Essential oils have been in use for thousands of years in traditional therapeutic practices, but it’s only the past couple of years that households in the Philippines have considered essential oils as a household commodity.
These concentrates from various plants, flowers, herbs and spices have active compounds that give them a variety of uses.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is derived from two words: “aroma” – being the fragrance of essential oils; and “therapy” – the way in which the fragrance is applied to promote physical well-being and relieve physical symptoms. There are several uses to use essential oils, including in inhalation, massage and baths.
My personal favorite whenever I have colds or sinus problems.
Grab a large bowl and fill it half full of nearly boiling water. Add 2 drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oils onto the surface, then cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for 15-20 minutes. If you have glasses or contact lenses, remove them before doing this procedure so they won’t steam up or fall into the water.
*Tip: You can still use this fragrant water after inhalation to repel insects and mosquitoes. Eucalyptus has natural insect repelling properties.
Vaporizers atomize essential oils at low temperatures to help release its volatile components into the air.
We don’t suggest using ceramic burners / oil warmers as overheating may destroy the therapeutic values of essential oils and will certainly evaporate the oils faster than optimal. It’s also a fire hazard!
A more effective way of diffusing scents and essential oils in a big area is through cold-diffusion scent machines.
*Tip: You can use tea tree and lemon essence to remove unpleasant odors. Choose your favorite scents to create an environment that suits your mood.
Essential oils need to be diluted in carrier oils when being used for massage.
These oils are vegetables such as grapeseed, sweet almond or jojoba. As a general guideline, use 10 drops of essential oil in 20mL of carrier oil. This is a suitable dilution for massage on most skins (except the face).
Sensitive, very young or elderly skin requires only 5 drops in every 20mL. The mixture should be stored in a clean glass bottle and would last for a maximum of four weeks.
Shake the mixture before use and spot-test on the skin before using on a larger portion of the body.
For a 20-minute soak to relieve tension and stress, use 4 drops of one essential oil, or a combination of two essential oils with 3 drops each, on to a tub.
Slightly stir up the water to disperse the oil. Many bath products including soaps, shampoos, body wash, etc. are now likewise made with essential oils for different purposes.
*Tip: If you have dry or sensitive skin, dilute the fragrance oils in whole milk or unfragranced bath before adding the water. For relaxation, use 3 drops each of lavender and frankincense.