Smell is the only one of the five senses that goes straight into the ’reptilian brain,’ which is the oldest part of the brain and deals with how danger and stress are perceived. Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine practice that uses oils for physical and mental wellness.
1. Lavender is perfect for relaxation techniques. It relieves tension and pain. It has long been used for insomniacs as it enhances blood circulation, relaxes muscles and induces sleep. If you feel tense or just can’t fall into a deep sleep, rub bit of lavender oil on your temples.
2. Peppermint does wonders for the body. Menthol, peppermint’s active ingredient, has calming and soothing effects. For a headache; simply rub a drop of the peppermint oil on the temples and a bit on the forehead. This will also help symptoms of the common cold by facilitating breathing.
3. Lime oil and juice are a major source of Vitamin C; meaning that it’s great for the skin! Drop some of the essential oil into a bottle of massage oil or even into a hot bath. It reduces body odour and keeps skin shining, while its high acidity also scrubs away dead cells; leaving skin super smooth.
4. Eucalyptus works to relieve respiratory problems related to cold, cough, running nose and even bronchitis. Mix eucalyptus oil and warm water for a health gargle; it will immediately alleviate sore throats.
5. Patchouli is great for skincare. Add a single drop to your moisturiser and witness how patchouli helps acne and oily skin. The same applies to hair; so put a few drops of patchouli in your shampoo if you have naturally oily hair. Other than its property benefits, patchouli has a great earthy smell that many people enjoy wearing as perfume or burning as a home scent.
6. Ylang Ylang is known for its effect to calm and relax. So, if you need a de-stresser; turn to Ylang Ylang. Physically, it lowers your blood pressure and slows an overworked heart. Victims of depression can greatly benefit from this oil. It also works as an aphrodisiac; so if you’re looking to create that certain kind of mood, you know where to turn to!
7. Tea Tree Oil is great for treating fungus and bacteria. Thus, it helps skin problems such as blisters, sunburn and warts when a few drops are added to your lotion or sunscreen. Tea Tree Oil also helps acne; so add a bit to your daily moisturiser to treat oily skin. Lastly, it can also be used as a mouthwash and has effectively healed oral inflections of mouth and throat.
8. Lemon Grass is best known for being a great insect and particularly mosquito repellent. And since it has a nice citrus scent, why not use it for perfume on a night that you know you’re going to be outside on and you don’t want to be attacked by mosquitoes? Lemon grass also does great things for the skin, including dealing with excessive perspiration. By helping to keep perspiration at bay and working as an insect repellent, it’s especially perfect for warm climates like Cairo’s.
9. Vanilla works as an antioxidant, antidepressant and aphrodisiac. As an antioxidant, vanilla boosts the immune system, thereby helping the body fight against diseases. It also works as an anti-depressant and an aphrodisiac; instantly improving moods and helping to stimulate the libido. It has also been said to help women that suffer from irregular menstrual cycles.
10. Jasmine Oil is known for its soothing and aphrodisiac properties. The essential oil can be used as a perfume or can be added to a lotion with little or no scent. Jasmine is the ultimate mood-enhancer with its ability to relax the body. It can also help ease mental tension or headaches by simple applying the oil to the head or even burning the oil like incense.
Warning: Essential oils can cause skin irritation if applied directly to skin. Carrier oils for mixing can be added to dilute the oils. Pregnant women should ask their doctors before regular use of essential oils.