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Aromatherapy At Home / Sniff your way to good health

Essential oils for better health / Calm down with Chamomile

Precautions when using essential oils

Sniff your way to good health :
by Sadiqa Nathani

Aromatherapy relies on essential oil or pure extracts from plants to rejenuvate the body and the mind. Essential oils can be inhaled or massaged into the body.

What are carrier oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated and as a rule should not be applied neat. Instead they should be blended with specific vegetable oils called 'carrier oils'. The best carrier oils are virgin, cold-pressed oils which contain active vitamins and fatty acids and do not have a powerful aroma of their own. These oils do not hinder the penetration of essential oils and when massaged on the skin, produce heat, which improves blood circulation, thus helping penetration.

Oils often used in aromatherapy: Sweat almond, apricot kernel, hazel nut, olive, avocado, and specialised carrier oils like jojoha, wheat germ and evening primrose.

Storage of essential oil
Essential oils are highly volatile and thus should be stored in dark bottles, in a cool, dry place away from substances that might affect its aroma. Keep the caps tightly closed to avoid evaporation. And when you make your own blend store them in dark glass bottles (never plastic). Shelf life of pure essential oil is two years and blends rarely last more than three months if stored properly.

Using essential oils at home
While a qualified practitioner should treat serious conditions, many common ailments can be relieved safely and effectively at home. With aromatherapy you may soon come to regard essential oils as a vital part of your home first aid kit.

Antiseptic properties:
Many oils have proven antiseptic properties and can be used for first aid and ongoing treatments of cuts, burns, insect bites and bruises, for example: lavender, and tea-tree.

Anti-fungal properties:
Cedarwood and tea-tree can be used in such conditions as athlete's foot, and other fungal infections. Some can be used as an aid in the overall management of more serious conditions such as candida, arthritis, and rheumatism.

Oils for children and the elderly:
Caution should be expressed when using the oils to treat children, elderly and people. The safest oils for them are lavender and tea-tree. Use oils with caution during pregnancy.

Cancer treatment:
Recent research proves that lavender can be used in stronger dilution (1-2 per cent) for cancer patients in a light massage. It helps them physiologically and psychologically. But treatment should not coincide with chemotherapy.

Selecting oils: The sniff test
If you can, sniff essential oils before using them to make sure they appeal to your sense of smell as well as fit your other needs. Essential oils have a powerful aroma, which could cause a strong reaction when you sniff them. The best way to test the scent of an oil is to put a single drop onto a handkerchief and gently inhale.

One word of caution: Never inhale too many oils at the same time as the brain gets fatigued and it may cause nausea and dizziness. Certain oils will be more appropriate to some people than others.

Classification of essential oils
According to their volatility, essential oils are classified into groups: Top Note: Fast-acting, quick to evaporate, most stimulating, and uplifting to mind and body, strong antiseptic, analgesic, expectorant, decongestant. Should be used in small doses and for short duration. Do not use for children and elderly people, pregnant women, or on very sensitive skin.
Middle Note: Moderately volatile, effects digestion, metabolism, and menstruation. Helps to balance the top and base notes. Base Note: Slower to evaporate, they are sedatives and relaxing. When mixed with top notes it helps to hold back the volatility of that oil.

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Bandra West, Mumbai (Bombay),
India - 400050
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Email : info@beautynaroma.com, sadiqanathani@yahoo.com