11 Jan Learn A New Skill in 2024 – The Beginners’ Guide to Aromatherapy
There’s nothing better than learning something new, it can be empowering and revitalising! Learning can also encourage goal setting and can help give you a focus and direction – it can be creative and or of course fun! Learning more about Aromatherapy is a great place to start as not only is it fascinating, but your new skills could benefit your own health and wellbeing, as well as those around you…
What is Aromatherapy in a Nutshell?
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative therapy which uses natural oils extracted from leaves, plants and natural materials to impact a person’s health or mood. Aromatherapy can be administered in so many ways – physically in massage is a great example of its use, or oils can be inhaled or added to baths for therapeutic effects. It is important when beginning to learn about Aromatherapy that we appreciate its origins 4500 BC as this deeply affects our use of it today.
Originally, plant oils were used for medicinal purposes, in perfume and were key ingredients in religious rituals. The ancient Egyptians for example would use Essential Oils in embalming due to their antibacterial properties. The Chinese used them in ancient herbal healing preparations and the ancient Greek pioneered the first use of cosmetics using naturally scented oils to treat and fragrance the skin. These days the use of Aromatherapy is widespread and Essential Oils are used extensively in the body and skincare industry, as well as by therapists, spas and home fragrance producers.
Different Oils and their Special Properties
When embarking on learning about Aromatherapy it is possibly best to focus of a few key oils. Essential Oils should rarely be used undiluted on skin and should be blended with carrier oils and creams, or diffused via a nebuliser or diffuser. They can be blended and combined to create pleasing synergies: there are plenty of recipes in books and online for you to follow when looking at creating your own blends of scents, but you can also try out blending yourself, following basic ratio guidelines. Here are a few of our favourite key oils you will need to start a collection that can have different uses and can be blended effectively. As a company, we have our top 36 Essential Oils which can form a cohesive collection, but out of those, here are our key top 7 to create your own home wellbeing kit as a beginner, plus our favourite carrier oils to blend them with.
Winter Wellbeing Kit
Lavender – Lavandula Angustifolia – Nature’s comforter… Soothing, naturally antibacterial and excellent for relaxation.
Tea Tree – Melaleuca Alternifolia – Antibacterial and antimicrobial. A natural insect deterrent and great to support skin health.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus Globulus – Antibacterial, can soothe Winter chills and great for using in massage to soothe aching muscles.
Peppermint – Mentha Piperita – Refreshing and punchy, a great oil for awakening. Can calm feelings of nausea and can soothe tension when massaged diluted into temples.
Rosemary – Rosmarinus Officinalis – Stimulating and can aid concentration and focus. A good support for circulation when massed into skin diluted.
Chamomile Roman – Anthemis Nobilis – A great oil for soothing and calming the body and mind.
Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia Citriodora – A powerfully awakening scent with antimicrobial properties.
FOR BODY: Sweet Almond Oil – Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis – Rich in Vitamins A, B1,2 and 6 – protects, nourishes and eases dry, sore skin.
FOR FACE: Fractionated Coconut Oil – Cocus Nucifera – Completely odourless, soothing for face as it’s non-greasy and light.
FOR HAIR: Argan Oil – Argania Spinosa – A rich Oil high in fatty acids and Vitamin E. Great for hair care or to use in massage and skincare.
When you have your kit assembled, you can then start learning and experimenting. You will want to store your oils away from heat and light – a wooden storage box is ideal, or in a cupboard standing up so you don’t suffer any leaks! Your oils can be used in so many different ways; possibly their most common use in modern day is in massage – a body blend should not exceed 3% Essential Oil diluted in a carrier for the body and for the face, children and the elderly, 1% is sufficient.
Inhalation of the oils is one of the simplest ways to enjoy benefits – oils can be diffused in water or simply inhaled by breathing in the scent of a few drops on a handkerchief – this is probably the quickest way to enjoy their therapeutic properties as they will travel straight into your bloodstream through the nasal passages.
A cold or hot compress can be a very soothing way to use an Essential Oil; 4-5 drops or a blend of them should be added to 200ml of water on a compress and applied to sore muscles, aching temples or painful joints as a relief.
Added to a bath, Essential Oils can be inhaled and absorbed into the skin simultaneously. Add 3% Essential Oils to a dispersant oil, distribute evenly into the water and enjoy! Did you know that you can also use Essential Oils as a mouthwash? It’s ideal for freshening and cleansing the mouth, tongue and teeth. Just add three drops of Tea Tree to a teacup of Aloe Vera Juice and swish around the mouth before spitting out – this mixture isn’t to be swallowed and it’s key to note that Essential Oils are only to be used externally unless specifically directed by a professional.
To enjoy the benefits of the truly beautiful fragrances these Essential Oils will offer you, they can be combined to create uplifting, relaxing or focusing blends. You will need a container for your blends, and some base products to add them to if you wish. Base products can include the carrier oils we mentioned earlier, or you can also use un-fragranced base creams, shower gels and lotion – we have a whole host of these to choose from on our website under Base Body Range. You can also use things you may already have like Olive Oil or a plain body lotion. Here are a few simple blend ideas and their uses, tailored to the new year and this grey winter weather! (All recipes in drops unless otherwise stated and you can use the ingredients from your Wellbeing Kit!)
|Winter Chills & Congestion
|2 Eucalyptus, 2 Lemon Myrtle, 1 Lavender, 5ml Sweet Almond Oil
|Inhale the neat blend from a tissue as needed or if blended with the Sweet Almond Oil, massage on the chest and neck.
|3 Roman Chamomile, 5ml Sweet Almond Oil
|Massage around the outer ear area.
|Aches and pains in muscles and joints
|1 Chamomile, 2 Rosemary, 2 Peppermint, 5ml Argan Oil
|Massage into sore areas. Omit the Argan oil and replace with a bath dispersant if adding to bath water for a relaxing but stimulating soak.
|Dry, chapped skin
|1 Chamomile, 1 Lavender, 5ml Fractionated Coconut Oil
|Apply in dabs to dry skin and massage in well. Avoid eye area and broken skin.
|Dry, brittle hair
|2 Lemon Myrtle, 2 Rosemary, 5ml Argan Oil
|Apply to hair and scalp then leave for 20 minutes for a deeply nourishing treatment. Shampoo and condition as usual afterwards.
We hope you enjoy getting creative and learning what scents work for your needs. Once you start getting familiar with the different fragrances and the effects they have on you, you can become more confident in blending them in different proportions. You can then add your blends to different preparations from bath salts, to oils for massage, or to bases like witch hazel to make your own pillow sprays! Your creations will also make wonderful gifts for those you love, so get creating. If you ever have any questions or need inspiration, please just contact us via our contact form on our website, or pop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram pages.