Aromatherapy: The Ultimate Selfcare Aid
The cultural practice of using aromatherapy and natural essential oils to alleviate symptoms of ill health and mental unrest have been used for centuries dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. Ancient Egypt is noted as the birthplace of aromatherapy and its citizens used plants for their essential oils for both medicinal and beauty purposes.
Chinese, Indian, Roman and Persian cultures have also long-heralded the benefits of essential oils, and fragrances with rosewater and rose oil are still thriving industries in Shiraz, Iran and The Valley of Roses in Bulgaria.
England has historical roots (tracing back to the 18th century) in the production of lavender and peppermint oils, famed for their fragrant, healing properties. Lavender fields are still growing in aromatic abundance across England with fields overflowing with their flowers in areas such as Kent, Norfolk, and York.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
The term ‘aromatherapy’ was first coined by René-Maurice Gattefossé who noted the way that lavender had aided in healing and treating burns on the skin.
The benefits of aromatherapy – using nature’s powerful essential oils – are endless. These oils can not only help to alleviate physical ailments such as muscular pain, headaches and nausea but they can also reduce mental strain arising from anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia.
Their benefits can penetrate into the skin when applied topically to lubricate stiff joints and help to numb pain receptors, and when inhaled they can help to open the airways to your lungs, sending you to a state of relaxation. Essential oils can also have an emotional and holistic effect on the brain, helping to lower a high heart rate, high blood pressure and reduce stress.
Essential oils can be applied as a topical treatment, rubbed and massaged into the skin, or via a diffuser through which the oil droplets may evaporate and be inhaled directly, stimulating the senses.
The aromas are extremely rich in fragrance molecules and when applied topically they can cause rashes and irritation in people with allergies or sensitive skin, and can potentially upset those with asthma when inhaled. Make sure you are using a carrier oil if you are applying it topically, as it the essence itself is heavily concentrated.
Our Favourite Essential Oils
Lavender is a multi-purpose powerhouse of an ingredient and it is one of A Beautiful Life’s ‘hero’ ingredients. It is used in the fabulous Leaves and Flowers’ Skin Sleep Cream along with 200mg of CBD, Planton extract and beautiful Bulgarian rose oil.
Derived from the lavender plant, lavender essential oil is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and an active antioxidant which has a healing nature in both its treatment of skin irritations such as eczema, psoriasis and skin blemishes, as well as alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression through its natural sedation.
Tea Tree Oil
If lavender is nature’s ‘healer’, then Tea Tree Oil is nature’s antibacterial hero.
Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, tea tree oil is the ultimate bacteria beater with its astonishing ability to kill oral bacteria, dry out acne naturally and has even been shown to inhibit cancerous tumour growth in a study using tea tree oil on mice.
It can treat wounds, skin ailments such as spots and sores and help with coughs and sore throats.
Patchouli is celebrated for its sensual and spicy aroma and is used widely in the perfume industry.
As well as its sweet musk, patchouli can help with skin conditions such as dermatitis and dry skin, physical pains such as stomach or headaches and relieve mental strains of stress, anxiety and depression.
It is no surprise that Bath House has worked this essential oil favourite into its Patchouli & Black Pepper Eau De Parfum which blends black pepper, mandarin, patchouli, lavender, vanilla, and rosemary for a smoky aroma. It is also available as a diffuser and candle for gently scenting your home.
Peppermint oil, extracted from the peppermint plant, is used for an abundance of purposes. This cooling essential oil can act as a treatment for a variety of conditions including IBS, nausea and poor digestion as well as a topical treatment providing relief from skin irritations, and aches and pains.
Its refreshing nature makes it perfect for killing oral bacteria, hence its use in products such as mouthwashes and it is said that inhaling peppermint can help elevate energy levels and boost mood. No wonder it’s so popular in tea!