Since ancient times, aromatherapy has been known for its therapeutic powers, celebrated as a natural aid that’s integrated into spa treatments and beauty products. How it works, what it’s used for, how to get the benefits – the vast offerings of aromatherapy can all be a bit overwhelming. But just calm down – let’s make sense of making scents.
How to reap aromatherapy benefits
Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants — flowers, twigs, leaves, stalks, resins, roots, etc. — depending on the oil. When choosing products for aromatherapy purposes, it’s important that they are created with essential oils, and that the oils are pure, natural, and non-synthetic.
Here are three of our favourite oils to get you started:
- Eucalyptus: good for fighting a cold
- Lavender: good for antibacterial purposes
- Sandalwood: good for calming the senses
Know how aromatherapy works
Essential oils work in one of two ways: through absorption or inhalation, although there are also some benefits associated with aerial diffusion (room fragrancing) as well.
- Absorption is best used to alleviate muscle or joint pains, when the essential oil is directly applied to the skin. Absorption aids are found in skin-care products, bath remedies, and spa treatments.
- Inhalation is appropriate for alleviating annoyances such as sinus congestion (it’s not recommended for those with asthma, however.) It’s found in steams, oils, and vapours.
By Kate Phillips
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