Aromatherapy: Smelling Your Way to a Happy New Year

Aromatherapy is a great way to mood-alter safely and quickly. This time of year it’s especially good for uplifting any sun-drought related sadness and warding off colds. Many practitioners say the oils can also clear your energy body and remind you of your connection to the divine.

To be your own mad aromatherapy scientist, you want to start with pure essential oils –– anything synthetic may just give you a headache. Organic and wildcrafted are even better. The best oils I know are made by Young Living Oils, which you can find online. They’re definitely pricier than most, but they last almost forever and are incredibly potent. (It’s an oddly structured multi-level marketing website but it’s possible, if a little complicated, to sign up to just buy the products. It’s worth the extra hassle).

You can use essential oils in three basic ways: inhalation through a diffuser (you can even get one for your car), skin application (dilute with natural oils like almond or jojoba), or in rare circumstances, imbibing (consult a professional before taking that route). You can start slowly, using some lavender on your wrists at bedtime to unwind. Peppermint is good for digestion, lemon helps uplift.

Below, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy offers its “top” essential oils and their effects on mood and health. Not proven by the FDA and all that, but quite lovely nonetheless (I’ve edited descriptions for brevity).

  1. Eucalyptus: Helps treat respiratory problems, boost the immune system, and relieve muscle tension.
  2. Ylang Ylang: Aids relaxation and can reduce muscle tension. Good antidepressant.
  3. Geranium: Balances hormones in women, good for balancing the skin. Can be both relaxing and uplifting, as well as antidepressant.
  4. Peppermint: Good for headaches, muscle aches, and digestive disorders.
  5. Lavender: Relaxing, and also useful in treating wounds, burns, and skin care.
  6. Lemon: Uplifting, yet relaxing. Helpful in treating wounds, infections, plus housecleaning and deodorizing.
  7. Clary Sage: Natural painkiller––good for muscular aches and pains. Can help with insomnia. Also balances hormones.
  8. Tea Tree: Good for treating all sorts of fungal infections including vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm. Also boosts the immune system.
  9. Roman Chamomile: Can ease sleeplessness, anxiety, muscle aches and tension. Useful in treating wounds and infection.
  10. Rosemary: Stimulating and uplifting. Very good for muscle aches and tension. Stimulating to the digestive system.

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