Aromatherapy Fact Sheet
What are Essential oils?
Essential oils are from aromatic plants, which are grown in many different countries around the world.
They are derived from different parts of plants such as flowers, leaves, seeds, fruits, woods and roots.
Principally, most of the oils are extracted by steam distillation, those from citrus fruits by pressing and those from delicate flowers by solvent extraction.
They readily mix into base oils, but do not dissolve in water.
When essential oils are inhaled, the aroma sensitises the nerves in the nose and has direct access to the brain, making the effect immediate.
Essential oils have good skin penetration, rejuvenating the tissues and improving the elasticity of the skin, promoting the elimination of old cells and increasing the production of new cells.
They are beneficial for treating skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. The oils are cleansing and detoxifying, helping with water retention.
They help to stimulate the immune system and improve the function of the circulatory system. Bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis and other respiratory conditions can be improved
Different digestive complaints can be alleviated, including constipation and indigestion. Essential oils are also affective in treating neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism and muscular pains.
Additionally, essential oils have an antiseptic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal actions.
The properties of Essential oils are innumerable.
What are Base Oils?
Base oils or as they are sometimes called carrier or vegetable oils are perfect for blending with pure essential oils as their greasy texture makes them easy to apply for massage
Base oils have good skin penetration leaving the skin nourished and feeling soft and supple.
The most common base oils are Almond, Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Peach Kernel, Grapeseed, and Wheatgerm.
Essential Oils are delicate substances and are affected by light, heat, air and moisture. They are best kept in a cool dark place. Always keep your oils in dark glass bottles. As with essential oils keep your base oils in a dark cool place with lids securely tightened.
Mixing Essential Oils
General rules for mixing your essential oils.
A 10ml bottle of essential oil will give you approx 200 drops, when blending essential oils the dilution should be 2%.
10ml Base Oil = 5 drops of essential oil
50ml Base Oil = 25 drops of essential oil
This applies whether you are using one or a combination of oils.
Blending rules for face, young children or during pregnancy the dilution should be halved to 1%.
10ml Base oil = 3 drops
50ml Base oil = 13 drops
A Lanolin free, fragrance free base cream can also be used to blend with essential oils
Add approx 4-6 drops to a 30gr jar of cream
8-10 drops to a 50gr jar of cream.
For antiseptic creams the drops can be increased, see specific recipes.
Using essential oils in the bath have a therapeutic effect on both body and mind. A small amount of essential oil is absorbed through the skin and inhaling the vapours at the same time has an added effect.
Add approx 7 drops of essential oil to a warm bath.
Add 5-6 drops of essential oil to a bowl of warm water and soak the feet for approx 10mins.
Add 12 – 15 drops of essential oil to your essential oil burner (ensure you never let your burner water run dry) Depending on the essential oils used, this can be stimulating and head clearing, calming or relaxing. Vaporising is very beneficial to asthma and hay fever sufferers and can purify the air to help prevent infections spreading. They are ideal as room fresheners and make good insect repellents.
This method is used whereby essential oils travel to the lungs via the nose and throat, making it useful for respiratory problems, easing sinus congestion, colds and flu. Add approx 4 drops to a bowl of near boiling water, lean over the bowl, covering the head with a towel, close the eyes and breathe deeply and slowly for about 5-10minutes.
This method can be used to treat insect bites, worts, verrucas and nail bed infections.
When applying neat essential oils to the skin, use a cotton wool bud to treat the affected area, avoid making contact with the surrounding healthy skin.
Using essential oils safely
Do not take Essential oils internally.
Do not use undiluted essential oils on the skin (except where indicated).
Keep out of reach of children.
Keep away from eyes.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to essential oils.
Extra precautions should be taken when using essentially oils during pregnancy.
Always seek professional advice if unsure.
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