Empowerment Through Self Awareness
Because essential oils can influence our emotions, aromatherapy can help to soothe irritable nerves and generally encourage a better state of mind. It has been discovered that relaxing oils such as clary sage, clove, lavender, patchouli and vetiver work by stimulating brain chemicals that naturally help induce relaxation and sleep. This action makes these oils so valuable in relieving long-term conditions such as stress, tension and poor sleep.
Known for its uplifting and mood-lightening attributes, clary sage is also widely used by those wishing to be calm. Its affects have been described as relaxing, warming and euphoric. Noted expert Robert Tisserand has studied clary sage for its mood-enhancing properties during massage.
Clove is much more than a popular cooking spice. It is a favorite for its ability to stimulate sluggish circulation, promote digestion and aid metabolism. Clove oil contains ingredients that help stabilize blood circulation and regulate body temperature. Clove oil, applied outwardly, has stimulating effects on the skin, producing heat and redness.  It is also a powerful antioxidant.
Lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities, especially at bedtime.
Patchouli oil has an easily recognizable rich musky-sweet fragrance. It can have a grounding, balancing effect on the emotions while providing excellent mood support. Patchouli is also widely used for wounds and tissue repair, as well as in skin care preparations for these same properties.
Vetiver is noted for its rich, exotic, and complex aroma. Used extensively in perfumes as a base note and fixative, vetiver’s woody, earthy scent complements many other essential oils. Vetiver also has many therapeutic uses, including as an antioxidant and to bring clarity to the mind. Vetiver essential oil is said to be deeply relaxing and comforting.
So how can you benefit from the mood enhancing properties of one or more of these essential oils? Add a few drops of a therapeutic grade oil to Epsom Salts, place them in a soothing bath and have a relaxing soak. Or put three or four drops on a cotton ball, tissue or handkerchief then inhale. For broader affect, put a few drops in a pot of water on the stove, and then turn on the heat until it gently steams. Do not leave the pot unattended.
A word of caution: while most herbs have little or no harmful side effects, some herbs may cause slightly undesirable reactions in some persons. Therefore, try only one herb at a time, beginning in small doses and wait and watch for side effects. If there are none, increase the use cautiously. Also, not all herbal applications are effective in every case in every person. And in no case should these be used as substitutes for professional medical attention in emergencies or serious chronic diseases.
Many companies produce essential oils, so how do you know which one will work best for you? Health Fairs are a great place to compare oils, prices and the producer’s philosophies. Tester bottles at health food stores can also give you an idea of what an oil smells like, but keep in mind these bottles may have been open for some time, and may have been subjected to extreme temperatures. A fresh bottle may smell differently. Any product marked “therapeutic grade essential oil” meets the standards of Association French Normalization Organization Regulation and adopted by the International Standards Organization. Find the scent that is most relaxing to you and enjoy!