Aromatherapy is the term most commonly used to describe the therapeutic application of essential oils extracted from plants; also known as essential oil therapy. Although all aromas are not pleasing, many plants produce oils that offer therapeutic benefits.
Aromatherapy implies that essential oils must be inhaled to produce an effect, however; essential oils are valuable in a variety of ways which will be discussed throughout this blog.
Essential oils can be found in your local health food stores or online. The quality and purity of essential oils varies, as they are derived from plants and packaged by companies all over the world.
Be sure to complete a skin patch test to ensure that you are not allergic or highly sensitive to the oil.
Here’s how to complete the test:
Dip one end of a cotton ball into a carrier oil, or base, such as sunflower, almond or olive oil. Place a few drops of the essential oil on the cotton ball, then touch it to the inside of your wrist, elbow or arm. Place a bandaid over the area to protect it from water for several hours (up to 24). If you experience redness, itching, or any other reaction, do not use the oil.
The essential oils are derived from plants, which are often used to create herbal tea. As I describe teas throughout this blog, please note that the essential oil, although with the same name as the tea, should not be ingested. Teas can be purchased at your local health food or grocery store, as well as online.
WARNING: Not all essential oils can or should be used during pregnancy. Make sure that you read labels, ask questions, and use caution when using essential oils and other aromatherapy products during pregnancy.