Aaaaah-romatherapy: the basics

While the term “aromatherapy” wasn’t coined until the 20th century, people have been enjoying the health benefits of essential oils for thousands of years.

Essential oils can be added to bath water, inhaled through steam, added to carrier oils for application to skin, heated for aroma, or used in recipes or crafts. Whether you’re suffering from a minor ailment, or are just stressed out and need a bit of relaxation, odds are there’s an aromatherapy oil that can help you out.

Remember, these oils are the essence of the plant they came from, so they’re very strong. A small dose will do, and its best to make sure you aren’t allergic before trying any of them out. Read on for some common aromatherapy oils and their uses.

  • Eucalyptus oil works great to clear your sinuses. If you’re congested, try five drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath. Pull the shower curtain, take a deep breath, and your sinuses will be cleared up in no time.
  • Lavender is a sedative oil. Inhaling its scent can bring on a calm, relaxed state. It’s also been proven to ease minor aches and pains. Plus, it smells great! Try 2-4 drops in 2-3 cups of boiling water and enjoy its soothing effects.
  • Orange oil is said to promote happiness, well-being, and confidence. It’s also commonly used in cleaning agents – mix 2 teaspoons of pure orange oil with 8 ounces of natural liquid hand soap and use to degrease countertops, stoves, and dishes.
  • Lemon oil can help the digestive system, and has also been known to alleviate stress or anxiety. It’s said to improve concentration and memory, as well. Use in a reed diffuser or add a few drops to a humidifier and enjoy the results.
  • Peppermint oil can aid indigestion, nausea and other stomach ails, sore throats, headaches, and toothaches. And who doesn’t like the smell of peppermint?
  • Spearmint oil has many of the same benefits as peppermint oil, only it is milder. This makes it great for treating children, who might be a bit overwhelmed by the much stronger-scented peppermint oil.
  • Tea tree oil has been studied extensively and is proven to combat bacteria, fungi, and viruses and to strengthen the immune system. Like many essential oils, it can help with sinus congestion, too. Toss 2-3 drops of tea tree oil into 2-3 cups of boiling water and let it work its magic.

Pick up any of the above oils at your local Earth Fare. Mix and match your favorite oils with a FREE bar of South of France soap, today and tomorrow only! Click here for the Welcome Home coupon.

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