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March 2011

Keep Your Favorite Aromatherapy Blends Handy For the Moment You Need Them

Essential Oils, Bottles and Aromatherapy SuppliesFrom time to time, I'm asked how I use essential oils on a daily or weekly basis. It varies so much as aromatherapy has become an integral part of my lifestyle. No week is usually the same, but I'd say this past week has been a little more unique than most. It was one of those weeks that we all have them from time to time: the type of week where one thing after another happens and you just have to laugh. (Mine actually started off last weekend with my furnace blower motor failing and finding all sorts of fun ways to keep warm until the part could be obtained on Monday.) For the rest of the week aromatherapy-wise, I was both prepared and unprepared...

(1) About a week ago, I was in a rush while using my curling iron. Once in awhile, when I set the iron down quickly, it will do a 180 and the hot barrel will be where I expect the handle to be. In my haste, I grabbed the hot barrel, wrapped my hand around it an lifted it up before I realized I grabbed the wrong end. Ouch. The inside of my hand, most particularly the pads of my fingers were rather fried. I was thankful that I keep a bottle of pre-diluted Lavender Essential Oil (in jojoba) in my medicine cabinet. As soon as I realized that I burned my hand, I applied the lavender oil then and throughout the day. My fingertips felt like they had become brittle pieces of paper, and the gently moisturizing lavender+jojoba blend seemed to make a difference in soothing the burns. Within a day, I had nearly forgotten that I had burned them. (Sidenote: René-Maurice Gattefossé is the French chemist that first coined the term aromatherapy. He first became interested in the therapeutic use of essential oils after severely burning his arm. By reflex, he plunged his burned arm into the nearest liquid, and that happened to be a large container of Lavender Essential Oil. The burn he suffered healed quickly and left no scar.)

(2) When I opened my front door last Wednesday, a little stray dog ran into my house. He seemed cold, was dirty, super scared, was a biter and wouldn't stop barking, so it was quite an interesting and funny little predicament at the time. Afterwards, I called my own dog's vet for advice on anything I might not think of in properly cleaning the areas that this dog had been around and to see if she recommended whether I get his vaccinations done now instead of when they're due in May. It gave me greater piece of mind to add a couple drops of Thyme Essential Oil to the cleaning solution that I was using. Sidenote: Pets, especially cats are much more sensitive to essential oils than are humans. I kept my own dog and cat out of the living room for a day.

(3) It is so easy for me to normally whip up what I need right when I need it. But not this time... By Thursday, I wound up pulling a muscle in my lower back. I use a shea butter + ginger + peppermint blend that I make as a muscle rub and keep that on hand. It's wonderful, but I also like to use an anti-inflammatory blend as well. Helichrysum Essential Oil is my anti-inflammatory oil of choice when something like this happens. But I discovered that I didn't have any Helichrysum already diluted. It's super easy to make a 2% dilution (See AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils), but when you're in pain and eager for relief, creating even the simplest of blends seems much more difficult than it is. I also like to take hot baths with Dead Sea or Epsom salts when something like this happens. Again, I was unprepared as I store most of my salts in a huge airtight container that's in a normally hard to reach area of my home (and harder to reach when your back is ouching).

These certainly aren't the only instances in which I used essential oils during the week, but they're amongst the more unusual. My advice from this past week: Learn from my preparedness as well as my unpreparedness... keep your favorite blends and other products ready and within easy reach for any moment that they're needed.

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