Don’t underestimate the power of flowers. Scents have been used throughout the ages to increase sensuality, calm anxiety, alleviate depression, sharpen the mind, and beautify skin and hair.
Aromatherapy works in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It has the ability to inspire both physical and mental well-being, from easing stress to relieving migraine headaches. One explanation is that your sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any of your other senses—aromas are transmitted directly to the limbic system, the part of your brain that perceives and responds to memory, pleasure, and emotion. Certain smells trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals that affect mood and relaxation.
The Aromatherapy Difference
True aromatherapy uses only pure essential oils, either steam distilled from flowers, plants, and herbs or pressed from the rind of fruit. They contain plant hormones, vitamins and other natural elements. Don’t confuse essential oils with fragrance oils that are merely scented by the plant or fruit.
The straight oils have properties that can affect our physiology by variously soothing minor skin conditions, relieving respiratory symptoms through inhalation, or promoting muscle relaxation by producing a warming effect on the skin.
Create a Spa-like Shower
Experience the powerful influence of aromatherapy on your thoughts, feelings,
desires, energy level, and overall health. The recipes here, which have been excerpted from The Little Book of Aromatherapy by herbalist and aromatherapist Kathi Keville, make a scentsational addition to your daily shower routine.
Use a mild, pH-balanced shampoo for the following recipe. Recipe by Kathi Keville
2 oz. strong herb tea (your choice)
2 oz. unscented shampoo
1/4 tsp. essential oil (your choice; see box below for suggestions)
After straining and cooling tea, add it to the shampoo base, then add the essential oil. Shake well before using.
Herbal Hair Rinse
This can be used in place of a conditioner. It balances the pH after shampooing, reversing the electrical charge so your hair doesn’t have a flyaway look, and removes shampoo residue, leaving hair shiny and soft. Recipe by Kathi Keville
3 to 5 drops essential oil (your choice)
1 pint water or herb tea
4 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
Shake well and pour over the scalp and hair after the shampoo. Leave on for several minutes, then rinse.
Dab onto skin after a shower for an energizing uplift. You can also use this as a stimulating body oil, making sure to keep it away from the eyes and sensitive areas, as it contains some hot oils. Recipe by Kathi Keville
7 drops lemon
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
2 oz. vegetable oil
Combine the essential oils with vegetable oil.
Good Buys …
ALAFFIAEveryday Shea Moisturizing Body Wash in Vanilla Mint scent contains spearmint essential oil, which is known to help combat physical and mental fatigue and also help soothe irritated skin.
AURA CACIARosemary 100% Pure Essential Oil can be combined with 2 drops lavender and 1 Tbs. jojoba oil to make a nourishing hair oil.
SOMERSETSMaximum Glide Original is a blend of pure essential oils, including lavender, tea tree, and rosemary, that is designed to prevent razor bumps and soften skin.