Aromatherapy products make a magnificent gift for anyone in your life that is interested in pursuing the well being of the entire self in a healthy and natural way. Once people blend the therapeutic powers of essential oils into their lifestyle they will wonder how they ever lived without them. Give your loved ones a set of “must have oils” and a diffuser, and you’ll not only make the next special occasion very special, you’ll have ready-made gift ideas you can give them for the rest of their lives.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the aromatic essence of plants to promote health and harmonize the body, mind, and spirit. If you have ever stood among flowering trees in the springtime, inhaled, and felt how the floral scent makes you feel calm, energized, and renewed, you will have experienced the healing power of aromatherapy in its most natural and raw form.
The modern art and science of aromatherapy takes this a step further, by drawing out the vital elements of the many plants across the world with therapeutic properties. Scientists have discovered that the true magic of these plants come from their volatile compounds. That is, the oils that carry their scent into the air and into our bloodstream through the lungs. These volatile compounds are known as essential oils, and they are the key to aromatherapy.
What Are Essential Oils?
The phrase “essential oil” is derived from “quintessential oil”, and they are considered to be the quintessence, or pure essence, of the entire plant. In nature, plants use the essential oils within themselves to attract pollinators, to communicate with each other, and to protect against microbes, fungi, and predators. When you smell a bouquet of fresh roses, the luxurious scent is caused by essential oils. When you add fresh lemon zest or vanilla bean to baked goods, the rich flavor and amazing smell they spread through the entire house comes from essential oils.
But the benefits of essential oils go far beyond aroma. They have been used therapeutically to promote relaxation and well being, to help heal cuts, bruises, and bug bites more quickly, to combat allergies, to offset depression, and to stave off colds and flu among many, many others. There are as many uses for essential oils as there are plants in the world!
Essential oils should not be confused with perfumes or scented oils. The latter often contain artificial scents or are heavily diluted in cheap oil or alcohol, whereas essential oils are naturally extracted entirely from plants. They can come from the leaves, stems, seed, flowers, or roots of almost any plant. The essential oils of different plants have different properties, and are used by themselves or in combination to promote wellbeing and to treat a variety of ailments.
Why Are Essential Oils So Popular?
Many of us are dissatisfied with the limitations and flaws of modern medicine, with its focus on treating the symptoms and not the root cause of disease. Essential oils are a natural and positive way to treat the entire person. Essential oils have a powerful effect on every aspect of our body and mind. They are also free of the kinds of unpleasant side effects associated with mainstream medicine. Aromatherapy makes you feel better, not just when you are ill, but all of the time.
In much the same way that science is discovering that whole, natural foods are healthier than the heavily processed products that line supermarket shelves, the natural plant essences used in aromatherapy contribute to the kind of vibrant health that is with us for every moment of the day, in each and every breath. Millions of people around the world have experienced how much better they feel since incorporating essential oils into their lives.
How To Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils have many uses. Here are just a few of the more common ways you and the people on your gift lists can use them in their lives. Remember, every essential oil is different and has unique properties. Make sure to research each oil or blend to discover how it is best used.
The most common use for essential oils is to inhale the aromatic compounds. They enter your sinus passages, your lungs, and finally your bloodstream, and different oils provide benefits for every one of these systems along the way. They have been known to reduce sinus inflammation, combat the effects of allergies, and promote a healthy immune response.
At the same time, the scents have a direct effect on the olfactory epithelium, the cells the brain uses to process aromas. You’ve heard of the powerful effect smells have on memory. It turns out this is just the smallest part of the transformative effect of scents on the brain. The right oils relieve tension, help you sleep, bring instant invigoration and energy, and even help with hormone balance.
Here are the primary ways to use essential oils aromatically.
- Direct Inhalation: You can simply hold the bottle of oil up to your nose and breath in. When you first receive your oils or watch a loved one open their gift of oil, you will certainly want to open them to experience the powerful sensation for the first time.
- Indirect Inhalation: They can be added to rags or cotton balls to give them a therapeutic scent. A few drops of oil rubbed into a pillowcase can help you sleep more easily and usher in pleasant dreams.
- Steam: You an add a few drops of oil to hot water and then lean over and inhale the lovely steam that issues forth. This method is especially useful when you wish to treat unhappy sinuses.
- Homemade Perfume: Mix with pure alcohol or water for the most luxurious perfume you’ve ever smelled!
- Diffusers: The most practical way to inhale essential oils on a day-to-day basis is to use an essential oil diffuser. Diffusers use candles or ultrasonic waves to distribute the aromatic compounds into the air where their benefits can spread out to an entire room with only a few drops.
Another very popular way to use essential oils is to apply them directly to the body, where they are absorbed into the skin. Many essential oils are very good for the skin and other organs, and have different properties when applied than they do when inhaled. Even better, they are so strongly scented that any topical application is automatically an aromatic application as well!
It’s important to note that many essential oils are very strong and should be diluted before being applied. Still others can be applied directly. As always, look into the characteristics and properties of each specific essential oil before deciding how to use it.
Here are a few of the best topical uses.
- Add Oils to a Bath. A few drops of your favorite essential oil in a bath can transform it into an experience of both luxury and healing. It will create a more beautiful and powerful scent than even the most high-end of commercial bath products.
- Add to Skin Care Products. At the same time, you can use essential oils to enhance the aroma of your existing lotions and other bath and beauty products, while layering in many health benefits at the same time.
- Rub Them On The Skin. You can add a small amount of essential oil into neutral oil (carrier oil) such as jojoba or coconut, and rub it into your skin or that of a loved one during a massage or a back rub. A lovely and natural way to treat anxiety or muscle pain.
In addition to their many therapeutic uses, essential oils have many practical uses as well.
- Anti-Odor. You can add a few drops of your favorite oil to some cotton balls to create richly-scented anti-odor bombs that you can place in the bathroom, at the bottom of your trashcan, or anywhere else bad smells might rear their ugly head.
- Rinsing: Mix a few drops of oil in water and use it to rinse down surfaces and leave behind a refreshing scent.
- Cleaning. Many essential oils have nature anti-bacterial properties, and can be mixed with vinegar, baking soda, and water to create a variety of natural and non-toxic homemade cleaners. Unlike the unhealthy chemicals in commercial products, these substances provide therapeutic benefits to your whole family while you clean!
- Pest Control. Essential oils can be mixed with water into a spray that can repel bugs, spiders, and rodents without the harm to pets and children that come with commercial bug sprays.
Since there are so many essential oils with so many unique properties that can be blended together, the possibilities are endless!
Great Aromatherapy Gift Ideas
Now that you know all about the benefits and uses of these natural and magnificent products, here are a few of the best ways to give the gift of aromatherapy to the important people in your life.
A great way to introduce someone to the many benefits of aromatherapy is to give them an oil diffuser, especially one that comes with a variety of essential oils for them to experiment with. There are two major kinds of diffusers, and each has its own benefits.
Heat diffusers use gentle heat to dissipate the oils throughout the air and awaken their aromas. They usually feature small tea candles. To use a heat diffuser, you light the candle and place it inside, then add a few drops of oil to the receptacle above the candle. It’s that simple! Heat diffusers are often beautiful, hand crafted works made of soapstone, earthenware, or metal, and are an attractive addition to any room all on their own.
The other common variety of diffuser uses fast moving ultrasonic ways to break the oil into tiny particles and send it out into the air as a fine mist. This mist humidifies the air as well as distributing the scent, and gives off only the sound of gently trickling water. Ultrasonic diffusers have the advantage that they use no heat or chemicals to diffuse the oil, and so 100% of the integrity of the pure oil is maintained.
Essential Oil Packs
For the friend who is already interested in aromatherapy and may have their own diffuser, or the more casual acquaintance, essential oil sets make wonderful gifts. They are often packed by the specific type of therapeutic effect the oils contain, such as relaxation or improving overall mood. You can also purchase packs of “essential” essential oils that contain the most commonly used oils and cover a wide range of uses.
You might have someone on your gift-list who you know would appreciate the naturalistic health benefits of aromatherapy might not be ready to dive into the world of essential oils. Aromatherapy Candles are the perfect solution! These candles are usually made of natural, sustainable ingredients such as soybean wax or palm wax rather than paraffin derived from gasoline, and are scented with pure essential oils. When they are lit, they distribute the essential oils into the air, just like a diffuser!
Do you love making homemade gifts for the important people in your life? Essential oils are a wonderful ingredient in homemade bath salts, soaps, massage oils, and even deodorant! Give the gift of bath and beauty products free of toxins and harmful chemicals to the people you care about, all with the personal touch that only can give.
Do you have a friend who loves to make homemade gifts for others? Why not give them a pack of essential oils for the next holiday? Not only will they love it, you will be assured that the next gift they give to you will be wonderful as well.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein