Aromatherapy Recipes & Uses
Lavender is probably the most versatile essential oil available and therefore one of the absolute “essentials”. Fortunately, it’s also a fairly inexpensive oil and can be obtained for a good price in a pure form. Lavender is one of the very few oils that can be applied directly to skin (for adults and older children) without dilution, but it is also nice in a vaporizer, in a bath, in a spritzer, in a foot bath, through steam inhalation or dry inhalation. It’s the catch-all remedy and is safe even for the youngest family members.
Headaches: Mix 5-6 drops with cool water. Dip clean cotton cloth (a facecloth works fabulously) into solution, wring gently and use as a compress across forehead or around neck. Refresh the cloth in the solution as required. This works even better if you have the opportunity to lay down in a dark place while you apply your compress.
Diaper Wipes: Combine ¼ Cup of Aloe Gel, 1 Cup Water, 3 drops lavender essential oil, 2 drops tea tree oil. Mix well and pour over homemade wipes. Reusable flannel cloths are a roll of paper towel cut in half work well. This is an antibacterial, soothing solution without the harsh chemicals and alcohol often found in commercial wipes.
Burns: Apply lavender oil directly to burn area. If burn is severe, contact professional advice immediately.
Linen Spray: Lavender has been used in many societies for its ability to help people relax and unwind at day’s end. Add 10-15 drops to ½ Cup of Water in a small spritz bottle. Spray sheets, pillowcases or bedding with a light mist just before crawling in for the night. Alternatively, try 1-2 drops underneath a pillow. This is great for children’s rooms as well as adults and provides an incredibly relaxing bedtime smell.
Insect Bites: Apply 1 drop directly to insect stings or bites or place 2-3 drops on end of q-tip and dab bite to ease pain and discomfort. If you know or suspect the insect was poisonous, be sure to contact professional help immediately.
Depression or Anxiety: Place 5-6 drops on cotton or linen handkerchief and inhale as needed. This is a wonderfully mobile little trick as it can be tucked into a pocket or purse and is only ever a reach away. For children, this can be a great way to connect to parents when separation is required for a small stretch of time. Let them know that anytime they feel overwhelmed or in need of connection, they can take a whiff of the little cloth and know that you are thinking of them too. (Try this for first days of school, etc.)
Room Freshener: Use a diffuser, a spritzer or place a few drops on the vacuum bag before vacuuming to freshen a stale room or to help clear the air after an illness. Dried lavender used to be burnt in hospital wards to clean the air as it contains antiseptic properties and is known for it’s balancing effects. It is also well-known for it’s uplifting and soothing qualities and could help purify the air after an unpleasant discussion or argument.
Synthetic lemon scent is often added to chemical cleansers to denote freshness and cleanliness. The real lemon essential oil is a fabulous addition to homemade, non-toxic cleaners as it is an antiseptic and rejuvenating disinfectant (and much better than all that synthetic stuff). Lemon is also known for its ability to stimulate the immune system and neutralize acid (great for heartburn!). All citrus oils are photosensitive which means you need to avoid sunlight if you apply it to your skin – even in a diluted form. To prolong the life of lemon essential oil, store it in the fridge.
Dishwashing: Add 4-6 drops of lemon essential oil to a sink full of soapy water to do dishes. It adds a fabulous scent which makes washing dishes a little sunnier for the dishes, your hands and your mind.
Insect Bites: Like lavender, lemon essential oil can be applied directly to insect bites to relieve itching and reduce or avoid swelling. Be sure to avoid sunlight for at least 6 hours after applying though.
Room Freshener: Use lemon essential oil in a diffuser or spritzer to purify the air. Lemon blends well with lavender for a fresh, light air cleanser.