In all the rush of the day, what a relief to finally make it to the Aromatherapy class at my Hamden library.
The aroma could be drunk in all the way out the Friends Room down the stairs to the front door. Nice.
Kim Larkin started by walking us through how we might want to use essential oils (not fragrance oils) for their healing qualities. Here are 8 ways:
Smell – just take a good whiff
Diffuse – scent up your room
Local applications, for the particular healing properties
Tenting – that is, put a few drops in a bowl of hot water, drape a towel over your head as you lean over the bowl and get a homemade, delicious steam facial
Misting – spray your room, which I do all the time to my great pleasure with rose scent. Did you know it takes 60,000 petals to make one ounce of oil? No wonder it’s so expensive!
You know I can’t resist sharing a bit of history with you. The Ancient Egyptians used perfume as part of their embalming process. The word ‘perfume’ means ‘through smoke’, so we can get a sense of how the scents were disseminated. Frankincense and myrrh were known for their healing properties.
Another real discovery was fleurage–the process of steaming the plant to separate its oil for harvesting. This, plus trade routes, brought scents across cultures. In India, ayurvedic medicine, or life knowledge, used the oils. Ancient Romans, health conscious as they were, used oils for good hygiene. Persian doctors used Chinese oils to perfect their medicines. Later, monks used herbal remedies to cure leprosy and other diseases.
While eating a root may have been the ancient form of medicine, we had to cycle through noxious chemicals and pills and antibiotics, before returning to, simply, eating a root for good health.
The essential oil came back to us from Italian doctors and French chemists who worked in perfume factories in the early 1900s. When one severely burned his arm, he dunked it in a nearby vat. Turns out, the vat was filled with lavender oil. His arm didn’t blister, and the burn didn’t scar. He was convinced and started a crusade for oils that continued through World War II when medical supplies ran low and on to Dr. Bach.
Bach rejected traditional medicine in favor of botanicals that he equated with 38 states of mind. Use the botanical to heal an imbalance, with one or a blend of Dr. Bach’s flower essence remedies. For fun, you can complete the questionnaire and see what you think. I’ve enjoyed using these flower essences in the past and got inspired to look them up again.
You might also get a kick at looking at the healing properties of the oils.
We wrapped up the night by making three goodies to take home: a bath salt, a facial scrub, and a dream pillow.
Our bath salt mix is a spring detox – coming at just the right time. It’s made with Epson sale and sea salt, as well as the oils. I chose to blend citruses for invigoration and rosemary for clearing the head and as a memory aid.
Believe it or not, the facial scrub is made with granulated sugar (for exfoliating) and a couple of drops of oil, combined with a carrier, such as grapeseed, almond, or avocado oils. I used grapeseed, because I had it handy.
My dream pillow will go under my pillow tonight and has lots of rosemary, as well as jasmine–the King of Oils, which takes 8 million flowers to make just 2 ounces–for self-confidence and easing of the joints, plus lavender and chamomile for calming relaxation. It smells like a little bit of heaven.
These are all super simple. Give them a try and let me know what you think.