Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

For thousands of years, people have used aromatherapy as an aid to
physical and emotional well-being. We can trace its use back at least
as far as the ancient Egyptians, who recognized the therapeutic powers
of essential oil, and there is also a long tradition of aromatherapy in the
Far East, particularly in China. The oils, which are volatile compounds
that occur naturally in plants, are important to the plant because they
contribute to its characteristic scent (thus helping to attract pollinating
insects). Oils are extracted from the flowers of some plants and the leaves of other. Their use in aromatherapy is effective because it links two potent forces — the healing ability of the oils themselves and the receptivity of the human skin and sense of smell.

Choosing Essential Oils
Among the wide rage of essential oil on the market, there are a number
that you can use for their soothing and relaxing properties. The chart below includes a selection of the most useful.

Melissa: The essential oil from the Lemon Balm plant is generally known to aromatherapists as Melissa. They use the soothing properties to disperse depression and black thoughts. Add five or six drops of Melissa to a hot bath.
Chamomile: The oil from German Chamomile is frequently used in aromatherapy to calm nerves. You can use it in a bath (adding five or six drops), or make a massage oil by adding two drops of chamomile oil to five teaspoons of soy oil.
Bergamot: Which is known as Bee Balm. Aromatherapists have found that this oil is particularly good for depression, as well as being
effective in helping the body to fight infections.
Lavender: As well as being known for its ability to heal burns and wounds, Lavender is an excellent relaxant. Dilute a drop and add it to a baby’s bath to help it to sleep.
Rose: This oil comes from the damascena, centifolia, and gallica varieties of rose. Aromatherapists value it for tension in women, particularly for post-natal depression and the stress that follows the break-up of a relationship.
Sandalwood: (Santaslum album)
The properties of Sandalwood are: Anti-depressing, relaxing, disinfecting, calming, soothing. This luxurious oil is useful for tension and anxiety. It also has a folk reputation as a sexual stimulant. Blends well with: bergamot, clove, geranium, jasmine, lavender, and rose.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is not to be confused with the household variety of geranium, which is a completely different species. A balancing oil for the mind and body. Geranium has sedative, uplifting properties, which is why its use is often considered in times of depression, confusion, panic and anxiety. Dilute two drops in two teaspoons of soy oil. In small quantities, it makes a good massage oil.
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) is good for any skin as it balances the natural oil production. The calming effect of this oil may be the reason it is considered an aphrodisiac. It is said to calm anger, release tension, lift depression and generally stabilize mood swings.
A sedative and antidepressant, it is also good for shock and pain. You should use it sparingly.
Frankincense is relaxing, uplifting, calming and mildly antiseptic. Outstanding and unusual aromas can be created by blending the oil with citrus oils, lemon balm and bergamot and works well with frankincense. It also mixes well with basil, black pepper, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, orange, and sandalwood. Try adding five drops of frankincense to your bath.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium): This oil comes from the bitter orange tree. In cases of nervous tension and anxiety it will induce calm; it is also used to encourage sleep. You can make a massage oil by mixing five drops with two teaspoons of soy oil.

Potpourri

Orris root: The root of the Florentine iris is the principle source of
orris root, make by grinding the dried root stock. Orris root has
been used in perfumery since the ancient Egyptians. It is valued for
its violet scent and its ability to act as a perfume fixative.

Preparing The Herbs
Start by drying the leaves and flowers in a single layer on a piece of
muslin stretched over a frame. Keep the frames in a warm, dry place
out of the sun. When they are dry and crisp, put the ingredients in jars
with tight fitting lids. Over each layer of plant material, sprinkle 1/2
teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon orris root powder. Screw on
the lids, label, and store in the dark for three weeks.

Making A Potpourri
Choose a covered bowl if you want to scent the room occasionally, an
open one for continuous waves of perfume. Assemble all the jars of
dried plant material, and any spices you intend to use. Select one or
two (rarely more) essential oils that will compliment your choice of
plants. Put the herbs into the bowl, add the spices, and stir all
together gently. Shake a few drops of essential oil over the material,
stir, and test the perfume.

Flower Potpourri

6 tablespoons lavender flowers
4 tablespoons scented rose petals
4 tablespoons carnation, or dianthus petals
2 tablespoons chamomile flowers
2 tablespoons heliotrope flowers
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons orris root powder
About 1 teaspoon oil of lavender

Herb Potpourri

6 tablespoons peppermint or spearmint leaves
4 tablespoons rosemary leaves
4 tablespoons lemon balm leaves
2 tablespoons marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon sage leaves
1 tablespoon broken up bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves and sprigs
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons orris root powder
About 1 teaspoon oil of rosemary
About 1 teaspoon oil of oregano

Woodland Potpourri

2 handfuls cedar twigs and raspings
2 tablespoons sandalwood raspings
4 tablespoons larch or alder cones
2 tablespoons myrtle leaves
2 handfuls pine needles
2 tablespoons crumbled southernwood
Some dried lichen
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons orris root powder
About a teaspoon sandalwood or cedar oil

Herb Pillows

Hop Pillow

Hops are well known for their sleep-inducing properties, which come from a substance called lupulin. You can add other relaxing herbs to the hops.

2 or 3 handfuls of dried hop flowers
Additional herbs
Muslin

Make a muslin bag to fit inside a small pillowcase and fill it loosely, so
that it lies flat beside your regular pillow. With the hops you can include
dried lime flowers, dried, crumbled marjoram, and lemon balm.

Love Pillow

1 cup dried red rose petals
1 cup dried lavender
2 drops rose oil or lavender oil, or both
Orris root powder

This mixture can be placed in potpourri containers (with the addition of dried pansy petals for additional color), stuffed in small sachets, or herb pillows.

Spicy Pillow

1 T nutmeg
1 T ground cloves
Orris root powder

Blend the ingredients and use in small sachets. Place in your lingerie drawers or under your pillow.

Invigorating Pillow

1 cup dried lavender
1/2 cup dried lemon balm
1/2 cup dried peppermint
2 drops rose oilBlend and use in potpourris, sachets, or herb pillows. Add dried pansy petals if using as a potpourri.

Experiment with fragrances that you like.

Sinus Headache Pillow

Mix together in a bowl;1/2 cup of flax seeds
1 part crushed spearmint leaf
1 part crushed peppermint leaf
1 part lavender buds
1 part eucalyptus leaf
1 part rosemary leaf

Stuff the bag and sew up the end!

Dream Pillow

Combine the following in a bowl:1 cup mugwort
1/2 cup rose petals
1/2 cup german chamomile
1/2 cup hops
1/3 cup lavender buds
1/3 cup crushed catnip
1/4 cup peppermint

Mix the ingredients together….make cloth bags from a 5 x 12 inch piece of material….fill the bag with your mixture….sew the top of the bag shut.

Sleepy Time Pillow

1 cup lavender flowers
1 cup white rose petals
1 cup hops
1 cup lemon balm
2 teaspoons orris root powder
2 drops oil of lavender

Mix all ingredients together and stuff into an herb pillow.

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