By: Katie Skinner
Aromatherapy is the art of using pure essential oils to relax, balance and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is commonly used by massage therapists and in health spas. Some workplaces use aromatherapy to help keep employees focused and stress-free. Essential oils are the highly concentrated, aromatic essences of plants – or to put it simply, they give herbs and flowers their scent. Aside from producing a beautiful aroma, essential oils have the ability to calm the mind, sharpen focus and lift the spirit. Essential oils can be applied topically and are often found in beauty products like lotion and soap. There are also many products designed to diffuse essential oils into the air so that aromatherapy can be experienced through natural inhalation.
When using essential oils for aromatherapy it is important to use 100% pure essential oils. Synthetic fragrance oils are usually derived from petroleum-based chemicals that can be potentially harmful if inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. These oils try to duplicate natural scents and are often found in crafts, potpourri and perfume.
During the month of March, we have been focusing on sleep support. One of today’s most popular essential oils used for sleep support is lavender. According to Aura Cacia, a leader in aromatherapy products, Lavender is known for its relaxing qualities. Lavender has been shown to give users a sense of calm and balance. Lavender is an evergreen perennial that is grown world-wide for commercial and personal use. Growing lavender at home is as simple as growing basil, mint or sage. Growing a small amount of lavender at home though would most-likely only produce a drop or two of essential oil. It takes 150 pounds of lavender flowers to produce one pound of essential oil. The price of each essential oil is directly related to the amount of plant material needed for production. Eucalyptus usually costs less than lavender because it only takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus to produce one pound of essential oil. It takes over 2,000 pounds of rose to make a single pound of essential oil, making rose oil one of the most expensive essential oils to produce.
The three most popular types of lavender are True Lavender, Spike Lavender and Lavandin. True Lavender has a sweet, floral scent. This type of lavender has been shown to provide soothing, calming, and relaxing aromatherapeutic benefits. Spike Lavender has purifying characteristics. This form is commonly used to scent room sprays, deodorants, soaps, disinfectants and insect repellents. Lavandin is the result of natural cross-pollination between True Lavender and Spike Lavender. Lavandin is often used to scent massage oils, body care products and natural perfumes. Lavandin has been shown to have balancing, clarifying, and purifying aromatherapeutic benefits.
Lavender essential oil can be used by pouring a few drops in the bath, blending a small amount with massage oil, or adding the oil to a diffuser to spread the scent throughout the room. At The Mustard Seed Natural and Organic Food Store, all Aura Cacia lavender essential oil products are on sale for the month of March. These include lavender massage oil, lavender bath salt, lavender room mist and lavender pillow mist. Aura Cacia uses ethical and sustainable sourcing practices for their essential oils and ensures the raw materials and packaging components used are provided in a sustainable manner. Aura Cacia uses the most natural and organic ingredients available and avoids synthetic-derived ingredients when possible. Aura Cacia products are not tested on animals and contain no animal by-products with the exception of beeswax.
Click here for an Aura Cacia essential oil coupon redeemable only at The Mustard Seed Natural & Organic Food Store. The Mustard Seed is located at 969 Arsenal Street in Watertown.
Natural Healing Wisdom & Know-How Compiled by Amy Rost
This article is for educational purposes only. The products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.