Aromatherapy for the Home
Article for Better Living Show Blog from the American College of Healthcare Sciences
You may have seen the term “aromatherapy” on product labels, or even as part of spa services or in advertising. But perhaps you’re wondering, “What does aromatherapy really mean?” Translated literally, aromatherapy is the use of aromas for their healing properties. It is “the controlled use of essential oils to promote the health and vitality of the body, mind and spirit,” as Shirley Price, a noted clinical aromatherapist, further explains in her book Aromatherapy for Health Professionals.
So what does essential mean? Essential oils are the distilled or expressed product of volatile components synthesized by various plant tissues of a single plant species (the healing components). Simply, essential means that these distilled or expressed oils contain the essence or the fragrant part of the plant.
To prevent loss when applying the essential oil (they are expensive, so you don’t want to waste any), buy an orifice reducer for your bottles if they do not come with one. An orifice reducer fits into your bottle’s opening and controls the flow of liquid being poured.
Second, try steam diffusion. Add your essential oils to a bowl of boiling water, and then inhale the steam. Hold your face at a comfortable distance so you inhale the steam without overheating. In general, use 6 drops of essential oil in a medium-sized bowl and inhale for 5-10 minutes.
Choose your oil based on your desired outcome. Remember, for an antibacterial effect, choose an oil like bay Laurus nobilis, while for a calming effect, lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil would be a better choice.
Third, consider heat diffusion. For this method, you can use a candle made with pure essential oils or you can use an unscented candle and select the essential oil yourself. For the later, burn your candle for 2-3 minutes to melt the wax around the wick, then blow out the flame and add about 10 drops of your oil to the wax around the wick. Wait 15-20 minutes for the wax to re-harden, and then relight your candle. Use citrus oils and flammable oils with caution, such as eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus, which can flare up with heat diffusion.
To disperse different aromas throughout the house, you can also use ceramic or brass light bulb rings; the oils evaporate and disperse easily. Light bulb rings can typically be purchased from your essential oil supplier, such as the Apothecary Shoppe College Store.
About the Author
The American College of Healthcare Sciences, with a campus in the John’s Landing area of Portland, is one of the only accredited, online schools offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide. For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, and to enter our booth competition, visit us at the Better Living Show, March 26-28, Booth #811. You can also check us out online at www.achs.edu, call us at (503) 244-0726, or stop by the campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.