purpose of aromatherapy is to improve the health of the mind, body, and spirit. It benefits both physical and emotional health. 

Aromatherapy targets the sense of smell as well as skin absorption. The benefits of aromatherapy can be achieved in a variety of ways. The most common and well-known option is an essential oil diffuser. This typically works by adding water to the diffuser and dispensing droplets of your favorite essential oil into the water. 

Some other options for dispensing aromatic smells are through aromatic spritzers that one can spray into the air. One way to utilize aromatic spritzers is to spray a spritzer with lavender onto a pillow before bedtime to promote relaxation. 

Other ways to utilize aromatherapy are through using bathing salts, body oils, creams, lotions, facial steams, hot/cold compresses, and clay masks. With the popularity of essential oils growing, companies are incorporating and advertising more of their products with essential oils. 

A common brand that utilizes essential oils in their bathing salts, oils, lotions, and creams is Dr. Teal’s. Dr. Teal’s can be found in a variety of stores such as Target, CVS, Walmart, and Amazon. In addition to the collection of bathing salts they create, their body lotions come in a variety to target specific issues. For example, Dr. Teal’s makes a stress relief body cream blended with eucalyptus, citrus, and spearmint. Dr. Teal’s also makes a sleep lotion blended with melatonin, lavender and chamomile. So, what are the most popular essential oils, and what are their benefits? The most common and widely known essential oil is lavender, most noted for its floral aroma. The most common uses for lavender are to promote better sleep, decrease anxiety, assist with depression and promote relaxation. Another widely used essential oil is eucalyptus. The menthol/mint aromas of eucalyptus can be used to give one a boost of energy. It also clears respiratory complaints as well as relieves a stuffy nose. When applied to the affected area, eucalyptus can ease sore muscle and joint pain. Pro Tip! When applying an essential oil to the skin, be sure to use a carrier oil such as your favorite lotion, almond oil, or jojoba oil! 

Orange, or sweet orange, is a citrus-based essential oil. The essential oil, orange, can reduce anxiety and lift one’s mood. It can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne or ease digestive concerns such as an upset stomach. Orange can also be used to flavor food or beverages. Pro Tip! NEVER ingest an essential oil unless it is food-grade. A common, yet pricier, brand that offers food-grade ingredients is Doterra. Doterra can be found on their website or on Amazon. 

Frankincense is a popular, yet particular, essential oil. In particular, one means that people either enjoy or dislike its woody scent. When used topically, Frankincense can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When diffused, this essential oil can reduce anxiety as well as promote concentration and memory. Medicinally, it can be used as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness, irritation and swelling of the skin as well as increase circulation. 

Not only is aromatherapy considered a form of holistic medicine, but it is also considered an art. Essential oils can be used alone or blended together to create soothing and beneficial combinations. For example, if one desires a blend to focus, three essential oils to mix together are woody Frankincense, minty peppermint, and peppery rosemary. If one desires a blend aimed at energy, utilize peppermint and rosemary, but instead of Frankincense, add the citrusy oil of grapefruit. Lastly, this blend for an immunity booster involves six essential oils: rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, and peppermint. 

How does one purchase the ideal essential oil brand? There are so many different brands on the market, it’s hard to choose! As previously mentioned, Doterra is a notable brand. They offer food-grade oils as well as one-hundred percent therapeutic-grade oils. However, they are a bit on the expensive side and are offered at their online store, Amazon, etc. If one is shopping online, a recommendation is Radha Beauty. Radha Beauty can be found on Amazon. The brand is reasonably priced and offers their customers vibrant, one-hundred percent therapeutic-grade oil blends. If one is shopping at stores, Nature’s Truth is a good quality brand that offers scents at reasonable prices. Nature’s Truth can be found at Rite Aid, CVS, and some ShopRites. Pro Tip! If the oil does not say one-hundred percent therapeutic grade, it may not be the best quality oil.

Aromatherapy offers a diverse range of benefits from medicinal to mental to spiritual. It is a form of holistic healing. It can be a passion, a hobby, or just something to enjoy and enhance life. The variety of scents, blends, and benefits that aromatherapy and essential oils offer is infinite!