Today, aromatherapy is one of the most popular complementary medicines. It offers a wide range of effective treatments for a number of illnesses.
One study found that the essential oil jasmine can lift mood and counteract symptoms of depression, while South Korean research found that lavender had a beneficial effect on insomnia and depression.
It has also been proven that aromatherapy can aid sleep; one study found that essential oils placed nightly on towels around the pillows of patients suffering with dementia resulted in significantly longer sleep time, increased sustained sleep and reduced early morning waking.
10 healing natural ingredients and how they could help you
Well known for its calming and soothing properties, lavender is said to improve stress, aid sleep and help to heal burns, cuts, stings and other wounds.
This is often used to treat issues related to digestion, respiratory concerns and stress. It is also reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties and can boost the immune system.
Citrus essential oils are said to stimulate circulation and lymph drainage. Lemon is also thought to have purifying, cleansing and uplifting properties on the mind and body.
Rosemary essential oil is said to aid digestion, and improve circulation and cognitive function and memory - so it will help with kids that are home-schooling too.
Antiseptic and soothing, sandalwood softens and protects the skin. It is also said that it can help users achieve greater clarity and calm.
Anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, tea tree oil can be used to treat infections, cuts insect bites and even dandruff. It is also recognised as a powerful acne treatment.
This is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic oil, used for coughs and colds and to aid the lymphatic system. It also refreshes and calms the skin, and clears the nose.
This is known for its ability to help unwind, encouraging soothing and comforting emotions. Gentler than tea tree oil, it is said to promote smooth and healthy skin.
This oil helps to calm the nervous system, lowering blood pressure and breathing rates. It is also said to be a natural pain killer and can help relieve headaches, back pain and muscle cramps.
This is another powerful oil, which is said to help with digestive issues and tight muscles. It also helps improve mental focus and boosts energy.
Avoid when pregnant
While some essential oils may be safe to use when pregnant, others can cause complications, so always check with a doctor before using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.
Use a carrier oil
The safest and most effective way to use essential oils in the bath is to mix them with a carrier oil.
Popular examples of carrier oils include almond oil and jojoba oil, which will allow the essential oils to disperse well and have the added benefit of moisturising and conditioning the skin.