My interest in aromatherapy
I was brought up with the thought that the key attribute for wellness and beauty was purity. Later married into a family of royal lineage, I was exposed to a life of regal traditions and beauty secrets known only to a select few. Beauty practices had changed little over the centuries in our household, where simple natural products were used in grooming and maintenance.
A desire to recreate the wisdom of natural treatments for beauty and common ailments stoked my interest in aromatherapy.
The art of Aromatherapy
The healing art of Aromatherapy is the modern name for the age-old therapy of using essential oils to alleviate a wide range of physical and emotional disorders.
Indians knew long before others did that sense of smell can be employed for powerful healing action on both physical and psychological ailments. Our Vedas, the treasure troves of ancient wisdom, the quintessentially Indian healthcare system of ayurveda and our folk/ mythic, tribal lore has umpteenth examples of how popular, prevalent and recommended aromatherapy was. Actually our ancient aromatherapeutic and herbal knowledge travelled along with ancient travelers from all over the world and gave so many ancient civilizations their own aromatherapy traditions. While we almost forgot that it was our gift to the rest of the world.
With the commencement of summer, essential oils can play a crucial role in addressing issues of fatigue, dullness and dryness caused by the heat, sweat, dust and pollution.
Sun days are fun days but not when they leave sunburns behind. Essential oils are very useful for the minor ailments of summers especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Below are 4 oils to help you deal with these minor inconveniences.
LAVENDER (Lavendula angustifolia)
Lavender can be used in a wide variety of situations including minor burns, sunburn, rashes, bruises, wounds and insect bites. It is helpful for easing sore muscles and headaches. Apply to minor burns as soon as possible to ease the pain and prevent blisters.
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)
A drop of peppermint essential oil rubbed into the soles of your feet can help bring your temperature down if you are suffering from the heat. Peppermint is also useful for headaches due to digestive issues and sinus congestion as well as relieving the nausea associated with travel sickness. Use peppermint to help keep you alert when you feel mentally fatigued due to the heat or driving long distances.
GERMAN CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile is a good oil to have on hand for summer. Use to treat inflamed, irritated skin including dermatitis, boils, acne, nappy rash, eczema, psoriasis and dry itchy skin. She can also be used to relieve the pain associated with burns, sprains, cramps and insect bites.
EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus radiata)
Eucalyptus is useful for bringing down fevers and treating the symptoms of summer colds. She can also be used for easing muscular aches, pains and strains, wound healing and insect bites.
In my personal opinion, responsible sun exposure, combined with a healthy lifestyle and eating habits, is essential to every human. Responsible exposure is an important part of keeping your body healthy as supplements don’t replace actual sunshine. Being said, it is equally and extremely important to protect your skin from overexposure and sunburns. Nature has given us a gift by providing essential oils that are a Natural SPF.
Essential Oils with Natural SPF
- red raspberry seed oil – SPF between 30 and 50 (seriously!)
- carrot seed oil – SPF 30
- wheat germ oil – SPF 20
- hazelnut oil – SPF 15
- coconut oil – SPF 10
- soybean oil – SPF 10
- shea butter – SPF 6-10
- macadamia oil – SPF 6
- jojoba oil – SPF 4
- rice bran oil – SPF 4
- sesame oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, peanut oil – SPF between 4 and 10
- vitamin E – helps protect against UV damage
- Hair can also suffer from over exposure to sun, wind and chlorine in swimming pools. Essential oils such as Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender etc can be combined with Grape seed Oil , Wheat Germ Oil and Olive Oil to form a good conditioning treatment.
- A handy tip for your summer vacation travellers. Drinking enough water and replacing the body salt that is lost when temperature sours is very essential. If you feel dizzy, faint and nauseous, you may not even feel thirsty. In such a case, retire to a shady area and drink as much water as possible with a little salt added. Then apply neat Lavender or Eucalyptus to the temples, back of the neck and upper abdomen and breathe deeply. This will help you tackle the initial symptoms of heat stroke
- Prickly heat is a rash of tiny blisters that look like little pink or red spots. It is caused by blocked sweat glands and is extremely itchy. A blend of German Chamomile, Lavender and Eucalyptus combined with Aloe Vera Gel can be very beneficial in such a condition.
Important things to know while using Aromatherapy
- Most essential oil blends are handmade. Strong emulsifiers and chemicals have not been used to protect the natural essence of the product. Shake the liquid products well before use.
- Increase your intake of Water / Green Tea to aid these oils to work better on your body.
- Sometimes headache or flu like symptoms may occur within 24 – 48 hours on commencing the treatment. This only means that the essential oils have started working on your body and are trying to detoxify it. Hence increase your water intake.
- Always perform a patch test before using Essential Oil Blends.
- In case of severe irritation or skin inflammation wash the area with water, discontinue the use of the product and antidote it with a strong cup of coffee. You can also get in touch with our consultant if required.
- If irritation still persists, kindly get in touch with your physician if required.