October 31, 2011

Essential oils for Fall Season

The fundamental basis of the practice of aromatherapy is essential oils which can be used to help heal, relax and balance your body, mind and hormones but which of these concentrated natural oils are best suited to the fall season?

At this time of year, it is best to look out for plant derived oils which will hydrate and protect your delicate skin from the harsh elements.

Essential oils should always be used externally but, to feel better from the inside, try drinking some Earl Grey tea which is infused with bergamot when you wake up.

For homemade skin care products, lavender, roman chamomile, carrot seed, sweet orange and palmarosa either on their own or blended together for various purposes including:

Massage - add a drop or two to some oil and rub into tired bodies to relax and unwind,

As a sleep aid - the most common method is to put a drop on your pillowcase which will envelop you and help send you into a peaceful slumber,

For inhalation in a diffuser - to create a fragrant peaceful atmosphere in your home or

In the bath - add fours drops of any one or two of the aforementioned oils with one tablespoon of Epsom salts or milk and then add to warm running water as you fill the bathtub.

Because essential oils tend to come concentrated and may be too strong for sensitive skin, it is advisable that the oil is diluted with a vegetable based carrier oil before use.

Carrier oils, which derive from the seeds, kernels or nuts of a plant, carry natural essential oils as well so this will have a double benefit and the best carriers to use are jojoba or rosehip oil for the face and coconut or sweet almond oil for the body.

Beware of Certain Essential Oils

Having an aromatherapy based treatment at a spa may seem like a relaxing, wonderful idea but you might just come away with more than you bargained for...

Aromatherapy is becoming an increasingly popular complementary therapy which is used by many people around the world as it is considered to offer numerous health benefits, such as enhancing skin condition, boosting the immune system and aiding with sleep issues. This rise in the aromatherapy trend is evident as British people alone spend approximately £126 million on this type of product and on herbal medication every year.

The essential oils, which are derived from plants and include lavender and peppermint oil, are also very popular in spa's as they are burned for inhalation, used for massages and in the baths to relieve tension, instill a feeling of relaxation and soothe aching muscles and limbs.

Scientists in Taiwan have however found that the so-called fragrant essential oils used by relaxation spas have a higher concentration of potentially harmful tiny irritant particles called secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) which are formed when the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the oil reacts with ozone in the air and these by-products may cause irritation in the eyes, nose or throat as well as nausea, headaches or even liver or kidney damage.

During the study conducted by the researchers, they tested fragrant and Chinese herbal essential oils for SOA formation in a controlled-environment under various test conditions. They then performed air sampling and analysis tests in two spa centers in Taiwan which offer massage treatments and used this information to compare the size and volume of particles released when massages were being undertaken.

It was found that the oils which produced the most number of SOA's were lavender, peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon and the scientists have warned that the negative 'impact on indoor air quality and health effects cannot be neglected'.

However, they also concluded that ventilation and layout of spas can affect and help to control levels of indoor pollutants.

Previous research has shown that these particles are also produced when scented essential oils are burned for personal use at home but not to the same extent as in a spa, where it is said that they can increase tenfold. Furthermore, in 2007, other research in Taiwan illustrated that when lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus oils were burned in an office, a large volume of these unsafe particles were released.

Those who are more skeptical about the healing properties of essential oils argue that many of the apparent benefits are caused by people having so much faith in it that they psychologically convince themselves that they feel more relaxed, are calmer and can sleep better – a case of placebo effect.

Additionally there is little scientific evidence that essential oils can actually cure wounds, boost immunity or relieve pain in fact they have, in some cases, increased asthma symptoms and breathing problems in those who have lung diseases.

Furthermore, medical nurses have stated that the oils can cause rashes and irritated skin but this is usually because too much has been put into bathwater or onto skin.

October 25, 2011

We're on mobile now!

We have launched our mobile site today!

Just scan our QR code or simply go to http://m.aromatherapy-at-home.com. Remember to put "m" before aromatherapy-at-home.com

Our new mobile site is designed for all type of phones. It should be compatible with your phone no matter what brands it is. If you have difficulties on viewing it, please report it here.

It is a new whole experience for a mobile user to find the aromatherapy recipe quickly in just 1 click.

I have set it up for 2 different problems - "for your mind" and "for your health".

You should be able to apply the essential oils in blends or singly by visiting our method application page. Read the instruction carefully so you won't miss any single information. I also include safety tips just in case you need it.

And last... don't miss our special deal. You can find discount essential oils available today no matter where you are!

Don't forget to check back often, we will add more features such as FAQ, "Bath and Body", videos and many more..to come.

Go ahead...

scan this code or goto: http://m.aromatherapy-at-home.com

Stay tune for upcoming our own video production. It will launch in a couple of days

October 20, 2011

Herbs Are Not Just For Cooking Nerds

Gone are the days when a handful of store-bought herbs thrown into a nearly cooked meal was ‘exotic’; people are now growing their own herbs and adapting them, not only to obtain their maximum flavor in cooking but for other household uses as well.

One of the main reasons for this is because people are becoming more health conscious and trying to adapt to new ways of being sustainable and green (which is beneficial to the money side as well).

One culinary lecturer from Brookville who believes strongly in the benefits of herbs uses two techniques, decoctions and infusions, to prepare her herbal concoctions.

For decoctions, seeds, bark and/or roots are placed in water, boiled and then left to simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.

Infusions, on the other hand, use the flower, leaf and stem part of the plant which is placed in gently heated water and slowly brewed, a bit like making tea.

You can make your own organic, fragrant, herbal sugar scrub by placing one cup of sugar and one tablespoon each of lavender flowers, calendula petals, basil and chamomile into a blender and blending. Then place the mixture into a plastic jar or tub and add 4 to 6 tablespoons of almond oil. This scrub is great for use in the shower and will exfoliate, energize and hydrate skin leaving it clean and smooth.

It is popular practice to use herbal concoctions for health and beauty purposes but less well known are the house cleaning properties that they offer.

Adding a few drops of essential oil such as eucalyptus, lemon, lemongrass and citronella to a bucket of water and Murphy’s soap oil and using as a floor cleaner can not only make your home smell wonderfully fresh and fragrant but also keep insects away especially when used near doorways and patios. Another tip for when you clean windows is to add some lemon scented essential oil to vinegar to give them a good shine.

Rather than resorting to harsh chemicals to prevent bug problems, try a plant based alternative next time. Bay leaves are also very good for keeping meal moths at bay; place dry bay leaves in jars of flour, couscous, beans and lentils and they should stay out of your food pantry.

Gardeners can also benefit from these natural mixes – rubbing herb infused essential oils over clothing and footwear before heading into the garden acts as an insect repellent.

October 19, 2011

Make Your Own Homemade Gel Air Fresheners

Store bought gel air fresheners come in limited fragrances, don’t last very long and can be quite expensive but with a little time and effort, you can make your own so that you can have a great smelling home for less.

All you need to create your unique atmosphere are some little, clean heatproof containers or jars that you don’t mind putting on show, some gelatine, water, essential oils, salt to prevent mould and food colouring, which is optional but adds that final colourful touch. You probably have most of the ingredients at home already except for the essential oil and although this may seem like an expense, you only need a few drops so you will get more then value for your money.

To make your very own gel air freshener, you will need:

- 2 cups of water
- 4 packs of plain unflavoured gelatine
- 15 drops of scented essential oil
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Food colouring (optional)
- Heat proof glass jar

Here are what you should do:

1. In a small saucepan, place 1 cup of water, essential oil and as much food colouring as you desire – you can choose not to put any colour which will result in a clear gel, or just add a little to create a tint or add more for a strong, bold colour. Remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil.

2. Add the gelatine and the salt into the boiled water mixture, ensure the crystals have dissolved completely then add the other cup of cold water. Stir gently but ensure that it does not foam.

3. Pour into the jar(s) and leave to set for a few days before using or you can refrigerate to cool the mixture faster (at the risk of smelling up your fridge/contents). Once completely set, punch a few holes into the lid and cover.

4. Relax in your fresh smelling room!
You can, if you wish, substitute the 2 cups of water and essential oil with 2 cups of liquid potpourri using the exact same method of boiling 1 cup with salt and gelatine then adding the second cup once it is taken off the boil.

You can also make an alternative super strong gel air freshener using:
- ¾ cup of boiling water
- 1 packet of jelly powder (which makes 4 servings i.e. instant Jello)
- 1 tablespoon Vodka
- ¼ teaspoon dish soap
- Essential oil or fragrance

Mix all of the above ingredients and set in a heatproof jar as above. The Vodka replaces the salt which prevents mouldiness.

Once you have mastered the above basic recipes, you can really get creative by adding embellishments like glass beads, sea shells or fake flowers inside the jar before pouring in the mixture or by gluing them to the outside of the jar once cooled.

You could also cover the top with netting or lace instead of lids (as long as it has holes in to allow the fragrance to release) and tie ribbons or raffia around the top to make them decorative enough to give as homemade gifts.

You could also have different colour layered gel by allowing one colour to set completely and then pouring on the next layer –the list is endless and the choice is yours.

October 14, 2011

Using Rose Petals for Herbal Water

Not only are roses pretty to look at and a common favorite, for centuries they have been used as objects of legends, symbolism, poetry, dance and celebrations as well as for food, drink, fragrance and beauty purposes.

Less common however, is the rose’s healing properties which have been also been used for many generations for anything from rheumatism, indigestion and epilepsy to coughs, colds, fatigue and even grief.

Some ancient medical texts name Gallica and Centifolia roses as being excellent medication, others suggest deep red roses are superior and in contrast, the Herbal Centre chose a pale pink fruity smelling ‘Margaret Roberts’ rose as a base for all of their soaps, creams and remedies.

Rose as a treatment for coughs and colds:

One old fashioned remedy is rose petal brandy as a cure for cough and colds.

Here’s how to try it at home – in a double boiler, add two cups of brandy from a new bottle, two cups of honey, two cups of rose petals (red are better), 12 cloves, a cinnamon stick and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes and then allow to cool. Pour this mixture back into the brandy bottle, shake and store, well corked, in a dark place until required.

It is said that if rose petals are unavailable (for example in the Winter) then rose hips are also beneficial in preventing and treating flu, coughs, colds, bladder infections and kidney pains as they contains many essential oils and vitamins (Vitamin C, beta carotene and fruit acids to name a few).

Rose hip is usually sold as a syrup made with honey and is also known for its ability as a mild sedative and to reduce inflammation and depression.

Rose as a treatment for strains and sprains:

Rose oil can be made by simmering two cups of petals in one cup of almond oil in a double boiler for 40 minutes and then straining it out into a bottle.

This oil was developed during the war to be massaged into the cramps, muscular strains and sprains and torn ligaments of injured soldiers during the war and was possibly amongst the first ‘aromatherapy oils’ to be developed.

Rose as a treatment for low mood (anxiety, depression, premenstrual tension and insomnia):

This delicious ancient tea recipe should help alleviate any negative energy as it has a soothing property to calm nerves and relax the emotional and psychological state of mind..

Put one cup of fresh rose petals (or half a cup of chopped rose hips), half a cup of lemon balm sprigs and three or four bruised cloves into a pot and pour two cups of boiling water over it.

Crush with a spoon, stir well and leave for five minutes.

Strain and sweeten with honey, if required.

Sip slowly preferably with a Vitamin B Complex tablet or capsule with two dolomite tablets.

The aroma of rose oil is also comforting and so a drop on your pillow could help aid sleep.

Rose as a treatment for skin:

To make homemade rose water boil six to eight cups of fresh rose petals in six cups of water in a heavy bottomed pot. Add a stick of cinnamon and 12 cloves and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring/crushing regularly. Cool, strain and store in a spray bottle if possible as it is very handy on car journeys etc to ease fatigue, invigorate and soften skin.

Rose water is fantastic for softening, hydrating and reducing the appearance of scar formation, sunburn and acne scars. It is also a gentle cleansing and toning product which can be used with cotton wool pads to clear oily skin and reduce acne or skin irritation.

Overall, the rose has more than just a pretty face – the therapeutic properties are just a few ways of maximizing its potential and best of all, it is natural and non-irritant.

More on rose water, you can read - Quick and Easy Recipe Rosewater

October 11, 2011

Get relief from Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain is a common discomfort of women and according to a study it is present in 25 to 29 percent of women.

There are a lot of pain relieving treatments like herbal medicine, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation.

However, a recent study in Korea suggests that menstrual pain can be reduced with the help of famous aromatherapy too.

This study was conducted on Korean school girls to see whether essential oils had any effect on the pain.

The selection criteria for the study were to select a girl having menstrual pain which could be measured on at least six points with a Visual Analogue Scale.
Moreover, the participants did not have any systemic disease or any other kind of disease related to genital organs.

During the experiment volunteers were divided into two groups, one was control group and the second was on which the treatment had to be applied.

The massage was given to the second group once in 24 hours and the level of pain was measured with Visual Analogue Scale before and after massage and after 24 hours.

The ingredients of essential oil and the ratio in which they were used are:
Clary Sage - 1 part
Marjoram - 1 part
Ginger - 1/2 part
Cinnamon - 1-1/2 part
Geranium - 1-1/2 part
All essential oils diluted in Almond oil.

The experiment group was given this massage for ten minutes and the control group was only given acetaminophen. After 24 hours when the pain was measured again the reduction was significant in the experiment group as compared to the control group.

However it is unknown that the effect was achieved from aromatherapy oil or the massage. Or maybe it was an effect of both.

To find this out more clearly further studies should be done. But until any further study is conducted, you can use the above described essential oil to reduce menstrual pain and you will see a significant change in the level of pain.

Aromatherapy has served man kind in almost any kind of disease. It would be a great news for women if menstrual pain could also be cured with it.

October 9, 2011

Stress Reduction Research

Aromatherapy is long term known for the treatment of many diseases. A new research shows that it can also reduce the level of stress and pain. For reduction of stress and pain lavender is being recommended.

The research has been carried out by a Korean team from Dept. of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at School of Dentistry in Kyungpook National University.

The team measured the effects of lavender aromatherapy on a set of 30 individuals without any physical disease. You can read the abstract of the study at: http://pubmed.gov.

The level of stress and pain intensity on insertion of a needle was tested in all the volunteers and it was found to be the same. The volunteers were then divided into two groups randomly. The experimental group was given an oxygen face mask to wear for five minutes. This face mask was coated with lavender oil. The control group was also given the oxygen for 5 minutes but it was not coated with lavender oil.

After the experiment, it was noted that the stress level and needle insertion pain intensity was significantly reduced in the experimental group which had the lavender aromatherapy. This research shows that lavender oil can be used to reduce stress and pain.

October 6, 2011

Citrus essential oils to reduce fungal growth on food

New findings in Britain have shown that treating food with citrus essential oil vapor could reduce the growth of fungi on food by over 60%.

Fungi cause spoilage and poisoning of food which is a major problem for the food and import industry as well as consumers and the decay caused by lack of fungicide treatment can increase post harvest losses by up to 50%.

Until now, the use of synthetic fungicides has been sufficient but environmental risks and demands of consumer groups have required alternative treatments to be introduced including essential oils which were found to be effective but possibly detrimental to the organoleptic properties of the food.

Researchers from the University of Northampton therefore decided to explore whether the use of essential oil vapors may retain the food properties whilst also reducing contamination.

It was found that food which was exposed for fifteen minutes to Citri-V essential oil vapor, which is publicly available, displayed a significant decrease in the growth of Penicillium Chrysogenum (by 44%), Aspergillus niger (34%) and Alternaria alternate (64%).

These findings were published in Food Research International. click here to read the report

Play Clay from Olive Oil

Ok, Here is what I read.

A non toxic, gluten free clay is now combined with essential oils to make it healthier and yummy!. Mama K's play clay is perfect for children.

The ingredients used by Mama K’s are all natural. The ingredients is gluten free flour, olive oil, essential oils and vegetable colorants.

Mama K’s green play clay is made in seven different flavors: bergamot, cardamom, chamomile, geranium, lavender, lemongrass and sweet orange.

Each of the scents is suitable for aromatherapy effects: soothing, relaxing, tension easing etc.

These basic features make the green play clay first fit for children with either Coeliac disease or Autism disorders, And all it because of two reasons: they don’t contain synthetic ingredients and their aromatherapy effect helps kids concentrate on their games, turns on to a serene attitude, and also encourages them to be creative while playing.

Besides those already mention above, Mama K’s play clay doesn’t make flaky mess, doesn’t stain carpets or clothes (it is very washable), and smells great, at home as well as in the office.

The founder of the company, Mama K’s – aka Kari – has created this product - Mama K' Aromatic Clay having in mind her own three years old daughter, who was subjected to the market’s campaigns for thousands of unhealthy products.

October 3, 2011

Treat Migraine Naturally

Ministry of health has collected facts and figures about headaches in Mauritians.

According to Dr Ramalingum Muraludharan, specialist in Ayurveda medicine, almost 20% of people suffer from them be it severe or less severe headaches, found to be more common in women as compared to men. And in 70% of the cases, it is a hereditary.

What causes migraine is still unknown but the factors that contribute to the disease are diverse and can vary. Moreover, it is very difficult to measure the intensity and the treatment also differs with the person. However, if migraine has occurred due to sleep disorders physical and psychic strain, or even acute anxiety, it can be treated by essential oils and Aromatherapy.

For the treatment through essential oils refer to the method below:

Use essential oil of peppermint to soak a cloth with five drops of it. Apply it on the neck area and let it remain there for about 10 minutes. If required, repeat the process after every two hours until no more pain is left.

This treatment will stimulate blood circulation, ease head tensions and relax the neck muscles.

Another efficient solution to treat migraine attacks is to use a mixture of:
1 drop of essential oil of peppermint.
1 drop of wintergreen.
1 drop of lavender.
Apply this mixture on frontal sinus and the temples of the head.

This treatment will ease the patient and is very efficient in removing the pain.

The only precaution in using these essential oils is not to apply them too close to eyes. And while having migraine, it is recommended to lie in a dark room.

Read more >>> Essential oils for migraine

Aromatherapy Mattress

How about a good night sleep with aromatherapy mattress? Magniflex, the creator of the world’s most environment friendly and luxurious sleeping products had introduced a new mattress for aromatherapy purposes.

They say that their new lavender mattress would be a great product in the field of already accepted natural medicine. As we know lavender is known for its soothing and anti-bacterial properties and it can bring peaceful sleep at night.

This Dolce Vita Lavender mattress main feature is its removable cover which is infused with lavender oil and helps getting deep and satisfying sleep.

Lavender micro capsules have been injected in this cover using the techniques of nanotechnology. When body comes in contact with it and the pressure is applied, some micro capsules break and release the lavender aroma that helps in getting better sleep.

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