Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment using oils made of natural plant extracts. It works through the sense of smell and skin absorption. Women often find that the use of the oils improves their physical, mental and spiritual health. The floral and herbal extracts are an integral aspect of ayurvedic healing.
How does it work?
Essential oils are natural highly concentrated essences of aromatic plants that can be sourced from all parts of the plant: flowers (rose), woods (sandalwood), barks (cinnamon), leaves (basil), roots (licorice) and fruits (orange). Extraction of the oil is time-consuming, expensive and requires a high degree of expertise.
They enliven the body’s self-healing mechanisms. There are many studies that document how smells affect our brain. Aromatherapy has many positive effects including elevated mood, relief from anxiety, nausea, fatigue and pain. Hospitals use oil therapy for the critically ill, to alleviate pain and improve patients’ well-being. They find that the right subtle aroma can have a powerful effect.
Essential oils are potent, a few drops go a long way.
Always dilute the oils before bringing them in contact with your skin:
- Add a few drops to a carrier oil such as sweet almond, sesame or olive oil and then massage topically
- Add drops to enhance a facial toner, shampoo, or conditioner
- Diffuse or spritz the oils throughout a room
- Mix into bath salts and then pour into a bath
Different oils have shown to relax or soothe:
- Lavender – the best all-around oil out there. It can help to improve blood flow and thus reduce cramps, but it’s the calming, relaxing mental effects that makes it so popular
- Sandalwood – used to promote mental clarity and reduce anxiety
- Eucalyptus – known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the cramps
- Rose – helps to stimulate proper hormone levels and can help regulate menstrual cycles
- Ylang-Ylang – seen as an excellent antidepressant, has sedative properties that can calm the mind and reduce anxiety
- Peppermint – used to minimize headaches
- Chamomile – calms the body and mind and it can relieve stress, anxiety and irritability
- Patchouli – reduces worry, lifts the mood and increases bliss