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Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic essential oils to enhance the quality of our well being. From the earliest days of human existence, herbs and plants have been used in many ways for their therapeutic benefits. In the early days, the Egyptians, the ancient Greeks and the Romans were known to anoint their bodies in scented oils. This was both for pleasure and also therapeutic reasons.

It is also widely known that they burned aromatic herbs and woods as offerings to the gods. By the middle ages, travellers were spreading the knowledge of spices, oils and herbs. Which then became part of everyday remedies for all the known ailments of those times.

As time has evolved and things have developed over the centuries, especially in the field of medicine. The synthetic chemicals have almost wiped out the use of natural remedies. These were once the way to cure ailments. But time and again synthetic medicines, whilst exceptional in some cases have proven to have many and sometimes serious side effects. Therefore man has learnt a hard lesson in the damage that these synthetic medicines do in some cases. An increasing number of people are slowly reverting back to natural remedies, (such as essential oils) for their therapeutic benefits. In some cases these essential oils have been classed as ‘Miraculous’ in some quarters, due to the healing properties they possess

The use of essential oils has, and can help to alleviate the symptoms of many modern day illnesses. They also help to overcome the stresses and strains caused by the busy pace of modern day life.

What Are Essential Oils?

They are concentrated liquid extracts, which are usually obtained by distillation from plants, herbs, berries, flowers and woods. Each oil has its own unique composition, fragrance and therapeutic benefits.The effects therapeutically of oils, acts both on the mind and body. Helping to maintain and restore health and general well being.

How To Use The Oils?

There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. You can use only one oil, or several oils mixed together to create your own personal blend. The most commonly used methods are;

Massage

This is recognised as the most effective way of using the essential oils. Particularly as it couples the soothing power of touch with benefits of the oils themselves. Most essential oil massages are made in the following way – 10ml (two tea-spoons) of carrier oil, into which you would add approx 6-8 drops of essential oil. It can be oil, or several oils together. A general guide is never add more than one drop of essential oil to 1ml of carrier oil, unless specifically advised by a qualified Aromatherapy Practitioner.

Bathing

This is an easy and simple way to use the oils. Run a bath of warm water not too hot, then add 6-8 drops of essential oil to a tablespoon of full fat milk mix together (this helps to disperse the essential oil more easily) then add to the bath water and stir vigorously. To get the maximum benefit from this method you should stay in the water covering the whole of your body. A good tip if using this method is not to have the water too hot as it will vaporise the essential oil too quickly before they have had time to work effectively. N.B. check Safety Information before using essential oils in this way.

Inhalation

This is a very good way to relieve colds and congestion with essential oils. Just add 2-3 drops into a bowl of steaming water, place a towel over your head, which in turn will be placed over the bowl. Then slowly inhale the vapours. It is advisable to keep your eyes shut.

Vaporising

Another way to slowly receive the benefits is to use with oil burners. Add water and 6-8 drops of essential oil into or onto the top part of the burner, a night-light is then placed in the space provided. The water will slowly heat up and in turn will vaporise the oil that has been added. This is an ideal way to fragrance the whole of your home using essential oil. When blended together these oils can create some wonderful aromas, and at the same time have some therapuetic benefit too.

Safety Information

Essential Oils are very potent , so always dilute with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. Unless directed by a Professional Aromatherapy Practitioner (recognised by one of the professional bodies).

Essential Oils blended for children should only be  half the dose used for adults . With very small children and babies advice should be sought from a doctor, before undertaking the use of essential oils.

Keep out of the reach of children, as with all medicines. If swallowed seek medical advice immediately, taking the bottle with you.

Do not take essential oils internally. This is only done in exceptional circumstances and under strict supervision from a Medically Trained Professional.

If you are pregnant, then you should and are strongly advised, to  seek advice from your doctor or consultant  before using any essential oils. This is especially important during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

If you suffer from any medical problems or conditions such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, heart problems, then advice should be sought from your doctor before commencing use .

If you have sensitive skin then it is best to test patch , before commencing any treatments with the oils. Your Aromatherapist should know how to do this.

All Essential Oils even when diluted, will  cause stinging if they get into the eyes . If this happens you should flush immediately with warm water. If this does not stop the irritation then you should seek medical advice without delay.

Oils which require caution when used in the bath – No more than two drops should ever be used of:

Aniseed, Benzoin, Camphor (rectified), Clove, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Juniper, Black Pepper, Pimento, Peppermint, Sage, Savoury, Spearmint and Thyme.

All of the above oils used under supervision from an aromatherapist may help with a wide range of ailments and complaints.

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