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What are essential oils?

posted on Oct 17, 2008
Aromatherapy is derived from the ancient practice of utilising natural plant extracts to promote good health and emotional well being. The plant extracts are obtained from a wide range of plant material through different methods of extractions. The most common way is through steam distillation, other extraction methods used include: expression and solvent extraction.

Uses of essential oils for health and wellbeing

In today's society we tend to live stressful lifestyles with little time for ourselves. Stress can be a catalyst to many discomforts to our physical being. Aromatherapy can help relieve many common physical ailments as well as help us maintain emotional stability. Here are some suggested ways of introducing essential oils to our everyday life:

- Massage: Massage is considered one of the most important methods of applying the essential oils, add approximately 5 drops of essential oil to 10 mls carrier oil and enjoy pure relaxation as the massage will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

- Bath: What better way to relax after a long day at work, than to indulge in a hot bath. Premix 20 mls of sweet almond oil with 10 drops of your choice of essential oils and pour half of the amount into the bathtub. Let the benefits of the essential oils absorb into your skin while the fragrance works to uplift your spirit.

- Vaporization: Oil diffusers are an easy and effective way to disperse essential oils. There are many different oil diffusing devices available at New directions to complement a wide variety of needs. From the humble tea light oil burner to the electric oil diffuser. Add 6-12 drops of your choice of essential oil to water and let the aroma diffuse into the room and cleanse the air.

- Inhalation: This is a great way to relieve a blocked nose. Add 5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of very hot water. Inhale the vapor for 5- 10 minutes preferably with a towel covering your head, and breathe deeply.

- Skincare: At New directions we sell a wide variety of natural skin care bases. You can customise your moisturiser depending on your skins needs. Please refer to the recipe section of our web site to see what essential oils are best for your skin type. To 100 ml moisturizer base add 15-20 drops of the recommended essential oils.

- Compresses: This is a very effective way of using essential oils to relieve pain, swelling and to reduce inflammation. Hot compresses are often used to reduce pain of a chronic nature. Cold compresses can be used on tired and overworked muscles and acute pain. Add 4-5 drops of essential oils to hot or cold water. Dip a clean cloth into the water solution and wring it, then cover the area being treated with the compress. Cover the compress with a plastic wrap and a small towel on top. Leave the compress on for a couple of hours.

Note: Individuals receiving this information must exercise their independent judgment in determining its appropriateness for a particular purpose.
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