Essential oils (EOs), used in aromatherapy, are a wonderful tool for helping you relax.
EOs are highly concentrated aromatic oils extracted from plants. Unlike man-made perfume oils, they have healing properties, and unlike vegetable oils from nuts and seeds, they are not actually oily. They have been used for healing and body care for centuries.
Inexpensive EOs for Relaxation and Stress Relief
Some EOs are wildly expensive. However, there are many that are quite affordable. The following inexpensive EOs are very helpful for relaxing, calming, and relieving stress.
- Ylang ylang
- Clary Sage (Note: Do not use during pregnancy.)
How to Use Essential Oils
If you try only one EO, make it lavender. It has many uses, is affordable, and easy to find. Plus it’s one of the best oils for helping you relax.
EOs can be used in a number of ways, however you should never ingested them or take them orally.
The safest way to use them is simply to put a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale them, taking care not to hold the tissue or cotton ball to close to your nose, as they can be very strong!
If they are to be used on the skin, you should always dilute them in a carrier oil such as grapeseed, almond, or jojoba oil–a maximum of five drops per ounce of oil. (EOs go a long way!)
Aromatherapy Recipe for Relaxation
While each of the oils above can be used alone, you may find that you enjoy blending them as well. You can experiment to find a blend that works best to help you relax and manage stress. Here’s one idea.
Combine these EOs in a small glass container, and then use the blend in one of the ways described below.
* 4 drops lavender
* 2 drops geranium
* 2 drops ylang ylang
* 2 drops sweet orange (or tangerine)
How to Use the Blend
For massage, dilute 3-5 drops of the blend in an ounce of carrier oil such as grapeseed or jojoba oil.
For diffusion, use the blend undiluted in an electric nebulizer; for passive diffusion, place a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and sniff.
For the bath, use 1-4 drops of the blend mixed with 1/4-1/2 cup bath salts, or with 2 ounces of milk (not non-fat milk). A word of caution: especially without the milk, the EOs can sit on top of the water rather than mixing in, allowing them to make direct contact with your skin. Do a “patch test” before using them in the bath, to make sure that the oils don’t irritate your skin. (And believe me, they can!)
Always keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, have heart disease, epilepsy, high blood pressure or diabetes, seek the advice of a health professional before using essential oils.
Skin test all products before using. Put a small amount on the skin on your inner arm. Do not use if redness or irritation occurs.
Keep all EOs away from eyes and mucous membranes.
If skin redness, burning, itching or irritation occur, stop using the product immediately and consult your medical provider if self treatment is not effective. If irritation does occur, try to remove the EO with soap and water. If this doesn’t work, apply vegetable oil to the affected area and gently remove excess.
EOs are volatile and will not last forever. Store them in a cool, dry place away from light. Always cover them tightly after use.
Essential oils are good for you, and so is relaxation. So enjoy!