Friday, August 5, 2011

Did you know that aromatherapy can affect everything from how we eat, our mood & behaviors, to our sex drive? The term aromatherapie was introduced by a French chemist named Rene'- Maurice Gattefosse' but has been around for thousands of years. Greeks, Romans, and most notably, Egyptians have used aromatherapy in medicine, cosmetics, massage and even in burial rituals.
 What we're going to use aromatherapy for is a little less macabre haha. If you ever feel you need  a change in your physical or mental state aromatherapy can be very effective! When used topically the essential oils in aromatherapy can even help heal the skin. There are a few tricks & techniques to learn before getting started but once you know them it's very easy to create your own signature scents! The possibilities are endless. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of essential oils available so feel free to experiment!
Before we begin I want to just mention a few things. Earlier I said that essential oils can be used topically but they must never be directly applied to the skin. They must first be mixed with what is called a carrier oil. The carrier oil is your basic oils such as jojoba, sesame, olive, sweet almond, etc. The potency of essential oils can vary but just to be on the safe side it's best to always dilute with your carrier. Also be sure to patch test a small area of skin to be sure you aren't allergic to any of the oils before applying to large areas of the body. Be especially careful if you are pregnant or nursing because there are a few oils that should be avoided at this time. Some essential oils are also phototoxic and can increase the skins sensitivity to the sun. Don't worry though I'll be sure to note anything you should avoid with each recipe that I post! It also doesn't hurt to do a little research on the oils on your own before trying a recipe. Essential oils are so interesting and you can finds loads of info on the web!

So without further ado here's a recipe that I've been using recently! It's really nice for summer and is citrusy and slightly floral. 

First you'll need some bergamot, mandarin, & jasmine.
* Just a little tip - Jasmine is also a known aphrodisiac and is called the "King of Oils." (Rose is the queen)

A clean dark colored glass bottle that's approximately 100ml. I used a vanilla extract bottle that holds 118ml.  Any color will do just be sure you store the bottle in a cool dark place if the glass is clear. Oh and never use plastic when dealing with essential oils because they've been known to eat there way through many a plastic bottle!

And your carrier oils. I like to use jojoba oil because it's closest in composition to the oil your skin produces naturally. ( and it's just fun to say!) Another nice option is sweet almond oil. You can use any carrier oil you choose like olive oil if you have that on hand in the kitchen!

You'll need:
 10 drops of mandarin
6 drops of jasmine
5 drops of bergamot
*Since mandarin & bergamot are both from the citrus family they may both increase your sensitivity to the sun so be sure to use your sunscreen... which you're already doing right?!

First, add your drops to the glass bottle. Close the cap and swirl for a minute to mix the oils. Next add 100ml of your jojoba or carrier of choice cap tightly and swirl again this time for several minutes or until you feel the mixture is thoroughly blended. If your bottle isn't exactly 100ml then try to follow these proportions - 1/3 essential oils to 2/3 carrier oil. 

This recipe is known to increase confidence and is great when you need a boost or just want to smell great! Here are a few attributes of these oils:
Bergamot - promotes alertness, assertiveness, concentration, confidence, contentment, creativity, focus, joy, performance, and self  esteem
Mandarin - promotes self awareness, self  image, happiness
Jasmine - promotes assertiveness, confidence, creativity, happiness, peace, performance, self awareness, self esteem, self image
If you have any type of presentation to make, one of those days, or just aren't feeling your best rub on a little of this blend. Or, pour a little in an oil burner and enjoy it in your home. If you don't have an oil burner add some water to a pot, put your blend in the pot and let the water boil on the stove! Just don't let all the water evaporate! haha

I hope I didn't bombard you with too much information there's just sooo much to learn about essential oils and what they can do for you! It might seem a little costly to start your essential oil collection but they last forever the oils that I use most last at least a 6 months to a year. I'll be adding recipes and more tips over time so if you have anything special you want to know let me know!
Here are links to 2 popular sites for essential oils and aromatherapy supplies :
Mountain Rose Herbs 
Aura Cacia
Feel free to use whichever brands you prefer just be sure that they are pure essential oils. =]

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