Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Aromatherapy and Stress Part One

The more I study aromatherapy, the more amazed I am at the healing properties these oils contain.  I'm excited to see aromatherapy being accepted into the world of modern medicine, as I believe that helps to legitimize these healing oils (not that they need that, in my opinion! =)

Before I begin this post, I do want to emphasize that many essential oils (including some in the recipe I include on this post) should not be used while pregnant or nursing, so please consult with your health care practitioner or local aromatherapist before using any essential oils.

I am going to be doing a short series on aromatherapy and stress, discussing some different ways that essential oils can be used to relieve and mitigate stress.  Quality essential oils are a bit of investment up front, but will last a long time, as just a few drops are used at a time.  It is of absolute importance that the oils you buy are from a quality source, as many oils are diluted or full of chemicals and can actually cause harm.  Because these oils are so concentrated if they are not organic or wild crafted, they can hold high levels of chemicals in them.  I have listed on the right side of my blog three recommended sources for essential oils.
Organic Essential Oils

How do these oils relieve stress?  This is a complicated and scientific question, but a brief response would be that many of these oils act as nervines (relax the nervous system), sedatives, antispasmodics (relieve muscular pain and spasms), antidepressants, and analgesics (relieve pain).  Essential oils can lift spirits, calm, soothe, relieve insomnia and do so much more!

These oils can help to relieve both physical and emotional symptoms of stress, so recipes and blends can be made to treat one or the other or both.  These oils can be breathed in ( by placing on a cotton ball or clothing or diffused), placed in massage oils or gels or placed in bath salts.

One of my favorite ways to use these oils is in a bath.  Make the time taking the bath as relaxing as possible by adding things like candle light, a good book, soothing music, flower petals, etc.

photo credit:

Here is an easy, stress relieving recipe from The Healing Home Spa by Valerie Cooksley

4 T of Celtic Sea salt
1/4 cup powdered kelp (optional)
9 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops clary sage essential oil
1 drop majoram essential oil

Pour the salt into a small dish and, if desired, mix in the kelp.  Add the essential oils and mix with the back of a spoon.  After the bathwater has been drawn, pour the sea mixture into the water and disperse with your hands.
(The only changes I would make is that you can use epson salts if you don't have celtic sea salt, and I would mix the essential oils together first, then add the salts and stir well, being sure to completely disperse the essential oils into the salts.)

photo credit: (clary sage)

(Featured on Healthy Home Economist

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine gave me a bottle of "peace and relaxation" oil that has a couple kinds of citrus, blue tansy, patchouli and ylang ylang oils in it. It really is amazing how just smelling certain scents can help diminish stress!