Essential oils

Aroma Therapy

As summer turns to autumn and there are more grey skies and rain, how do you keep that sunshine feeling in your life? What do you do to keep your spirits lifted when the days get shorter and the nights draw in?

Essential oils have been applied medicinally throughout history and cultures worldwide, from Indian and Chinese wedding rituals to Aromatherapy practiced in spas, laced with some of the most high-tech and expensive beauty products on the shelf.

But do they really have a curative quality? The best way to find out is to try it. Tea tree oil is perhaps the best natural antiseptic and cures most things on the skin, toes and nails plus other superficial irritations that modern medicine just seems to suppress. Use with delicacy and care – these are natural oils however most are distilled from the plant essences that they derive their names from, potent with powerful effects. Ensure the oils are blended with carrier oil such as almond oil, before using them for massage or putting into your bath.

For those suffering a pesky change of season cold, create a steam bath for your face, nasal passage and bronchial chords with eucalyptus oil to clear and purify. Add drops to boiling water and cover your head with a towel before inhaling deeply and exhaling the unwanted.

If you feel your mind is racing and you simply cannot calm your racing thoughts down, choose an oil like lavender and put some drops in a warm bath, on your pillow at night or rub a little into the soles of your feet for a good night’s sleep. Lavender also works wonders for babies with colic (and parents being kept awake by it). A few drops in an oil burner in the baby’s room helps instantly soothe both of you.

Just as sunshine stimulates a medically proven feel-good factor, scented oils also generate that natural uplift. Bypassing any logical thought processes they directly trigger feelings associated with that particular smell. The same colour as the sun itself, lemon oil, along with lemongrass, rosemary, orange blossom and geranium are all enlivening and revitalising – a natural perk-up that can be bought in most health food stores.

Sage’s name in Spanish is Salvia, derived from the word salvation, mentally stimulating and helping to combat despair and fatigue.

Rose is wonderful for women who want to bring out their feminine qualities, bringing out balance and harmony with one’s self.

Chamomile – also a great tea – is calming and relaxing, combats insomnia, depression and stress.

Sandalwood enhances deep sleep and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for skin revitalisation, yoga and meditation and recent research at Birgham Young University even documented its ability to inhibit certain types of cancer cells.

Cedarwood and frankincense can clear cooking smells, smoke and old energy from the room.

So it seems even when we retreat indoors as the winter chill sets in, we can still use scents to enjoy essential escapism!