Inhalation, vaporisation and compresses
Essential oils can be inhaled to help treat colds or flu (coughs, sore throats, blocked noses), respiratory conditions such as sinusitis, or even to relieve headaches. You can inhale essential oils through a steam inhalation, or when in the bath, or by sniffing a couple of drops on a tissue.
Essential oils can be vaporised in an oil burner to affect your mood, aid sleep, deter insects or simply to fragrance a room.
Compresses use essential oils with hot or cold water to treat muscle injuries (backache, strains and sprains), minor burns, irritated skin and to help draw out infection.
The most popular method of use for aromatherapy is massage. Massage has its own benefits. It relieves muscle tension and pain, makes muscles and joints more supple, improves muscle and skin tone, improves blood circulation, increases the flow of lymph fluid and the removal of waste toxins, and speeds up metabolism. Adding essential oils to massage blends can help to relieve conditions such as back ache or to improve the appearance of cellulite.
Aromatherapy is widely used in the beauty industry. Essential oils are added to facial washes for problem skins (lavender), to creams to rejuvenate (rose) and to shower washes to invigorate (peppermint). It’s easy to make aromatherapy products at home as you will discover from my blog posts on ‘Living with essential oils’.
There are many other ways in which to use essential oils. They can be used to enhance your home environment (eg to fragrance laundry), for healthcare (eg a first aid kit) or personal wellbeing (eg to aid a good night’s sleep) or even on-the-go (eg to help travel sickness).