Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essences (also known as essential oils) that have been extracted from different parts of a plant. They are actually not oily but have a liquid consistency and contain chemical components that give them their individual properties. Plant essences are extremely versatile and can be used medicinally and therapeutically for beauty and body care rituals, environmental fragrance, and cleaning products. They affect us on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.
With cold and flu season approaching, here are some of the ways to use aromatherapy to ease the discomfort of common conditions such as fever, sinus congestion, and coughs. Always consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and recommended treatment. Aromatherapy can be added to the mix to create a powerful synergy for your healing.
Fever: Put 1 cup of ice water in a bowl, to which you can add 3 drops of lavender and 1 drop of peppermint. Make sure you swish the water to disperse the essential oils before dipping a washcloth in the solution. Soak the washcloth, then wring it out and place it on the forehead. Repeat several times and replace the water once it reaches room temperature. You can also use this mixture for a sponge bath if bathing is not possible.
Sinus Congestion: Put jojoba in a 2-oz bottle and add 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops eucalyptus and 20 drops lavender. You can massage your face (avoiding the eye area) and make sure you massage above the upper lip to inhale the decongesting blend. You can also add a capful into a facial steam or into your bath. For a room mist, put the same essential oil mix into a spray bottle with distilled water as the base. Just remember to shake the bottle before misting the room. The concentrated blend can also be used in a diffuser.
Coughs: Eucalyptus is a wonderful way to help clear congestion from the lungs. Most of the essences that come from leaves are good for the lungs. (The shape of leaves is similar to the shape of the lungs). For massaging the chest: Put jojoba in a 2-oz bottle and add 10 drops bergamot, 10 drops lemon, 5 drops cedar wood, and 5 drops eucalyptus. Use this blend to massage the upper chest and back. You can also inhale the excess by placing your hands over your nose and breathing in the aroma.
Hippocrates said, “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” The next time you are feeling ill, incorporate these miraculous plant essences to assist you in healing. You will quickly realize the benefits they can provide.