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Sunday, 20 January 2008

Aromatherapy!

Hi!
Have you ever heard of aromatherapy? I've made some projects on this topic few times and I'd like to share with you all here, as it is especially useful during the exam period, it'l help you in the way that you'd never know! =) Maybe it's still kinda new term in Malaysia but it's quite popular over here. Aroma means odorant, smell, or fragrance while therapy is the attempted remediation. It can be defined as an art of using essential oils of plants and flowers to promote healing of the body and the mind.

These essential oils are natural plant extracts which give the plant its vitality and health. These oils contain the ingredients that nourish, energize, defend and regenerate the plant. When the pure oils are extracted from parts of the plants (leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds or roots), they still possess these active ingredients. The essential oils are also aromatic in nature and this is in part responsible for the healing. The body and mind are healed safely and naturally and actually take part in the healing process with no side effects. Pure oils are extracted from particular varieties of plants which are grown especially for this purpose. Not all plants and species contain essential oils and some plants contain more than one. If this is the case, the oils from that one plant will contain common properties as well as some individual properties.
Each plant has unique characteristics and its own molecular make up giving the different fragrances of each essential oil. The plants used in Aromatherapy have been cultivated over many years and contain billions of active cells, some producing oil. The plants are carefully harvested and the oil is extracted and nothing else is added to it.
Maybe someone will think that essential oil is equal to fragrant oils, actually they are totally different. The latter has synthetic substances added to it and is only for pleasant smells. Essential oils are potent and powerful, having many therapeutic properties. They are antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, sedative and stimulating. They should also not be taken internally.

ya, Im sure you want to know how does it work rite?...
They have an immediate impact on our sense of smell, also known as "olfaction". When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional center of the brain, or "limbic system".
The limbic system is connected to areas of the brain linked to memory, breathing, and blood circulation, as well as the endocrine glands which regulate hormone levels in the body. The properties of the oil, the fragrance and its effects, determine stimulation of these systems.
When used in massage, essential oils are not only inhaled, but absorbed through the skin as well. They penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and systems of the body.
Essential oils have differing rates of absorption, generally between 20 minutes and 2 hours, so it is probably best not to bathe or shower directly following a massage to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Once you start to use it, you'l notice the benefits that it brings. There are many ways to use your essential oils - as treatments, in your beauty regime, when under stress, insomnia, to help studying teenagers, like me =P or to uplift and seduce. Aromatherapy is a way of taking charge of your vitality and well-being.

All essential oils are divided into 3 types for ease of use. These are…
Top notes - which are more volatile and evaporate quickly. They are uplifting , light, refreshing, clearing and emotionally stimulating. The top notes are Basil, lemongrass, bergamot, mandarin, clary sage, orange (sweet), eucalyptus, palmarosa, fennel, peppermint, ginger, petitgrain, grapefruit, rosewood, lemon, tea tree oil.
Middle notes - are a medium evaporation. These oils are emotionally balanced, fragrant and harmonizing. They include black pepper, marjoram, chamomile (German), myrtle, clove bud, neroli, cypress pine, geranium, rose, juniper, rosemary, lavender, ylang ylang. And..
The base notes - are the least volatile. They are heavy, sedating, calming and grounding. They include cedarwood, frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver.

For myself, I've tried 2 types of essential oils - Jasmine and Lavender. Jasmine essential oil has antidepressant effect ( of coz it doesnt mean tat i've depression =P ) It's particularly useful in case of anxiety and stress (during exam period). Lavender essential oil acts as midly analgesics and antiseptics. It can be used to reduce headache, treat wounds, bruises, acne, calming insomnia, etc. There are many other types of essential oils with various effects. I'll try rosemary oil next time as it's useful for physical and mental fatigue and forgetfulness =)

If you want to try it out, you must have first to buy aroma lamps or diffusers. There're many kinds of them but actually they're all having the same function. Here is the one I bought in spring last year.

Look nice rite? =p



Another view =)


About the price of essential oils... they are kinda expensive especially the pure one, due to the methods used to extract the oil are time consuming and expensive and require a high degree of expertise. Given that it takes in excess of 220 pounds ( nearly 100kg!) of rose petals to produce only 4 or 5 teaspoonfuls of oil, it is a process probably best left to professionals! Though expensive, I'd still recommend to buy pure ones as they are highly effective - only a few drops at a time are required to achieve the desired effect. Some oils will be more expensive than others but be weary if they are too cheap - the quality may be compromised!


Here are things that you should know well before using essential oils...
· Essential oils should not be taken internally
· They are best stored away from light and heat.
· They can be combined and still keep their individual properties.
· They are best used in carrier oils such as avocado, jojoba or apricot kernal oil, or creams which are not made from animal or mineral sources.
· Do not use the oils directly on the skin unless that type of treatment has been recommended by a therapist
· Be careful using the oils while pregnant
· Do not use on babies less than 2 weeks old and only one drop of lavender for children 2 weeks to 4 months old. At 4 months of age to 12 years use a quarter of adult dosages.
· Use with care on the elderly - use very little essential oil and seek advice from a qualified aroma-therapist.
· Do not use animal products or mineral products (sorbolene) .
· Do not use near eyes.
· Do not use more than recommended doses.
· Always use your conventional medicine if prescribed. Aromatherapy is not a replacement for your recommended treatment.

In my opinion, it's worth to give a try if you never use it before, as they dont bring any side effects. You can choose the oils by looking at their different qualities, main functions and their tradisional uses or just anyone that you feel comfortable with its smell...my first oil was chosen based on its scent =p

A healthy body and soul come from an unencumbered mind and body. ~Quoted~

7 comments:

Lynnwei said...

i heard cannot burn more than 10-15 mins. Just a while and enuff....dunno..my aunt told us last time...when she was burning..she say cannot burn it too long.....

BlueStar said...

Ya lynn wei, you're right. =)

Actually there're many ways to use it. For the one I used is known as vaporization method. There're other methods of using such as Massage, footbath, inhalation, compression and gargle/mouthwash. Each has different recommended length of using but there is no strict restriction.

Normally I'll fill the vaporizer with water and add 3-4 drops of essential oil. Then I'll light the candle underneath and just let it be in that way till d water or candle gone ^^ it usually takes about 30 min or so. For massage one, it's duration is up to 2 hours in order to allow the oil to be absorbed into the body =)

Actually wanna tell all information about this, but it's kinda long. I did this projects for many subjects, eg for pharmacology, physiotherapy, etc and tat's why many info i got =p

eastcoastlife said...

I use aromatherapy quite regularly in my house. I love the smell of lavender. Sometimes I use different essential oils for different purposes too.

BlueStar said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by here! =)

Yeah, nice to hear that. I think all should at least have a try since it's natural and pure essences extracted from the plants and therefore doesnt give any side effects as long as you follow the recommendations stated =)

breezy said...

hey! ting ting!! hoho...next time put chat box..then i can spam ur chat box ! hahhha..good job man! keep it up!!

**"Liza"** said...

hmm thats pretty neat, I never tried anything like that though..lol only thing i used in the house is scented candles I but from botanical store near us. But yours is pretty interesting..;)

BlueStar said...

yo niny, cheh, im using tat so soon, coz busy now with my exam =p

Try out aromatherapy to relieve stress =)