Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and anecdotal evidence of their benefits abounds. But more recently, researchers have investigated essential oils more rigorously and found these ancient remedies to be surprisingly effective for certain conditions—so much so that aromatherapy treatments are even showing up in some hospitals. “We use essential oils for reduction of anxiety for both patients and their families, and also as part of our nonpharmacological pain-management strategy,” says Donna Audia, RN, a holistic nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Pain has physical and emotional components, and the sense of smell has a strong emotional component.”
Getting Started with Essential Oils
To bring these healing therapies home, experiment with the DIY blends here. A couple of quick pointers before you start:
- Store your solutions in dark or tinted glass bottles, if possible, to keep the essential oils at their freshest and most potent (natural light can degrade components).
- If you need to use a plastic bottle (in the shower, for example, with body wash or shampoo containing essential oils), make sure the bottle is BPA free to prevent that toxin from contaminating your blend.