Make Your Own Aromatherapy Oils
Aromatherapy can be used to help alleviate stress, to reduce headaches, tension, anxiety, and to cure a host of other health concerns. The right scent can make you relax and feel sleepy or wake you up and feel energized, and can calm you when you are anxious. Using aromatherapy oils for moisturizing can give you soft skin and keep a scent with you for hours, and you can use them around the house when cleaning to give your home a lovely fragrance. You can also put aromatherapy oils in the bath for relaxation, and this works for children who have a hard time sleeping. A warm bath with aromatherapy oils before bedtime can calm them down and make them drowsy.
Most aromatherapy oils are used by extracting the essential oils from plants and flowers and mixing this with body oils, so you can do this on your own at home with a few simple tools. This will allow you to have aromatherapy oils anytime and to make them more affordably than if you purchased them in the store.
You first need some clean, sterilized bottles or jars in which you will keep your aromatherapy oils. You can recycle jelly jars or mayonnaise jars or even baby food jars, but they need to be cleaned with hot, soapy water and then boiled for twenty minutes.
Next you will need one cup of standard plant materials, and it is good to start out with something that has a strong scent such as rosemary or lavender. You will also need a supply of the oil you will be using; this may be baby oil for your skin or cooking oil.
First put the plant extracts in the jar. Push down the leaves and stems so they fit. Next pour your oil over the plant extracts and close the lid tightly on the jar. Place the jar in a sunny spot such as a windowsill and allow it to sit undisturbed for at least two days. You will notice the plant extracts start to turn brown as the oils from the plants start to mix with the oil you pour in, so the plants begin to dry up. After two days open the lid and see if the aromatherapy oil is pungent enough for you. If not, strain the oil from the jar and add more plant extracts, then pour the oil back over the plant extracts and close the lid, letting it sit for another two days.
You can use this process to create any number of aromatic oils for your own use. Try a simple lavender or rose extract with baby oil for your skin, or add cooking oil to rosemary, thyme or basil. This can give an extra kick to your Italian dishes and cooking.