Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery explains what it is and the many benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is an increasingly popular topic these days – people want to know what it is and how to use those precious little oils to enhance their lives. When it comes to essential oil use, it just takes some basic knowledge and a bit of creativity. Once you get started, you will find it is quite easy to blend your own products. Simply speaking, aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for health.

Although we put a lot of emphasis on the word “aroma”, the true action of the essential oils go beyond our sense of smell. We can certainly inhale aromas for relaxation or energy, but we can also create our own skin care solutions, clean our homes and soothe sore muscles. We are limited only by our imaginations. Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts. We obtain essential oils through a few different extraction methods and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose while citrus oils come from the rind.

Essential oils must be treated with care. On average, they are 75 – 100 times more powerful than dried herbs. General recommendations for essential oil use stresses the importance of dilution – adding the essential oil to a carrier substance that makes it less powerful. The key is arming yourself with a good, reliable resource to reference. Ready to create your own essential oil blends? Try this good recipe for a beginner to make your own window cleaner – you can find more like this at Freshening

Window Cleaner Ingredients

4 tablespoons vinegar

12 drops lemon essential oil

Directions Mix vinegar and essential oil in a 22- to 32-ounce spray bottle. Fill with water and use as a window cleaner. Tip: Shake bottle before spraying.