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Essential oils are the heart of aromatherapy. Essential or essence oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essence of plants. These oils are extracted from various parts of a plant, including the stem, leaf, flower, bark, fruits and even the root.
The oils are separated from a plant using  several methods. The most common method of extracting these oils is thru a process called distillation. The oil evaporates quickly into the air. This is why they are considered to be volatile. 
Not only are aromatherapy essential oils fragrant, many have medicinal properties. Most are antiseptic and are able to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Tea tree oil is likely the most common known ant-bacterial oil. Essential oils may also reduce inflammation and help wounds heal faster.

Essential Oils for Stress Relief

Anxiety: Lavender, Geranium, Palma rosa, Jonquil, bergamot, Chamomile, Basil, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium Jasmine, Juniper, Melissa, Neroli, Ylang ylang

Depression/Guilt: Jasmine, Geranium, Lavender, Bergamot, Neroli, Nutmeg, Clary sage, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Ylang ylang, Rose, Vetiver

Helplessness: Grapefruit, Rosemary, Lavender, Pettigraine, Neroli

Insomnia/Restlessness: Marjoram, Lemon, Vetiver, Valerian, Rose, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Neroli, Ylang ylang

Irritability/Nervous Tension: Sandalwood, Pettigraine, Clary sage, Lavender, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Palma rosa, Vetiver, Jasmine, Ylang ylang

Tiredness/Exhaustion: Peppermint, Rosemary, Jasmine, Basil, Cinnamon, Lemon, Clary sage, Lavender, Nutmeg, Sandalwood, Rose, Vetiver, Geranium

OILS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY
• Cinnamon
• Cedar
• Basil
• Rosemary
• Myrrh
• Jasmine
• Peppermint

No essential oils in the first four months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and wish to use essential oils, always consult a professional practitioner of aromatherapy in regards to safety during pregnancy.
Oils should never be taken internally.
Diabetics should not use essential oils.

Articles of Interest... Aromatherapy and the Immune System

         
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