has been around for centuries! Using herbs, flowers, essential oils,
and resins is how many early medicines where made. Frankincense and Myrrh,
two of the three gifts given by the Magi, are known world wide for their
healing and antiseptic qualities.
essential oils, herbs and resins have recently had a huge impact on the
modern world. It's almost like we have rediscovered some of the
tried and true "home remedies" and folk crafts of yesteryear.
interest in aromatherapy and herbs actually goes back to my
Great-grandmother. It was said around "these parts" that
she was a great "shaman". She used plants and herbs as
rubs, poultices and mini-steam saunas to help cure "what ever
ailed ya". She was frequently called upon more often that the town
article is going to examine the role aromatherapy, in particular essential
oils and herbs, can play in assisting you to cope with the ups and downs
of Bipolar Disorder.
recommend that you purchase books on the topic and several oils to
practice with. Oils are available at most health and "natural"
stores, or sometimes in the mall.
The following books are ones that I have used in my research:
"The Essential Aromatherapy Book" by Carole McGilvery and Jimi
Reed; "The Complete Book of Chinese Healing & Health"
by Daniel Reid; "The Complete Book of Essential Oils &
Aromatherapy" by Valerie Ann Worwood; and "The Healing Energy of
Your Hands" by Michael Bradford.
Talk Oils and Herbs
Essential oils are
sometimes very expensive and other times very affordable. It all
depends on the processing, how much material or herbs it takes to
manufacture the oil, and how rare the plant or source material is.
True essential oils are made in a variety of ways, but, be sure to buy
pure oils. Though they are more pricey, oils are measured by drops
when used, so it is worth the "extra".
Oils can be used
in a variety of ways: body and facial oils, room sprays, storage areas
like closets and shoe racks, compresses, wood fires, scented candles,
pomanders, perfumes, foot soaks, hand soaks, shower and baths, saunas both
large and small, inhalation therapy, therapeutic massage, dropped on
pillows and carried on handkerchiefs or cotton balls in your pocket, atomizers
and most essential oils are NOT for internal consumption, however, if you
use the edible oils they can be added to teas, baking etc. 1
One of my favorite
ways to use oils is on scent rings. They can be bought at department
stores and fit on the light bulbs of your lamps. Anytime you turn
the lights on a wonderful aroma fills the room. Another favorite is
to coat white navy beans in essential oils and soak overnight. Put them
on a flat baking pan in the oven for 3
hours on 200 degrees F to dry. After that I use tube socks and stuff them
full of the beans. This can be put either in the freezer or the
microwave and used as either a cold pack or hot pack. When heated
they release the wonderful aroma you started with. Great for a visit
from your monthly "cousin" when heated or muscle strains.
Cold, I use on the back of my neck or forehead to relieve headaches.
Try mixing oil and
herb combinations. Remember, when using oils a few drops will do the
trick. There is a huge market right now on bath and lotion
products. They include oils and scents that help relax or rejuvenate
you. One I highly recommend is Johnson's Bedtime bath. You'll
find this in the baby section of your favorite department store or
grocery. I bought this for my grandbabies, but found I liked
the scent so much I use it myself. It contains lavender and
chamomile. They also have other scented baths that help with
stuffiness from cold etc. There are other brands available in your
drug stores and malls. I find, however, the Johnson's is very affordable.
Many of the herbs
mentioned below are commonly available at your local garden shop.
Grow them both outside and indoors for year round benefits. You can
eat them, use them in your cooking, or just crush some of the leaves in
your hands. One of the things I do is grow an indoor herb
garden in my kitchen. I not only have fresh herbs for cooking, but
often will just visit my little indoor garden and crush some of the leaves
in my hands and breathe in deeply. It's amazing how much better just
one deep breath can improve my outlook on life!
I am not recommending that you use oils
and herbs in place of your medication or current treatment. I only
suggest these alternatives in CONJUNCTION with your current
treatments. Before you take ANYTHING internally, please check with
your psychiatrist, therapist and pharmacist. Most PURE essential
oils do not cause an allergic reaction, but, to be sure place a small
amount of the oil on your inner arm near your wrist. If redness
develops, DO NOT use this oil on your skin in lotions, baths or oil rubs.
That Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Geranium,
Hyssop, Jasmine, Jonquil, Juniper, Lavender,
Marjoram, Melissa, Narcissus, Neroli, Orange,
Osmanthus, Palma Rosa, Patchouli, Peppermint,
Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Clary Sage,
Sandalwood, Thyme, Ylang-Ylang.
That Help Depression
Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Geranium,
Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Neroli,
Orange, Patchouli, Rose, Rosemary, Sage,
Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang.
Help With Mental Fatigue
Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Lemon Grass, Melissa,
Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Sage, Clary Sage, Thyme. 1
Help With Memory
Black Pepper, Cardamon, Geranium, Ginger,
Lavender, Rose, Rosemary. 2
That Help Insomnia
Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cypress, Frankincense,
Hops, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Neroli,
Nutmeg, Roman, Rose, Clary Sage, Sandalwood,
Valerian, Vetiver. 1,
That Help with PMS
Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Fennel,
Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Jonquil,
Juniper, Lavender, Melissa, Narcissus Neroli,
Nutmeg, Roman, Rose, Rose Bulgar, Rose Maroc,
Rosemary, Sage, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Thyme. 1,
Help With Sensuality
Cinnamon, Geranium, Jasmine, Patchouli,
Rose, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang. 1
Help With Post-Natal Depression
Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium,
Grapefruit, Immortelle, Mandarin,
Narcissus Neroli, Rose. 2
Essential Oil Links
a few...here are many more...do a web search for Essential Oils)
Essential Aromatherapy Book, 1995 Anness Publishing Limited, London,
Carole McGilvery and Jimi Reed.
2. The Complete
Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, 1991 New World Library,
San Rafael, CA, Valerie Ann Worwood.