Are you getting the most from Aromatherapy?
Many people who have tried Aromatherapy are still missing out on the full benefits of essential oils. There is still a widescale perception that essential oils are primarily aids to mood enhancement and fragrancing; there are however many essential oils with proven antiseptic, anti-fungal, air purifying, healing and sedative qualities.
In using essential oils to supplement mainstream first aid preparations, we are following in the footsteps of René-Maurice Gattefossé, the French chemist remembered today as the father of aromatherapy, who is credited with actually inventing the word “aromatherapy”.
It is recounted that sometime during the 1920’s Gattefossé discovered the healing power of Lavender essential oil after burning his hand whilst in his laboratory – he doused it with the nearest liquid available which happened to be Lavender oil, and was surprised to notice that his hand healed more quickly than he expected. This led him to investigate other possible healing properties of essential oils.
Although there are literally dozens of essential oils credited with medicinal properites, you can create a really useful first aid kit fairly cheaply, with just six key oils.
For ease of reference we’ve listed these oils below in a handy table format, with a summary of the information provided for each oil in our main Aromatherapy Guide section. We’ve also listed any known contra-indications or precautions for each oil.
A couple of general points will maximise the benefit you receive from essential oils:
Invest in a secure storage box for your oils. Not only will this prolong their life, many essential oils are toxic if taken internally, so they need to be stored responsibly, away from children.
A good quality base/carrier oil is also extremely useful to mix your essential oils in – a light, all purpose oil such as Sweet Almond would be ideal, as it is kind to all skin types, helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation, as well as being useful against burns and thread veins.
Your new Aromatherapy first aid kit should come in handy for a whole range of minor ailments and injuries, both physical and emotional. Before you reach for commercially produced remedies for the following, take out your essential oil first aid kit!
Cuts, bruises, minor burns
Insect bites and stings
Strains and sprains, tired and aching muscles and feet
Nausea and indigestion
PMT and stomach cramps
Coughs, colds and respiratory complaints.
Remember that your aim, when blending essential oils together for first aid use, differs from when you are creating a blend of scents. Your goal isn’t to create a mood-enhancing blend of scents, but to combine essential oils in a medicinal compound. For instance, Tea tree and Eucalyptus are both very strong, pungent oils, but their healing properties are invaluable.
Lastly, please remember that essential oils cannot be used as an alternative to seeking qualified, professional assistance in the case of serious injuries or acute conditions, such as an asthma attack.