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Aromatherapy   What is Aromatherapy?   Aromatherapy, sometimes also referred to as aromatic or scent medicine, is the art of healing the body using naturally distilled essences from different   parts of plant to improve and enhance your everyday emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. These essences are known as essential oils.   --------------------------------------------   What are essential oils?   These oils are the concentrated essences of the aromatic plant. They can be used as an analgesic (to alleviate pain), an anti-inflammatory (to reduce swelling), an anti-bacterial, an anti-fungal, an anti-viral (to prevent infections).   Since scent stimlates the part of the brain that effects your emotions, essential oils can also sooth and calm....or energize and arouse. These essential oils are highly concentrated and are measured in drops. They should be housed in dark colored air tight bottles in a cool area, out of direct light. Unless noted, they should not be applied directly to the skin, but instead placed in a carrier oil such as almond oil, so as to avoid irritation.   --------------------------------------------   How does aromatherapy work?   Our sense of smell is about 10,000 times stronger than our sense of taste, but it is truly underappreciated. The olfactory system of your brain has a memory of scents and the longest recall of all the senses. Just think... does the smell of baking bread bring back vivid memories of visits with a relative in your childhood.. ever catch a whiff of the cologne/perfume of an old lover? Memories that are attatched to sent are stronger!!!!   Scent also stimulates the limbic system of the brain which responds by releasing neuro-chemicals. Such as Seratonin and Endorphins. These chemicals calm us.. arouse us... alleviate discomfort.   --------------------------------------------   How can I use Essential Oils?  BATH:   Swish 10-12 drops of a single oil or a blend into your bath water. Close yr bathroom door to help retain all the scent, sink into yr bath inhale and relax......   INHALATION:   Place 3-5 drops of essential oil on a tissue. Breathe Deeply! DIFFUSION:   Replace those aeresol air fresheners. A few drops in a diffuser, you can buy electric devices, candle warmed, ceramic rings to place on lightbulbs, or just use a bowl of warm water. A few drops is all you need. COMPRESS:   Place 3-5 drops of essential oil into a basin of water. Dip a clean folded facecloth into the water, squeeze and gently apply. MASSAGE:   Blend 15 drops of essentail oil per ounce of carrier oil (Almond, Apricot, Jojoba) and indulge in the power of touch.   OTHER USES:   Facial steams, foot soaks, insect repellant, household cleaning.... and much  more... use your imagination.   * Always decrease the drop amount when using Lemon or Peppermint in any application.*   --------------------------------------------   Safety   Since essentail oils are 100 times more potent than their plant sources, care   must be taken in how and when they are used. Do not ingest oils by mouth   Keep out of eyes   Most essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin Research any essential oil in reference books, for specific precautions, warnings, etc. As   with any natural substance, the possibility exists for allergy... start with very small amounts and watch for reactions, then increase dosage, within the given guidelines   Pregnancy   The following oils should be avoided during pregnancy: basil, birch, cedar, clove bud, clary sage, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme   Skin Irritants   These oils may irritate the skin, and should be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin or used in a bath : basil, cinnamon, clove bud, fennel, Siberian fir, lemon, lemongrass, melissa, peppermint, thyme, tea tree, verbena   Photosensetivity   These oils can cause skin sensitivity in the presence of ultraviolet light and should NOT be used beofre exposure to direct sunlight: angelica, bergamot, mandarin, lemon, lime, petitgrain, St. John's Wort, verbena High Blood Pressure   The following oils should not be used by anyone with high blood pressure:hyssop, rosemary, sage, thyme   Skin Allergies   If one is suffering from dermatitis or other allergic skin conditions then these oils should be avoided: benzoin, rose geranium, jasmine, pine, ylang ylang   Toxic oils   These oils should be avoided: bitter almond, mugwort, mustard, pennyroyal, rue, sassafrass, southernwood, tansy, wintergreen   --------------------------------------------   The Essential Oils  Basil (P, SS)   Eases mental fatigue, stimulates poor memory and enhances alterness.... beneficial as a digestive aid.... relieves headache pain Bergamot (SS, S)   Great for nervous/depressed emotions.... antiseptic for skin conditions... regulates appetite...assists convalescence   Cedar, Himalayan (P, SS)   A very calming oil...eases bronchitis and respiratory ailments...combats cellulite   Chamomile, Roman   Aids skin conditions... eases migraines...relieves insomnia..soothing..anti-inflammatory use as a compress for ear-aches Clary Sage (P)   Avoid if epileptic avoid alcohol, it may exaggerate the effects Produces vivid dreams...eases migraines balances female hormones....eases menstrual discomfort/PMS/menopause... retards excessive perspiration Eucalyptus (P)   Stimulating...anti-viral.. eases respiratory ailments...soothes sore muscles and sunburn pain... anti-bacterial properties inhibit spread of infection when used in a diffuser   Frankincense   Meditative.. tightens and tones skin... anti-aging.. stimulates cell regeneration... sooths and calms nerves... treats urinary tract infection.. anti-bacterial   Geranium, Rose   Regenerates and rejujinates skin cells and tissue.. anti-cellulite....eases  stress.. balances hormone problems during menopause..relieves PMS  Ginger (SS)   Relief from arthritis pain, sprians, muscle aches and pains... keeps sport  muscles supple... eases motion sickness, hangovers, jet lag... sexual tonic  Grapefruit (S)   Reduces cellulite & water retention ... helps obesity.... relieves hot  flashes and PMS ...antidepressant   Jasmine Absolute (P)   Aphrodisiac.. long-lasting scent.. elevates spirits.. decreases  depression/nervous tension.. strengthens male reproductive system ... aids  impotency... physically/emotionally relaxing  Lavender   treats insomnia... anti-bacterial for skin rashes and burns.. eases pain of insect bites and stings... relieves headaches and migraines.. calming .. mild  enough for children  Lemon (S)   refreshing stimulant.. astringent and anti-septic.. tonic to the lymphatic and digestive systems... conditions skin and nails... anti-aging agent Lemongrass (SS)   energizes... great for exhaustion.. beneficial in treating digestion and stomach gas.. good for stimulating, deoderizing foot baths .. insect repellant  Neroli   anti-anxiety.. antidepressant... gentle sedative for insomnia... eases palpitaions...hypnotic/euphoric.. smooths skin, stretch marks and scar tissue.. anti wrinkle... anti-spasmotic   Orange (SS, S)   mild sedative for anxiety and depression... plumps up aging and dry skin..  calming to overcome sadness...   Patchouli   sensual rejuvinator.. prevents wrinles and chapped skin .. anti-aging..curbs  appetite..anti-bacterial   Peppermint (P, SS)   do not use before bedtime very awakening and stimulating... treats nasea and  indigestion... eases travel sickness   Rose Absolute   heart warming aphrodisiac... relieves sexual debilities.. frigidity/impotency.. treats anorexia.. elevating to the mind.. confidence improving.. creates a sense of peaceful well-being Rosemary   increases sensitivity...increases creativity.. lifts exhaustion... awakens  your heart   Sandalwood   aphrodisiac... aids awareness and meditation... peaceful and inspiring  Tea tree (SS)   strengthens the immune system... powerful anti-viral.. anti-bacterial..  anti-fungal   Vetiver   good for stress and nervous tension... calming and balancing... treats dry, mature, irritated skin... aids in rheumatism.. circulation tonic Ylang Ylang (SS)   most euphoric aphrodisiac..sexual energy .. relaxes body, mind and spirit... aniti-depressant... relieves palpitations and anxiety Key to symbols:   *   P - avoid during pregnancy   *   S - may iritate sun-exposed skin   *   SS - may irritate sensitive skin   --------------------------------------------   Magickal Uses for Aromatherapy  Courage:  cedar.... rose geranium  Harmony:  basil....  Healing:  eucalyptus... rosemary... sandalwood...  Love:  jasmine.... rose  Magnetic (attracts men):  ginger...jasmine.. lavender...neroli  Magnetic (attracts women):  patchouly... vetivert  Meditation:  jasmine...  Mental powers:  rosemary  Money:  bergamot... mint... patchouly  Peace:  rose  Power:  rosemary  Protection:  patchouly... rose geranium.. rosemary  Psychic power:  lemongrass.. sandalwood  Purification:  jasmine... lavendar....sandalwood  Sleep:  lavendar...  Spirituality:  sandalwood  Vitality:  rosemary   Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham