The history of aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing and cosmetic purposes. The history of aromatherapy can be drawn from many places, such as the Egyptians who developed the first distillation machines to obtain oils. The use of aromatic oils as mood enhancers is thought to have originated in China, and the Greeks contributed to modern aromatherapy, especially as it was used for healing purposes and a highly valued practice. In fact, in Greek mythology it is believed that Gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance. Medical benefits of aromatherapy were not proven until World War II, where a French surgeon, Jean Valnet used essential oils to aid in healing soldiers’ wounds.
So, how can aromatherapy help teens? It can actually help in many of the challenges heightened during adolescence. Essential oil properties vary from oil to oil, something that can make the process of looking to buy any intimidating, but the ones I will be detailing in this article are especially useful for dealing with stress, mood swings, concentration, and have a multitude of other uses.
Uses: Rosemary is the perfect oil for pre-exam stress, this is because it has not only been shown to improve both concentration levels and information recall, but it can also reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, rosemary can lower levels of cortisol, a hormone which can cause insomnia and mood swings, this means that rosemary can boost your mood, making you feel more energetic, more alert, and happier. Ideal mental conditions for exam season!
How to Use: One way you can apply rosemary is by applying a diluted oil to your skin.
Uses: Peppermint is perfect for those mornings when you feel tired and unmotivated as it is a natural stimulant of which helps concentration, boosts energy, and overall mental performance. Both exhaustion and irritability are lessened by peppermint and it can also help to alleviate stress.
How to Use: Peppermint can be applied from an oil and rubbed into the skin; if you are using it specifically for stress then it can be rubbed into the temple.
Uses: When going through a stressful time in your life, lavender can assist in making it just that bit easier to manage. Perhaps best known for its calming properties, lavender indeed promotes calmness and induces sleep due to being a sedative. Additionally, lavender has been shown to have uplifting effects, this leads to an overall result of you feeling well-rested and in a good mood!
How to Use: Lavender is relatively easy to access in many different forms. In oil form it can be bought at local shops or ordered online (websites listed at the end), in its raw form you can even grow your own lavender relatively easily from the seed. If grown, then one way to use lavender is by cutting off a sprig and placing it under your pillow.
Uses: Another very useful oil for relaxation is clary sage, which has been shown to reduce dizziness, anxiety, and irritability. Some studies even show that it can help with blocked creativity and confusion.
How to Use: Clary sage is best used as an oil mixed with another substance such as coconut oil and then massaged into the skin. Another way to use it , especially for relaxation, is to put three to five drops into bathwater, this also has cosmetic benefits from the oil on your skin and is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the relaxation through the steam produced.
Overall, aromatherapy has amazing benefits for everyone; it is easily accessible through online shops, high street shops and even your own garden! As a method of self-care, aromatherapy is easy to do and the cosmetic and mental gains are abundant. It can help you generally feel like your best self!
Useful websites for buying essential oils: