Aromatherapy: different modes of application.
Everyone is talking about aromatherapy these days but what is aromatherapy? In a short and simple answer - aromatherapy is the study and the application of essential oils.
In this article we will talk about the different methods of use.
#1 Inhalation: Probably the most common and easy way to use your essential oils. It exists two different forms of inhalation: straight out of the bottle, for a full appreciation of benefits and fragrances, or via an ambient diffusion, using an ultra sonic diffuser or an aroma pod.
The ambient diffusion is mostly used to enhance your mood or disinfect a room against viruses (read our article about how to keep your house clean and healthy).
#2 Topical use: This method allows you to enjoy the benefits of your favourite oils through their absorption into your skin. Topical application can be used to relax your mind and body (e.g via massages), reducing stress and blood pressure. For this purpose application, the recommended dilution dose is 0,1-5% (refer to the Dilution chart of Tisserand Institute). Topical use is also common to treat some skin condition such as acne.
Tea tree oil for example, is often applied straight on a pimple as it should always be diluted at 1% into a carrier oil prior facial application.
#3 Steam inhalation: This method is not recommended for children under the age of 5 years.
A steam inhalation can be used with a facial steamer or simply with a bowl and hot water. It is a popular method and very beneficial when congested.
You probably remember your grand-parents pouring some boiled water in a bowl on the kitchen table asking you to sit with a towel over your head to breath the warm vapours of steam!
How does a steam inhalation work? The hot steam looses the congestion in your nasal cavity helping the mucus to be thinned. The active components of the essential oil is carried directly to the nose then down the lungs.
Here are our safety tips for a steam inhalation:
- Consider using Eucalyptus oil (1 to 3 drops maximum) and avoid using irritating oils (such as oregano or cinnamon bark
- Remember to close your eyes while doing a steam inhalation
- If you are using Peppermint oil, be very cautious and use only 1 drop
#4 Aromatherapy in a bath: A very relaxing way of using Aromatherapy. I way too often read on the Internet or on packaging that essential oils can be added straight to the bath. Rule number 1: essential oils are not soluble in water. This is the reason why we talk about dilution. Before you add any essential oils to your bath, we recommend you dilute it in a carrier oil or, your shower gel or your shampoo. The dilution rate recommended by the Tisserand Institute is between 1-4%.
Aromatherapy is an amazing gift from The Nature which you enjoy through various ways. If you are new to essential oils, it is important for you to understand and respect a few rules: look after your oils to get a longer use of them. Know the dilution chart if you plan on applying them to your skin, and remember: a little goes a long way.
Not matter what method of application you use, the end purpose will remain the same: To improve your well-being.