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Aromatherapy is the use of essential
oils distilled from plants to promote a well balanced and healthy
lifestyle. Massage, bathing, vaporisation and inhalation are the usual methods
Essential oils are used by Aromatherapists generally in
the process of massage. Essential oils are
blended with a carrier oil to create a mixture
which can be used directly on the body. The
blend will depend of the clients needs and
their use is also recommended for bathing and burning in a water solution
over a candle to clean and purify the air and to effect improvements in a
persons breathing and general well being.
Pure essential oils are extremely concentrated. Before using pure essential oils
virtually all will need to be diluted in a carrier
oil to avoid any skin reactions and provide the lubrication necessary to help disperse them evenly.
If essential oils are used in skin and body care, carrier oils
can also be moisturising, nourishing and protecting. Oils such as baby oil should not be
used to dilute essential oils.
Aromatherapists charges vary hugely but a qualified therapist
will generally charge between £30 and £45 per hour. Often massage treatments
take 90 minutes and the change will reflect this time.
The essential oil basics and
Reduces swelling; treats allergic symptoms; relieves stress,
insomnia, and depression; useful in treating digestive problems.
Lowers fever; clears sinuses; has antibacterial and antiviral
properties; relieves coughs; useful for boils and pimples.
laryngitis and coughs; fights bladder and skin infections; relieves
digestive problems and pain in the joints.
This is one of the most diverse and commonly used oils. Helps to heal burns and cuts; destroys bacteria; relieves
depression, inflammation, spasms, headaches, respiratory allergies, muscle
aches, nausea, menstrual cramps; soothes bug bites; lowers blood pressure.
Cymbopogon Citratus (Family, Poaceae [Gramineae])
A refreshing, cleansing and stimulating tonic on the body, and added to
shampoos aids in adding a shine to the hair. An antiseptic and astringent
oil. Sweet powerful 'lemony' aroma which make a good refreshing and
deodorising room fragrance. Warning Dilute to
1% and use only 3 drops in a bath as it may cause irritation of the skin.
Citrus Limonum (Family, Rutaceae)
Widely used in beauty care. It cleanses, refreshes, cools and stimulates.
Astringent and antiseptic oil. Useful for oily skin. Can be used to lighten
dull, stained hands or to tone and condition nails and cuticles. Blends well
with other oils. Warning Do not use lemon on
the skin in direct sunlight. Dilute to 1% and use only 3 drops in a bath as
it may cause irritation of the skin.
Aloysia citriodora, A. triphylla, Lippia citriodora, L. tripohylla,
Used in perfumery and liqueurs. Mood uplifting, revitalising and promotes
mental clarityand alertness. Warning This is a
photosensitising oil, do not use before going into the sun. Can be
irritating to those with sensitive skin.
Citrus Aurantifolia (Family, Rutaceae)
Acts like lemon and the other citrus oils, Nice aroma. Warning
Do not use lime on the skin in direct sunlight, however if the essential oil
of lime is distilled rather that expressed, then it does not have a
phototoxic effect. Dilute to 1% and use only 3 drops in a bath as it may
cause irritation of the skin.
Tilia europaea. T. vulgaris> (Family, Tiliaceae)
One of the floral absolutes. Used for calming and stress reduction and a
tonic for the nervous system. Warning Linden
Blossom should not be used over a long period of time.
Litsea citrata, L. cubeba (Family, Lauraceeae)
A cooling oil, used to improve digestion and to promote a restful sleep.
Can be an irritant so those with sensitive skins should use small amounts
Angelica levisticum, Levisticum officinale, Ligusticum levisticum
Know in Europe as "Love parsley" it is reputed to have
aphrodisiac qualities and to purify and aid in the reduction of cellulite.
Citrus Noblis (Family, Rutaceae)
The fruits were once traditional gifts offered to the Chinese Mandarins -
Hence the name. A gentle and calming oil, good for oily skin. Known in
France as "the children's remedy" for its mildness - use it in
massage for the digestive system and, like Lavender, can be used in massage
oil to help prevent stretch marks. Do not use Mandarin on the skin in direct
(Leptospermum or New Zealand Tea Tree)
Used for years by the Maori's this herbs oil has may qualities similiar to
Tea tree. Calming and reduces stress and tension. Relieves aches and pains,
relaxes tight muscles. Healing to the skin. Some say that, like lavender and
Tea Tree, it may be used neat on the skin.
Tagetes Glandulifera (or T. minuta or T. putuh)
(Family, Asteraceae [Compositae])
Very good anti fungal and good for smelly feet! A rather pungent aroma so
it helps to blend it with the citrus oils and Lavender.
Marjoram (Spanish & Sweet)
Origanum Marjorana, Majorana hortensis,(Sweet) Thymus mastichina
(Spanish) (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
Used by the ancient Greeks. It soothes, comforts and warms. Useful on
tired muscles and for massaging on abdomen during menstruation. Used to
regulate the nervous system and treat insomnia. Add to After-Sports Rub. It
is pleasant in a hot bath, especially blended with Lavender. Warning
Do not use during pregnancy. Care must be taken due to its sedative action,
so use sparingly!
Thymus Masticina (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
Used in a massage oil for sensitive skin. (Marjoram
sweet marjoram, is the commonly used cooking herb) Warning
Avoid use if pregnant.
Cryptocarya massoia (Family, Lauraceae)
Used in improving circulation and reputed to have some aphrodisiac
qualities. Hightens the senses. Warning Can be
irritating to the skin.
Milissa Officinalis (Family, Labiatae)
A popular garden herb known also as 'Lemon Balm'. Soothing but uplifting
effect on mind and body. Comforting oil during the cold season and when
there is a high pollen count. Large amounts, 300 pounds of fresh lemon balm
plants to yield 10ml of oil Most oils you find are Blends. Warning
Do not use Melissa on the skin in direct sunlight. Dilute to 1% and use only
3 drops in a bath as it may cause irritation of the skin. The oil has a
lemony aroma and sharp, floral-lemon flavor.
Acacia dealbata, A. decurrens (Family Mimosaceae)
An anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory and used as part of a skin
Artemisa vulgaris (Family, Asteraceae)
Believed to assist in promoting vivid dreams. Used to regulate and balance
female cycles. It is also believed to promote one's psychic powers.
Commiphora Myrrha, C. Molmol, Balsamodendrom myrra (Family, Burseraceae)
The sap or resin from a tree rather than a true essential oil. A smokey,
mysterious oil, centering, visualizing and meditative. One of the
oldest-known perfume materials. Myrrh has a long history of use as incense,
especially with frankincense. Add to cream for protecting against cracking
and chapping in the cold. Add to gargle and mouthwash. Used as a fixitive in
perfumery Warning During pregnancy use Myrrh
only in moderation.
Myrtus communis (Family, Mytraceae)
This is helpful in meditation and mood revitalising. Helps to clear the
sinus and breathing passages.
Citrus Aurantium (Family, rutaceae)
One of the Beautiful floral oils. It soothes, relaxes, uplifts the spirit
and helps maintain confidence. Exquisite aroma. Excellent skincare oil,
perfect for ageing, dry sensitive skin and on scars and stretch marks.
Sensual properties. Is an aid to improve sluggish circulation, relieves
tension, stress and anxiety, useful for apprehension like stage fright. For
a really luxurious blend mix with Rose Absolute and Jasmine Absolute oils.
Melaleuca Viridiflora, M. quinquenirvia (Family, Myrtaceae)
This oil has a sweet, fresh fragrance. Strongly antiseptic, it is useful
for treating acne, boils and other skin irritations. It is used as a chest
rub and is good when vaporised.
Myristica aromata, M. fragrans, M. officinalis, Nux moschata.
Good for the digestion and calming to promote a restful sleep with dreams.
Warning Nutmeg oil is toxic if used in large
quantities, and can be stupefying.
Citrus Sinensis (Family, Rutaceae)
A Pleasant winter oil. It soothes, restores and uplifts the spirit. A
Warming 'jolly' oil. Blend with spicy oils for cheering baths. Add to
massage oil for digestive system. Believed to brighten dull complexions.
Origanum vulgare (Family,Lamiaceae)
Quite a useful oil in that is is warming and assists improvement of
circulation, digestion, mental clarity and alertness. It relieves muscle
aches and pains and assists in increasing physical endurance and energy. But
it increases perspiration. It may assist in reducing cellulite. Warning Can
be irritating to sensitive skin so only use small amounts.
Mentha piperta (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
Alleviates digestive problems; cleans wounds; decongests the chest;
relieves headache, neuralgia, and muscle pain; useful for motion sickness. One of the most important essential oils. It stimulates, refreshes, cools,
restores and uplifts mind and body. Add to a massage blend for the digestive
system. Excellent for refreshing tired head and feet. Sniff from bottle or
one drop on handkerchief to revive during travel. Add few drops to car
dashboard to help stay alert, clear thinking and fresh. Blended with
Rosemary and Juniper it makes an excellent morning bath. Do not use
Peppermint when pregnant. dilute to 1% Peppermint and use no more than 3
drops in the bath as it may cause irritation to sensitive skins.
Citrus aurantium, C. bigaradia (Family, Rutaceae)
Another oil from the same trees as
Neroli/orange blossom though Pettigrain
is distilled from the leaves rather than the petals. Relaxes, restores,
cleanses, and uplifts the spirit. Similar properties to Neroli, it has
deodorant properties and helps to relieve anxiety and stress. Lovely aroma.
Good in final rinse for healthy hair, (two drops). blends well with
Rosemary, Geranium, Lavender and Bergamot as well as with Orange and Neroli.
Pinus sylvestris (Family, Pinaceae)
From the needles, young twigs and cones of the Pine tree. It stimulates,
refreshes and cleanses. With a strong, fresh, resinous aroma it has a
powerful antiseptic quality and is widely used. It has a deodorant affect
and is often used in commercial preparations.
Rosa damascena (Family, Rosaceae)
Known as the Queen of oils. With 'Feminine' properties, emotionally
soothing, it tones, cleanses, uplifts the spirit and helps maintain self
confidence. Excellent skincare oil, perfect for dry/mature, ageing or thread
veined skin. It has been renowned throughout the centuries as having Sensual
and even Aphrodisiac properties. Exquisite aroma. Another Expensive oil that
needs only a small amount to be affective. It can be a very sticky oil at
room temperature and goes solid at relatively high temperatures, but warming
in the hands or other more interesting warm places soon makes it more
liquid. Seldom used in commercial products, where a cheaper synthetic is
used, to the detriment of the appreciation of the properties of the real
oil. Warning Avoid using during the first four months of pregnancy.
Rosa damascena (Family, Rosaceae)
A warm, intense, immensely rich fragrance. Rose oil is one of the oldest
and best known of all essential oils. It is used in all types of perfumes to
lend beauty and depth to the aroma. A drop or two in a massage, facial, or
bath oil creates a luxurious, soothing experience. The oil is also used in
skin creams, powders, and lotions. It is a romantic, creative, gently
cheering oil. Warning Avoid using during the
first four months of pregnancy.
Rosemarinus officinalis, R. coronarium (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
Relieves pain; increases circulation; ; relieves
pain, indigestion, gas, and liver problems; lessens swelling; fights
infection; helps alleviate depression. A popular oil in Aromatherapy where it revives, warms, stimulates and
restores. Excellent for refreshing tired muscles, decongests the chest feet and mind, allowing
concentration. Perfect in Pre and Post sports rubs to maintain suppleness.
Helps combat water retention and cellulite. Good hair tonic. An 'ideal pick
me up'. Combats fatigue and clears stuffy atmosphere. Warning Do not use
Rosemary when pregnant, having high blood pressure, or suffering from
epilepsy. It may cause irritation of the skin.
Aniba Rosaeodora (Family, Lauraceae)
Also known as Bois De Rose. A pleasant and flowery aroma. Relaxing and
deodorising. Add to massage oil to help combat tired muscles -especially
after vigorous exercise. Has a steadying and balancing affect on nerves,
useful during exams. A good anti-depressant and may help migraine and ward
off general malaise. Due to the destruction of the hardwood rainforests
where the trees come from ensure that your oil comes from Waste Plantation
Salvia Officinalis (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
A useful regulator of the central nervous system. May help with menstrual
and digestive disorders. Warning Do not use Sage when pregnant or suffering
Santalum Album (Family, Santalaceae)
Musky, rich, exotic oils not initially strong aroma, but persistent,
traditionally burnt as an aid to meditation and much used in religious
ceremonies. Creates an exotic, sensual atmosphere with a reputation as an
aphrodisiac. Excellent skincare oil. useful for dry and damaged hair and as
a body fragrance.
Mentha spicata, M. viridis (Family, Lamiaceae [Labiatae])
Energizing to the mind and body. Use in bath water for it's refreshing
effect. Make a facial steam of spearmint oil in a pot of boiling water to
help cleanse and refine pores. It is refreshing, cooling, gently vitalizing.
St. John's Wort
Hypericum perforatum (Family Guttiferae)
Now becoming known as a good anti-depressant. It is calming and stress
reducing. It is said to lift the mood, is an euphoric and improves mental
clarity. Good for reducing aches and pain and menstrual discomfort. Warning
St. John's Wort is phototoxic so should not be used before going out in the
Citrus reticulata (Family, Rutaceae)
A sweet tangy aroma. Used as an astringent for oily skin. Tangerine is
also used in drinks and desserts. Warning Avoid use in sun.
Artemisia dracunculus (Family, Asteraceae)
Stimulates digestion; calms neural and digestive tracts; relieves
menstrual symptoms and stress
Melaleuca alternifolia, M. linariifolia, M.uncintata (Family, Myrtaceae)
fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections; useful for skin conditions
such as acne, insect bites, and burns; helps clear vaginitis, bladder
infections, and thrush. Powerful antiseptic, antifungal and anti-viral. Good
for acne, cold sores, warts, and burns. Ideal for vaporising to kill germs.
Useful cleansing agent for skin. Helps combat foot odour and athletes foot.
Ti Tree, as it is also known, has a wide range of uses, including some aids
related illnesses, and further reading is recommended. Warning May cause
irritation to sensitive skins.
Thymus Vulgaris (Family, Lamiaceae (Labiatea)
Long known since ancient times as a medicinal and culinary herb. Vaporise
as a household disinfectant. It has a strong pungent aroma and is said that
it can ward off rodents and get rid of fleas. Warning Do not use Thyme when
pregnant or having high blood pressure. Dilute to no more than 2% Thyme
before use. It may cause irritation to sensitive skins.
Vetivera zizanoides, Andropogon muricatus(Family, Poaceae [Gramineae])
Sometimes known as Vetiver. A deeply relaxing, soothing oil for the mind
and body. Earthy, smokey aroma, which is more pleasant when diluted. Assists
in reducing blood pressure. Sensual properties. Blends subtly with Lavender,
Sandalwood and Jasmine.
Gualtheria Promcumbens (Family, (Family, Ericaceae)
A fresh, cleansing minty aroma. Warnings Harmful or fatal if taken
internally. As little as one teaspoon can be fatal if ingested by a child.
Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid if pregnant.
Achillea Millefolium (Family, Asteraceae [Compositae])
Has seditive properties. Used for a wide variety of complaints, including
chest infections, digestive problems and nervous exhaustion. The Chinese use
it for menstural problems and in Scandinavia it is used for Rhumatism. It is
also used for skin complaint including acne, reducing scaring for burns and
Cananga Odorata (Family, Annonaceae)
'Flower of flowers' and often called 'The poor person's Jasmine'. A Sweet
Exotic oil, long used for its sensual properties. Soothing and relaxing
during times of tension and stress. Ideal for both oily and dry skins and as
a hair rinse [2 drops in rinse water].
|The Encyclopaedia of
A very reader friendly guide and
reference book detailing all types of essential oils. The book provides
details of scientific properties as well as their everyday use. It
provides history of Aromatherapy at the beginning along with plenty of
other interesting information including a glossary. Useful to students,
those with a general interest and practising Aromatherapists.
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Click to order UK
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