aromatherapy

BASICS OF AROMATHERAPY FOR BUSY MUMS

First time I heard the term Aromatherapy was during a Swedish massage course around 15 years ago. On graduation from the course, I took an aromatherapy massage course to be a qualified aromatherapist. Although I haven’t been practicing aromatherapy professionally, it became a part of my everyday life. The world of natural essences blew me away. By taking essential oils into my life I found a way to provide my family and home with the protection and pleasure they need without polluting ourselves or our environment with chemicals.

Aromatherapy is a truly holistic therapy that offers a form of treatment that can do much to improve a person’s general state of mental and physical wellbeing, to promote a state of balance within mind and body which will enable the individual to cope better with illness, stress, and fatigue – in short, to help the body to heal itself.

Ok, let’s face it, motherhood can be really tiring and sometimes exhausting, especially if it is your full-time job. Aromatherapy will not tackle all daily issues, but definitely will make you feel uplifted and balanced during the busy day, and relaxed in the evening.

Here are my TOP 7 “TO THE RESCUE” essential oils:

LAVENDER (Lavandula vera/officinalis/angustifolia)

Lavender
Lavender

Of all the essential oils, that of Lavander is undoubtfully the most versatile, but generally, it is calming, soothing and balancing. Perhaps the most important property of Lavender oil is its ability to restore unbalanced state – whether of mind or body – to that state of balance in which healing can take place. Lavender can help calm emotions, aid with sleeping problems, soothe and act as an antiseptic for cuts, grazes and insect bites, help relieve pain and assist in the healing of skin conditions. For children, Lavender essential oil can help with temper tantrums, overtired reactions, insect bites, heat rash, nappy rash, and sunburn.

TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea Tree is another essential oil with multiple uses. This oil is unusual in that it is active against all three categories of infectious organisms: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It is a very powerful immunostimulant. It is a great alternative to harsh chemical products that can be used with cleaning surfaces and toys. During the flu season, a couple of drops on a tissue can really help with decongesting the sinuses and help with chesty colds. Verrucae and warts can be eradicated by placing a single drop of neat Tea Tree oil in the center every day and covering with a plaster. It is also good for the large, inflamed and often painful spots which some women tend to get around the nose and chin during menstruation. A drop of Tea Tree dabbed on each spot rapidly reduces the heat and pain and clears the spot up quickly.

EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus globulus)

Another great immunostimulant, Eucalyptus is best known as a decongestant inhalation for colds. If the child has a cold, two drops of Eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief tied to a child’s cot can help to ease the breathing. This essential oil is also an effective insect repellent, painkiller while massaged into the skin and can be valuable for burns.

CAMOMILE (Anthemis nobilis)

Camomile
Camomile

Roman Camomile is one of the best calming and soothing oils for both adults and children. This essential oil is used widely when dealing with skin conditions in children, such as rash, dermatitis, eczema. It can also be used for digestive issues and to calm the emotions. For parents, this essential oil can really help with calming nerves and emotions, which can sometimes become a little ‘frayed’ with the challenges that children bring. Camomile also has properties that help to soothe some allergic reactions. Remember that with severe allergic reactions, always seek medical advice. For premenstrual tension, Camomile will reduce fluid retention, while its gently antidepressant action will help with feelings of depression and irritability that many women suffer premenstrually. Something to bear in mind, pure, good quality Camomile oil can be quite pricy.

BERGAMOT (Citrus bergamia)

The three main areas in which the oil is uniquely valuable are urinary tract infections, depression and anxiety, and skincare. Bergamot is the most useful oil (along with Camomile and Tea Tree) in treating cystitis and urethritis. It is effective in the early stages of the infection and can often prevent it from spreading. Diluted oil should be added to the bath and used as a local wash. Bergamot helps with mental and psychological states. It uplifts the spirits but is relatively relaxing. The antiseptic properties of Bergamot can tackle oily skin and acne problems.

ROSE (Rosa centifolia, Rosa damascena)

Rose
Rose

Rose oil truly can be called essential oil for women. Not only it can be used as natural perfumes, but Rose also has many great qualities that any woman can benefit from. It is very valuable in treating disorders of the female reproductive system. It is cleansing, purifying, regulating and tonic. It can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle where this is irregular and to reduce excessive loss. It could be valuable in helping women suffering from post-natal depression or depression following the breakdown of a relationship. Aphrodisiac properties of this oil are used to help women suffering from frigidity. Rose has a powerful tonic on the nervous system. It is also a very good oil for use in skincare. It can be used for all skin types, but it is especially effective for dry, sensitive or aging skins. Although it may be quite expensive, very little needs to be used to produce both the perfuming and the healing effects, so your oil will last a very long time.

FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia carteri)

I just love the smell of Frankincense, that is why it is in my TOP list of the essential oils. It has the ability to slow down and deepen the breath, and to breathe more slowly and deeply soon produces feelings of calm, which help me a lot during meditation. Frankincense is one of the most valuable oils for respiratory problems. It has a calming effect on the emotions and can be useful in treating asthma, where anxiety is often a trigger for attacks.

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS

When it comes to using essential oils, it is important to know how to use them correctly, as they can have adverse effects. There are lots of different ways to use essential oils, but I mostly use them in blends for massage, in an oil burner or a diffuser. You can add essential oils to the bath (max 10 drops diluted in the carrier/base oil or in a small quantity of milk) or produce your own skincare products.

Dosages for adults
For facial massage/skincare 1-3 drops in 5ml (1tsp) base oil
For general massage 5-10 drops in 15 ml (3 tsp) base oil
Dosage for children
Children have delicate skin and eyes and are, on the whole, very sensitive to smells. For these reasons, great care is needed when selecting and blending oils. Personally, I used all the above oils for both of my children from the early years for one or another reason.
6 months-2 years 1 drop in 10ml (2 tsp) base oil.
2-5 years 1-3 drops in 10ml (2 tsp) base oil.
5-12 years – half adult dose

Essential oils
Essential oils

IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND

1) Don’t buy a fragrance or perfumed oil thinking that they are essential oils. Choose only high-quality essential oils.

2) Most essential oils last from 1 to 3 years, when stored in a glass vial or jar (amber- or cobalt-coloured is best). The exception is any Citrus oil, which only lasts for 6 months to 1 year.

3) If you have sensitive skin first try the diluted essential oil on the inside of the elbow to make sure there is no reaction. ALWAYS test a little bit of diluted essential oil on a baby’s skin before applying it to the whole body.

4) Use a cold-pressed base oil to dilute essential oils (sweet almond, apricot kernel, grape seed or macadamia). Only Lavender and Tea Tree oils can be used undiluted, but in small amounts, just a couple of drops.

5) Some essential oils are not recommended for pregnant women, so make your research before using any essential oils if you are expecting.

So be creative, play, mix and match… Aromatherapy is amazing!!!!

with much love

Julia

4 thoughts on “BASICS OF AROMATHERAPY FOR BUSY MUMS”

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