Aromatherapy is misunderstood. Many people believe it’s a candle or scented bath oil that creates a mood. But aromatherapy is actually the use of essential oils from natural sources (like plants or flowers) for therapeutic reasons. Thus, aromatherapy finds itself among the various types of alternative medicine. And while it cannot cure all our ailments, there are some common conditions that can be successfully treated with aromatherapy.
This is one of the most common conditions people treat with aromatherapy. The best essential oils to treat insomnia are ones that provide a sense of calm and relaxation. By far, lavender is the most popular and widely used essential oil for a good night’s sleep. But other essential oils that may work include clary sage and Roman chamomile. I use a blend of these two oils along with bergamot when I need some rest.
Everyone gets a pimple now and again. If you do not have a serious skin infection requiring medical attention, aromatherapy can easily treat this common condition. You want essential oils that have anti-fungal and anti-septic qualities. Tea tree is the first oil that comes to mind and is the most effective. But other oils to blend with this include lavender, geranium, and palma rosa.
When life hands you lemons, make some lemonade. If that doesn’t work, try a bit of aromatherapy. Much like insomnia, you are looking for essential oils that have relaxant qualities. Again, lavender is the gold standard essential oil for treating stress. You can also try clary sage, Roman chamomile, and lemongrass.
Don’t you hate when you hastily grab something on the stove and “ouch!” You get a small blister from that minor burn. Next time this happens, add a drop or two of lavender oil to the gauze of a band-aid and place that over the burn for at least 24 hours. You may need more oil and/or larger gauze depending on the size of the burn. Warning: for serious second and third degree burns, seek medical attention immediately .
Need a quick jolt of energy when you’re feeling tired and sluggish? Rosemary essential oil is your friend. Place a few drops on a cotton ball and inhale when fatigue strikes. Warning: those who suffer from high blood pressure or seizures should NOT use rosemary due to its stimulant qualities.
For this common condition, you want an essential oil that contains menthol. Peppermint contains over 42% menthol and is perfect for dealing with a stubborn itch. Place a few drops in an ounce of unscented lotion and rub on affected area. Warning: do not use this essential oil undiluted on your skin.
Personal and professional experience
Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC website
Clinical Aromatherapy Home Study workbook, RJ Buckle and Associates LLC 2001