Summertime is a much anticipated time for many. The evenings begin to stretch out, bringing with them long and balmy evenings, the air is filled with the sweet scent of summer flowers, and everyone just seems a little pepper. If you’re new to aromatherapy, read on as we go through what it is and which essential oils can help you make the most of your summer self-care routine.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is an ancient, plant-centered method of healing. Using aromatic essential oils, the goal of aromatherapy is to improve physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Aromatherapy is practiced through smell and skin absorption. The primary ways aromatherapy is practiced include aromatic spritzers, bathing salts, body oils, diffusers, and lotions.
Which essential oils are best used during the summer months?
- Spearmint or peppermint oil: for many, this is the ultimate summer oil as it’s crisp and cooling. With its natural antiseptic and insecticide properties, mint oils are perfect for soothing bruises and scratches while keeping bugs away. You can dilute spearmint with coconut oil and apply it topically or mix it with water and spray it on your clothes and hair to keep pests at bay.
- Lavender oil: this is probably the best-known essential oil, and with good reason! Its scent is calming and relaxing, encouraging you to drift into an effortless sleep after a long day in the sun. Whether you apply it to your skin, add a few drops to your bath, diffuse it with water, or spray it on your pillow, lavender promises an evening of tranquility and comfort.
- Cardamom oil: while you might associate this herb with Indian cooking, cardamom is also extremely soothing when diffused or applied to the wrists and back of the neck. Cardamom oil is energizing and uplifting, making it the perfect scent if the hot weather has you flagging on a workday.
- Lemon oil: unsurprisingly, lemon oil is a popular scent during the summer months. Like spearmint oil, lemon oil acts as a natural bug repellent, and many people burn it when dining outdoors to ward off mosquitoes.
- Eucalyptus oil: this cooling compound is often found in after-sun products due to its antiseptic and healing properties. Its scent is invigorating and even medicinal, but its practical uses stretch to that of an insect repellant, wound disinfectant, mender of sore throats and coughs, breath freshener, and airway clearer for those with asthma or hay fever.
- Grapefruit oil: the fruit itself is often associated with summertime, but the sour fruit’s oil is often overlooked. It boasts anti-inflammatory benefits so you can apply it to sore muscles and joints. Like many other citrus fruit oils, grapefruit oil is also antibacterial, so you can dilute it and apply it to cuts and scratches. It’s also a simple and natural make-up remover when mixed with coconut oil and applied with some warm water.
- Geranium oil: this oil is particularly helpful if you find yourself struggling to sleep. Summer often brings with it changes in our natural circadian rhythm, so geranium oil may bring a welcome relief from this insomnia. It’s a natural mood booster and stress reliever, balancing hormones (so much so that it’s often used in skincare and candles targeted toward women).
If you live in Prescott, Arizona, and are curious to discover more about the benefits of aromatherapy, why not book an appointment at A Valley of Vitality? Our massage treatments are customized and incorporate the use of aromatherapy to suit each client’s unique needs so we can best help you focus on relaxation and pain relief.
To request an appointment, please visit our website.