I love using essential oils. My favourite combination is jasmine and rose. There is something so uplifting about using your favourite scent around your home or as a perfume. Apart from the lovely scent that they provide, essential oils have been used for thousands of years in ceremonial ritual, meditation and for healing.
In ancient Egypt, priestesses inhaled fragrance to allow them to venture in a deeper state of meditation and even bottles of essential oils have been found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. The ancient Greeks valued the healing powers of essential oils, using it in their temples to heal the aliments of the sick. Even the bible describes the use of essential oils with the story of Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus’ feet with pure nard, which is very soothing to the nervous system.
Scent and memory
When we use essential oils, they interact directly with the limbic system of the brain: the part of the brain where memories are stored. This is why you might smell the scent of jasmine and instantly remember the time when you were younger playing with your mother’s perfume.
Using a vaporizer
I like to use a vaporizer such as this one from In Essence Aromatherapy. To use a vaporizer, simply fill the little bowl at the top with warm water and add approximately 3-6 drops of essential oil. The candle at the bottom keeps the water heated, releasing the fragrance into the air. I prefer to use pure beeswax tea light candles because they burn cleaner and longer than other types. Take care not to let the water evaporate completely otherwise the oil will leave a sticky reside inside the bowl.
Other various ways of using essential oils include:
Sprays & spritzers
You can create you own facial mists using essential oils and bottled spring water. Perfect to tone the face after cleansing or freshen up your face on a hot day! Using a glass spray bottle (I use the ones from Plant Essentials), add 3-6 drops of essential oil to each 30 ml of water. Get creative with your blends and use different oils depending on your mood. You could also add rose water or flower essences for their extra healing properties.
Adding essential oils to your bath, foot soak or shower is an easy way to pamper yourself.
Bath – After filling your bath with warm water, add 6-12 drops of essential oil. Mix the oil well before getting in. This is a great time to use a relaxing combination of lavender and chamomile.
Foot soak – Add 4-8 drops of essential oil to a large bowl of warm water. Soak your feet for 15 minutes for a refreshing treat.
Shower – Sprinkle 2-3 drops of essential oil onto a damp washcloth to use in the shower.
Creating your own massage oil blends is great way to add a personalised touch. I recommend using a 100% pure unrefined cold-pressed base carrier oil such as sesame or coconut oil. Coconut oil can be a little bit tricky to use in colder climates, as it is generally solid at room temperature. You will need to gently heat your oil by placing the jar completely covered in a bowl of hot water.
Once the oil has melted pour about 50 ml into a glass container and add 10 -25 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Gently heat again before each use.
I hope you enjoyed my beginners guide to using essential oils. There are so many different ways to use aromatherapy. Enjoy exploring and let me know in the comments below, what are your favourite essential oils?