AROMATHERAPY Magazine

Oils that heal

Remarkable healing properties: Essential oil with aromatherapy candles.  

“Good things come in small packages” is a well-known saying and it may well apply to essential oils. For many thousand years, these oils have been used for their healing and purifying qualities, as they contain potent medicinal and cosmetic properties. Recent researches have shown that essential oils hold remarkable healing properties.

High in antioxidants, the oils come from raw plant materials such as flower, wood, bark, seeds, roots and even peels. The ingredients are distilled to vaporise the volatile compounds and vapour collected to get the concentrated extract. Better known essential oils include lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon, Roman chamomile and hibiscus.

Lavender oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties that help heal scrapes, bites and stings. It is also known to promote relaxation and sleep. Add a few drops to bath water, or sprinkle on a pillow to help unwind. Lavender is safe to use even for children.

Lemongrass was used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach pain, rheumatism, headaches and colds. Its pungent and earthy aroma heightens psychic awareness, and purifies the mind. The antiseptic properties make it a crucial ingredient in lotions and creams.

Ylang-ylang oil, derived from Macassar-oil plant, is believed to relieve high blood pressure and normalise sebum secretion for skin problems. Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood scents.

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals and can be used in aromatherapy as well as for massage by diluting with carrier oil.

Peppermint oil can help you beat the heat of a hot day. Add a few drops to carrier oil and rub on your back, neck and chest for an instant cooling effect. The smell also helps combat feelings of nausea, making it a great choice for motion or morning sickness. Combined with a few drops of lavender oil and applied to the temples, it also helps reduce the intensity of headaches and migraines.

Roman chamomile oil is known for its ability to help unwind, but is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. It is the ideal choice for red, inflamed or sensitive, acne-prone skin. Recommended for delicate skin, this oil can be used with antibacterial carrier oil such as coconut oil to help treat and soothe eczema.

Star anise, a well-known spice in Indian cuisine, is distilled to make star anise oil. This is used to cure respiratory tract infections, lung swelling, cough and bronchitis.

Cinnamon bark oil is also derived from the spice. Carry a small bottle when travelling abroad and take one drop in a cup of water several times a day to help prevent food-borne disease. Eucalyptus oil is soothing to the respiratory system and helps with colds, coughs, and sinus infections. Dab a few drops on your feet or add to boiling water and inhale.

Basil ( tulsi) oil was earlier used for respiratory troubles. It can also be mentally stimulating and helps clear one’s mind. Use the strong herbaceous scent to re-energise yourself.

Once you are familiar with these basic essential oils, branching out and creating your own combinations is simple and fun. They can easily be incorporated into your daily life, whether as a home remedy or even aromatherapy to boost your mood.

However, these great healers can be dangerous if not handled properly. The level of danger depends upon the oil’s concentration.

Tips on usage

Do not use directly on the skin.

Always mix a few drops with carrier oils such as coconut, sesame or almond oil.

Another option is to dilute in water and use.

Test on a small patch of skin to check for sensitivity before using.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 6:02:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/aromatherapy-oils-that-heal/article7184116.ece

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