Benefits of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
For thousands of years, humans have been using aromatherapy - natural plant extracts - to promote the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Also referred to as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy is known to have both psychological and physical benefits.
Some studies (Mayo Clinic) have shown that aromatherapy can:
* provide relief from depression and anxiety
* improve sleep
* improve quality of life - especially for those with chronic health conditions
French and German physicians in the 19th century recognized the health benefits of natural botanicals in treating disease and illness, and it was a French chemist that coined the term “aromatherapy.” (source)
More information is available here.
But What IS Aromatherapy?
“Aromatherapy” refers to the use of highly concentrated natural oils that may be absorbed by the skin (massage, lotion, bath products) or inhaled. Smell receptors send messages to the nervous system and limbic system - the part of the brain that is involved with emotion, motivation, memory, and learning.
Aromatherapy products can include:
* Bath salts
* Body lotions, creams, and oils
* Clay masks and facial steamers
* Diffusers or spritzers
What Essential Oils Do I Use?
There are approximately one hundred types of essential oils available that have healing properties and uses. They may also be combined for additional benefits.
Some of the most popular essential oils used for skin products include:
* Lemongrass - astringent and antifungal; reduces inflammation
* Lavender - antibacterial; relieves skin irritation and itchiness
* Sandalwood - heals dry skin; anti-inflammatory
* Tea Tree - antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
* Myrrh - stimulates circulation and helps heal dry skin
* Lemon - helps brighten dull skin
Heliotrope offers a list of ingredients with more information about their origins, properties and safety information. Recently, one of our clients brought this article to our attention on the Kaiser Permanente website.
Aromatherapy Products at Heliotrope
At Heliotrope, we carry a huge variety of essential oils - from Cedar to Lavender to Peppermint. And, we carry oil blends such as our Healing (Tea Tree Lavender), Nostalgic (Bay Laurel Sandalwood), and Balancing (Rose Geranium Lavender) blends. See all our blends here.
Looking for a all-purpose aromatherapy mist for your body and home? We’ve created custom blends! Our Seductive blend includes Rose, Clove, Ginger and Vanilla; Balancing includes Rose Geranium, Lavender, and Clary Sage and Meditative includes Sandalwood, Myrrh, and Ylang Ylang. Our candles come in some of our best-selling essential oil blends - and melt to become warm massage oil!
Our Eco Spa Diffusers offer an electronic way to use with your favorite essential oils, either on their own or in blends. Plus, these three electric diffusers do double duty as humidifiers. They are attractive as well as useful.
We carry aromatherapy massage candles, lotions, and oils that will have you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and soothed. We even create Aromatherapy Protective Dog Shampoo, perfect for dogs with sensitive skin and fur of all lengths and texture!
Come by Heliotrope in San Francisco or Oakland to learn more about aromatherapy and to discover which of our aromatherapy products would be right for you!