Aromatherapy 101

Aromatherapy is integral to our products and mission at Arogya.  Essential oils are used to create the natural scents present in our soaps, candles, perfumes and bath salts.  We also sell single concentrated essential oils and a few signature blends, and often get questions from our customers, such as “What exactly are essential oils and how can I use them in my everyday life?”

aromatherapy 101Essential oils are extracted from flowers, roots, bark, and leaves and are the highly concentrated life essence of a plant.  They contain powerful healing compounds that can support the mind, body, and spirit.  While many of the therapeutic benefits of essential oils have been studied and measured, the most mysterious and invisible quality – the scent – can transport us to other realms, invoking memories and creating harmony.  With roots in ancient spiritual and cultural practices, essential oils have a deep history throughout the world.  Cleopatra was known to bathe in an intoxicating blend of Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, and Frankincense.  Myth has it that the sails of her ships were coated with this aroma, luring her lovers as she arrived in their ports.

Each essential oil has its own unique qualities and benefits.  When shopping, you may notice diverse price differences between different oils. This is because each plant contains a different quantity of oil in its core.  For example, citrus oils such as Sweet Orange are extracted by pressing the rind of the fruit.  Many tiny capsules inside the rind release much of the sweet-smelling oil, and therefore the cost per ounce is relatively inexpensive.  Precious oils such as Rose yield only 1 drop of oil per 67 petals, and therefore are more for costly.  Because essential oils are 75-100 times more concentrated than the oils found in dried herbs, just a few drops can have very powerful effects.

It’s important to distinguish essential oils from synthetic fragrances.  Many cosmetic and home cleaning products on the market today contain artificial scents.  These scents are hidden under the broad title of “fragrance,” and are made from chemicals in a lab with no natural origin.

 

Below is a chart that we have created to help distinguish the difference: Untitled-1

So, how can we tell the difference when purchasing products?

Always read the label.  The words “fragrance” and “perfume” usually indicate scents that don’t come from nature. In the United States, companies are not legally required to disclose what is in their fragrance blends.  The word “fragrance” is used as an umbrella term for hundreds of different chemicals blended to make a certain smell. Instead, look for labels that have specific ingredients, such as, “Lavender Essential Oil” or “Lavendula Angustifolia.”

 

Another option is to make your own cosmetic and cleaning products at home using essential oils, which is a lot easier than you may think.  Here at Arogya, we sell pure essential oils that can be incorporated into simple recipes for the body and home.
  • Natural Deer Tick Repellent: 30 drops of Rose Geranium.
  • Countertop and Bathtub Spray: combine 10 drops our Lemon essential oil and 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil in a 4oz spray bottle. Fill to the top with distilled water.  Spray on counter and then remove for spray. Add baking soda and scrub for a naturally anti-bacterial bathtub cleaner.  Wash it down with some vinegar and hot water and your porcelain will be left glistening!
  • Relaxing Massage Oil: mix 20 drops of our Lavender essential oil with one ounce of grapeseed or jojoba oil and massage into skin
  • Balancing Room Spritzer: combine 10-20 drops essential oil of your choice with a couple ounces of distilled water in a glass spray bottle.  You can also add a few drops of alcohol (preferably pure grain alcohol) to further stabilize the spray.
  • We also carry several pre-blended oils. Our Sinus Headache oil contains Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Mint, and is great for relieving sinus pressure and reducing seasonal allergies.  Place several drops in an diffuser (link to item on website) and allow the entire room to fill with a scent for easier breathing.

 

Safety first

  • aromatherapy 101Essential oils are extremely potent so it is important to dilute them in vegetable oil or water before applying to the skin.  You can try a patch test on the inside of the wrist and wait 24 hours to see how the oil affects your skin.
  • Citrus oils are UV-sensitive – avoid sun exposure on skin that you have applied citrus for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not take essential oils internally.
  • Keep your oils well sealed and out of direct sunlight.  They keep better in the refrigerator.
  • Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes.  Always wash hands after use.
  • For children and women who are pregnant, consult an Aromatherapist before using essential oils.

 

 

By Alyssa Crouse, LMT and Chloe Bolton, RYT-200