Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.
A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.
There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties. Over the next few months, we will highlight a number of oils that no home should be without in our Healthy Living section.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils on the market, and for good reason. It smells great and is an effective stress-relieving oil. The name stems from the Latin word lavera, meaning to wash. In addition to stress-relieving properties, Lavender is a healing aid against colds, flu and migraine.
Extraction and Application: Lavender is extracted from the flowers of the plant and steam distilled. Lavender can be used several different ways. Given the origin of its name, it’s a wonderful essential oil to use in a bath. Many massage therapists use it to help relax their clients. Add a few drops to a diffuser or even your pillow before bedtime to get a good night’s sleep. Lavender is also great for skin conditions. Use on insect bites and bee stings, minor cuts and burns, scars, eczema and dermatitis.
Aromatherapy Uses: In addition to stress-relief, Lavender has the following therapeutic properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory decongestant, deodorant, diuretic and sedative.
Caution: Discontinue use if you suffer an allergic reaction when using Lavender.