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Aromatherapy

 

I will just cover a few basics on aromatherapy, it is an easy therapy to use at home, so long as a few guidelines are observed. As I said on the previous page, tell your physician before starting to use any form of complementary therapy, & if you have a chronic medical condition, it is best to seek advice from a qualified practitioner. Never take essential oils internally, do not put them in your eyes, & do not apply oils undiluted to the skin (with the exception of lavender & tea tree in very small quantities).

Aromatherapy involves using the natural fragrant essential oils of plants to bring about healing of mind, body & emotions, & enhance wellbeing. Essential oils are a mix of natural chemicals extracted from trees such as sandalwood, fruits such as oranges & lemons, flowers & herbs. So far, more than 150 essential oils have been extracted for use in aromatherapy, & each one has its own scent, medicinal properties & healing profile. All the oils are antiseptic, but each one also has individual properties, for example, some are antifungal, some are expectorants, & some ease digestion. The natural chemicals of each oil also work together to give the oil a dominant characteristic, so that it can be relaxing, or refreshing, or stimulating.

You must remember that aromatherapy isn't a cure for lupus or any other disease, but it may help to reduce stress, relieve pain & restore body systems to a state of balance so that healing can take place.


How to use essential oils

Massage
Massaging the skin releases the fragrance & ensures that the oils are absorbed into the skin properly.
**Never massage over an inflamed & swollen area.**
Dilute the essential oil in a cold-pressed vegetable carrier oil such as grapeseed, sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Use 1 to 3 drops of essential oil to 5ml of carrier oil.

Baths
Essential oils do not dissolve in water. The heat of the water releases their scent & helps them to be absorbed into the skin.
Add the oils when you have filled the bath with warm water. Add 5 to 8 drops of essential oils to the bath.

Steam inhalation.
Steam releases the fragrant molecules in essential oils, & this method can be very effective for throat & respiratory problems, & headaches. This method is not suitable for asthmatics.
Add 3 to 6 drops to a bowl of near boiling water. Bend over the bowl & cover your head with a towel. Inhale slowly at first, then gradually breathe deeper. Inhale for no more than 5-10 minutes maximum. The vapours from the oils are very strong, so keep your eyes closed.

Vaporisers.
These come in various forms, some are electrically heated, the most common type is a ceramic pot warmed by a small candle.
Add water & 6 to 10 drops of essential oil to the vaporiser. If you haven't got a vaporiser, add the oil to a bowl of water & place by a radiator, or add the oil to a bowl of near boiling water.

Hot & cold compresses.
Useful for relieving localized pain & inflammation. Use hot compresses for toothache, earache, muscle & rheumatic pain, & arthritis. Use cold compresses for headaches & swelling.
Add 4 to 5 drops of essential oils to a bowl of hot or cold water. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the water, wring it out & apply to affected area.


Lupus Symptoms & which oils to use

Arthritis
Essential oils:- Cajeput, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme(sweet), Vetiver.
Use in baths & compresses.
***Caution - Never massage over inflamed & swollen joints.***

Muscle aches & pains
Essential oils:- Black pepper, Chamomile, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Pine, Rosemary, Thyme(sweet), Vetiver.  
Use in baths & compresses.
***Caution - Never massage if the muscle is inflamed & swollen.***

Headache
Essential oils:- Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rose otto, Rosemary.
Use in massage(especially head, neck & shoulders), dry inhalation.

Circulation problems
Essential oils:- Black Pepper, Coriander, Cypress, Garlic, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Pine, Rose otto, Rosemary, Thyme(sweet).
Use in Baths, hand/foot bath, massage.

Mouth ulcers
Essential oils:- Cypress, Myrrh, Tea tree.
Use in Mouthwash- 1 drop of oil to 1 cup of warm water (Do NOT swallow).

Depression
Essential oils:- Basil, Citrus essences, Clary sage, Lavender, Neroli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang ylang.
Use in baths, massage, vaporiser.
Consider also- Flower essences.

Insomnia
Essential oils:- Chamomile, Lavender, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melissa(true), Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose otto, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang ylang.  
Use in baths, massage(especially back), vaporiser, on pillow.
Consider also - Flower essences.

Migraine
Essential oils:- Angelica, Chamomile, Coriander, Clary sage, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa(true), Peppermint.  
Use in massage(especially head, neck & shoulders), compress.

Hypertension (High blood pressure)
Essential oils:- Clary sage, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melissa(true), Ylang ylang.
Use in baths, massage,vaporiser.

Fatigue
Essential oils:- Angelica, Basil, Clary sage, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary.  
Use in vaporiser, dry inhalation, massage, baths.
Consider also - Flower essences.


Unsafe oils

sensitive skins- lemongrass, basil, fennel, rosemary, lemon, pine.

dermatitis - ginger, citronella, pine, geranium, jasmine, ylang ylang.

high blood pressure - rosemary, sage, thyme, hyssop. Always consult your doctor before using any other oil.

epilepsy - sage, fennel, hyssop, rosemary.

pregnancy (no oils for first three months) - fennel, hyssop, sage, myrrh, worst, clary sage, aniseed, basil, cinnamon, clove, thyme, camphor, juniper, parsley, rosemary, nutmeg, cedarwood, marjoram, lavender.


Photosensitising oils (*Lupus patients please note*)

Certain aromatic oils can cause skin pigmentation when applied shortly before exposure to sunlight or other types of uv light, such as a sunbed. The most powerful oil in this respect is bergamot, it is therefore advisable not to use bergamot on the skin. Other photosensitising oils are angelica, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, verbena & tagetes.

 
 

 

 
 

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