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This is a basic list of “must have” essential oils that cover a wide range of applications.

Lavender,( lavandula angustofolia) or vera, steam distilled, often referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of aromatherapy. It is most recognized for its stress relieving effects.

Geranium (pelargonium graveolens), steam distilled- a wonderful oil that is great to help increase circulation and is effective for female hormonal balance.

Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) steam distilled- Is a known decongestant and expectorant, it helps open up respiratory passages and has a refreshing invigorating scent.

Peppermint (mentha piperita) steam distilled – It’s strong and minty scent is indicative of its properties. Stimulates alertness without make you jittery, when diluted and applied to temples it helps tension headaches and the same diluted preparation when massaged over your stomach helps with stomach aches.

Rosemary (rosmarinus officionalis) steam distilled- Rosemary is for remembrance, it stimulates memory , it’s refreshing minty scent also helps stimulate circulation and when used in a massage lotion or oil is a great way to refresh tired muscles that need to keep going.

Orange (citrus aurantum) cold pressed- sweet orange oil, most citrus’s are uplifting and mood brightening. Refreshing scent of freshly peeled orange will put a smile on most people. Care must be taken whenever using citrus oils because they are photosensitizing. When you are exposed to citrus oils your skin is more susceptible to sunburn. It can be used as an accent in a blend and stay out of direct sunlight for the next two hours. Sweet Orange oil is one of the least expensive essential oils but also is one of the most volatile. Every time you open your bottle it will tend to vaporize so I often recommend purchasing it in a size that you will use within 3 months. This is also true of other citrus oils.

Sandalwood (santalum album) steam distilled- considered a sacred oil by most not only because it is obtained from the heartwood of mature sandalwood trees, but because its woody aroma is subtle and all encompassing at the same time. For centuries used in India for religious ceremonies it has become a western favorite. Sandalwood oil from Mysore, India is the most prized and most expensive. Great care is being taken now to create an eco friendly sustainable harvest for sandalwood trees.

Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) steam distilled, – is often used to help stress, frazzled nerves and anxiety. It is also has anti inflammatory properties so is useful for injuries or arthritis. There is another variety of Chamomile known as German Chamomile, do not confuse the two. They come from different botanical species and their properties and applications differ. It is a clear pale yellow essential oil with a sweet floral scent much like the tea.

Melaleuca-Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) steam distilled – the Aborigines of Australia have for centuries used Tea Tree for many medicinal purposes. Studies have found it to have very strong antiviral and antifungal properties. You can use it just about everything. I find it most helpful in skin related applications from heat rash to toe nail fungus.

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Not all methods of extraction produce a safe and therapeutic essential oil. The first two methods, steam distillation and cold pressed (expressed) are used to extract most of the essential oils used by most aromatherapy practitioners. Within both of these methods there are techniques and procedures that are particular to the extraction of the essential oils being harvested. Solvent extraction is used in obtaining natural essences which are used like essential oils but the name of end product is an ‘absolute’. Absolutes are used in aromatherapy, in my experience, for aesthetic therapies, since absolutes are primarily floral. Some flowers rendered as ‘absolutes’ are; Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Vanilla. The only solvent acceptable for aromatherapy would be a grain alcohol.

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Beware of big marketing trappings. Do the research behind the hype of any company that sells essential oils, it is important to the country of origin, the method of extraction and the botanical name of the oil you are purchasing. Prices should not all be the same if the oils are truly pure and undiluted, then the cost of sweet orange oil is significantly less than the cost of lavender oils which is also significantly less than that of steam distilled Rose oil.

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Since there is no regulatory agency overseeing the production of essential oils, the term “therapeutic grade” has now become a huge marketing message for some suppliers, much like the terms “no fat” and “100% natural” on food labels. All oils go through a distillation process before they’re packaged for consumers. Some processes and manufacturers dilute or adulterate the oils. Always read the ingredients on the label. Here in the united states it’s naha, national association of holistic aromatherapy. They help all levels of aromatherapy enthusiasts from the at home practitioner to the professional.

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Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects our muscles, bones, and internal organs. Most importantly, it’s the first line of defense for external factors. Our skin “breathes” and absorbs a great portion of what it is exposed to and it expels wastes by sweating. Over the years, studies have shown that our environment has a great impact on our health and well-being. This includes the ingredients in our personal care products. We may not be able to control everything in our environment but we can certainly make informed choices with the foods we eat and the products we use in our daily routines.

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Let’s take a closer look at what an essential oil actually is. The term ‘essential oil’ can be a bit confusing once you start to research aromatherapy, so I hope to clarify that definition before we start adding more terms. Essential oils got their name from two basic observations. First they were believed to be essential to the life of the plant. Second, they didn’t mix with water, so therefore it must be an oil. Right? Well, almost. It is hydrophobic (doesn’t mix with water) but it is not a true oil–it doesn’t contain any fat. This is important to know because later on we will be talking more about true oils for massage and as “carriers”. Aromatherapy is practiced using essential oils and absolutes via diffusion or topical application. All essential oil applications require a “carrier” system or ingredient. Diffusion is the application of essential oils through inhalation. No physical contact is made with the essential oils. The “carrier” in this case is simply air. There are different types of diffusers that can be used. Which is best is a matter of personal preference and the quality of the equipment you choose. For basic uses, a cotton ball or tissue is enough to hold a drop or two of essential oil to inhale from time to time. Topical applications (applying directly to the skin) require the most attention to choosing, whether your are purchasing a product that contains essential oils or one that you want to add essential oils to. The product itself would be considered the “carrier”. A carrier can be water, a vegetable oil ( which are used for massage), a lotion, or any other personal care product. I’ll cover oils in depth in the next section.

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As a massage therapist you’ve embarked upon a career of well-being. Your initial studies have opened up a world with many different paths and modalities, one of which is the use of aromatherapy for your practice. The term has been used and misused over the years that those of us who do practice aromatherapy feel compelled to share some basic information. This guide will help you navigate through the jungle of information that you encounter when searching for essential oils and aromatherapy products. Essential oils and aromatherapy. The two go hand in hand, but why? Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic applications that can impact or influence emotion, physical well-being and aesthetic well-being. The term aromatherapy is fairly new and was coined in the early 1900s by rené-maurice gattefossé, a french perfumery chemist. Gattefossé is credited with initiating a scientific approach to the study of essential oils for therapeutic purposes. He may have given it a name, but the practice of using essential oils for medicinal application has been going on for centuries. Over the years, of course, science progressed and medicines became more pharmaceutical. In modern times essential oils have been used primarily by the perfume and flavor industries. Because of this fact it is important to know where and how the essential oils you use are produced. The business of perfumes and flavorings is huge, and though scent and taste are very important to these companies the method of extraction that is most profitable for them rarely renders an aroma therapeutic grade essential oil. In this guide we will discuss definitions and terms, the importance of quality, common myths about essential oils, applications and consumer education tips.

Alchemista Aromatherapy Sanctuary

6955 North Oracle Road,

Tucson, AZ 85704

Phone. 520-867-6501

Email. info@alchemistallc.com