Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is a natural way of using plant extract oils to enhance health and promote wellbeing. What was once limited to use in a spa or wellness centre has been gaining popularity in homes and more people are turning to these amazing elixirs of health to support their lifestyles.There are hundreds of essential oils that can be used for a myriad of health concerns and to improve mental, physical and emotional states. Here’s a shortlist of five great essential oils that bring peace, relaxation and soothe the mind, body and soul.
5 Essential Oils for Relaxation
1. BergamotThis essential oil comes from the Bergamot Orange tree and is light and citrusy. It carries a soothing, calming and uplifting aroma that lightens moods and brings a refreshing perspective to your day. To carry tension and stress way, Bergamot can be used topically or diffused. Mix a few drops of Bergamot with a carrier oil like coconut or almond for a relaxing massage or apply to the soles of your feet before bedtime. Or diffuse Bergamot in your home or office to bring some positivity into your space.
2. Ylang YlangYlang Ylang is a tropical flower that grows in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. With its properties of a relaxing, calming and deeply soothing effect, it is no wonder that this oil is commonly used in spas in South East Asia. You can enjoy the benefits of this floral-scented oil at home too by diffusing it at the end of a long day, applying it topically to the back of the neck or wrists or for an indulgent pampering evening, try adding a few drops to a warm Epsom Salt bath.
3. Clary Sage
With usage and benefits dating back to the Middle Ages, Clary Sage is a potent oil that brings rejuvenation and relief from stress and anxiety. It carries an earthy smell and a deep inhale will help you feel grounded and balanced. Clary Sage has been reported to be greatly beneficial to women’s health, by regulating menstrual cycles, easing menstrual cramps and keep stress a bay by regulating cortisol levels.
Clary Sage can be applied topically to the feet, neck and wrists to soothe the senses. Some people recommend making Clary Sage pillow spritz with water or simply diffuse and allow its relaxing aroma to waft you to sleep.
4. PatchouliAnother grounding and balancing oil, Patchouli hails from the mint family. Its musky fragrance promotes feelings of calm and relaxation. Some people combine Patchouli with Vetiver, Lavender or Peppermint to enhance the nurturing effects of this oil, which is also used in Ayurvedic therapies to relieve depression and anxiety. Apply topically or with a diffuser.
A flower and scent that is very familiar to most Asians, Jasmine oil has also been long used in aromatherapy treatment in South East Asia. It is an oil that detoxifies and is known for its anti-depressant qualities. Jasmine improves moods and removes stress and anxiety. Other benefits of this sweet fragrance are that it works as an aphrodisiac and also helps women in menopause by reducing their symptoms and hot flushes. To apply Jasmine topically, massage a few drops into your wrists or neck or add a few drops into a warm bath.
Find the oil that appeals to you and have them handy the next time you step into a relaxing bath or enjoy a massage. And as always, be mindful when applying any essential oil to your skin for the first time. Consider using a carrier oil and testing a small patch on your skin first. With so many different oils at our disposal, stressful days seem so yesterday!