How does aromatherapy work?
“Pure essential oils are made up of hundreds of natural compounds that are extracted from specific plant parts,” says Aromatherapy Expert and author of A Scented Life Pat Princi-Jones. “These properties, when inhaled or massaged onto the body, are capable of calming the central nervous system, to help manage stress or help induce sleep. On the other hand, there are several essential oils that promote wakefulness and elevate mood.”
Which essential oils promote relaxation?
Research shows essential oils such as Lavender and Chamomile, have high levels of the compound linalool which is renowned for its sedative and calming effect on the central nervous system. Citrus such as Mandarin can also promote a sense of calm, while Pure Essential Oils such as Ylang ylang and Bergamot are renowned for their uplifting properties.
“Lavender essential oil is particularly effective in improving sleep,” says sleep expert Dr. Carmel, Harrington. “Apart from its positive psychological effects, the inhaled lavender volatile compounds reduce activity in the amygdala (our emotional centre) calming and reducing feelings of stress allowing us to, more easily, fall asleep and stay asleep.”
There’s an essential oil remedy for every type of mood: Trouble relaxing, stress, negative thoughts, low energy - there is an essential oil that helps with all. Each essential oil contains more than 200 individual molecules, which offer many health, healing and regeneration benefits.
How do you use them?
Topically, essential oils can be added to a carrier oil and used as perfume, massage oil, cream, or salves. Adding an essential oil to your bath is a wonderful way to relax at the end of a busy day.
Popular essential oils and what they do
Use it for: Stress, mild anxiety, low energy
Why it works: This lovely smelling essential oil is calming yet also uplifting to the central nervous system. Produced from the peel of the aromatic citrus fruit, it is traditionally used to relieve irritability and reduce feelings of stress. As it offers mood enhancing properties, it promotes feelings of happiness and the flow of energy – counteracting feelings of mild anxiety and stress.
Use it for: Mood swings, hormonal imbalance, mild anxiety, stress
Why it works: The classic relaxant and regulator of those dreaded mood swings. Traditionally used to help restore hormonal imbalances, this sweet Pure Essential Oil offers plenty of benefits, including relief of mild anxiety and stress related symptoms. Use this oil to help transform negative thoughts into positive ones, and to relieve mood fluctuations that arise during premenstrual cycle and menopause.
Use it for: Relaxation
Why it works: Well known for its uplifting and aphrodisiac qualities, its powerful properties work to relax the mind, body and soul by slowing down the heart rate, allowing one to truly relax.
Use it for: low mood, tiredness
Why it works: This oil promotes wakefulness and helps to boost moods while increasing brain wave activity and the autonomic nervous system.
Use it for: Frayed nerves, low mood, nervous tension
Why it works: An all-round healer and powerful restorative for general wellbeing. Frankincense is a renowned mood booster, relieving nervous tension and relieves nervous tension and calming frayed nerves.
Use it for: Insomnia, stress, nervous tension, anger
Why it works: Neroli is one of mother nature’s most powerful natural ingredients, helping to relieve insomnia, stress and nervous tension. Acting as a natural sedative, it reduces feelings of anger and irritability. Neroli works to enhance and lift mood through its balancing and settling properties.
Use it for: focus, low mood
Why it works: Not just beneficial for its detoxifying properties, this Pure Essential Oil can also help to elevate mood. Its fresh and citrusy scent is ideal for encouraging an emotional boost when feeling a little flat, and its invigorating elements help to encourage focus.
Use it for: focus, motivation, tiredness
Why it works: This awakening Pure Essential Oil provides a reviving experience for those in need of a pick me up. Known to improve focus by removing ‘brain fog’ that often happens during times of stress or after a long day, the menthol that is found in Peppermint works to improve concentration and motivation, by alleviating indications of fatigue.
Use it for: tension, relaxation
Why it works: Renowned for its grounding effect on both the mind and emotional state, its natural earthy scent is both calming and assists with tension. The result is feeling relaxed and open.
Use it for: sleep, stress, mild anxiety
Why it works: One of the most popular Pure Essential Oils used to relieve stress and mild anxiety. Known to lower blood pressure and heart rate, it works to restore the nervous system, calm nerves, and improve the quality of sleep.
Oil brands to check out