Aromatherapy is one of the most gentle and versatile of the complementary healing arts. It harnesses the natural therapeutic powers of essential oils to relieve a whole host of physical and emotional complaints ranging from stress, anxiety and fatigue through to insomnia, aches and pains and problem skin conditions.

Essential oils are extracted from aromatic flowers, leaves, bark, roots, fruits and berries. They are complex substances that have many different properties. Like any other medicine, essential oils have a powerful effect and can chemically alter the body, albeit in a completely natural way! The oils enter the body via inhalation and by absorption through the pores of the skin. Once inside they enter the bloodstream and travel to different organs and body systems where they begin to trigger healing.

Essential oils are pure, plant substances which have been used for thousands of years so they can be trusted to help with our health problems in a safe and natural way. Here are some top tips for treating everyday ailments.

To ease feelings of stress

Try …… A relaxing aromatherapy bath with two drops each of bergamot mint, rose and geranium mixed with 15ml or bath base of a cup of full fat milk.

Why? Bergamot mint is excellent for emotional wellbeing. It eases feelings of anxiety, fear or panic, also helping to lift the emotions. It’s a great choice when you need a calming oil that isn’t sedative.

Rose helps to alleviate anxiety and nervous tension. It is soothing and nurturing, offering mental, emotional and physical support during times of stress.

Geranium has an antidepressant effect and helps to balance and lift moods and emotions.

To stop a headache

Try …. Sniffing basil or peppermint essential oils off a cotton pad or tissue or rubbing a few drops of lavender into the temples.

Why? Basil has been used for treating headaches for hundreds of years. Like rosemary, it can help to clear the head and relieve mental fatigue.

Peppermint and lavender have an analgesic effect and work well together, with the stimulating peppermint helping to counteract the sedative nature of lavender.

To aid a good night’s sleep

Try …. Using chamomile, lavender and cedarwood. Pop a drop of each on a cotton pad and leave it in your pillow case or next to your bed at night time.

Why? Lavender and chamomile soothe stresses and strains, helping you to relax and unwind.

Cedarwood inspires peace and calm and is thought to aid the production of melatonin – a hormone that supports the body’s natural sleep cycle.

Try for yourself

In the bath: mix 4-6 drops of your chosen essential oil with a cup of full fat milk or 15ml of fragrance-free bath base. Add to the bath once the water has run and swirl gently to disperse.

With a massage: mix 4 drops of essential pil per 10ml carrier oil (e.g. grapeseed or sweet almond oil).

In a diffuser: use up to 12 drops of oil in a candle burner or electric diffuser.

With inhalation: add up to 8 drops of oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Close your eyes and lean over the bowl with a towel over your head. Inhale for 5-10 minutes.

In your skincare: for the body use up to 4 drops of essential oil per 10ml of skincare base (for example your carrier oil, cream or lotion). Reduce to 1 drop of oil per 5ml of base for the face.

Please note this advice is for adults only. Never apply undiluted oils direct to the skin (with the exception of lavender or tea tree oil). Do not take internally. Seek medical advice prior to using aromatherapy if you are pregnant, have a medical condition or are taking any medication. Patch test before use on skin.

Let me know how you get on!

Many thanks for reading

Sarah Butler Signature