Aromatherapy – One of the Many Uses For Essential Oils

Does the nose REALLY know?

Today, more and more people are concerned about the food they put into their bodies – growing their own foods so they know its source, and / or demanding organic fruits and vegetables and pasture-raised / free-ranged animal meats. This is a wonderful and healthy return to a nature-based lifestyle, yet I've found that many of these same people fail to be as concerned about what they use on their skin or scalp as they are about what they eat and drink. Our skin forms the largest organ in the entire human body – very difficult to ignore!

Walking down the soap or cleaning supply aisles of any grocery store, one is quickly surrounded by “aromatherapy” products, promoted by all major brands. Hand soap, bath soap, lotion, shampoo / conditioner, laundry soap – even cleaning products – have “aromatherapy” on their labels.

Essential oils vs. synthetic fragrances.

Do not be fooled – there is a significant difference between true aromatherapy, which is the use of essential oils, and aromatic products, which are designed to smell good, but most of which use synthetic fragrances. These companies appeal to the nature-minded consumer through our sense of smell, but more often than not have nothing to do with true aromatherapy!

What are essential oils and where do they come from?

According to the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) Vocabulary of Natural Materials (ISO / D1S9235.2), an essential oil is: “a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase. ”

There are three methods that can produce the physical isolation of the oil from the natural material: 1. Distillation (steam, steam / water and water); 2. Expression (“cold pressing”), a process used for citrus peel oils, and 3. Maceration / distillation, which is used for only a small number of essential oils, including wintergreen and bitter almond.

What are essential oils used for?

Each essential oil (EO) has different chemical properties, and may be used for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. Essential oils should really be considered nature's medicines – just as herbs should be. In fact, EOs and herbs form the basis of many of today's allopathic, or Western, medicines.

Simply put, this means that we should learn as much about these natural products and how they impact our bodies as we do about the foods that we ingest.

Natural does not guarantee safe! It is important to remember that “natural” does not guarantee “safe”, so ignore claims that EO's can be used freely and without harm. Some oils can, in fact, cause unintended effects – burning, itching, or rashes, for example – when applied directly on the skin or used in quantities that are above recommended doses.

However those same EOs, when diluted in a carrier substance, such as grape seed oil or even milk, can have the therapeutic benefits without the side effects. Other EOs, depending on a person's particular health condition, should be used sparingly or not at all. And there is evidence that people can have allergies to EOs.

Ultimately, safe and effective use of essential oils – “aromatherapy” – is possible and can be quite easy. With over 300 EOs known today, it can be difficult to know where to start if you want to gain additional information.

I hope you will take the time to educate yourself about those oils that you find yourself most attracted to – let your nose lead the way!

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Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Why It Really Works

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Essential oils , or Oils of {Insert Plant Name}, are the most concentrated and pure form of a plant's “Essence”. This essence is most often the aroma or flavor of the plant, such as Cinnamon Oil used in cooking, or Lavender Oil used in aromatherapy – the essential oil captures a distinct form of a plants particular character, and depending on the plant, can be a versatile solution for different applications

Extracting Essential Oils
There are different methods by which Essential Oils are obtained. The most common is known as “Distillation”. In this technique, the source of the oil (flower petal, fruit skin, etc.) is steamed at very high temperatures. The high temperatures release the oil, which then vaporizes or mixes with the steam. The steam is collected, condensed and the Essential Oil is separated out. Another common method is call “Cold Pressing” the plant. This is the same way Olive oil is obtained, and is most often used to extract Citrus Oils.

Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the application of Essential Oils and other aromatic compounds to alter a person's mind, mood, cognitive state, or health. The Olfactory system (Sense Of Smell) is a rather powerful influence on the brain. Just as certain scents can make a person nauseous, trigger very vivid memories, or energize a heightened sense of awareness, they also have a powerful influence on your mood and mental state – most notably, stress. We all know the mental toll stress takes on us, but many people are unaware of just how detrimental stress can be on the body. A study by UCLA scientists made a very strong physical connection between emotions and stress with a person's health. “When the body is under stress, it boosts production of cortisol to support a 'fight or flight' response. – Rita Effros, study author. Those who consistently live a high-stress lifestyle tend to develop a greater number and severity of illnesses, but those who find ways to block out or manage their stress tend to live happier, healthier lives.

Therein lies the potential of aromatherapy – treating the underlying cause or enhancing factor of an illness, rather than the symptoms. The main mechanism which links emotions to physical health is the Limbic system, a component of the Central Nervous System which controls many of the hormones and neurochemicals released into the body. The Limbic system is also the receiving point for olfactory signals from your nose. This explains the direct link between aromas, mentality, and health. The correct aromatherapy treatment has the ability to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve a person's well-being.

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Aromatherapy and Topical Benefits of Soy Candles

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that has been around for over 6000 years that uses scents to care for the body. Massages have been a healing tool for thousands of years as well, and candles have been used in health and metaphysical practices as long as fire has been around. These three exceptional benefits can be found in BodyWise Candles.

Because the aromatherapy blend comes already prepared in the candle it is easy to use. You do not have to have extensive knowledge in essential oils to receive the benefits. All you have to do is light the candle. It releases a flaw, yet continuous stream of floral and herbal essential oils into the air. Because they are made of 100% cosmetic grade soy it contains no toxins as many of the paraffin candles do. You will indulge in vapors that enter the respiratory system and extremely get imbibed into the bloodstream.

The purpose of aromatherapy is to activate the olfactory cells which are actually nerve cells and the only place in the body where the central nervous system is exposed and in direct contact with the environment. It is an oxymoron to have an aromatherapy candle that is made of paraffin. The candle industry doe not require that you disclose ingredients. BodyWise gives full disclosure, but if you are buying another candle, make sure it is natural for if not you really can not be sure what you are putting in your body.

Since BodyWise candles are made of cosmetic grade soy and numerous essential oils and minerals are added to create a luxurious skin lotion you can reap the benefits of a massage as well as topical benefits. Now you are not only receiving olfactory health benefits, but your pores are absorbing the soy and minerals. The benefits of soy are numerous. Soy is an anti-aging agent and is an antioxidant. It also has been known to alleviate menopausal symptoms due to the isoflavones which act as estrogen in the body once absorbed. Add to this the therapeutic healing of touch. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying affection and support. An example is a nice back rub after a hard days work with the relaxing aroma of basil or lavender. It does not get much better than that.

If you are still not sold, you have the flicker of the candle light to set a mood or enhance the ambiance. The mind, body and soul have to be in synchronicity to maximize the health benefits. So much for so little: the aromatherapy, the clean Eco-friendly burn, the massage and all its topical benefits, and alas the glimmer of the flame.

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Aromatherapy Natural Healing Treatment Essentials

Introduction

Aromatherapy is known as a natural healing treatment that improves overall health, relieve strain and offer revitalization and restoration of the human body. Aromatherapy treatment uses essential oils; a liquid plant extract to elevate our frame of mind and state of health. These compounds have a wide variety of natural healing benefits.

When essential oils are being used in bath tub or massage therapy, it gets immersed into the skin which commences the natural healing treatment. As scent is inhaled, its molecules enter the nostrils and flow towards the olfactory receptors. These receptors immediately determine the aroma and relay the information to the limbic system; a group of deep brain structures that deals with the nerve, respiratory, circulatory and immunological defences.

When aromatherapy oil molecules enter the lungs, they attach them to oxygen molecules and are brought into the blood stream and circulated to every cell in the body. Inside the cells itself, essential oils could trigger the body's ability to cure itself and enhance health.

Aromatherapy Utilization Technique

Essential oils can be applied using various techniques:

  • These oils can be used topically through massage, alcohol wipe, salt rub and compresses. It may also be put into bath salts or added into a foot-bath or a bath
  • Inhalation includes diffusion using a Nebulizer to spray a fine mist into the air, inhalation of steam vapors – from oils drop into hot water or rubbing two drops between the palms and cupping over the nose and mouth
  • Ingestion or consuming few of these oils safely can be an effect remedy. However it is important to note that it should only for those with in-depth knowledge of aromatherapy oils or with the guidance of an aromatherapist

Aromatherapy Natural Healing Treatment and Benefit

Diabetes

Aromatherapy natural healing treatment for diabetes is not only seen to minimize diabetic symptoms but also alleviating the strain of coping with the condition; the psychological challenges faced by serious diabetes sufferers. The treatment might not cure diabetes as proven by few studies. However it is able to help ease the symptoms of the illness, minimize discontent and impede potential future illnesses.

Insomnia

A number of essential oils are able to provide cure for insomnia particular Lavender, Chamomile, and Jasmine. Some of these oils are also suited to treat stress and stress-related conditions which is often an important factor in relieving sleeping disorder. In a study on 42 insomnia sufferers, it was discovered that a month of Lavender essential oil therapy aided in relieving sleeping disorder. This makes aromatherapy natural healing treatment a fantastic way to overcome sleeping disorder and their causes.

Allergies

There are various effective and safe techniques to alleviate allergic reaction but employing the therapeutic grade essential oils therapy is probably the best. Aromatherapy natural healing treatment for allergies includes the effective use of Lavender and Eucalyptus essential. Be sure to choose only concentrated the therapeutic grade essential oils as an inferior grade will not generate the prescribed consequences.

Purchasing Aromatherapy Essential Oils

Deciding on the best essential oils to purchase can be baffling and overwhelming but it is vital that you find a trustworthy company which sell the therapeutic grade oils. Unlike synthesized oils, the therapeutic grade essential oils have the healing qualities still in tact so capable to offer the curative results desired. Watch for the following when purchasing:

  • Latin or botanical name of the plant
  • Country where the plants were grown
  • Statement about pureness

Reputable businesses will provide these details to prove the aromatherapy oil is legitimate and to be certain you are receiving the proper oil.

Care and Safe Use of Aromatherapy Oils

There are some safety issues which must be highlighted with regards to handling and utilizing essential oils as some of them are highly concentrated and potent. With incorrect dilution, most of these oils can inflame the skin. The chemical elements it includes are sensitizers which cause reactions to the skin following frequent use. Basic safety procedures bought to be adhered to assure effective, safe and pleasant aromatherapy natural healing treatment.

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Essential Oils: Various Applications for Personal and Environmental Uses

Those of you who use essential oils know how potent they are. In most instances, depending upon the circumstances and the use, only a couple of drops are needed. I use these wonderful oils for almost everything. Just like I use EFT (emotional freedom technique) for everything. My belief is if you find something that works, that is effective, use it, especially if it is natural and healthy for you.

In addition, using essential oils can reduce your expenses since they are used in small quantities (by the drop). Purchasing numerous products to clean the bathroom and kitchen can be quite costing considering the initial cost and the cost to repurchase the same products over the long run. If they are made with chemicals, they are also toxic to your health and well being.

Using essential oils saves you in the long run because some 32 oz. spray bottles can be made with a few essential oils and the same concoction can be used in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Add in some baking soda at fifty cents for a one pound box and you have a scrubber for the sinks and the tubs and it's also great for getting grease off the stove and counter tops.

Here are a few of my own creative uses for essential oils as well as some from master aromatherapists Jeanne Rose and Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

For mouthwash, mix two drops of tea tree in about a quarter cup of water and rinse before and after brushing. Kills bacteria and assists with gum disease.

Revive potpourri or sachets by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Apply one to two drops of lavender or tea tree to cuts, scrapes, scratches, insect bites, or burns.

A blend of lavender, geranium, and bergamot alleviates anxiety and depression. Use in a room diffuser or place 6-8 drops in a bath. Can also carry it with you on a tissue and use it through the day.

Place five drops lemon essential oil in a mixture of one-half water and one-half vinegar to clean windows and mirrors.

Use a spray of basil and lavender in water to get rid of flies or place 3-4 drops of each on a decorative piece of cloth or ribbon and hang.

Place your favorite essential oil on stationery and envelopes when sending letters and cards.

Saturate a cord or soft rope with pennyroyal or tea tree to make a natural flea collar. Roll it up in a handkerchief and tie loosely around your pet's neck.

Rub a drop of rosemary, lavender, peppermint, or basil onto the back of the neck or temple to ease headache pain. A friend of mine told me she also rubbed it on her forehead when she had a migraine headache and it took the pain away without the use of drugs which she normally used.

Place a few drops of peppermint on a cotton ball or directly on the area where ants come in (provided you are not concerned about the oil damaging the flooring or carpet or the counter if placed directly on it). Peppermint essential oil is also good for keeping out roaches. It's also great for opening the sinus passes and helping you breathe.

Add 10 drops of essential oil to a box of baking soda or corn starch to alleviate odors from carpets, mix, let set for a day or two, sprinkle over carpets, let set for one hour, then vacuum.

Put a few drops of citronella in a candle or hot coals of a barbeque to ward off mosquitoes.

Place a few drops of essential oil on a piece of terry cloth or cheese cloth and toss into clothes dryer while drying.

For aching muscles or arthritis mix one part cajeput, sage, and basil to four parts vegetable oil and massage into the affected area.

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Healing Harmonies: The Two Bachs

What's in a name? Oddly enough, the two historical figures who have been most important to me in recent years both had the same surname – Bach. After leaving my career as a medical doctor I studied natural therapies and became a Bach flower practitioner, using the series of remedies discovered by Edward Bach. And, as a very amateur singer and pianist, I became firmly drawn to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Did these two men have anything in common except their name? Although they were born 200 years apart in different countries, and worked in different fields, both were concerned with the use of vibrational harmony to uplift the human spirit.

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on 21 March 1685 in what is now Germany. In German, the word 'bach' means 'a brook' and is phonetically pronounced 'bahk'. He is widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived, and was described by Beethoven as 'the immortal god of harmony'. Musical harmony, which involves the combination of simultaneously sounded notes to produce chords with a pleasant effect, can be regarded as the 'vertical' component of a piece where the melody is the 'horizontal' one. Bach himself is quoted as follows: 'The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the renovation of the soul'. Most people find that listening to Bach induces positive feelings such as joy, peace and the sensation of 'flow'. Along with those of other classical composers, the works of Bach are often used in music therapy and can bring many mental and physical benefits including reduction in anxiety and pain, and improvements in cardiovascular disease and in various measures of endocrine and immune function.

Edward Bach was born on 24 September 1886 in England. His ancestry was Welsh, and 'bach' in Welsh means 'little'. He pronounced his surname 'batch'. After some years as an orthodox physician, he kept up his successful practice and devoted his life to natural healing. He was among the pioneers of the 'holistic approach' and the short books in which he describes his philosophy, Heal Thyself for example, have become classics. Bach believed that harmony in mind and spirit was key to physical wellbeing, and wrote 'Health depends on being in harmony with our souls'. His series of 38 flower essences have no chemical content, but are believed to carry the energetic imprints of the life force of different plants each corresponding to a positive quality of mood or personality. Unlike the vibrations of musical sound, the vibrations of flower essences can not be measured by conventional scientific instruments, and their mode of action is not known. All the same, the Bach flower essences have been used all over the world for 80 years, and the responses observed in my own practice have left me in no doubt that they work. Clients say they feel calmer, happier and more in control of their lives, and their physical symptoms frequently improve.

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Jojoba Oil Uses

Jojoba oil, which is pronounced “hohoba oil,” is an oil indigenous to North Mexico and South of the United states. It's a waxy substance rather than a liquid that is commonly harvested from plants. The unrefined version of jojoba oil is usually gold tinged while refined versions are always clear. Jojoba oil has a wide number of commercial uses today which include:

Moisturizing agent

Jojoba oil sets itself apart from all other essential oils by being probably the best plant-based moisturizer on the planet. Ever since the ban on whale oil in the 1970's, it has been seen as a good replacement. Whale oil was primarily used as an emulsifier (helps with the interaction of a variety of chemicals) and an emollient (Skin moisturizers). As such, the cosmetics industry scrambled to find a suitable replacement at the time.

They found many suitable plant-based substitutes such as those derived from the jojoba and coconut tree. Today, its products are used in soaps, skin creams, shampoos and even acne treatments. When applied to the skin (Massaged in), it has the ability to moisturize without clogging up our pores. This is particularly useful when dealing with dry skin issues such as eczema and various forms of dermatitis.

It also works as a scalp conditioner. While some manufacturers use a bit of it in their hair products for the same effect, it is usually more cost-effective to purchase pure jojoba oil on its own. It should be applied and massed on to the scalp before shampooing. This helps the hair retain oils that are otherwise stripped out by the shampoo. It is an effective treatment for dandruff as dandruff is merely dermatitis of the scalp. It should be noted that too much of it will make your hair somewhat greasy. For an added “Kick” to your hair conditioners, a few drops will suffice.

Aromatherapy

Jojoba oil can be used as a carrier oil as most of the ingredients used in aromatherapy (Lavender, peppermint) are rather volatile (they evaporate easily). When exposed, they tend to oxidize, which can destroy the therapeutic properties they carry. The same is not true for jojoba oil as it is very resistant to oxidation and has a very long shelf life because of it. There are a variety of carrier oils used in aromatherapy which include rosehip, sweet almond, coconut and Argan oil. All of them have their own characteristics when used for such purposes For those looking to infuse a skin moisturizer into their concoction, there is no better carrier oil than jojoba oil and coconut oil.

Agriculture

Jojoba oil is a natural fungicide. As such, it can be used for organic farming alongside neem oil and tea tree oils for pest and fungal control. For the home garden, it can be used in a spraying mechanism to achieve the same effect. It is typically diluted with water to use as a fungicide. It is also seen as a viable alternative to diesel. This is because it contains less carbon than fossil fuels in general.

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Chamomile and Its Use in Aromatherapy

Chamomile is basically an herb which grows in Hungary. Chamomile oil is used in aromatherapy due to its various benefits. The relaxing benefits of this essential oil are highly effective. The oil is derived from chamomile through the process of steam distillation.

Chamomile oil gets you rid of toothache, earache as well as body pain. It is also used to treat stress related disorders. Apart from this, chamomile is used to treat a lot of skin problems. If you are facing problems due to fear, tension, anxiety or anger then you should use this oil, as it will be able to calm you. Chamomile essential oil helps to improve the overall feeling of calmness. This oil can also be used for children as well as pregnant women.

In aromatherapy, several types of chamomile are used. This oil also finds its use as a folk medicine. Some of the therapeutic properties of chamomile resemblance that of lavender. Needless to say, before you use this oil you should check with your doctor or physician. There are certain types of chamomile species which may cause allergies in some people and so they should be avoided.

Chamomile has got a white or yellow bulging surrounded by petals. The growth of this flower is really very fast. The two most prevalent chamomile species include Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. Like other essential oils, chamomile oil has gotten many uses. In massage blends, chamomile oil has been used widely. For soothing the spirit also, this essential oil is used. Since it mixes well with rose, lavender, lemon as well as geranium, it can be put to many other uses as well.

Even though this oil is very mild, still it is recommended that it should be used in a diluted form, especially when it is used on children. This oil is a great product which you can incorporate to your health and beauty regime. Since this oil is highly potent, only small amounts of this great oil can create magic. Typically, chamomile essential oil is used in drops.

Traditionally, this oil was used only in drinks and tea. However, due to its tremendous potential and powerful properties, chamomile essential oil is finding its use in natural cosmetic industry, like cosmetics and soaps. For the skin, chamomile offers plenty of products like moisturizers and facial creams, to treat eczema and pimples. It is also used in shampoo as hair moisturizers and for getting rod from dandruff. Chamomile oil is much stronger and stronger than the chamomile tea and so you need to use it with caution.

Lastly, chamomile essential oil has gotten many benefits which can be easily incorporated in your daily life. To know more about this great oil you should check various forums and websites. Also, buy chamomile essential oil only from certified and reputable vendors.

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Natural Remedies for Sleep? Sleeping Beauty and the Queen of Plant Extracts

Once upon a time the good fairies gave their blessings: “Your beauty will transcend mere physical form … you will be blessed with beautiful hair … radiant skin … shining eyes … quick wits … a balanced heart … patience … grace …. strength … humor … vitality … joy “…. And, after the shadow of death had been irrevocably cast, the final fairy stepped forward:” All your gifts you can keep, but half your life – you must sleep. ”

No tall tales. Radiant natural beauty goes hand in hand with sleep. The perfect intelligence of our holistic being is such that, during the seemingly inert state of slumber, our bodies are restored, our daily baggage processed, and our energy replenished. In good wholesome sleep we maintain an optimum level of health that complements our interconnected being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. And it shows.

While knock-out drugs deal with sleeplessness as a mere physical equation, natural remedies for sleep allow the essential balance of holistic intelligence to remain intact. This significant advantage to natural remedies has given rise to a whole range of choices that draw upon the healing properties of medicinal plants.

And pristine pure essential oils offer the purest intensity of a given plant's active properties.

Tips for relaxation and restful slumber abound, but the bottom line is that pure essential oils have the edge over traditional natural remedies for insomnia, due to their superior capacity for absorption and integration. A herbal pill may seem straightforward and an infusion offers a certain element of ritual and comfort that supplements relaxation for sleep, but, actually, the absorption of a given plant's properties by digestion is significantly less effective than the direct route of scent: any aroma we detect at our nasal sensors is immediately transmitted to the brain for assimilation. Thus we have the most direct route to our nervous system and an array of natural responses that are triggered as a part of normal body process.

Therapeutic essential oils represent an evolution in the associated craft of aromatherapy. Grown, harvested and processed at a unique level of organic integrity, these are pure, medicinal-grade plant essences that are capable to achieve seamless integration with desired physiological responses. They contain absolutely no impurities that would challenge the body's healthy function and offer specific properties that can help sleeping by enhancing the body's inbuilt pathways to restful sleep. And, thinking laterally beyond the immediate topic of the insomnia remedy, other healing qualities to help address the physical and mental conditions that are prior to inhibit relaxation for sleep.

What this means in practical terms is that, instead of the generally low impact of a standard natural remedy for insomnia, a professional blend of pure essential oils with calming and sedative properties offers a potent alternative.

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Guide to Aromatherapy Diffuser

Aromatherapy Diffusers as the name suggests are type of machines or devices that help in dispersing aromatherapy scents all around. These devices come in filling and refilling forms. The first one allows filling and in the second one refilling of non-liquid scents is done. Also available are pre filled forms wherein the cotton soaked aroma oil scent is already filled.

Aromatherapy Diffuser is among the most recent fresheners for the room. In these devices diffusion can occur through a humidifier, a nebulizer or a vaporizer. It all depends upon the choice of the individual.

It is believed that when these oils are inhaled these give soothing effect and thus help in curing asthma or cold. These also help in curing numerous respiratory disorders. These diffusers have many different oils as well as different methods. One can opt for the one which is suitable to one's budget and the one which is required.

A fan can also be used to diffuse the oils which are present in the air of the room. Diffusion by steam is also well known, and is probably the easiest and the best way for diffusing the fragrance in room. Here as the steaming starts the oil added in the water starts to evaporate leaving fragrance in the room. In Aromatherapy diffuser can be even a candle or a tissue paper.

The other method which is used in Aromatherapy and is part of Aromatherapy Diffuser is through lamp rings. Here the rings of the lamp are used as Diffusers. Oil is applied to the rings, and as the bulb starts to heat the oil which is applied on the rings starts to evaporate and thus spreads and diffuses in the air.

Other method is through the use of pots made of either clay or terra cotta. Here this pot may have a small opening through which oil drips into the Aromatherapy Diffuser. Later slowly this pot sucks the oil and disperse it into the air.

Another method is to diffuse the scent or aroma using Electric heat. The other way is through nebulizer, here the nebulizer sets apart the essential oil into minute particulars and thus spreads and disperses them which extremely spread fragrance.

One important thing is that one should never use the oil which is not suitable or the ones that create negative effect. Thus it is always better to do little research before indulging in it.

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Japanese Incense – Give It a Try

Why choose Japanese Incense? I find Japanese Incense far superior to most commercial stick incense. I believe it starts with the fact that there is no “stick” and the fragrance is pure. The traditional incense starts as high quality wood powders of either fine sandalwood or aloes wood. Then an array of other pure and natural ingredients such as pure gum resins, herbs, flower blossoms, frankincense, star anise, cinnamon and other spices can be added. The creation of this incense is an extraordinarily confidential process and performed in time-honored methods for over 300 years. The method and recipes have been handed down from generation to generation in an unbroken secret oral tradition. The mixtures is carefully combined is then extruded to make a wonderfully pure burning medium. There are a variety of newer formula mixtures that do not contain the fragrant woods just the resins, spices and herbs and other aromatics.

Most other types of incense are formed around a core. The first type has ingredients such as wood powders, resins, herbs and oils are mixed together in a paste, rolled and formed around a bamboo stick. With this method the smell of the burning bamboo is present. The second method which is far worse, the incense starts as a punt blank, which is what is used to light fireworks. The punt often is manufactured in China or third world countries where its contents can be questionable. This “punt” is then dipped into fragrance oils which can be natural or synthetic or a combination of both. The fragrance oils are cut with a chemical extender such as DPT – Dipropylene Glycol before the punt is soaked in the mixture. Then it is discharged and packaged for your pleasure.

To be fair, there are a handful of quality “Bamboo Stick” type incense manufacturers that do produce premium quality goods and there fragrance is delightful. These companies use very high ingredients and are carefully formulated as not to contain any artificial fragrance and / or harmful chemicals. This type incense is usually a bit more economic and usually easier to find.

However, there is still the issue of the burning stick. For the purest, I highly recommend trying the Japanese type.

Give this wonderful gift from the Japanese a try. The premier manufactures in Japan have been perfecting the craft of incense making for centuries. As soon as you burn some you will transcend into an aroma heaven, and you will never go back to your department store commercial incense again.

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How and Why to Use a Botanical Toner

Many people are confused about the purpose of toner.

Toner is used to remove residue from the skin after cleansing. Even after using a cleanser, some residue will always remain on your skin. Toner can swipe this away, and leave the skin clean. Also, much of the water used for washing contains pollutants, and high amounts of chlorine. The water in your home can resemble that of a polluted swimming pool, and this can be harsh on the skin. The effects of these irritating chemicals can cause your skin to be less radiant and soft.

The right toner can remove these elements after you cleanse.

In addition to using toner, installing a shower filter can reduce the amount of irritating chemical residue that is left behind on the skin. You should notice an improvement in your hair and skin shortly after starting to use a filter. An alternative method is to keep a spray bottle in your bathroom that is filled with filtered, distilled or pure water, and use this to rinse your face, neck and décolleté after cleansing.

A second use for toner is as a mild cleanser after awakening. If you have fallen sleep with clean skin, you only need a mild cleansing when you waken. Toner is ideal for this purpose.

Applying toner provides a good opportunity to give your skin a mild treatment. Many ordinary toners lack beneficial ingredients, and consist primarily of alcohol. A toner that is botanically based can help to calm the skin. In addition to removing pollutants, chlorine, and other residue, a mild, flower-and-plant-based formula can actually improve your complexion.

If you find that using toner once each day is too drying, try sprinkling just a few drops onto a cotton pad that has first been dampened with pure or filtered water. This will deliver a milder effect.

Toner has traditionally been used as a freshener as well. You may even keep your toner in the refrigerator, for use during hot weather. Just soak a large piece of cotton with toner, and sponge your face, hands, neck and body with the fragrant liquid. You may include your feet in this pleasant treatment. Surgical cotton, the kind that comes in a roll, is best for this purpose, since drugstore cotton balls are usually too small.

Using a botanical toner this way can provide you restful and refreshing moments in the middle of a busy day.

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Can Aromatherapy Help Me?

We all experience times when we are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. There are many things we can do to help ourselves naturally such as exercise, quality sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods. But, did you know that aromatherapy can also help reduce stress and make you feel better? This article will show you how to incorporate simple aromatherapy techniques into your every day life to help you feel great.

Let's start by explaining what is aromatherapy and how it works. The term aromatherapy was first used by French Chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, who began his research into the healing powers of essential oils after burning his hand in his laboratory and immersing it in lavender oil. He was amazed at how quickly his burn healed and so he began his quest to learn more. But, the truth is that plants and plant essential oils have been used for medicinal, religious and cosmetic purposes for thousands of years by ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Chinese and later the Greeks. Some of the techniques used by our ancient scientists are still used today by aromatherapists such as the burning of plant incense and the use of essential oils in massage and beauty products.

How aroma affects our mood

Aromatherapy works by stimulating the olfactory system, home to our sense of smell. The sensation of smell is a result of our brain interpreting the molecules of that which we are smelling which sends a message to the lymbic system. The lymbic system is the part of the brain that regulates memory, mood and emotions. Scientists have found that certain smells trigger certain emotions. There have been numerous studies by psychologists as to the emotional benefits of smelling plant essential oils. In addition, studies have found that synthetic fragrances do not produce the same effects as natural plant extracts. A study published by Complementary Therapies In Medicine (2002; It's 10: 223-8) states that people who take daily baths with lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolium) may experience improved mood, reduced aggression, and a more positive outlook.

How to incorporate aromatherapy in every day life

It's very simple to incorporate aromatherapy in your every day life by using essential oils. Below are some tips on how to improve your life one breath at a time.

1. When you're stressed out, your immune system suffers. Use a tissue with a couple drops each of lavender, roman chamomile and ylang ylang essential oils to help you relax and stay focused.

2. Take a bath using Lavender Bath Salts for a good night's sleep.

3. Inhale peppermint essential oil in a tissue or handkerchief to ease a headache and help perk you up.

4. Need a natural aphrodisiac? Burn some patchouli, sandalwood or clove incense to get you in the mood!

5. Feeling Blue? Did you know that citrus scents are natural mood enhancers? Research has shown that the clean, refreshing scent of citrus fruit can help promote feelings of happiness and lift your mood when you're feeling down. Some of the added aromatherapy benefits include: ease of mental fatigue and enhanced mental awareness and focus.

6. Using bath products made with essential oils can easily bring aromatherapy to your daily life for good health and well-being.

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Peppermint Oil Guide

Peppermint oil is derived from the M.Balsamea, or otherwise known as the peppermint plant. Like all essential oils, distillation is required to harvest these liquids. M.Balsamea is a naturally occurring hybrid plant between the Spearmint and the Watermint plant. Originally despite to be a distinct species when it was first found in the eighteen hundreds, further tests pointed it out to be an actual hybrid. While they were originally found only in Europe, it has been introduced to many regions throughout the world as it has become a major cash crop. It is somewhat of a short plant with a maximum height of about twenty nine inches. It reproduces via vegetative reproduction as most peppermint plants in the wild are sterile.

Vegetative reproduction is a form of asexual reproduction that is available to some plants. They are almost always found in areas with an abundance of water. As such, they are typically found along the sides of rivers and even drains. They can also be classified as a weed as they are very durable plants that reproduce very quickly in the wild. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C along with a few essential minerals such as Iron and Magnesium. Traditionally, it was harvested for medicinal purposes but it has since emerged in many other industries such as the cosmetics and health care industries. Because peppermint oil has a high amount of menthol, breathing in the scent can promote focus and help in memory functions. Some students use the scent during exam preparations because of this.

Menthol also has cooling capabilities and is sometimes used in aromatherapy but mostly as a cooling agent in hand creams, soaps and shampoos. Its medicinal uses range from cough syrups to anti itch creams. It is seen as a short term solution to throat irritation. Those suffering from respiratory ailments also use peppermint oil based (or menthol based products) to aid in decongestants. Vicks vaporub is the most famous of the menthol based decongestants. As a topical cream, it works against pains and muscle cramps and when rubbed on the temples, it can reduce the headache symptoms. The Tiger Balm mentholated creams of the east are used for these exact purposes.

Peppermint oil can be used for consumption. Taken as a health supplements (Capsules or tabs), peppermint oil can help with digestive problems, especially IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). It numbs pain sensing fibers in the body and can used as a pain reliever. Some possible side effects and allergic reactions include heartburn, rashes and vomiting. Finally, some people have been known to use it as a mouse repellent. The claims for this benefit revolves around the idea that mice (and some insects as well) strongly dislike the scent of menthol. However, there has been no concrete scientific evidence to prove or disprove this theory.

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Aromatherapy for Coughs and Colds

Winter is a prime season for colds and flu. But aromatherapy and essential oils can help.

Prevention is always better than cure. Help stop the spread of germs by using the antiseptic powers of essential oils around the home.

Tea tree essential oil in particular is fabulous used as a disinfectant. Add a few drops to the water when washing floors.

Sprinkle a few drops of tea tree on a damp cloth and use to wipe down light switches door handles, taps and other areas that are touched regularly to reduce the spread of germs.

Other surfaces can be washed down with tea tree in warm water. If you are not keen on the aroma of tea tree, just add a little lemon essential oil along with the tea tree.

Vaporise essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, pine, lemon, cypress or thyme to cleanse the air.

Make a room spray by putting 3 drops each of eucalyptus, tea tree and lemon or eucalyptus, pine and rosemary essential oils in a spray bottle and topping up with water. Do not forget to shake well before each time you use it.

If you do catch a cold a cold, essential oils can also help to soothe the symptoms and help you to feel better.

At the first symptoms, run a warm bath and sprinkle in 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 3 drops of lavender and 2 drops tea tree. Soak for at least 15-20 minutes, then pat yourself dry, wrap up warm and put yourself to bed. The essential oils will soothe symptoms and relax you to help you to get a good night's sleep and get the rest that is so important when you are ill.

Vaporise essential oils in the bedroom with a waterless electric vaporiser – use 5-6 drops of eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, pine, rosemary, or basil. Use one oil or a combination.

Put a few drops on a tissue and breathe in the vapors through the day to help to relieve congestion – oils that can help here include, basil, eucalyptus, pine, peppermint or rosemary. Add a drop of lavender if your symptoms include a headache.

These same oils can be used for steam inhalation to help relieve congestion – use 1-2 drops only in a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Close eyes and cover your head with a towel to make a tent. Breathe in deeply. (Note – steam inhalations are not recommended for anyone suffering from asthma).

Make a soothing chest rub by adding 6 drops each of eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary to 50ml grapeseed oil. Apply to chest, throat and upper back.

(Please note – all recipes given are for adult doses.) For children under 12 years, use no more than half the amounts stated. For babies under 2 years, use no more than a quarter of the dose. Contact a professional aromatherapist

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