The age past innocence: 5 ways to use aromatherapy for teens

Coping with the transition from childhood to adolescence is not an easy joke. Teens have to suffer through it, parents have to labor through it. Though a dynamic period, the phase is marked by a series of physical, emotional and psychological changes. Children start realizing they are no more children and learn to cope with the adult world. Apart from changes in the self, teens face emotional issues and conflicts raised due to expectations from parents, peers and society. This makes teens go through physical and emotional ailments like sleeplessness, fatigue, anxiety and depression. There are also weight and skin issues which affects a teen’s personality among his or her peers.

Dealing with all these teen issues, demands patience and proper therapy. Aromatherapy can be a great respite for parents and teens dealing with adolescence. This article seeks to offer the various ways in which aromatherapy can be used to address teens’ problems.

Aromatherapy for teens:
Teenagers, as a way of coping with their problems, try to shutdown from the outside world and recline into themselves. They often become angry, irritated, impatient, provocative, aggressive so much so that they resort to drugs and alcohol to cope with these problems. You can use aromatic blends made using essential oils to help teens cope with their adolescent issues. To create these aromatic blends, mix the essential oils in a 10 oz container of vegetable oil.

1. Communication:
Add 3 drops of Sage oil, 4 drops of Lavender, and 2 drops of German Chamomile with vegetable oil. To aid teens in communication, apply this aromatic blend on the neck and shoulders or add 20 drops of it in bath water. Better, ask your teen to rub it on to palm and inhale deeply.

2. Anti-depressant: Add 3 drops of Ylang Ylang, 4 drops of Orange, 4 drops of Grapefruit with vegetable oil base and massage on to your teen’s solar plexus. This is an invigorating blend which will help your teen open up to problems and develop a positive attitude.

3. Sleep Problems: If your teen is having insomnia problems, prepare a blend with 2 drops of Roman Chamomile, 4 drops of Petitgrain, and 4 drops of basil with vegetable base oil. Massage the blend on  to neck, shoulders, temples and forehead or pour 20 drops of it into warm bath water and make your teen soak for at least 15 minutes.

4. Anger suppressant: If your teen is impatient, angry or aggressive more than usual, add 4 drops of Marjoram, 1 drop of Rose and 1 drop of Jasmine otto with vegetable base oil and massage on the heart chakra, sacrum and solar plexus.

5. Escapism: Encourage your teen to perform confidently and face issues with faith and hope with this blend. Add 4 drops of cedarwood, 3 drops of cypress and 3 drops of rosemary with base oil and massage on to sacrum and solar plexus. If possible, ask your teen to pour a few drops on the hands and inhale deeply.

At your wit’s end? Aromatherapy for relief from stress and insomnia

Are you tensed, overstressed and drained out completely? Do you wake up in the middle of nights never to sleep again? Are you anxious about what will happen next even when you know that it is silly to be anxious? Maybe you are caught in the web most Americans are in – the vicious cycle of stress, insomnia and anxiety which occur mostly in hyperactive and over-worked individuals who do not know what it is to relax. In this post-modern era, we are constantly working to exceed ourselves. We strive, slog and do everything in our capacity (and not in our capacity) to achieve what we deem to be phenomenal at the expense of our health.

Stress and insomnia cure: Traditional medicine recommends oral drugs for the cure of stressful conditions and sleeplessness. Though these drugs work, the problem with them is, they inflict a curse of side effects on patients who take them. The medications actually cause more stress than what was already there. Some medications also take patients into a chain reaction, where they are helpless without a particular drug. This causes acute withdrawal symptoms in drugs.

Aromatherapy is a god-send medicine when it comes to curing illnesses or relieving stressful conditions. An effective pain relief therapy, aromatic essential oils work wonders on your body, without any side effects.

Aromatherapy for stress relief: As you all know, aromatherapy oils are natural essence oils that can relieve you of physical, emotional, chemical and mental stress. It alleviates muscular fatigue, combats physiological pain and fights stress-related insomnia in patients.

1. Physical stress: Physical stress is caused by the over-exertion of the body, physically. Though complete rest would rejuvenate a tired body, essential oils aid in such revival. You can try clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, thyme, peppermint and rosemary oils for relieving physical stress.

2. Environmental stress caused by loud noise, bright light, drive through heavy traffic, constant annoyances, pollution etc. can be treated with oils like basil, cedarwood, chamomile, geranium and coriander.

3. Chemical stress
can occur when you overeat or subject yourself to a lot of medications. Abuse of drugs or over-use of oral medications can result in chemical stress due to the accumulation of toxins in the body. This can be cleared off by inhaling clary sage, lavender, lemon, rosemary, grapefruit, geranium and lemon.

4. Emotional/mental stress
is caused by depressive thoughts, sufferance of painful emotional problems for a prolonged time and very low self-esteem. Basil, chamomile, bergamot, grapefruit, sandalwood and geranium can be used to get relief from mental stress.

You can use essential oils to even clear unwanted materials or substances in your environment. Cypress, eucalyptus lemon, grapefruit, lavender and rosemary oils can cleanse stale air at your home or office and help you breathe aromatic air. Basil, bergamot, birch, coriander, geranium, grapefruit and neroli can improve concentration and make you more creative.

Essential oils for insomnia: Tisserand, an aromatherapist, studied the effect of several oils in hospital patients and found the following essential oils to be effective in treating insomnia: lavender, marjoram, geranium, mandarin, and cardamom. With sedative properties, these oils induced sleep in insomniacs.

Get back on your feet: How to use essential oils in foot care

Feet is an important part of our body. They carry us all through our lifetime, for thousands of miles. But we hardly take care of them unless they are affected by fungal infections or are sore, tired, cracked, dry or itchy. Foot care is a must in today’s fast paced world as we are always on the move and hardly heed to our body, leave alone the feet. Aromatherapy essential oils are a great way to treat your feet. They not only soothe sore or tired feet, but also cure infection caused by fungi or viruses.

Essential oils and foot care:
There are certain common essential oils that are used in foot care. Here are a few:

1. Peppermint oil: Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory oil that can soothe the skin and produce a relaxing effect. It is also a decongestant.

2. Rosemary oil: Used for many therapies, rosemary oil is a mild stimulant which is good for rheumatic aches or pain.

3. Eucalyptus oil: A strong aromatic oil, eucalyptus is an all-time oil for pain relief. Its anti-viral and bactericidal properties make it a great oil for the feet.

4. Lavender oil: A naturally soothing and relaxing oil, lavender is highly efficient in soothing your feet and helping it relax better. An excellent remedy for tired, hard-working feet.

5. Lemon oil: Like lemon, lemon oil is also refreshing, reviving and stimulating. It enhances circulation and relieves the body of pain and aches. A rejuvenating oil for sore or tired feet.

Toenail fungus: Essential oils can cure a lot of conditions related to feet. One of them is Toenail Fungal infection. Caused by fungus, this is a common infection among the Americans. Almost 30 million people in the United States are infected by nail fungus. This occurs mostly in men and women aged between 40 to 65, though some kinds of fungal infections happen in children also. Oral medications are not that effective in treating toenail fungus. This is because oral medications work only wherever blood circulates and toenail infection is concentrated mainly on the nail and the cuticle. Since there is no chance of blood reaching the interior of the nail, toenail infection cannot be effectively treated with oral drugs. Topical creams do work, but nothing works better than essential oils.

Three essential oils play a key role in treating toenail fungus. They are: 1. Tea Tree Oil, 2. Lavender Oil and 3. Oregano Oil. Tea Tree oil is an antiseptic that is used in several infections, especially skin related ones. Oregano oil has antiviral, antiseptic and anti-parasitical properties which reduces pain and inflammation in the body.

Essential oil remedies for problem feet: Aromatic oils can be used to treat Athlete’s foot, sore feet and burning feet. Here are a few remedies for different foot conditions:

Foot bath blend for tired feet: An essential foot bath blend should comprise of the following components: 3 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops of rosemary oil, 4 drops of lemon oil mixed with 2 gallons of warm water. While lavender soothes your feet, lemon and rosemary re-energize and revive it with increased blood circulation.

Essential oils for athlete’s foot: Add 4 drops of tea tree oil, 4 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of sandalwood oil with 2 gallons of warm water and soak your feet in the blend. Tea tree oil combats the fungus, while sandalwood oil softens and smoothens the cracks and sores in the feet. You can even substitute sandalwood with patchouli oil.

Incensed with fear? 10 aromatherapy oils for emotional transformation

In ancient times, physicians used the sense of smell as a diagnostic tool. They knew that particular diseases caused particular smells or odor changes in the body. Arthritis and rheumatism carry an acid smell, diabetes has an acetone smell in the urine, perspiration odors can tell about the functioning of kidneys, while the odor of feces can say which part of your digestive tract is affected. The sense of smell is something native to the human body. It is said that the human nose has the ability to distinguish even thousand different smells in its subconscious mind. This is why aromatherapy works for human beings.

How do aromatic oils affect emotions?
A smell can bring up a vivid memory of things. Be it the scent of a flower or the aroma of an apple pie, your subconscious mind rises up the memory associated with that particular smell even after so many years. This is followed by a string of emotions associated with the memory (good or bad). With such a deep connection between the olfactory nerves and emotions, one cannot doubt the effect of aromas on our emotional wellbeing.

Everything starts with the sensory nerve endings in the nose. When these sensory nerve endings sense odoriferous molecules (aromas), they immediately relay the nerve impulses to the part of the brain called the Limbic System. Since the Limbic System activates the pituitary gland (the seat of hormones) and the hypothalamus (the part which controls body functions and endocrine system), the aromas affect the emotional and physiological wellbeing of an individual. Unlike the skin which processes impulses in a much complex way, the nose or the olfactory system relays impulses readily, making aromatherapy one of the best and quickest ways to set right your emotions.

Healing oils for emotional balance: Emotional transformation cannot happen in split seconds – psychoanalysts know it is a complex process that involves rationalization and acceptance of an individual’s situation. But aromatherapy is different. It overpowers the rational mind, bringing a sudden surge of happy and peaceful emotions. It can even affect the memory aspects of your body. However, one should understand that reaction or response to aromas vary from individual to individual. Though lavender is a calming oil, if an individual has an unpleasant memory about it, he may not respond to it in the expected way. In which case, a different oil is to be tried on him.

The below list can help in easing emotions with the appropriate essential oils:

1. Depression: Essential oils like basil, bergamot, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, lavender, neroli, geranium and jasmine can be used in treatment of depression.

2. Anger: Anger or aggressive behavior can be controlled or managed with chamomile, jasmine, marjoram, ylang-ylang, rosemary, palma rosa, melissa, bergamot, lemon, juniper etc.

3. Fear: Fear can be crippling if left untreated. Oils like cedarwood, fennel, ginger, thyme, pachouli, sandalwood, clary, jasmine and basil can be used to reduce your fear palpitations and relax your mind.

4. Hypertension or hysteria can be treated with chamomile, lavender, neroli, orange, tea tree and melissa.

5. Impatience, irritability, disturbed state of mind can be treated with chamomile, camphor, marjoram, frankincense, clary and lavender.

6. Grief or sorrow
can be alleviated if hyssop, marjoram, rose, benzoin, jasmine, rose and rosewood oils are used.

7. Stress: Stress is a constant in everyone’s life. To reduce stress, you can use bergamot, atlas cedarwood, geranium, lavender, sweet marjoram, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang-ylang, petitgrain, rose, melissa, clary sage and all citrus oils.

8. Aphrodisiacs: Clary sage, jasmine, patchouli, ylang-ylang increase the secretion of endorphins and increase sex hormone activity.

9. Memory stimulators:
Black pepper, lemon, peppermint, rosemary and other such oils stimulate the Amygdala and hippocampus in the brain to improve functions related to thought and memory.

10. Sedatives:
Oils like chamomile, lavender, marjoram and orange blossom aid in sleep by secreting serotonin in the brain.

Smell relief: 4 natural pain relief remedies using essential oils

The agony of pain can be unbearable. It can be taxing, distressing and debilitating. It can wreck your daily routine, making you victims of suffering. Every time you experience pain, you hunt for a painkiller to seek instant relief. You think you can surpass the agony of painful moments by taking a simple pill. You get temporary relief and then, the pain pounces on you again. You resort to the cycle of painkiller-pain-relief-painkiller to keep pain at bay. This process can make you tired and weary, especially if you are the kind suffering from migraines, constant headaches or chronic pain like  arthritic pain.

Nasty painkillers: All praise and credits to the medical world for discovering painkillers. Sure, they are wonder drugs that ward off pain from your body and give you relaxation and relief. But they are pretty nasty too. Almost all painkillers come with a load of side effects. Some can be debilitating and fatal. Some can lead you to an addiction system, making you addictive to the drug and result in serious withdrawal symptoms. The pain point in this is, you take painkillers to get complete relief, but all they do is provide you temporary, instant relief (where the pain comes back after sometime).

How are essential oils different? So how are essential oils different from painkillers? The first and foremost difference is, they do not cause any side effects, whatsoever. Even those rare skin irritations can be avoided if you mix your essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it. Another marked difference is in the way they function. Since essential oils are applied topically, they do not metabolize in the body, causing you indigestion problems or liver or kidney disorders associated with oral consumption of drugs. Third factor, essential oils are completely herbal and natural. They provide instant relief, mood changes and create a calm and peaceful ‘you’ without pain. They are also completely safe to use.

Essential oils for pain relief:
There are various essential oils which can be used in pain relief. However, only a few are most popular and successful. Below is a list of pure essential oils which are used as pain relief remedies:

1. Lavender oil: Lavender oil is extracted from the plant lavender vera. It is antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. Lavender is indicated for muscle spasms, sprains, strain, cramps, contractures and rheumatic pain. It has a soothing and relaxing effect on the body, relieving pain sensations completely out of the system. In spirituality, lavender is said to balance the physical, astral and ethereal planes and thereby bring peace to an individual.

2. Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is extracted from Mentha Piperita. It has been extensively used in the treatment of pain through the ages – headaches, migraines, backache, shoulder pain, arthritic pain and other chronic pain from accidents or other ill-health conditions. A powerful anti-inflammatory, it is smooth and cooling on the skin.

3. Clove oil: Clove oil or Syzygium Aromaticum provides great relief from toothaches. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good pain relief remedy with minimal or no irritation. Mixed with base oils, it works well when massaged on to the body.

4. Basil oil:
A modest herbal wonder, Basil is a plant sets off miracle cures. Basil oil, from the ancient times, has been homemade and used for various ailments, even influenza, common cold etc. An anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory oil, Basil treats muscle and nerve pain readily. It is also an excellent muscle relaxant.

Caution is to be used while treating pain with essential oils. Some oils can be concentric absolutes which may cause skin irritation or skin problems. To avoid this, mix essential oils with base or carrier oils and then apply/massage on to the body.

Use caution with essential oils: 8 safety guidelines to follow

There is no doubt that aromatherapy and essential oils are great ways to enhance our health and lifestyles. But that does not mean that everything with aromatherapy is good. There are several toxic essential oils which can prove harmful or fatal to you. There are some essential oils which need to be used with caution. Also, you need to know how to keep your oils safe, preventing them from becoming rancid and keeping them out of reach of children.

Below are a list of safety guidelines you need to follow with essential oils:

1. Children and Pets: Essential oils are highly valuable, but they can be harmful if used improperly or when there is an overdose. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children or pets. Store them in a cool, dark place in tinted glass bottles as some oils are photosensitive (cannot stand sunlight). Check periodically on whether your oils are in good quality.

2. Strictly NO intake of oils: Avoid intake of essential oils unless suggested or recommended by a qualified and licensed aromatherapist or aromatherapy practitioner. Intake of toxic oils can even result in death.

3. Do skin patch test: Do skin patch test if you are applying an essential oil for the first time on your body. To do this, mix one drop of essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil and then, apply on the inside of the wrist. Leave the area dry for 24 hours and do not wash the oil off the skin. If there is no skin irritation, redness, swelling or inflammation in the oil-applied area, then you can be certain that the oil is compatible with your skin. If you are using a carrier oil for the first time, apply it and check before testing with essential oil.

4. Application procedures: When using undiluted essential oils, wash your hands immediately after usage. Do not apply essential oils on your eyes, mouth, insides of the nose, mucous membranes, sexual organs or other areas. Take great care when using essential oils on children. When nursing babies, take care to avoid skin transference

5. Carcinogenic oils: Some essential oils can be carcinogenic and are banned in aromatherapy. Such oils are calamus oil, sassafras oil, camphor oil etc. If you have cancer, follow these safety rules: keep massaging lightly, avoid deep massages over lymph glands, do not massage if you have skin cancer, and do not massage on areas that were subjected to radiation. Avoid the following oils if you have cancer: antiseed, bay, basil, clove, cinnamon, laurel, nutmeg, fennel etc.

6. Liver-toxic oils: Certain essential oils can have a toxic effect on the liver. Since liver is the seat of several activities like lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, bile juice secretion, protein synthesis etc., a toxic effect on the liver can be harmful to the body. To avoid this, do not take the following oils orally: antiseed, basil, bay, cassia, cinnamon, clove etc.

7. Oral, dermal toxicity-inducing oils: There are a few oils that cause oral and dermal toxicity, which include: bitter almond, boldo leaf, calamus, camphor, mugwort, rue, pennyroyal, sassafras, savin, tansy, thuja, wintergreen, wormseed, southernwood, mustard, nightshade and stinging nettles. You need to avoid certain oils like hyssop, rosemary, sage and thyme if you have hypertension. And never use rosemary, fennel, sage, spike lavender, tansy, thuja, wormweed, and camphor oils if you have epilepsy or other related problems.

8. General safety tips: Check for interaction of essential oils with prescription medications and use them accordingly. Abstain from alcohol when using essential oils. Avoid sunlight after essential oil massages as some oils can cause sun-sensitivity in people.

Essential oils by skin type: 3 ways to find the right oil for your skin

Skin care industry is growing big these days. With many suffering from skin allergies, irritations, chronic skin conditions and stress-related skin disorders, taking care of one’s skin involves a lot of complexities – you need to act by your skin type, you need to apply what suits you and above all, your skin treatment should be longstanding and fruitful. Essential oils are widely used in skin treatment and care nowadays. Thanks to the recognition aromatherapy and plant oils have gained in the world of alternative medicine, essential oils play a huge role even in cosmetics and skin care products in the popular market.

Skin is a dynamic organism that keeps changing from time to time. It reacts to both internal and external influences, developing sensitivities, problems and irritations. Your skin type can vary depending on the seasons too. Sometimes you can have oilier skin in summer and drier skin in winter.

Since skin involves so much, before you proceed to choose the right kind of oils for your skin, you need to understand and act according to certain things:

1. Identify your skin type: This is necessary to treat your skin. Skin types can be generally of seven  different types – dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, problem skin, sensitive skin, dehydrated skin, and mature/aged skin.

Dry skin tends to age faster than other skin types and is susceptible to flaking and other irritations in hot or cold conditions. Oily skin may have problems like blackheads, acne but it tends to age slower than dry skin. A combination skin is a combination of both dry and oily skin. Problem skin is a skin type with extreme skin problems like eczema or psoriasis. Sensitive skin can result in irritation or itching flare-ups even with slight allergens. Dehydrated skin is different from dry skin and has a lot of flakes, crinkles and dull appearance. Mature or aged skin type is marked by a lot of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging looks.

2. Get to know about essential oils: Once you have clearly identified your skin type, you need to get to know about essential oils. Not all skin types are compatible with all oils and there are specific oils to particular skin types. So, if you are planning to try essential oils on your skin, learn about the nature of your skin type and the essential oils that can be used for your skin. You can even consult your dermatologist if you have problems in choosing oils.

3. Essential oils for skin types:
Below is a list of recommended essential oils for various skin types. You can use the oils compatible with your skin in cleaning, toning or moisturizing skin surface.

Dry and Mature skin essential oils: Almond, carrot seed, cedarwood, palma rose, neroli, castor, extra virgin, jasmine, geranium, ylang-ylang, vetiver, clary sage etc.

Oily skin essential oils:
Geranium, lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, peppermint, niaouli, cajeput, sandalwood, juniper, melisa, coriander, rosemary, eucalyptus, myrtle, neroli and lemon oil.

Combination skin essential oils: Rosewood, geranium, ylang-ylang, rose geranium hydrosol, palmarosa, chamomile, sandalwood, carrier oils – sweet almond, jojoba, evening primrose and apricot kernel.

Problem skin essential oils: lavender, mandarin, bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, juniper, carrier oils – jojoba, grapeseed, carrot-seed

Sensitive skin essential oils: chamomile, rose, palma rosa, neroli, rosewood, carrot, angelica, jasmine, mandarin, petitgrain, frankincense, carrier oils – jojoba, sweet almond, calendula-infused oil and evening primrose.

As bald as a coot? 8 essential oils for hair loss treatment

Ridley was the most charming guy in grad school. Everyone liked him for his athletic build, striking eyes and dark hair. He was the guy the girls flocked to date. He was Mr. Handsome in the whole college. But in a matter of few months, Ridley began to change. His hair line started receding. Whether it was due to genes, stress or drugs, Ridley was on the verge of becoming as bald as a coot. The girls disappeared and so did his position as Mr. Handsome.

Most of you may have gone through Ridley’s trauma. Hair loss can be embarrassing and debilitating on an emotional level. Though baldness is not harmful to health, it can present to you as an older person among you peers. Definitely, a man or woman with rich, glowing hair would be considered better appearance-wise than a bald man or a thin-haired woman. Though there are many synthetic, crash-course-like hair loss treatments available in the market, nothing is as natural as treatment through essential oils.

Essential oils and hair growth:
Essential oils have been used in hair care from the ancient times. Many essential oils, invigorate hair follicles and promote growth of healthy, glowing hair. Some help cure hair loss and also treat scalp conditions like dandruff and irritation or itching. We all know that coconut oil is good for hair, but there are plenty of oils which are more beneficial than coconut oil for hair growth. While coconut oil just replenishes hair shine and overall health of hair, essential oils like Rosemary oil, Lavender oil and Basil oil regenerate the hair cells and promote hair growth.

Essential oils for hair loss treatment: Below are a few essential oils that are used extensively in hair loss solutions.

1. Rosemary oil: Rosemary increases blood circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth and preventing future hair loss. It helps fight dandruff owing to its skin care properties. Though a widely used oil, it is not advisable for pregnant women and people suffering from hypertension to use rosemary.

2. Basil oil: Basil oil is a natural scalp stimulator. It acts as a natural conditioner and produces a squeaky clean hair in people with an oily scalp. When used in conjunction with fenugreek, it improves blood circulation to the hair tissue and thereby, produces growth.

3. Lavender oil: Apart from being a natural soothing oil, Lavender oil is used to treat several skin problems like itchy scalp, skin problems, dandruff and hair loss.

4. Jojoba oil: A perfect base oil, Jojoba can be mixed with any oil to produce effective hair loss solutions. It works in an amazing way to treat hair loss due to dry or damaged hair. A good carrier oil, it is often used with rosemary or lavender oil in hair care treatment.

5. Tea Tree Oil: An anti-septic and anti-viral oil, Tea Tree oil is ideal for treating flu symptoms, warts, cuts, bruises, itchy skin and scalp problems. When used with Jojoba or other carrier oil, it produce great results in hair growth therapies.

6. Cypress oil: Apart from its soothing and relaxing effects, Cypress oil is efficient in hair or scalp treatment formulas. It reduces oiliness in the scalp, and is effective in fighting dandruff. A small amount of Cypress oil is sufficient for hair growth formulas.

7. Peppermint oil: A refreshing oil, it is ideal for use in the mornings. It energizes the scalp, improves circulation, promotes hair growth and eliminates dandruff and itchiness.

8. Lemon oil: High on vitamins A, B and C, lemon oil is useful for dry or oil scalp. It regulates sebum production and promotes cell regeneration. By restoring the hair pH levels, it gives the hair a healthy shine.

Apart from the above oils, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, thyme, burdock, grapefruit, bay, carrot seed, olive and arnica oils are used in hair care treatment.

Elixirs of life: 6 popular, must-have essential oils and their uses

With everyone looking for alternative therapies and treatment methods, essential oils have made a successful comeback in this modern age. Many are taking up to essential oil treatment, thanks to the  safe and harmless therapeutic effects of oils. Add to these their stimulating and relaxing properties, essential oils are great alternatives to oral prescription medications that carry with them a train of other ailments in the form of side effects. With more than 100 essential oils available, getting started with aromatherapy is not easy. It requires adequate knowledge to judge an essential oil and use it appropriately for a particular ailment.

Below are a few popular, must-have oils and their uses in aromatherapy:

1. Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil is extracted through steam distillation from Eucalyptus globules plant. It has a strong aroma which is a mix of fresh, earthy, camphor-like scent with a  medicinal tint. A thin, clear oil, Eucalyptus is used topically for relieving muscle tensions, rheumatic pain, treatment of cuts, wounds and burns on account of its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. An air disinfectant, it is used in treatment of lung disorders like bronchitis, sinusitis and other ailments like flu, cold sores and arthritis. It also aids in circulation and hence can be used to energize a painful part of the body. However, Eucalyptus oil should not be taken orally and should be used only under medical supervision for serious ailments.

2. Chamomile oil: Chamomile essential oil is used in a variety of treatments. It is a thin pale blue or gray color oil with fruity, sweet and herbaceous odor. Owing to its analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral and digestive properties, Chamomile is used in controlling acne, curing blisters, boils, relieving nervous tension, anxiety, depression, and even skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. The oil is also effective in treating flatulence, gout, colitis, PMS, rheumatism, headaches, wounds and sprains.

3. Lavender oil: Lavender oil is a thin, clear oil with a floral, sweet and slight fruity aroma. Light yellow in color, Lavender oil is widely known for its therapeutic and soothing effects. An analgesic, anti-inflammatory oil, it has diuretic and sedative properties that help cure many topical ailments like psoriasis, acne, eczema, burns, sunburns, wounds, sores and insect bites. A sleep-inducing oil, Lavender oil is used to treat insomnia, along with asthma, depression, chickenpox, migraine, vertigo and flatulence.

4. Geranium oil: Geranium essential oil is effective in treating ailments related to female physiology. It balances hormones, relieves breast pain and treats menopausal symptoms in the female body. Noted for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-spasmodic properties, Geranium has a sweet, floral and earthy scent and is used in the cure of eczema and edema. Its water retention properties are helpful in curing conditions like rheumatism, poor circulation, tonsillitis and PMS.

5. Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is extracted from mentha piperita plant and has strong minty aroma of peppermint candies. An amazing digestive tonic, peppermint oil is used to help with conditions like slow digestion, indigestion, nausea, flatulence etc. It helps in clearing blocked sinuses, curing headaches, asthma and exhaustion. It is useful as an insect repellent too.

6. Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree oil has a varied range of uses owing to its antiviral, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It is highly effective in treating all kinds of fungal infections from athlete’s foot, jock itch, warts, insect bites, scars and acne. Free of side effects, Tea Tree oil treats even chickenpox and cold sores.

Sleepless nights, chaotic mind: 4 essential oil ideas for insomnia cure

Sleep and depression are interconnected. Lack of sleep can lead to depression or sleeplessness itself can be an aftermath of depression. If you are already depressed, your sleeplessness will increase your depression. If not, your insomnia will be a precursor to a state of depression. This is because, when you realize that you are sleepless, your worry increases. You start worrying about your helpless state and that leads to depression or a gloomy feeling ultimately. The vicious cycle continues to panic you unless and until your clear insomnia from your life. Essential oils can help with insomnia cure if used in the right way.

Aromatherapy for insomnia: Aromatherapy essential oils has been widely used in insomnia cure. This is because the therapeutic effect of essential not just to heal your physical wounds, but even to help you forget your mental/emotional wounds. When there is emotional healing, heaviness lifts and sleeplessness fades away. Your chaotic mind finally comes to rest.

There can be several reasons for insomnia and stress is one important reason. On the contrary, a good night’s sleep is essential to carry on your daily routine. Life also looks better and well handled when you have rested well the previous night. Another thing is, when you sleep well, you will not worry about sleeplessness and that would alleviate your depression. Aromatherapists prescribe several essential oil blends to help with insomnia. Below are a few of them:

1. Sleepy blend: This blend will put to you to sleep within a few minutes of use. Combine 10 drops of Roman Chamomile, 5 drops of Clary Sage and 5 drops of Bergamot and blend well to make an aromatherapy recipe that can be added to a tissue and kept under your pillow. If you don’t like this pillow technique, you can make a blend at the ratio of 2 drops of Roman Chamomile, 1 drop of Clary Sage and 1 drop of Bergamot to your diffuser and use it one hour before bedtime.

2. Lavender massage: As you know, Lavender is a great oil for inducing sleep and rest and this Lavender oil massage can help you do only that. Mix Lavender with carrier oil (3 to 5 drops is sufficient) and rub it on the back of your neck, along your spine and 1-2 drops at the bottom of each foot. Do this just before bedtime. You can even use Lavender as a diffuser in your bedroom. Or you can soak in bath water of 10 drops of Lavender oil 15 minutes before you go to sleep.

3. Blissful sleep blend: For a good night’s sleep, combine 15 drops of Lavender with 10 drops of Frankincense and 5 to 6 drops of Tangerine. This is a wonderful combination that diffuses in about 15 minutes time. The blend is both therapeutic and heavenly too as the aroma is exotic and relaxing.

4. Insomnia Body Rub: What can be more useful than this body rub which can induce sleep instantly? Combine 4 drops of Clary Sage, 2 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Valerian, 3 drops of Vetiver and use 6 drops or 3 drops of the blend in 1 tsp of carrier oil. You can use it as a body rub and rub it on to your temples, back and all points that you are comfortable with.