Aromatherapy: A beginner’s guide to aromatherapy oils

Fresh lavender flowers and lavender essential oil in a bottle for use in aromatherapy

If you’ve been thinking about getting started with aromatherapy, now is just about the perfect time to start! Why? Because we’re about to celebrate Aromatherapy Awareness Week! This annual celebration runs from the 6th to the 12th of June. It’s a superb opportunity to start discovering this wonderful health practice. So we thought we’d help you get on your way to building your very own at-home aromatherapy kit.

Concocted by the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA), this event aims to raise more recognition around the wonderful world of aromatherapy and it’s benefits. So, to get you started on your journey, we’ll answer two of the most common questions we get asked about aromatherapy.

Oil burner or diffuser?

Most people know that the most common, easiest way to use essential oils is adding them to either an oil burner or a diffuser. But which should you choose for your home? Let’s start by looking at the main differences.

A diffuser (also sometimes known as a ‘nebuliser’) helps to spritz a light mist of your chosen essential oil(s) around the room. Whereas an oil burner helps to heat the oils so that they evaporate and fill the area with their delicious scent. An oil burner is commonly a two-tier structure that houses a small candle (usually a tea light) underneath and a small bowl for the oils on top.

Some people believe that diffusers are preferable because they break down the molecules within the oils and make them smaller for dissipation. However, the molecular structure of your essential oils doesn’t actually change between diffusion and burning. So really, whether you choose to burn your oils or diffuse them just comes down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the flickering light of an oil burner (especially those with pretty cut-out details that can throw dancing shadow shows onto the walls). Others believe that essential oil diffusers are particularly good for dealing with airborne germs within modern homes.

But the choice, ultimately, is yours!

Which essential oils should I buy to get started with aromatherapy?

The second most common question. The real answer is – you can buy any essential oils that take your fancy! But there are certainly a few oils which consistently seem to be the most popular. So, here is our top five ‘essential’ essential oils that every home should have:

  1. Lavender essential oil: Considered by many to be the hero of essential oils. Lavender has a sweet, clean smell that’s often used to aid relaxation.
  2. Peppermint essential oil: Fresh, zingy and uplifting, peppermint is great for boosting your spirits.
  3. Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus is a great scent to use during meditation, yoga or any other mind-calming activities. It has a minty, sweet aroma.
  4. Lemon essential oil: Lemon is superb for making your own cleansing products because of its inherent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  5. Tea tree essential oil: Tea tree oil is a powerful tool to have in your kit. Its great antiseptic properties make it a popular choice among aromatherapy fans, old and new.

So when it comes to burning, diffusing and making practical use of your essential oils, your new hobby should be off to a flying start!