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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Aromatherapy for Sports and Fitness

Today more than ever we are turning into a health conscious society. We watch what we eat and drink with a scrutinizing eye. Many of us are doing some sort of exercise routine in order to stay fit and increase our energy levels. No matter what level of athletic ability you have, therapeutic grade essential oils will aid in relieving sore and strained muscles, help tone your muscles, give them greater definition, and even help to increase performance! So if your routine consist of mall walking or you are a professional athlete you owe it to yourself to experience the benefits of using essential oils before and after your workout or game.

Sports Creams. There are hundreds of creams and lotions on the market designed to ease your muscle aches and pains, strains and sprains. Most of these creams do a pretty good job of reducing the aches and pains and easing your sore muscles. However, are you aware that many of these products contain aluminum. Not only are you getting some relief from your pain, you are also getting a dose of aluminum. Did you know it is thought that aluminum may be a leading cause of Alzheimer?s disease. So in your attempt to get healthy you may very well be making yourself sick.

Pre Workout. Before you start your exercise routine blend a massage oil using 10 drops of Eucalyptus, 10 drops of Rosemary and 10 drops of Thyme diluted in 2 tablespoons of the carrier oil of your choice. Rub this blend over your feet, ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, lower back and arms. This formula is excellent for the lungs and respiratory system. It is also helpful for the structure of the muscular and skeletal frames. If you desire to build yourself up, make up another blend of essential oils using 15 drops of Eucalyptus and 15 drops of Rosemary diluted in 2 tablespoons of your carrier oil. This blend should be applied every day for 2 weeks as an all over body rub after your shower following your workout.

Performance Enhancement. All athletes strive to reach their peak performance each and every week. Rather than risking your career on performance enhancing drugs or steroids consider this formula. Use 5 drops of Bergamot and 5 drops of Basil blended in your favorite carrier oil. The aroma from this blend has a great effect on the psyche so breath deeply as you massage this blend all over your body. This essential oil blend strengthens the muscular system and keeps motion of the body flowing so that peak performance becomes easier. This blend should be reserved for game day so as to not diminish the effects. Another way of keeping your body in peak physical condition is by using the following essential oils. Eucalyptus, Birch, Wintergreen, Tea Tree, and Rosemary. Physiotherapist and sports therapist choose these oils more than any others.

Over Worked Muscles. We have all been there and done that. In our attempts to improve our physical well being we occasionally push ourselves a little to far. The no pain no gain mentality comes into play. On these occasions prepare a hot bath using 3 drops of Marjoram and 2 drops of Lemon essential oil and soak for as long as possible. Following your bath massage your muscles with this essential oil blend. Use 5 drops of Eucalyptus, 5 drops of Peppermint and 5 drops of Ginger diluted in 1 tablespoon of your carrier oil. This will cause your muscles to relax and have you feeling better in no time. It is important to note that your carrier oil should be a vegetable oil base and not a mineral oil base.

In Conclusion. As a health conscious society we need to be aware of what we put on our bodies as well as what we put into them. Many of the over the counter products available may actually be hurting us in the long run. The natural approach using essential oils will not only fend off the cramping, it will also give your muscles better tone and definition along with a natural performance enhancing edge! Remember to use only pure therapeutic grade essential oils for optimum results.

The author, Sallie A. Peterson is a stay at home mother of 2 boys and husband. She has been involved with the natural health industry for the past 15 years. Sallie has done extensive research with herbs and essential oils and has also been involved in helping to create essential oil blends for massage therapy, treating a variety of conditions.

Visit http://www.amberoils.com for all your essential oils and aromatherapy product needs. Copyright@ I and J Enterprises Inc. support@amberoils.com

Ed. Note: We also highly recommend Helichrysum essential oil for all sports injuries. It is a quick acting anti-inflammate, with important regenerative properties. Use 'neat' to reduce swelling with acute injury, or in a 5-20% dilution in any carrier oil for chronic pain.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Five Essential Oils for Happy Healthy Children

Busy parents are always on the lookout for natural, effective alternatives to support their children?s health and happiness. Invoking gentle calm in an otherwise hectic family life is especially appreciated. Essential oils can offer this support in a fun, safe and natural way. A few essential oils are particularly suitable for use with young ones, both for bringing soothing emotional calm and contentment healing the small wounds of childhood ? here?s a quick primer to help you safely and effectively use five valuable essential oils with children.

We?ll begin with a few tips on using oils with children and infants. There are three primary methods of using oils with little ones: Topical application through massage or applying directly to wounds or sores; Inhalation from a handkerchief, spray bottle, warm bowl of water, the bed sheets, or diffuser; and Baths, which actually combines the topical and inhalation methods. The main difference in using essential oils with children and adults is that children will simply need smaller amounts. There are a few oils that should not be used with children ? peppermint, for example, is considered too powerful for the wee ones under two (spearmint is called for instead, which can be helpful with tummy trouble). Ask someone with experience if you are unsure about a particular oil.

Also, the younger the child, the more dilute the concentration of essential oils should be in a formula, bath, or inhalation application. Massage formulas, for example, can contain approximately 1 drop essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for each year of age ? this is flexible depending on the oil and the situation, within a range of 3 drops for each year (i.e. For children one and under, up to 4 drops can be used with gentle oils such as Vanilla, Lavender and Chamomile ? use only 1 or two drops with newborns). The child?s weight can also be considered; if a child is larger for their age, a little more essential oil can be used. If using a diffuser, only enough oil so that the scent can be detected is necessary ? nebulizing diffusers may output too high a concentration of oils for children; warming or humidifying diffusers are more appropriate.The oil?s we?ll look at here are all quite safe and can be used as often as feels appropriate; Tea Tree, though, should be reserved just for it?s potent antiseptic applications.

And now for the oils! We?ll start with soothing the very little ones; comforting an infant can seem a full-time job for many parents, where support is always welcome. For this, there?s one indispensable tool: pure Vanilla essential oil. Mmmm! Who doesn?t like vanilla? Infants really respond to its calming, sweet scent. And it?s so easy to use. A belly, back or foot rub with a blend containing 1/2 percent vanilla in any quality carrier oil (jojoba, hazelnut or other seed or nut oil of your choice) works magic for many parents. To make a 1/2 percent Vanilla blend, purchase a small amount of pure Vanilla essential oil and add 4 drops into each ounce of carrier. Use as frequently as you like, as vanilla is completely non-toxic. You can even add a few drops to your favorite cookie recipe for an exquisite flavor, far surpassing that of the commonly found vanilla extracts.

Next up is Chamomile. There are several varieties of Chamomile, with an array of uses. German Chamomile is an exceptional oil for skin inflammation and rashes, applied in a 1/2 to 1 percent dilution in Hazelnut oil. Roman Chamomile is premier oil calming little ones over two years of age. The oil may be used in a number of ways; aromatherapy massage, in a diffuser or room spray (with this and other oils, dilute 10 drops per cup of water in a clean spray bottle ? shake well and lightly mist the air), a drop or two sprinkled on bedding, or in a bath. According to Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt in Advanced Aromatherapy, "Even in very small concentrations, whether alone or in combinations with other oils (Roman Chamomile) has a soothing effect?it is appropriate to massage a few undiluted drops into the solar plexus." It is noted as particularly suited to calming tantrums or bringing calm after nightmares.

True Lavender essential oil (Lavendula angusitifolia) is wonderful for its soothing effects as well, along with a great variety of other healing actions. It is an excellent remedy for small burns, applied directly to the area, undiluted. For small cuts and scrapes, Lavender may be used alone, or in a 50/50 blend with Tea Tree for added antiseptic properties. Lavender supports sleep, and is an excellent choice for diffusing in the evening time. Lavender may also be used in a bath, and is the first choice for a gentle foot rub. For a good night?s rest, blend 2 to 1 with Roman Chamomile, diluting as needed depending on the child and application method.

For brightening sour moods, the aromas of sweet citrus oils are unmatched. Children especially enjoy Tangerine; Mandarin (a Tangerine variety) has an additional calming action not found in any other essential oil. Mandarin oil is either cold-pressed from the peels of the fruit, or steam distilled from the leaves of the tree (known as Mandarin Petitgrain). The cold pressed oil is excellent for aromatic use (in a diffuser or room spray), and the steam distilled variety is recommended for baths and in body oil blends. Care should be taken with using any cold pressed citrus essential oil on the skin, as they will make the skin more sensitive to UV rays for the following day or two where it has been applied. Citrus oils should not be avoided for this reason, just consider if your child will be bundled up in the darker days of winter, or building sand castles at the beach!

And for all those little abrasions of childhood, Tea Tree is highly regarded as a natural antiseptic for cuts and scrapes. Once a wound is washed, it may be covered with a Band-Aid which has a drop of Tea Tree placed on the gauze. Tea Tree may be a bit strong to apply directly to the injury, though when mixed with equal parts of Lavender, Tea Tree will prevent infection while the Lavender will relieve pain and actually speed wound healing. A few drops of the Tea Tree/Lavender mixture can be added to a warm cup of water to use as a cleansing wash. An effective, home made antiseptic spray can also be made: use 2 ounces water, 1/2 half ounce rubbing alcohol, 8 drops Lavender, 12 drops Tea Tree and 8 drops Roman Chamomile. Shake vigorously and store, shaking again before each use. Tea Tree is considered a ?universal antiseptic?, with a great many uses in first aid and around the home. At 20 drops per cup of water, it can be used as a non-toxic (if not pungent!) general cleaner which you?ll be happy to use instead of many chemical laden household cleaners where your children will be crawling about ? and you can mix with lemon oil for a more pleasing aroma.

This is just a start at incorporating the magic of essential oils into your children?s lives. Safe, natural and effective means of supporting their health and wellness is always welcome. There are a great many more oils, many with profound healing effects. Particularly with children, start slowly ? your nose might tell you when you?ve had just the right amount of aromatherapy, but children may not be able to express this. And where one child may not respond particularly to a certain oil, another will be entranced by the same aroma. There are many wonderful books available for the beginning aromatherapist with oodles of oil descriptions and recipes. Experiment, be creative and have fun!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Few Good Ideas for Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the therapy using essential oils to promote health and well-being. The use of essential oils for solving health problem has become a more common and accepted form of treatment in recent years. The most frequent way of using the essential oils is through massage; however essential oils can be used in a variety of other ways such as :

1. Oil Warmer

Aromatherapy oil burner worked by heating a few drop of essential oils in a water bowl set above a tea light candle. Aromatherapy oil burner is the easiest way to benefit from essential oil?s scent and mild therapeutic effect. You also can try a simple blend to go with an oil burner. As a starter, It?s a good investment. (Ed. note: the Plug-in diffuser is also a warming diffuser).

2. Electric Nebulizing Diffuser

An electric nebulizing diffuser will allow you the ability to create many fantastic scents and expand them into the air that is throughout your home. There are many types of electric oil diffuser you can choose today. It?s the most effective and easiest way to disperse essential oils in the air. It?s recommended for emotional and mental health as well as for diseases effecting the lung, blood and the brain. A nebulizing diffuser can break down the oils into a fine mist to make easier for the aroma to be inhaled. And once you switch it on, it will last for couple hours.

3. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation is commonly associated with treating respiratory illness such as colds and flu. Add about 10 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint or pine essential oils into a bowl of hot water, then lean over the bowl and cover your head with towel for about tne minutes as you inhale. This treatment is good when you having colds.

4. Mists and Sprays

If you want to quickly purify and freshen the air in your home, or in your office, make an aromatherapy air freshener. Fill a spray bottle with distilled water. Add 5-10 drops of the essential oil of your choice for each ounce of water. Shake well and use it to spray around the room as often as you need it. Remember to shake well before each new spray.

5. Aromatic bathing

Bathing can be a pleasurable, highly relaxing experience and adding essential oils to your bathwater increases the benefits tenfold. Start by adding 6 drops of essential oils or blend into the bath water (add after the bath is drawn). The scents of essential oils fill the room with delightful fragrances, while essential oils enter the skin pores and relax tired muscles. (Ed. note: Aromatherapy bath salts are also an excellent means of enjoying this method).

6. Aromatherapy Massage

When used in massage these essential oils usually dilute with carrier oils, and then applied to the skin. With this, it is absorbed by the skin, and penetrates into the tissues of the body, your blood and the interstitial fluid. Smothing fragrant oil into tired muscle is the most pleasurable ways to relax and unwind.

7. Compresses

This method is a fast and effective ways to speed recovery from muscular pain and strains after a rigorous workout, and a treatment for bruises, headaches, insect bites, toothache, spots and more. Compresses can be made from adding 3 ? 6 drops of essential oils or blend into one quart of warm water. Stir carefully. Soak a clean cloth in the water, rinse it and apply to the affected area. Leave it there for 15-20 minutes. Repeated as needed.

8. Natural Perfume

Adding essential oils in your perfume base is lot more cheaper than you bought a branded perfume which is full of chemicals. To make an aromatherapy perfume is very easy (see link below).

9. Aromatherapy Candles

Candles can be used to help set the atmosphere and improve the ambience in many situations. They can be used in any room of your home and provide a wonderful enhancement. Using aromatherapy candle has a positive effect on our body and emotions. The key is in choosing the correct scent to match the emotion or sense you wish to evoke.

By knowing different ways of using essential oils, you can know which is the right one based on your needs. I hope that you can more able to create and apply your own aromatherapy treatments at your home.

This article is courtesy of the good folks from Aromatherapy at Home. For more information on aromatherapy and essential oils guide, please visit Aromatherapy-at-Home.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Integrating Aromatherapy In Your Daily Healing Program

The beneficial effects of aromatherapy are well-documented. The Egyptians were experts in the use of cosmetology and created perfumes, incense and herbal preparations. They realized the importance of fragrance in everyday life and used their herbal preparations to enhance beauty and create a sense of well-being.

Although aromatherapy dates from ancient times, its wider acceptance is more recent. Ten years ago, it was dismissed as an alternative therapy practiced by hippies and it was not accepted as a part of orthodox medicine. Today, aromatherapy is seen as a complementary therapy which has its place in a more holistic approach to health.
So what exactly does an aromatherapist offer?

The aromatherapist aims to treat the client as a whole, to maintain a balance in his/her physical, mental and spiritual health. This is achieved through a consultation with the client to establish any concerns which they might have and the careful selection of essential oils, based on the properties of the individual oils and the synergy created in blending them together.

Aromatherapy offers a healing approach to the stresses of daily life. Essential oils are distilled from plant material and are highly concentrated and chemically complex substances, with both physical and emotional benefits. Used under the guidance of a professional aromatherapist, they offer a safe and natural approach to health.

The quality of the essential oils used is of paramount importance. In order for them to have therapeutic benefits, it is essential that the oils selected are 100% pure and organic or wild-crafted. Inferior grade oils or those intended as fragrance oils do not offer the same therapeutic benefits and may be potentially harmful. Organic oils should be used whenever possible as a concentrated chemical cocktail is undesirable.

Massage offers easy penetration of the skin; allowing the essential oil blend to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where it stimulates the immune system. The recognized properties of essential oils include anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral effects, which support the body and promote healing.

There are many other methods of application in aromatherapy, including aromatic baths, which are probably one of the most pleasant ways of experiencing essential oils. A bath offers an opportunity to relax and unwind and the oils can affect the mood as well as relieving muscle discomforts and aiding sleep.

If total immersion is impossible or impractical, it is still possible to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy through a shower or even a foot or hand bath. What could be more enjoyable at the end of a tiring day than soaking the feet in a foot bath with an essential oil blend to ease tension and promote relaxation? Sitz baths are another bathing method commonly used in aromatherapy, particularly in relieving symptoms related to the female reproductive tract. Alternating between hot and cold sitz baths is an effective method of relieving pelvic congestion and easing constipation.

For more local applications compresses may be applied as a means of relieving sprains and strains to muscles; swelling and inflammation of joints. Compresses may be applied hot or cold, depending on the nature of the problem and in some cases, alternating between the two is beneficial.

Inhalation is another method of application used in aromatherapy. This may be through vaporization using an essential oil burner or inhalation with a steam diffuser or the old-fashioned method of breathing in the essential oil vapors over a bowl of hot water.

The undiluted application of essential oils to the skin have their use in aromatherapy, but it is always advisable to consult a Certified Aromatherapist before considering this method of application. Certain oils can cause quite severe skin irritation and even burning of the skin (testing one drop on the inside of the arm is sometimes used). When in doubt, always dilute an essential oil in a base or carrier oil or cream prior to application and remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and should be treated with respect.

Marie is a Certified Professional Aromatherapist based in Toronto, Canada. She founded her company Marie Chantal to create high-quality natural skin care products and to promote the use of organic and wild-crafted essential oils. The philosophy behind the company grew from concerns about the ingredients commonly found in mass-produced creams and lotions and a desire to produce a purer alternative.

http://www.mariechantal.ca

Monday, September 17, 2007

Helichrysum Italicum, aka 'Imortelle' and 'Everlasting' - Aromatherapy's Healing Wonder

The essential oil of Helichrysum is relatively unknown in the United States, though interest in this natural healing phenomenon is growing, and with very good reason. Helichrysum is one of the most potent, dramatically healing essential oils used in medical aromatherapy today.

There are over five hundred species of the Helichrysum plant; many share the same characteristics of narrow pale green leaves and bright yellow flowers. It is only the Helichrysum 'italicum' species that produces the highly regarded 'Everlasting' or 'Immortelle' oil for aromatherapy. There is even a sub-species of this called 'serotinum' which is a little more rare - if seeking out the oil, check the Latin name.

Helichrysum has its origins in coastal Mediterranean regions, where the bulk of its farming and distilling continues to take place. The island of Corsica is renowned for exceptional grades of the essential oil, with correspondingly high prices. The oil's growing demand has sparked interest in essential oil distillers in the US, and outstanding certified organic varieties are now being produced domestically. These oils represent a great bargain, as their laboratory results show very high levels of molecular healing components, with lower prices than their European counterparts.

By now you're likely asking: "So what does it DO?" Ah, well, a great many things! Helichrysum italicum is a unique essential oil in its distinct synergy of molecular components. It is the only oil known to contain safe but powerful regenerative di-ketones. Its curcumene components have been studied for their anti-inflammatory action; further, the oil contains what are known as 'spasmolytic esters' which cause tissues to relax. Relaxing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative - a wonderful combination in a single therapeutic oil.

As Dr. Schnaubelt notes in Medical Aromatherapy: "The pain-reducing, analgesic, and regenerative effect is unique...(the oil) works for all conditions in which inflamed tissue needs to be calmed down and regenerated." Its most common use is for healing skin, muscle and connective tissue. Helichrysum may be applied directly to cuts and scrapes, perhaps with a small amount of Tea Tree oil for additional antibacterial action. It has been recommended for surgical wounds, applied beginning seven days after a procedure. Continued application may significantly reduce scar formation, and can even treat old scars of various origins (we'll get to the recipes for this shortly!)

It is an excellent remedy to have available when sports and fitness enthusiasts young and old are at play. Helichrysum is used 'neat' (undiluted) on injuries such as bruises and twists that have just occurred to prevent further damage from swelling and hematoma. If applied immediately, a bruise may not even appear; if application is delayed, the oil will still speed healing. Tendonitis may be addressed with a blend of 1% Helichrysum, 1% Lemon Eucalyptus and 1% Yarrow oils in a base of Comfrey cream applied regularly to the area.

Helichrysum is found in many recipes for healing and supporting skin health. It is found often as a primary component to reduce the appearance of acne and keloid scars: use 1 milliliter Helichrysum and 1 milliliter Rosemary c.t. Verbenone in each ounce of a 25/75 blend of Rosehip seed and Hazelnut oils. While older scars may take up to six months of application, the effects are said to be surprisingly dramatic. Stretch marks post-partum and after significant weight loss may also be reduced using the same blend.

Helichrysum essential oil is indicated for many other conditions, and should be discussed with your healthcare provider to see if it makes sense as an adjunct therapy. The oil may ease symptoms of neuralgia through its regenerative and analgesic properties - apply a 3% dilution of the oil in Hazelnut or Jojoba to tingling or painful areas. It may offer support for other physical conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis in a similar concentration, with added warming oils may be added for improved. Helichrysum acts as an anti-coagulant, and is supportive of the veins. It is considered effective for reducing tinnitus: a drop is placed on a cotton ball and put in the ear each night for two weeks - some recommend simply placing a drop on the pinky and massaging the ear canal. The antispasmodic and decongestive actions help with coughs, colds and asthma. It also can offer great support for stress related exhaustion and headaches.



On the more esoteric side, where aromatherapy also affects the psyche and emotions, according to Mojay's 'Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit': "Those (emotions) that are most indicated?are enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, bitterness of spirit, and a stubbornly negative attitude." For many, there can be a direct link between these hardened emotions and physical manifestation of illness. Aromatherapy massage with Helichrysum may be extremely beneficial, as one receives the oil's aroma, its biological effects, and the healing touch of massage. Here, the oil may be used in a 1-3% dilution, alone or with other oils tailored to the person's needs.

With so many healing actions and extremely safe profile, no wonder it is considered by some to be one of aromatherapy's most healing oils!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Using Essential Oils to Create a Natural Perfume

The following article briefly explains the basics of blending essential oils to create your own natural perfume. Ananda tries to supply essential oils with exceptional aromas - we think you'll be able to make some beautiful scents with them! The intention is to find a combination of bass, middle and top notes you really enjoy, and can create a harmonious blend with. The oils can be likened to the colors on an artist's palate: mix them carefully to create your own work of art!

Beginning Perfumery - Using Essential Oils to Create Your Own Fragrance:

Perfume ?notes? ? the parts that make up the beautiful aroma ? could be described as layers of scent, or the character of the fragrance. Learning "how to make perfume" takes a bit of experimenting with the fragrant oils get the right combination.

  1. Starting with base notes

    The most sustainable part of the perfume, base notes are the richer, longer lasting scent sources. These bottom notes are the core of the perfume and are usually the heavier types of oils.
  2. Base note oils

    For a solid foundation, oils used as base notes need to be intense, concentrated sources. Woody fragrances such as cedarwood and sandalwood are often the starter for perfumes, or the resins ? myrrh and frankincense.
  3. Center stage

    Next in the art of how to make perfume comes middle notes. These give the finished product its stability, and work with the notes on either side to provide a balanced aroma.
  4. The heart of the matter

    Middle notes ? sometimes referred to as heart notes ? can be blended from oils in the softer category. Rose, chamomile and geranium are typical examples of middle notes.
  5. Top of the shop

    The lightest, most delicate scents in perfume are the top notes. These are less durable than the other two categories, with the fragrance evaporating in a much shorter time.
  6. The essence of top notes

    Giving the initial aroma, top note sources tend to be obtained from the citrus or floral types. Lemon and lime might be the choice, or perhaps bergamot or peppermint.
  7. Joining the medley

    To bind everything together, the ingredients in the notes get a helping hand from bridge notes. Lavender oil is a good choice, and vanilla proves very popular too.
  8. Cross breeds

    Sometimes the oils can vary between the note categories, since it can be difficult to classify each source. Orange blossom, for instance, fits in to top and middle note sections, while cinnamon could count as either middle or bottom notes.
  9. Beautiful blends

    Blending together all of these oils to get a beautiful finished fragrance takes a bit of know how. To make perfume notes compliment each other, the oils need to be carefully balanced to avoid either an overpowering aroma, or a quickly evaporating smell. (Ed. Note: Try blending very small amounts to start, counting drops of each oil and taking notes. Let the blend sit for awhile - some may take up to 24 hours to really 'come together' nicely - before altering the recipe.
  10. Natural notes

    Essential oils are the product of extracted natural sources, such as plants, flowers, trees, fruit and animals. (Ed. Note: Ananda's oils are all from natural sources).
  11. Tip 11 ? Synthetic notes.
    Fragrance oils contain chemically re-created aromas, and can be good substitutes for natural oils that are no longer available. Musk is one of these, as it?s an animal-based product no longer considered acceptable for cosmetic production. Finding resources for how to make perfume with synthetic oils however, can lead to inferior oil products that have little resemblance to the original! (Ed. Note: Sorry, you won't find any synthetic oils at Ananda!)

For more tips, articles and resources on how to make perfume, visit: http://www.squidoo.com/howtomakeperfume/

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Using Essential Oils for a Facial Treatment

An aromatherapy facial helps to relieve your tired and dull condition, balance and control your skin from oiliness, rejuvenate and revitalize mature skin. Some essential oils are used to soothe sensitive skin, heal skin blemishes, and its smell provides a natural healing therapy to improve health and well being.

You can try your own do-it-yourself aromatherapy healing facial treatment at home when your skin needs a natural boost. A do-it-yourself aromatherapy healing facial treatment is suitable for aromatherapy lovers and anyone else; if you are pregnant or under a doctor's care, you should check with your health professional to ensure the oils are using are safe at that time.

For those of you who wish to try this do-it-yourself method, it is fine if you have been using your other skin care products. Just buy a small set of aromatherapy skin care products - unscented natural cleansing lotion or cream, a carrier oil, one or two bottles of your favorite essential oil, and an aromatherapy oil blend for your skin type.

Step 1 : wear your hair band, pour some jojoba oil onto 2 pieces of facial cotton and remove all trace of eye, lip and face make up.

Step 2 : pour 1 or 2 drops of your preferred essential oil onto the unscented natural cleansing lotion or cream, blend together and massage lightly on your face to cleanse your skin. Then, use wet facial sponges or soft cloth to wash your face with warm water.

Step 3 : spray your favorite toner onto your face

Step 4 : spray some toner onto the warm towel and place on your face for 5-10minutes. Remove the towel.

Step 5 : spread oil onto whole face, massage in circular upward motion from chin to forehead. Do it slowly, this should be a relaxing face massage. Apply some pressure points on the forehead, temples, cheeks and chin area. Press for 10 seconds on each point and move to another point. Use soft tissue to wipe away oil after massage.

Step 6 : add 1 tsp of your preferred clay powder masque into a small bowl, add a few drops of essential oil, add some rose water or just water, add a little bit of carrier oil to prevent the masque from drying up fast. Mix all ingredients together until form a mud paste, smooth over the facial skin. Cover your eye with wet facial cotton (wet the cottons with rose water or water). Rest for 15 minutes. Wash away masque with warm water.

Step 7 : spray toner onto whole face.

Step 8 : apply 3-5 drops of aromatherapy facial oil blend onto your face and massage gently. This is your moisturizer.

About the Author: Juliet Cohen writes articles for beauty makeup blog and eye makeup tips. She also writes articles on makeup tips.

Ananda carries several essential oil blends for the face, with different formulas for different needs. You can see all our essential oil blends here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Some of the Many Uses for Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil is useful for clarity of thought and bringing feelings of inner joy, changes pessimism into optimism. Lemon can help to clear the throat charka allowing for better self-expression. It is said to bring spirit into action in the external world. Lemon essential oil has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune functions. It may serve as an insect repellent and may be beneficial for the skin.

The strong antiseptic qualities of this oil are good for cleaning insect bites, cuts and wounds. It is said to have an antiseptic nature for sore throats from coughs, flu and colds; and is useful in lowering high fevers.

It can be used as an astringent for oily skin and hair. Lemon essential oil can be irritating, it is best to dilute the oil; 1% oil to base or carrier is a good ratio.

This oil can be useful for exfoliation and brightening dull skin. It is useful in removing corns and warts and can help to soften scar tissue.

This oil is said to stimulate white blood cells, phagocytes, and lymphocytes to fight against infection. It is said to be a tonic to the circulatory system, to be useful in lowering high blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol. It is said to stimulate red corpuscles in cases of anemia. It may be good for the digestive system making the stomach more alkaline. It may be a good cleanser for the blood, liver, and kidneys and useful in treating diabetics. It may be an aid in eliminating constipation.

I have used lemon essential oil to get paint off of an antique desk, remove price stickers, and paint off of windows. The oil didn?t damage the items; in fact it shined the wood. Precautions: May irritate sensitive skin. Is phototoxic wear protective clothing for 48-hours after application to skin. Always test skin or surfaces before using.

Tamara Boswell Petrucci is a licensed esthetician, certified Reiki practitioner, reflexologist and aromatherapist. Her practice is in north Orange County, CA. Her website is http://www.TamarasSkinCare.com

From Ananda: Lemon oil is an excellent natural cleanser, and may by simply mixed in a spray bottle with water for a pleasant smelling disinfectant. Try 4 drops per cup of water to start, and adjust to your likings.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Using Essential Oils for Stress Relief

Aromatherapy essential oils are the highly concentrated essences of aromatic plants. The oils are found in different parts of the plant such as the flowers, twigs, leaves and bark, or in the rind of fruit. For example, in roses it is found in the flowers, in basil it is in the leaves, in sandalwood in the wood, and so on.

Essential oils have numerous uses but one of the most popular today is aromatherapy. Each of the organic essential oils used in aromatherapy can be used either alone or in combination to create a desired effect. Before using pure essential oils as part of an aromatherapy treatment, it is important to understand the effect that the oil(s) have, and how aromatherapy works.

Aromatherapy is the art of using these oils to promote healing of the body and the mind. The methods used to extract the oils are time consuming, expensive and require a high degree of expertise. Organic essential oils can be extracted using a variety of methods, although some are not commonly used today. Currently, the most popular method for extraction is steam distillation. To extract the essential oil, the plant material is placed into a still (very similar to a pressure cooker) where pressurized steam passes through the plant material. The heat from the steam causes globules of oil in the plant to burst and the oil then evaporates. The essential oil vapor and the steam then pass out the top of the still into a water cooled pipe where the vapors are condensed back to liquids. At this point, the essential oil separates from the water and floats to the top. This is a process best left to professionals.

Did you realize that it takes in excess of 220 pounds of rose petals to produce only 4 or 5 teaspoonfuls of oil? Did you know that it takes more than 8 million jasmine flowers to produce just 2 pounds of jasmine essential oil? Due to the large quantity of plant material required, pure essential oils are expensive but they are also highly effective. Only a few drops at a time are required to achieve desired effects. Diffuse these oils in electric or tea light oil burners.

How Essential Oils Work

Essential oils have an immediate impact on our sense of smell, also known as "olfaction". When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional center of the brain, or "limbic system". The limbic system is connected to areas of the brain linked to memory, breathing, and blood circulation, as well as the endocrine glands which regulate hormone levels in the body. The properties of the oil along with the fragrance and its effects determine stimulation of these systems.

When essential oils are used in massage oils, they are not only inhaled, but absorbed through the skin as well. They penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and systems of the body. Since essential oils have differing rates of absorption, generally between 20 minutes and 2 hours, it is not recommended to bathe or shower directly following a massage to ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness.

Different essential oils product different effects on the nervous system such as energizing, calming, soothing, headache reliever, balancing, insomnia, etc. Let's look specifically at the oils that are noted to promote reducing stress.

Amber essential oil is known for producing harmony, balance and providing a calming effect on the body.

Basil essential oil is soothing.

Basil Holy essential oil is best known for anti-stress.

Bergamot essential oil balances the mind and increases a sense of well being.

Chamomile Blue essential oil is relaxing and soothing.

Clary Sage essential oil is famous for its ability to calm and relax the mind and muscles.

Jasmine essential oil is relaxing and provides restful sleep.

Lavender (French) essential oil is a must for relaxing and calming.

Lime essential oil clears the mind and eliminates emotional confusion.

Mandarin Red essential oil is best for relieving stress, tension, insomnia and anxiety.

Myrrh essential oil can be attributed to calming nerves and fostering tranquility.

Palmarosa essential oil is acclaimed as a stress reliever. It also clears the mind and calms the senses.

Rosemary essential oil calms apprehension while stimulating the spirit.

Rosewood essential oil may help relieve tiredness, nervousness and stress.

Tangerine essential oil can help relieve stress and tension due to the soothing action on the nervous system.

Thyme essential oil calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety and stress.

While no one will make definitive medicinal claims regarding essential oils, aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries with results that demand notice. Many essential oils can be used in an aroma oil burner, blended with carrier oils, blended with bath and body products, or in a warm bath. Since the essentials are a pure oil warnings should always be heeded.

The next time your busy schedule has found you with stress that you would like to relieve try nature's remedy - essential oils.


Erin Torres is the co-owner of Aroma Isle. Experience Aroma Isle ~ We have a fragrance for every memory.

Visit our Essential Oils website.

Using Essential Oils Successfully During Pregnancy

Even though I found being pregnant to be a most enjoyable experience, I can also attest to the challenges that pregnancy presents. As each trimester unfolds in a pregnancy the body undergoes many dramatic changes including a heightened sensitivity to taste and smell, change in body shape, morning sickness, memory lapses as well as the inevitable emotional roller coaster ride. Essential oils can play a significant role in balancing the ups and downs and bring some pleasure to what should be the most rewarding time of a woman?s life.

During the first trimester some of us go through the morning sickness stage. Everyone is unique but if you?ve endured this you do have to wonder, "Why me?" All though not all essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, many are. As far as my knowledge from essential oil research and teaching is concerned there is no evidence of anyone having pregnancy issues as a result of the overuse of essential oils. For the most part paranoia is on the increase so don?t be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Subtle aromatherapy during pregnancy is a wonderful way to introduce the softness of scent to your unborn child.

The first trimester is also the time when the sense of taste and smell are heightened and the skin is more permeable. Certain smells can seem sickly sweet or too strong and can turn one?s stomach. This is the body?s own natural protection mechanism so it is important to listen to the changes you are going through. Using a mist spray with spearmint essential oil may help with nausea or if you prefer something more earthy and warming try ginger essential oil in a mist spray. A warm lemon drink last thing at night and first thing in the morning (if you are feeling nauseas get your partner to make it so you can have it before you get up) followed by gentle slapping with your hand over the liver (the liver is found under the right breast). This technique worked not only for me but for other woman to whom I have recommended it to.

During the second trimester hopefully the morning sickness will be gone and you can start to feel good about yourself again. Citrus essential oils can be used to help prevent stretch marks and this is the best time to begin your prevention ritual. A safe and effective bath and massage oil is the 'New Life' blend containing essential oils of Tangerine, Neroli and Sandalwood in a base of Sweet Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Carrot, Camelia and Wheatgerm oils. Use this to massage the tummy and thighs not forgetting breasts and buttocks. These beautifully moisturising oils will keep your skin soft and supple. The 'Joyous' blend of essential oils of Tangerine, Lime, Grapefruit and Sandalwood in a base of Sweet Almond, Apricot and Wheatgerm oils is another ready made alternative. Not only will these oils help with your skin condition they will also help your mood especially if you already have young toddlers or babies to care for.

When birthing time is approaching and you get that nesting feeling this is the perfect time to get some oils organised for the big day. Once you are in labour you tend to have enough to focus on and it?s a time to stay calm allowing your breath to guide you. This is where the support person comes in handy as your partner can also have enough to focus on when labour drags on. The support person can be more detached and is there to make you feel as comfortable as possible. It would be good to have the support person and partner learn a simple figure of eight massage technique over the sacrum to perform during labour. This feels wonderful so get them to practise well before you go into labour. Otherwise the midwives these days have had massage experience which really is a bonus as they know what you are going through and are not afraid to be assertive if you need them.

A massage blend can be prepared yourself or a perfect choice would be the 'Romantic Bath and Massage' oil to create that intimate, loving mood so that you and your partner remember this special occasion for future recollection as a joyous experience. It is a beautiful blend of Rose Maroc Absolute, Sandalwood Mysore, Musk SeedC02, and Neroli Petals. The Romantic Massage blend contains natural and organic carrier oils of Sweet Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Camelia, Jojoba, Wheatgerm, Evening Primrose and Vitamin E oils. Anyone would take pleasure in applying this gorgeous blend of oils I?m sure.

Happy pregnancy!

Angela Power has a background spanning 25 years as a health professional profiling a career in medical nursing for over 15 years and as a Natural Therapist since 1988. She has been practicing aromatherapy for over 18 years and enjoys writing articles on essential oils and their uses and benefits. She is renowned for her ability to provide knowledge through her real life experiences and her websites on Aromatherapy Skin Care Products and Essential Oils provides numerous articles on information regarding the benefits of aromatherapy and the therapeutic use of essential oils.


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