Are you taking advantage of your essential oils?
Essential oils are powerful beauty and wellness tools from the plant world. We’ve already discussed the benefits of aromatherapy, and got you all jazzed up about lavender, lemongrass and everything in between.
So, you ran to your local health food store and loaded up on vials and amber bottles of all the essentials. But, now that you have them, how the heck do you use them? Sure you can put some in your bathtub, but to use them to their fullest benefit you need more ideas!
Below are 4 basic categories of aromatherapy along with tips for each.
Tissue: Place a few drops of essential oil in tissue. Take tissue up to your nose and breathe deeply.
Steam shower: bringing your favorite essential oil (lavender works well) to the steam shower. Use 2-3 drops over the steam nozzle. If the steam shower is for public use, you may need to ask permission. The alternative would be to use 5-10 drops of essential oil in a damp washcloth so that you can inhale the aroma whilst sweating away.
Diffuser: They come in many varieties, from the candlelit clay, copper or stone bowl to the electric fancy-pants brands. Use them according to directions, as they will differ depending on which diffuser you choose.
Washcloths: In a bowl of very warm, almost HOT water, soak 2 clean washcloths until completely drenched. Remove one washcloth, ring out excess water, and apply to a clean face until warmth is gone. Remove second washcloth and repeat! Follow with appropriate moisture treatment.
Bath: Add 5-15 drops (depending on oil and strength desired) to your running bath. For a boost, try adding Epsom or sea salts, powdered seaweed, or liquid sea minerals (found in your local health food store) for even more therapeutic benefit!
Foot Soak: Same idea, just scaled down. Use a large bowl, pot, or my personal favorite: pedi-bowl (this one is more of an investment for the professional foot-soakers out there).
At home: Add a few drops in a base oil or lotion and massage one body part at a time, always moving in a direction toward your heart. The best time to massage is right after the bath or shower, when your skin is still damp.
Professional: Take your oil of choice with you to your next massage, facial or nail appointment and have them incorporate a few drops of oil into your massage lotion, oil or pedi-soak. Trust me (I am, of course, a professional myself,) they won’t be offended.
Words to the Wise:
*If you are pregnant, many essential oils are off limits. These oil are powerful plant medicine, remember? *Always check with your primary physician or Naturopath to make sure your favorite essential oils do not interfere with medications or conditions.
*Certain essential oils (like grapefruit, rosemary, peppermint and sage) can be very stimulating. If you have very sensitive skin, you may want to go for lavender, chamomile, yarrow or helichrysum instead