Aromatherapy has been around for centuries and over that last several years has recently been resurrected. Our ancient ancestors used scents to promote their health and well-being. Essential oils have also laid claim to provide some therapeutic properties for the treatment of some medical conditions. Thus, if getting started in aromatherapy is what you are seeking then being informed is extremely important.
Some of the materials in aromatherapy include:
- fragrant oils from plants or flowers
- essential oils extracted from plants by a process of distillation or steam
- infusions from plants
- herbal concentrations such as chamomile and lemon balm
- vaporizers made from raw herbs
As a beginner, shopping for supplies from reputable dealers is highly recommended. There are some local health food stores that carry supplies but they may not be of the highest quality. In addition, some reputable mail-order companies provide better quality selections at more reasonable prices. Avoid purchasing items at craft shows or street fairs until you have gained more experience in judging the quality of the products.
In order to ensure that the scents stay potent they should be stored in a dark glass container inside a cool dark cabinet, box or chest. Light can affect the potency of the scent and destroy certain ingredients. Never use plastic dropper tops or rubber stoppers as they can ruin the oil.
The next step as a beginner is to consider finding recipes that are appealing to you. The internet or places that sell essential oils are great places to find recipes of interest. Understand that oils should always be diluted and not applied in the concentrated form.
There are many means to applying aromatherapy oils. The most common application is through direct inhalation. This is achieved when the aromas is inhaled either through the nose or mouth (consult a physician before ingesting anything through the mouth. Another way to apply essentials oils is through topical applications. This is when bath salts, oils, or skin lotions are used.
Beginners should understand the safety guidelines when considering practicing aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be harmful if used incorrectly. The most important safety precaution is to avoid applying undiluted essential oils directly to the skin. This can cause skin irritations and health issues. Essential oils are highly flammable and should never be in contact with open flames.
Aromatherapy can be a fun and rewarding activity. Gather as much information that you can find and practice precaution when needed.