Most ancient cultures valued the theraputic benefits of aromatic plant oils.
The ancient Vedic literature of India and historic Chinese medical texts document the
importance of scented oils in promoting health and spirituality.
Hippocrates, regarded as the "father of medicine", used fragrant fumigations to rid Athens
of the plague, and Roman soldiers were strengthened by scented oil baths and regular massage.
But the richest aromatict traditions belong to the ancient Egyptions.
Physicians from all over the world are reputed to have traveled to Egypt to learn aromatic medicine from these masters.
Aromatherapy is believed to have come to the western world at the time of the crusades.There are records of essential oils being used during the plague in the fourteenth century.But it was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that aromatherapy was popular.The great Europian herbalists,including the Englishman, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote avidly about its benefits.During the last two centuries scientists developed a greater understanding of plant oil chemistry.
Ironically, scientific research led to the growth of the drug industry and the demise of plant medicine.Then in the 1920s, a French chemist,Rene Maurice Gattefosse, became intrigued by the healing potential of essential oils.He discovered that Lavender oil quickly healed a burn on his hand and that many essential oils were better antiseptics than there synthetic counterparts.it was Gattefosse who coined the term "aromtherapie".
A French army surgeon Dr.Jean Valnet furthered research by using essential oils to treat soldiers wounded in battle.later he used the oils with great success on patients in a psychiatric hospital.In 1964 Valnet published Aromatherapie,which was regarded as the bible of aromatherapy.
In the 1550,s Madam marguerite Maury, a beauty therapist, introduced aromatherapy clinics to Britain.She taught beauty therapists how to use essential oils in massage to provide treatment which was suited to each individual client.In recent years aromatherapy has developed far beyond beauty therapy.It is now a recognized and important part of complementary healthcare.
Essential oils are extracted from the leaves, flowers ,fruit,wood,bark and roots of plants and trees.They are natural multifaceted chemical compounds, more complex and safer than pharmaceutical drugs,but slower acting so they are best used as a preventive or as a complementary form of treatment.About 150 essential oils have been extracted for use in aromatherapy.Over the next few pages you will find detailed information about 15 of the most useful oils, all of which you can buy from specialist suppliers, healthfood stores and some large pharmacies.Each essential oil has a unique fragrance and at least 100 chemical components,which work together to heal mind and body.All the oils are antiseptic,and may have numerous other actions, such as anti-inflammatory,pain relieving,or antidepressant.The oils on the next page i have chosen for there safety, and availability.
Essential oils make a pleasant alternative to the usual items in the home or travel first aid kit. For such basic care you need to invest in only six or seven multi purpose oils.Keep a ready supply of base oil, cotton wool,cotton cloth, sticking plasters, and bandages. Aromatherapy oils should always be kept out of reach of children, but they can be used successfully for many accidents and childhood ailments.
Do not take essential oils internally.
do not use on the eyes.
Do not use neat unless otherwise stated.
Do not expect to use essential oils to deal with conditions that would normally require medical attention.in all cases of serious shock, wounds, or injuries, call a physician.
massage in it self is theraputic, and the rubbing action releases the fragrance of the oils and ensures they arewell absorbed into the skin.massage forms a potent healing treatment that can be relaxing or energizing,it can sotthe the nervous system, or stimulate the blood and lymphatic systems.
dilute the essential oils in a cold pressed vegetable carrier oil such as grapeseed,sweet almond,or sunflower oil.Use up to 5 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
Aromatic baths are simple, useful, and versatile way to use essential oils at home.They can be used to enhance moods,relax or stimulate body systems,treat skin disorders,and ease muscular aches and pains.
Fill the bath with warm water before you add the oils.For adults add 5-10 drops of essential oil to a full bath.use less than 4 drops for children.
These can be electric or ceramic a ring that is heated by a light bulb, but most are ceramic pots warmed by a small candle.They are a natural way to scent , deodorise,or disinfect a room, and are one of the best ways to use oils for enhancing mood and balancing the mind.vaporizers are usefull for when young children have breathing difficulties.
add water and 6-8 drops of essential oil to vaporizer. Alternitvely add the oil to a bowl of water.
inhalations are most beneficial for throat and respiratory infections, sinus and catarrh, congestion and headaches.The steam releases the vaporsof the oils.steam inhalations are not always suitable for asthmatics or people with breathing difficulties, and they are not apropriate for treating children and infamnts.
Add 3-4 drops of oil to a bowl of boiling water,bend your head over the bowl, cover your head with a towel and breathe deeply for a few minutes. you can also use this method as a facial sauna.
One of the best ways to use oils for skin care is to add the oil to a cream lotion.this is more comvenient and less greasy than massage, and it also means the oils can be applied when needed to wounds,bruises,or itchy skin.Adding oils to shampoos helps with every day hair care problems,and using essential oils with shower gel is excellent for fatigue and hang overs.
Add 1or 2 drops of essential oil to plain unperfumed creams,lotions ,shampoos,,and massage into the skin or scalp.Choose unscented products that are lanolin free and made from natural ingredients.
GARGLES AND MOUTH WASHES
Although essential oils should not be swallowed, mouthwashes and gargles are excellent ways to use antiseptic oils to treat mouth ulcers, gum desease, throat infections,and bad breath.These methods are not suitable for children.
Dilute 4-5 drops of essential oilin a teaspoon of brandy.Mix into a glass of warm water and swish around the mouth or use as a gargle..Do not swallow.
HOT AND COLD COMPRESS
Compresses are an effective way of using essential oils to relieve pain and inflammation.They can be either hot or cold, hot compress are good for muscle pain, arthritis, rheumatism, toothache,and swelling.
Add 4-5 drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot or cold water, soak a folded clean cotton cloth in the water,wring it out and apply over the effected area. if using a hot compress, cover with a warm towel.
NOTE... a few essential oils such as Lavender..teatree...and Sandalwood ..can be applied undiluted to the skin.Most oils should not be used neat as they can cause irritation.
The information on the following pages are provided for informational purposes only. I assume no responsibility for its accuracy, Any use of, or action taken, based upon any of the information contained on or accessed through this site is done entirely at your own risk. Mention of any products or services is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. I assume no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of these oils.