Posted on Mar 09, 2021, 4 p.m.
Overwhelmed? Stressed out? Worried about your mental health, or simply wish that you felt calmer and more on top of your to-do list? If you feel like you’re always on the go or struggle to keep all the balls you’re juggling in the air, you’re not alone.
The fact is that today’s hectic lifestyles may require stress management strategies to offset the ongoing demands most of us feel. Many people find that a mix of stress-relieving techniques seem to produce the most effective relief. For one person, that may be a combination of exercise, meditation and spending time with friends and family. For another, that may mean journaling and enjoying hobbies; the key is determining what works for you. For many, alternative health modalities like aromatherapy are essential, effective tools in their stress management “toolbox.”
Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to ease stress; lift your mood; and to help address symptoms commonly associated with skin problems, muscle aches, digestive issues, and inflammation. Aromatherapy has been used for a variety of purposes for centuries and continues to be used today due to its general affordability and natural ingredients.
You can find essential oil products online and in brick-and-mortar stores, ranging from individual oils or combinations of oils that work well together. You can also make your own at home with common herbs and ingredients. Oils can be used on the skin, such as with lotions, soaps and creams, or they can be diffused throughout the air via humidifiers, infusers, and candles.
Most essential oil products are relatively mild, but you should always talk to your health care provider about any practices or products you use that may impact your health, or if you are dealing with health issues that cause you concern.
Essential oils require dilution for topical usage; do not use undiluted essential oils on your skin. When diluting essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, Jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, or grapeseed oil there is a general rule of thumb for adults: 2.5% dilution, 15 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. 3% dilution, 2- drops per 6 teaspoons of carrier oil. Always perform a small test area to check for reactions.
While certain essential oils can be digested, one must proceed with caution, it is not recommended to ingest essential oils without guidance from a trained herbalist/specialist. These oils can be incredibly potent when ingested, it is easy to take too much too quickly which can become toxic. Molecule and chemical constituents that make up the oils can be irritating to the mucous membrane tissue, and they can burn the mucosa in your mouth, esophagus, gut lining, and digestive tract. Without guidance, you could cause yourself nausea, stomach pain, as well as neurological discomforts such as nerve pain and numbness if you use too much. Like any kind of medicine, essential oils can also affect different people in different ways.
Essential oils must also be diluted before ingesting, and because water and oils don’t mix you can’t use water to dilute them. To dilute these oils for consumption you must use a carrier oil such as honey, coconut oil, olive oil, or use them in capsules with LCT oil or vegetable glycerin so that the potent essential oil dissolves and won’t be damaging to your system. For some even tiny amounts used for food flavoring such as 1-2 drops per 2-3 cups of food can be irritating. One must have the guidance of a professional and proceed with caution when considering consuming essential oils. Certain oils can be especially toxic and should never be consumed such as tea tree, wintergreen, verbena, and eucalyptus. Another rule of thumb applies here, if a drop of any essential oil on your skin makes you itch it is best not to eat or use it on your person at all.
The below resource, Aromatherapy Self-Care Guide provided by MyHempRX, contains more information about the use of this effective stress management technique.
Aromatherapy Self Care Guide
Aromatherapy is a century-old technique for improving mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The oils can have physical, emotional, and spiritual effects for some. Aromatherapy has been in use since 1937, the oils are typically inhaled or applied topically.
Common essential oil and their uses
- Bergamot: Improving complexion
- Eucalyptus: Improving complexion, decongestion
- Ginger: Aiding digestion, relieving nausea, fighting inflammation
- Lavender: Relieving stress, skincare
- Lemon: Aiding digestion, relieving headaches
- Peppermint: Increasing energy, aiding digestion
- Rose: Reducing anxiety
- Tea Tree: Fighting infection, boosting immunity
How to incorporate essential oil in a self-care routine
- Baths: Add oils to a soaking bath to promote calmness and relieve muscle aches
- Rollerballs: Add diluted oils to rollerballs for easy and thorough topical application. It is important to do a small test area first to check for an allergic reaction.
- Skincare: Essential oils diluted in a carrier oil can be used in masks and scrubs to revitalize skin, doing a small test area first.
- Teas: Certain essential oils can be used to help digestion and reduce anxiety by infusing them into a tea. It is important to check to be sure that the oil you are considering can be ingested before consuming any essential oil as not all essential oils are safe to consume. Consult with a trained expert first as too much can be toxic.
- Candles, diffusers, humidifiers, sprays, and potpourri: These options make an easy and great option to use around the home or office to help elevate your mood and to help suppress airborne pathogens.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
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