Monday, August 19, 2013

Aromatherapy as Plant Medicine

     A few years ago, I became enchanted by aromatherapy. I'd had it up to my hairline with ambiguous product ingredient listings collectively called, "perfume." I discovered so-called scents are often noxious, as their proprietary recipes call for fixing the aromas with nasty chems like formaldehyde. Not only can perfume contain extremely harsh chemicals, but manufacturers don't have to tell you what's in the product itself!
     I learned essential oils can be used to safely scent everything we put on our skin. Further, pure essential oils are therapeutic plant medicine. Originally published on Kitty's Zen of Homekeeping, the following article explores clinical aromatherapy as a healing modality and all-around tool for healthy lifestyles.
     In my home, I use Tea Tree oil directly on itchy insect bites or a few drops in the laundry with the pups' bedding. Eucalyptus essential oil is added to steam vaporizers during cold and flu season, and everything gets sprayed with a mixture of Lavender oil and water. I use more volatile oils like Lemon and Orange mixed with diluted vinegar to make the greatest cleaning spritz on Earth. When I want to calm myself, I apply a few drops of Ylang Ylang or Sandalwood to a cotton ball and sniff away to bliss. This article is a great place to get started.

Aromatherapy Basics:
  • Pure essential oils are plant essences with real effects on the body and mind. As such, they are to be used carefully!
  • There are only TWO essential oils that can be applied directly to unbroken skin: Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil. Other oils can have serious side effects if they are not mixed into a carrier oil. 
  • Essential oils can be added to homemade cleaning products, natural cosmetic recipes, or diffused in various ways.
Please click here to read the article: kitty's Zen of Homekeeping: Clinical Aromatherapy, featuring an interview with the Fragrant Muse, Liz Fulcher.