Posts Tagged ‘aromatherapy’

Lavender: The World’s Smallest Medicine Chest

Written by Vivoderm Admin on . Posted in Ingredients

Detail of garden lavender flowers

Detail of garden lavender flowers

Lavender is a hardy, fragrant shrub that has narrow leaves and grey-blue flowers and can grow to a height of three feet. While the aroma of lavender can be found throughout the entire plant, essential oil can only be obtained from the flower. Originally grown in the mountains of Europe, in poor but well-drained soils, lavender is now grown worldwide. However, the primary aromatherapy producers are France, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Russia.

HISTORY

The word lavender often conjures wonderful images of purple colored fields in the south of France. Sometimes referred to as the Swiss army knife of herbs, lavender has been used throughout history. The Persians, Greeks, and Romans all used lavender to disinfect their sick rooms. The term lavender is derived from the Latin word ‘lavare,’which means to wash. With its many cleansing capabilities, lavender was the Romans’aromatic and medicinal choice for scenting their bathwater and making ointments to heal the body.

During the Great Plague, lavender was part of four thieves’ vinegar, a mixture that was said to be used with great success by grave robbers in order to avoid contracting the deadly disease. It also has a long history in the development of modern aromatherapy. Maurice Gattefosse’s observation of the dramatic healing effect of lavender oil when he burned his hand in a laboratory accident led him to research essential oils in Bunch of lavender on a white background.greater depth. Dr. Jean Valnet used lavender oil to treat serious burns and war injuries when he was a French army surgeon. The medicinal use of lavender, especially in essential oils, continues today with good reason.

There are many different varieties of lavender, some of which are considered more important because of their specific properties. The most common plants are spike lavender (Lavandula spica), French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), and true lavender or English lavender (Lavandula officinalis or Lavandula angustifolia).

CHEMISTRY

To truly understand lavender, its chemistry needs to be explored, including linalyl acetate – an ester that is anti-inflammatory – and linalool, an alcohol that gives lavender its antiseptic properties. When buying lavender for clinical uses, true lavender 40/42 is required, with the numbers representing the required minimum percentage of these two particular pieces of chemistry. In comparison, Bulgarian lavender has a gentler aroma and has linalyl acetate and linalool in percentages of 38/40. It is important to know the country of origin of any of the essential oils being used in the spa because its location of growth, climate, harvesting techniques, and distillation temperature all determine its chemistry and, therefore, its properties.

For example, a dry and hot summer will create a higher percentage of esters than a damp summer would. Furthermore, Alpine lavender is always higher in esters than plants grown at lower altitudes. Alpine lavender also has a more camphorous smell, but it is more useful for treating respiratory conditions. The chemistry of this oil is also unique in a different way.

It not only has the ability to have its own action enhanced by other oils, but, in turn, it also heightens the action of the oils it is mixed with. In the process of custom blending oils for a client, lavender should be considered in most blends for its ability to bring a blend of oils together in their action and aromatic odor.

USING LAVENDER IN THE SPA

Of all the essential oils used in clinical aromatherapy, lavender is undoubtedly the most versatile, with a wide range of properties from analgesic to antiseptic. It is an essential oil that should be in every first aid kit in every spa. As a sedative, lavender is very effective;
when used as an inhalation at night, it will aid in sleep. A small amount of lavender oil can be massaged onto the throat to relieve a cough. The sedative action of the oil will calm the cough. Lavender will also relieve many forms of headaches if massaged onto the temples. For best results, combine it with peppermint and eucalyptus in a cold pressed oil and gently massage it onto the temples and the back of the neck.Aromatherapy oil

Another popular use for lavender is in the relief of muscle and joint pain. Because it is considered an analgesic, it is best used in a massage treatment or in a bath and should be combined with other analgesic oils, such as rosemary, black pepper, clove, and peppermint. Muscle pain, menstrual pain, and arthritic pain can all benefit from the application of the oil, resulting in reduced inflammation and the calming of the central nervous system. As an antiseptic, it is also soothing and anti-inflammatory, thus making it very useful for many skin conditions. Its delicate aroma also lends itself to being blended in creams and lotions, usually in a dilution of one percent to two percent.

In the spa, lavender is very valuable in the treatment of acne. As an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, it not only inhibits the bacteria causing the infection, but also calms the redness associated with acne. Furthermore, it can be blended with ylang ylang to help reduce sebaceous flow. Lavender can also help in many cases of eczema and blends well with chamomile and peppermint to calm the skin. When using lavender for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, be sure to use it in low dilutions of less than one percent.

One of the most important properties of lavender is its ability to restore unbalanced states, whether of mind or body, to a place in which healing can occur. With summer just around the corner, consider lavender for its insecticidal properties. When combined with oils such as lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, and tea tree, it makes a great mosquito repellant, as well as a lotion for the treatment of insect bites. Lavender can also be used to alleviate sunburns and sunstrokes when prepared in a light lotion, cold compress, or cold gel.

It has been used for centuries to protect clothes and linens from moths. When combined with oils such as myrrh, lemongrass, and tea tree, lavender can be used as fungicidal for the treatment of athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.

MIND AND SPIRIT

Lavender flower and extractLavender oil is useful for relieving stress. Stress that becomes counterproductive on a physiological level involves either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic hyperfunctioning is triggered more by physicalstress while parasympathetic hyperfunctioning is caused more by emotional stress. Lavender oil will inhibit both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system functions. By selectively inhibiting either sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous excess, lavender can assist responses to unproductive stress of any kind.

Salvatore Battaglia quotes Peter Holmes as suggesting the use of lavender in acute crisis situations dominated by sudden, unpredictable, and spontaneous features. Holmes also states that lavender can promote personal renewal in every way by washing away past habits and opening clients up to new possibilities. (1) It helps by producing inner acceptance of a painful situation, easing fear, and creating the strength that allows people to move on.

Lavender has been the focus of many clinical trials and is being used in hospital wards as a massage oil, a vapor to help dispel anxiety, and an alternative to orthodox drugs to help patients sleep. Gabriel Mojay equates lavender with Virgo, the astrological sign. He speaks of the characteristics of Virgo to include oversensitivity and inhibition, using lavender to “calm the nervous anxiety that results in shyness and embarrassment.”(2)

Lavender should be used wisely because, while a small amount is calming, too much can be stimulating. Always remember that as popular as lavender is, it is not everyone’s favorite aromatic oil, but if it is blended well with other oils, clients will greatly benefit from its amazing, medicinal properties.

 

 

References
1 Battaglia, S. (2003). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Brisbane: International Centre
of Holistic Aromatherapy.
2 Mojay, G. (1999). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance
with Essential Oils. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Author Trish Green, director of sales and marketing for Eve Taylor North America, has been an educator for 40 years. She is an international speaker, educating aesthetician across the United States and Canada. As a CIDESCO aesthetician and a homeopath, she specializes in the wellness approach in her aesthetic practice, offering a unique approach to the treatment of clients in the spa.

Dermascope Magazine, July 2016

Use of Essential Oils for Enhancing the Mind and Body Health

Written by Author on . Posted in Herbal Treatments

In the past centuries, different cultures have used exotic herbal aromas in different ways and purposes. They have been used ceremoniously over the ages. However, now it has been discovered that these aroma oils (or essential oils) have significant health benefits. Aromatherapy has become quite popular recently. This method uses aromatic essential oils to enhance the emotional and physical well-being and healthy mind-set of an individual.

What to Expect When Receiving a Facial

Written by Author on . Posted in Uncategorized

By: Van Le

Proper skincare goes beyond wearing sunscreen in the morning and taking off all your makeup at night.  Your skin is constantly exposed to internal and external elements, and needs extra help in order maintain a healthy glow.  Getting facials can be one way to revamp your skin while pampering yourself.

Along with pure relaxation, facials provide not only beauty benefits but also health benefits.  According to New Life Journal’s article, “A facial, it’s more than meets the eye” by Julie Pagano, “the major health benefits of regular facials are regulation of the immune system, detoxification, reduction in fluid build-up, exfoliation, and stress relief. These benefits are achieved in a facial that incorporates lymphatic drainage, exfoliation treatments, acupressure, and aromatherapy.”
The health benefits are just the icing on the cake.  What really lures us in is the relaxation and pampering we receive when getting a facial.

Never had a facial before?  Consider this Facial 101.

Plan to arrive at the location five to ten minutes before your appointment.  Most places will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire about your skin type and skincare habits.  This would also be the right time to let the aesthetician be aware of any allergies you may have.   The spa will provide you with a terry top so that it is easier to massage your neck and shoulders.  You will also be given a headband to keep your hair out of the way.

The aesthetician will clean your face of any leftover makeup and analyze your skin under a magnifying glass light.  Some will use a steam mist to open your pores.  Depending on the type of facial you are getting, he/she will massage a wide variety of different cleansers, exfoliating creams, and masks on your face.  Some creams and masks will be left on your face for several minutes, which can be a very blissful and relaxing experience.

Most places will also extract blackheads and pimples, which can be a bit painful but not overwhelming.  (If you are afraid it will hurt, you should take a pain reliever before arriving at the spa).  Afterward, the aesthetician will continue to apply masks and creams, as well as massaging your neck and shoulders.  At the end of the facial, he/she will give you a breakdown of the products used during the session, make recommendations for at-home practices, and answer any questions you may have.

Essentially, all facials are designed to cleanse the deep pockets in your pores, however, depending on your specific needs, there are several types of facials available, including anti-aging, aromatherapy, and acne facials.  The cost and length of time can vary from $50-$250 and 30-90 minutes.

For the period in between visits, check the site archives for several at-home remedies available to help rejuvenate your skin and keep it looking healthy.

Facials are meant to help you relax and a great way to help relieve the stress created from between the time you put on sunscreen in the morning and the time you take your makeup off at night.

Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.

For the latest findings on natural skincare, you can also link to http://bestorganicnaturalskincare.com

Aromatherapy and essential oils

Written by Author on . Posted in Products

“Aromatherapy” basically is a holistic treatment using natural scents. It is primarily used to care for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.

The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work.

Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain caused by the side effects of the chemotherapy undergone by the cancer patients, and rehabilitation of cardiac patients. There is a growing body of scientific evidence for the many skin benefits of essential oils. Dr. Pratima Raichur, author of Absolute Beauty , (Harper Collins, 1996), points out that nearly all essential oils are anti-microbial and recommends them as part of her Ayurvedic approach to each skin condition, which, according to Ayurvedic principles, is determined by one’s specific body type, or “dosha.” For most oily or “Kapha” skin, she recommends lavender and clary sage to normalize oil production. For sensitive, “Pitta” skin, and acne rosacea,   sandalwood, rose and jasmine to calm the skin. For dry, “Vata” skin, neroli, sweet orange and geranium to balance and hydrate.

Essential oils stimulate the powerful sense of smell. Many know the odors we smell have a significant impact on how we feel. In dealing with patients who have lost the sense of smell, doctors have found that a life without fragrance can lead to high incidence of psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression. We have the capability to distinguish 10,000 different smells. It is believed that smells enter through cilia (the fine hairs lining the nose) to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls our moods, emotions, memory and learning.

Studies with brain wave frequency has shown that smelling lavender increases alpha waves in the back of the head, which are associated with relaxation. Fragrance of Jasmine increases beta waves in the front of the head, which are associated with a more alert state.
Scientific studies have also shown that essential oils contain chemical components that can exert specific effects on the mind and body. Their chemistry is complex, but generally includes alcohols, esters, ketones, aldehydes, and terpenes.

In addition to their balancing effects, using essential oils and products made from them instead of conventionally scented skin and bath products, will spare your skin the stress of the number one ranking skin irritant: synthetic fragrance. Essential oil blends for a variety of skin types that also include super-antioxidants and marine extracts in their formulas and several others all offer balancing oils that actually can detoxify, regenerate and balance oil production in the skin.