By Rukaya Mosavel
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 4 of VARSITY News.
Aromatherapy is a sensory-focused therapy that relies on natural extracts and their essence to create a receptive experience. The practice of aromatherapy for relaxation and healing has been around for thousands of years. This art was first practiced in ancient Chinese, Indian and Egyptian cultures.
The extracts of plants and herbs are crushed and combined to form an oil or water-based solution. The most common types of essential oils are lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea-tree, chamomile and eucalyptus.
There are a variety of different essential oils that have their own unique treatment and objective. These include essential oils that:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Promote alertness
- Aid in treating pigmentation and acne-related scaring
- Reduce feelings of insomnia and promote a peaceful sleep
- Reduce bodily odour
- Promote oral health
Let’s discuss the most popular essential oils and what they are used for.
1) Lavender oil – This oil is quite the hype in the world of aromatherapy and treatment. Lavender oil is amazing at creating a calm and relaxed sensory experience. Inhaling fresh lavender or dabbing a few drops of lavender oil onto your neck, temples and wrists, can create a tranquil, relaxed and organic feeling of relaxation. Inhaling lavender is scientifically proven to promote relaxation, ease anxiety, panic and insomnia. Lavender oil can be used in times of shock or fear, insomnia during night-time, or a before an exam or interview. It is always advisable to see what works best for you and how strong your reaction to lavender oil is.
2) Peppermint oil – This oil is popular for being energy-boosting and promoting alertness. It both reduces fatigue and promotes mindfulness and memory recollection. Ideal for students and those who wish to find a healthy alternative to energy drinks and caffeine.
3) Eucalyptus oil – This oil has a host of benefits that include disinfecting wounds, freshening breathe, repelling bugs and insects, as well as clearing a stuffy or tight chest.
With any essential oil, be sure to read the instructions on its container. A good thing can turn bad with incorrect use, overuse or internal use. Most essential oils are to be mixed with water, applied on the skin and used only when needed. Ensure that you are not harming your body if you have any allergies or outbreaks. Read instructions and do a test before committing to a particular oil.
Above all, have fun exploring with new oils and implementing them to your beauty, meditative or study routine! Mmmmm, that smells good!