There are three ways oils enter the body:
- Direct application to the Skin
- Prescribed Oral Use
Direct Application and Massage
Blends and Essential Oils can be applied directly onto the skin for therapeutic benefits. The chemistry of the individual oils is absorbed through the permeable layers of the skin into the blood stream. This happens because therapeutic grade oils are small enough to penetrate through the pores and hair follicles on the skin, thus enabling them to be absorbed by our largest organ, the skin. The level and intensity of absorption is different for every person depending on health, skin type and dilution i.e you would not put pure essential oils on an open wound.
When massaging an area of the body you increase the circulation to an area which increases absorption. The heat created helps to transport the oils faster. Therefore, applying body blends after your shower when the pores are open, is a good option.
Hydrosols 'spray' oils onto the skin for absorption. Hydrosols are a much diluted form of essential oils and are great for wound care, facial sprays and gargling in the mouth for sore throats and infections of the teeth.
For centuries people have been inhaling oils through the nose or mouth thanks to the Olfactory System. This is all the physical organs and cells that contribute to the sense of smell. When you breathe in, the molecules in the air mix and match with the olfactory organs and send precise immediate messages to the brain. These messages affect the Limbic System, some call this the Emotional Brain.
Inhaling Our Oils can bring healing to body, mind and spirit. The complex relationship of limbic system with brain affects a person's heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, adrenalin, hormonal balance and memory. The molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also transported through the body to the lungs and effect the state of the respiratory system.
Prescribed Oral Use (recommended only by qualified Aromatherapists in NZ)
Internal Use of Essential Oils
You must seek professional advice if considering oral use. Essential Oils are not like homeopathics or herbal medicine. Essential Oils are 100% stronger then the plant. Low grade Essential Oils can cause liver and kidney toxicity and have life threatening side effects. There are highly qualified practitioners locally, nationally and internationally, specifically trained in Medical Aromatherapy who can advise on internal use. This level of prescription is currently under investigation in New Zealand. Please contact Aromaflex for more information. View www.aromatherapy.org.nz to learn more
Top notes give a quick boost, float on top of water, are light herbs and fruits. They are fast acting, the quickest to evaporate,most stimulating and uplifting to the mind and body. Usually they last 3-4 hours vapourising and 24 hours in the body’s system. Try Lemon, Eucalyptus, Bergamot and Orange.
Middle notes work on the body’s systems. They also work to help a person emotionally. Stronger herbs and flowers. These are moderately volatile and primarily affect the functions of the body such as digestion,menstruation or metabolism. Usually last for a day vapourising and 3-4 days in the body's system. Try Roman Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender and Rosemary.
Base notes lengthen the life of the blend,sink in water and the largest molecule in size. Generally woods, resins and delicate flowers fall into this category. They are the slowest to evaporate and the most sedating and relaxing, lasting for up to one week in the body. Try Frankincense, Rose, Sandalwood and Jasmine.
How to Make a hot or cold compress
- Add 4-10 drops of essential oils to a bowl of 100 m/4ozl hot or cold water
- Mix the water and essential oils together
- Place the cloth in the water
- Let it soak up some of the water
- Wring out the cloth
- Place the cloth on the affected area
- Cover with glad wrap, then a towel or blanket or bandage
- Leave the compress on for at least two hours
USE COLD for recent injuries where they may be swelling, before the area can handle any massage for bruises and reducing pain and congestion in internal organs
USE HOT for older injuries, stiffness of joints or tension in muscles, toothache, menstrual cramps, cystitis, chronic pains
SKIN insomnia, acne, eczema, computer overuse or weariness