There has been an upsurge in interest in aromatherapy as of late. So what is the history and aromatherapy definition?
The origin of aromatherapy can be traced back to the prehistoric period, in the countries of ancient Egypt, the Far East, and China. The concept aims at the holistic treatment of the human body by making use of the essential oils obtained from various herbs and plants.
The essential oils are normally obtained from the various parts of specific plants extracted by distillation and applied along with carrier oils such as almond oil, coconut oil etc. The oil content in these many of these plants is so low that it takes huge quantities of plant parts to yield smaller quantities of essential oil. For example, around 440 pounds of fresh lavender flowers are required to produce a meager 2.5 pounds of essential lavender oil. That is one of the reasons essential oils can be somewhat expensive.
The use of essential oils becomes a lifestyle and they take care of the health and well being of the entire family. These oils have since ancient times been very popular in various parts of the world. Though the aromatic plants used to produce these essential oils were known and put to use since time immemorial the term aromatherapy is of recent origin. Let us examine the use of these essential oils as a scent to alter one’s mood and the general atmosphere in one’s surroundings.
Aromatherapy, or treating with scents, is huge and growing in the area of alternative medicines. It is used in hospitals and homes to treat anything from labor pains to cardiac rehab. Although used in other countries for centuries, aromatherapy is making its way into the everyday lives of people around the US.
If you’re new to the idea of using aromatherapy to help reduce the stress in your life, then start with something simple such as a lavender bath or other lavender essential oil product. Here is a simple and wonderful recipe that you can try at home in your bath before bed.
Lavender Calming Bath Crystals
Creating your own bath salts is a terrific way to enjoy aromatherapy at home. Surprisingly, bath salts are very affordable to make and require no harsh ingredients. In fact, the main ingredients in bath salts include baking soda, table salt, and Epsom salt. Each of these is commonly found in a local grocery or retail store and are safe to use. Certain bath products, which are found in the world of retail, may contain harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin. The advantage to creating your own bath salts to use as aromatherapy, however, will ensure that you know which ingredients are going into a product and the peace of mind in knowing that they are safe to use.
You can make your own aromatherapy bath salts by starting with a large mixing bowl and a spoon or other similar utensil. The next step is to add 3 cups of Epsom salt, 2 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of table salt into the mixing bowl. Once each of the ingredients is added, begin mixing them with your hand or the spoon. Once mixing is complete, slowly add food coloring to the mixture. Normal food coloring will work fine and should be added according to the color that you prefer your bath salts to be. Adding more drops will darken the color and adding fewer will make it lighter. Some individuals enjoy mixing the colors in order to get a unique hue, but mixing colors should be done prior to placing the coloring into the mixing bowl with your other ingredients.
The final step is to add essential oils until the desired scent is achieved. The best way to determine when the scent is perfect is simply by using your own judgment. Bath salts should be strongly scented in order to allow for fewer salts to be required for each bath, which will enable them to last longer.
Using the steps and ingredients as noted above, you can also use a bowl with a lid and shake the mixture, food coloring and essential oils until it is perfectly blended. This will save you time from stirring but, otherwise, the procedure of creating your own aromatherapy bath salts is the same.
Another common form of aromatherapy is the use of scented candles. Popular fragrances include vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, etc. These candles are commonly found at any retail store, online specialty shop and at craft fairs. Depending on the size of the candle, scented aromatherapy candles may last for up to one week with limited burn time. It is recommended that individuals select a candle that is jarred in order to avoid the hot wax runoff and/or the potential for flames coming into contact with nearby items.
Aromatherapy candles are made from essential oils of plants. And lighting the room is only a secondary feature of these candles; the primary use is in stimulating oneself physiologically and therapeutically. It is well known that aromas and fragrances are effective for evoking moods and emotions. So if you are looking forward to a romantic evening, just use aromatherapy candles and see how your night turns out.
The marketplace has a wide range of options for you to choose from in aromatherapy candles. Choose from floating, pillars, gel, votive and jar candles. If you are free and want to do something creative then go for designing aromatherapy candles for yourself. It is easy. You must be aware of the basic preparation method and have a knowledge of essential oils. But with a little effort, you can make your own candles exactly how you like.
Lavender is the most popular oil used in the preparation of these candles. Light a candle when you are taking bath. Or place a candle by the dining table. Lavender has stress relieving features and will keep you stress-free for the entire day.
You have a large choice in fragrance too. Just understand the mood you want to stir up and make your choice. If you are suffering from sleeplessness, you can use Sage, Chamomile, and Ylang Ylang. Looking for uplifting mood, use Rosemary and Grapefruit induced aromatherapy candles. Similarly, there are candles with aromas of Eucalyptus, Geranium, Peppermint, and many more.
The wax used for the preparation of the candles must preferably be natural. The soot released from paraffin candles has been associated with many diseases. Vegetable-based wax like soy, palm and beeswax burn clean and for longer than paraffin-based candles. They also release less soot.
Another wonderful way to use aromatherapy to relieve stress is to apply a lovely lavender-scented body lotion to your sore aching muscles. Apply this easy to mix lavender lotion after your bath, or if you’re lucky enough to have a partner who is willing, request a relaxing massage before bed. The calming scent of lavender works for fussy babies, why not stressed moms? Here is a simple recipe for a lavender lotion that you’ll love.
Lovely Lavender Lotion
1 oz. glycerin
2 tsp. oil of lavender
Put ingredients in a clean glass bottle and shake well. Refrigerate.
When life makes you crazy, remember, you have the power to create a calming oasis in your own home. Take a few minutes for yourself and relax. And now you know all about aromatherapy and the aromatherapy definition.