Do you ever find yourself going about your day when, suddenly, you smell something that brings you back to a certain moment or person? Maybe a certain cologne reminds you of your first boyfriend, or perhaps a whiff of roses brings you back to when you were a little girl playing the in garden. Smells can affect your mood and behaviour, and that’s the science behind aromatherapy, and essential oils. Here is a list of oils you can try, and what they can be used for.
Rosemary oil helps you stay alert. It aids with memory and studies have shown that those who smell rosemary before a test actually perform better. Focus is also greatly increased with the use of rosemary oil. Basically what we’re saying is that you need Rosemary oil in your life if you’re a student.
Any acne-sufferer has heard of tea tree oil. Other than being good for acne, the oil has a wide variety of other uses. Anti-bacterial, it has been shown to help treat cold sores, athlete’s foot, itching, insect bites, sinus infections, and a laundry list of other ailments. While it is often stated that tea tree can be applied to the skin undiluted, but this is really not the case. Tea tree oil, like any other essential oil, should never be applied directly to the skin unless diluted with a carrier oil like castor or almond oil.
Lavender always gets a mention on any essential oils list you can find, and there’s good reason for that. Lavender is anti-bacterial, soothing, calming, and a sexual stimulant. It’s great for relaxation as it increases alpha waves in the back of your brain which calms your thoughts and allows you to relax. Lavender can also be used as a healing agent for minor cuts and scrapes and is usually safe for use on children. According to some researchers, lavender also works as an arousal enhancer for men when mixed with Pumpkin Spice. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your pillow before you go to sleep, or rub a diluted mixture into your temples if you’re having a seriously stressful afternoon.
Bergamot is fresh, citrusy, and a little bit floral. Bergamot is highly effective in beating SAD (seasonal affective disorder, aka the winter blues) as well as year-round depression. Safety with bergamot oil is important as it is phototoxic. What this means is that your skin has a higher chance of burning if it is exposed to direct sunlight 24 hours after application of the oil. It’s usually enough to just take the cap off the bottle of bergamot oil and to smell it for a few seconds directly.
Peppermint, like rosemary, helps with keeping you alert. Peppermint is also considered to be an aphrodisiac, a stimulant, and an endurance booster. Some studies have shown that smelling peppermint before working out actually increases your stamina, helping you go harder, longer. Jasmine oil has a similar effect, also great to keep you going during a tough workout.
Essential oils can also cause harm, so do some research before trying any of these, or other oils. Use as little oil as possible, and do a small skin patch test before using a new oil for the first time. Any time you use any essential oil, make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil first “ olive and almond oils are recommended.