What are essential oils and aromatherapy?
Essential oils are the basis for aromatherapy: a complementary therapy thought to enhance mental and physical health thanks to the properties that different essential oils have when inhaled or absorbed by the skin. For example, essential oils can be applied topically as part of a massage (oils shouldn’t be applied directly to skin, but diluted with a carrier oil), or they may be added to bath water.
There are qualified professionals who practice aromatherapy as a healing alternative therapy. But when it comes to enjoying the positive effects of essential oils on our wellbeing, basic aromatherapy is something that anyone can try.
How to use essential oils for aromatherapy
The simplest way to experience the benefits of essential oil is to twist the cap off the bottle and breathe deeply through your nose to take in the scent. Avoid getting pure essential oil on your skin, as this can irritate if not diluted properly.
Spritzing yourself with a diluted essential oil spray or using a portable roll-on is another easy way to make aromatherapy part of your self-care habits, and can be handy when you’re on-the-go.
To apply essential oils topically, always dilute your essential oil with a base oil, like coconut or almond oil, before using on skin anywhere on your body. Try massaging any tension points, such as your neck or temples.
You can further boost the relaxing qualities of a hot bath by adding some diluted essential oil to the water for a soothing experience.
Which essential oils promote better sleep?
Sleep is vital for our overall health. Sleeping well can be linked to higher energy levels, better mental health, improved immunity and is even considered a factor in maintaining a healthy body weight.
But, for all sorts of reasons, getting a good night’s sleep can be surprisingly hard to achieve.
This is where aromatherapy – which utilises the benefits of essential oils, made from concentrated plant extracts, distilled from flowers, roots, or leaves – can help. Keep reading to find out which essential oils promote better sleep and how to use them.
Lavender as an essential oil
Lavender Essential Oil is made from the purple flowers of the lavender plant. Sweet and floral in scent, lavender has long been recognised as a natural aid for better sleep.
The soothing aroma of lavender oil is said to reduce stress and instil feelings of calm — making it the perfect addition to your bedside table. Feeling truly relaxed can make it easier to fall into a deep, restful sleep.
The calming properties of lavender essential oil make it a great choice for bedtime routines. Add to your bath or use a pillow spray as part of your evening routine.