Aromatherapy

Book recommendations:

  • The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Halls
  • Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2e by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green

The following is an excerpt from Safe Harbor Article: Using Natural Remedies in the Treatment of Emotional and Mental States, by Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, CRNP, AHG

Essential oils were used in ancient Egypt, Sumeria and in earlier times. In this truly holistic therapy the mind and body are inseparable. Plato is to have said that the source of most illness has its roots in the soul. There may be no better way to influence the mind and spirit, than through a physical medium that includes nature’s essences; essential oils provide this.

The most common treatment applications using pure essential oils are inhalation and application through the skin. Inhalation may be as simple as sniffing the aroma from the bottle, applying a few drops to your pillowcase, or making up a spray bottle. Most professional aroma-therapists recommend utilizing a nebulizer for more constant exposure. In the European tradition, however, using ingested essential oil remedies are more common. A professional aroma-therapist should advise you on the proper dose and administration if you wish to use this method.

The benefits of essential oils can be achieved by direct application of the oils when used in baths, massage, or skin oils and lotions. Carrier oils (high quality vegetable oils) like sweet almond, hazelnut, or apricot seed are good choices. Lotions should be made from all natural ingredients, with vitamin E or rosemary oil as preservatives.

The psycho-physiological effect essential oils can be observed with EEG. Cortical activity is altered in alpha, beta, delta, and theta waves. Research in Japan established that jasmine oil increases alertness and attention through beta-wave activity. Jasmine oil can also offer a stimulating effect.

The central nervous system has much to gain with the use of essential oils. They can be anti-depressant, sedative, tranquilizing, and release endorphins. The hypothalamic response affects the endocrine system through hormone release. Ultimately, all cells in a living organism are touched through the use of the oils.

Certain essential oils, for example, offer different psychological effects:

Anti-depressant ylang ylang, geranium, jasmine, orange, sandalwood, lemon,
lemon verbena, mandarin.
Anxiety petigrain, neroli, bergamot, cypress, lavender, lime, marjoram, rose, violet leaf
Innervating basil, peppermint, rosemary (rosemary shows a positive effect in Alzheimer’s)
Sedative neroli, petigrain, cedarwood, chamomile, melissa, valerian.

 

Studies dating from the 1920s report the following benefits of selected essential oils:

Lavender relaxing, circulation, meditative.
Pine Strengthening, stabilizing.
Angelica anorexia, relieving hopelessness.
Basil fatigue, general nerve tonic, anti-depressant, soporific, confusion, melancholy, mental clarity and concentration, reduces anxiety. (careful use prevents over-stimulation).
Bay anti-hysteric, sedative, hypotensive
Bergamot sedative for anxiety and antidepressant, stimulates appetite.
Chamomile(Roman) calming, hyperactivity, good for use with children.
Clary Sage sedative and nervine for insomnia, paranoia, panic, and hysteria.
Cypress anxiety, confusion
Everlasting grounding increases dream activity.
Juniper apathy, paranoia, confusion, anxiety, nervous trembling and paralysis, diuretic
Marjoram grief, insomnia.
Spikenard grounding

To be truly effective, essential oils must be absolutely pure. Synthetic or adulterated oils, although less expensive, will not give you the effects you desire and may even have adverse effects. To in sure quality, you may want to choose only oils that are guaranteed to be organic or ethically wild crafted, properly distilled or extracted, originating from a reliable source and priced accordingly. It is essential that the oils are species specific.

Caution: certain essential oils are not recommend for use during pregnancy, and may be skin irritants if not properly administered.

Usage:

Baths 8 -10 drops.
Massage 10-20 drops in 1 ounce of oil.
Inhalation 2-5 drops on a tissue or cotton ball
Diffusers use pure oils only.
Body lotion 15-20 drops in 1 ounce of lotion
Spritzer 4 ounces of distilled water with 40-60 drops of pure essential oil, shake before using
Note: glass or PET bottles are essential oil safe.

Two blends that have worked well are as follows:

Nervous Tension
This blend will relax the nervous system, ease tension, and bring emotional equilibrium.
· 10 drops Lavender
· 10 drops Petitgrain
· 4 drops Roman Chamomile

Nervousness/Anxiety/Insomnia
This blend will profoundly relax the individual, induce sleep, and bring calm to an active mind that is preventing the correct emotional balance and total relaxation.
· 10 drops Lavender
· 10 drops Basil
· 3 drops Neroli

The precious oils of plants enable us to use the art of aromatherapy to enhance well being and open a new door to healing the spirit.