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Aromatherapy a Guide for Beginners

Aromatherapy has been used for centuries as a way to improve the quality of life for people. It is based on the theory that certain essential oils can help to improve moods, relieve stress, and promote relaxation. If you are new to aromatherapy, or are just looking for a refresher, this guide is for you.

To get started, you will need to gather some essential oils. There are many different types of oils, so it is important to choose ones that will work best for you. Some of the most common essential oils include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree.

Table Of Contents

What Is Aromatherapy? 5

What Are Essential Oils? 5

Aromatherapy History 7

Uses For Essential Oils 8

Health Benefits Of Aromatherapy 9

Improved Sleep Quality 9

Relaxation And Mood 9

Reduce Stress and Anxiety 9

Reduced Nausea And Improved Digestion 10

Improved Skin Health 10

Energy Boost 10

Improved Memory 10

Headaches 12

Improved Immune System 12

Pain Relief 12

What Are The Benefits Of Different Essential Oils 13

Lavender 13

Tea Tree 13

Ylang-Ylang 14

Lemon 14

Sandalwood 14

Jasmine 15

Rosemary 15

Peppermint 16

Chamomile 16

Cedarwood 16

Marjoram 18

How To Use And Apply Essential Oils 19

Different Types Of Aromatherapy Diffusers 21

Nebulizing Diffusers 21

Ultrasonic or Humidifying Diffusers 21

Evaporative Diffusers 22

Heat Diffusers 22

Key Tips For Essential Oils 23

Blending Essential Oils 23

Use High Quality Oils 23

Precautions 23

10 Dangerous Oils To Avoid 24

Final Thoughts 25

Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability of its contents or any omissions.

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils from plants for healing. There are numerous ways that you can use essential oils. Some of the most popular approaches are inhalation, massaging essential oils into the skin, and mixing them with face creams and body lotions.

By applying essential oils properly, you’ll experience a great alternative treatment for stress, fatigue, insomnia, and many other health problems. Aromatherapy is also well known for improving mood and providing wonderful healing scents that promote general wellness and wellbeing.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are oils extracted from various flowers, plants, herbs, and other botanical elements.

Each different oil has therapeutic value, and each extract has its yield of active ingredients, which determines what it is going to be used for and/or its healing properties.

For example, certain essential oils are used to enhance relaxation, and reduce stress, others can help alleviate nausea and boost energy, and there are even oils that can be used as antiseptics and in household cleaners.

Aromatherapy History

Although aromatherapy seems like it’s becoming more popular with each passing year, the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes dates back to 6,000 years ago. The ancient Romans, Indians, Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians all used them for hygienic, therapeutic, ritualistic, and spiritual purposes.

More than 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates noted that aromatic baths had a significant impact on the overall well-being of an individual. During the early 19th century, essential oils started being present in western medicine practices, while later on in the century, both German and French medical professors started using them to fight infected wounds.

However, it was not until 1928 that the actual science of aromatherapy was born. The discovery was made by a French chemist named René-Maurice Gattefossé when there was an explosion in his laboratory, and he had suffered a burn on his hand. In an attempt to heal it quickly, he applied lavender oil to his skin and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it worked.

Afterward, Gattefossé started reading about how certain essential oils were used to treat wounds, burns, gangrene, and skin infections during World War I. By the 1950s, a lot of beauticians, doctors, and massage therapists started recommending aromatherapy. However, it didn’t become that popular until the 1980s.

Nowadays, the use of therapeutic grade essential oils is commonplace. In addition, there are numerous candles, beauty products, and lotions sold as ‘aromatherapy’ in several stores. Note that these products won’t help you the way therapeutic-grade essential oils will because they mostly contain synthetic fragrances.

Uses For Essential Oils

The great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in several different ways:

Health and Wellness: Of course, there are many more ways you will benefit from using essential oils other than simply enjoying their smell. If you want to boost your energy, get better sleep, or overcome a bad mood, then aromatherapy is always a good idea.

Relaxation: If you often suffer from headaches or experience high levels of stress, then you need to start using essential oils as soon as possible. They will not only help keep you relaxed, but they will also help you get a higher quality of sleep.

To Enhance Mood: Sometimes it’s really hard to get out of a bad mood. However, the good news is that essential oils can help you when it comes to enhancing your mood. Some oils can inspire feelings of romance, relaxation, calm, peace, energy, and happiness, and release anger and frustration.

Home and Household: One of the most popular uses for aromatherapy is to clean and freshen the air in a household. Even if you live in an area that is surrounded by nature and constantly keeps your windows open, you can still benefit from using essential oils to create a more pleasant aura in your home. Oils can also be used for various household needs, such as in homemade cleaners or laundry.

Home Remedies: Various oils can be used as home remedies for minor conditions.

Beauty, Homemade Skin Care, and Hygiene Products: Many essential oils are used in creams, shampoos, and many different personal hygiene products. There are many recipes for all types of beauty purposes, and many take advantage of these to make homemade products.

Health Benefits Of Aromatherapy

Improved Sleep Quality

Many aromatherapy oils will help decrease stress levels and help you unwind, which will in turn provide you with improved sleep quality. Some of the best sleep-inducing essential oils include vetiver, rose, lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile.

Relaxation And Mood

Chamomile and lavender are wonderful scents that help induce the relaxation response in the body to reduce stress and its harmful effects. They are also wonderful mood enhancers that promote feelings of calm and peace. These oils can be enjoyed in an aromatherapy diffuser, in a hot bath, or by placing a few drops on your pillow before going to sleep.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Lavender, rose, vetiver, ylang-ylang, bergamot, chamomile marjoram, and frankincense are the best essential oils to reduce nervousness, anxiety, and stress. These are calm inspiring scents that are soothing, cheerful, and relaxing.

Reduced Nausea And Improved Digestion

The essential oils known for providing you with these health benefits include lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, turmeric, and chamomile. They can help alleviate indigestion, ulcer pain, morning sickness, and nausea.

Improved Skin Health

The best oil to treat skin problems is without doubt tea tree oil. It is noted for its antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Other essential oils that improve skin health are orange, juniper berry, frankincense, clary sage, lemon, and lavender. When spritzed to the skin or scalp, they can reduce dandruff, toe fungus, itching, cellulite, and rashes. These oils are also known for improving wound healing.

Energy Boost

Most of us depend on certain stimulants to provide us with energy throughout the day, such as coffee, or energy drinks. However, these stimulants can have an incredibly bad effect on our bodies. Although some choose to exercise and eat healthy to increase their energy levels, it wouldn’t hurt if you were to add some aromatherapy into the mix. Essential oils like cinnamon, tea tree, sage, angelica, rosemary, cardamom, and jasmine are known for increasing circulation and raising energy levels.

Improved Memory

As you grow older, you’ll be experiencing more and more problems with your memory. Even though you can’t fully combat the negative effects of aging, there are certain ways for you to slow down this process. Aromatherapy with sage oil is often used as an alternative treatment for dementia and it is also noted for helping anyone boost his or her memory capacity.


We all get headaches from time to time, and some suffer from the more intense migraines that can affect the quality of life and ruin a whole day. The most common essential oils used to reduce migraines and headaches are rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and sandalwood. These oils are usually mixed with almond, coconut, jojoba, or avocado oils before being applied to the skin and/or scalp.

Improved Immune System

Most medical professionals agree that prevention is a smart road to good health, which is a great reason to start using aromatherapy. Thanks to the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and oregano, they can help improve your immune system and protect you from numerous illnesses and infections.

Pain Relief

Pain relief is without a doubt one of the most useful health benefits of aromatherapy. The best essential oils for pain relief are eucalyptus, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.

Often, by simply inducing a relaxation response with the use of relaxation-promoting essential oils in a diffuser, such as lavender and chamomile you can help reduce the perception of pain.

These oils can be mixed with carrier oils for use in a massage. Another way to help with pain is to add a few drops of oil into a warm bath.

What Are The Benefits Of Different Essential Oils

There are many different flavors of essential oils on the market, each with its uses and benefits. Here are a few of the most popular.


It’s no wonder that René-Maurice Gattefossé founded the whole science of aromatherapy after identifying the healing effects of this particular essential oil. Lavender is mostly used for reducing stress levels and relaxation. However, it is also known for helping to fight against the flu, migraines, and colds.

To get a good night’s sleep, you can either add a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser or straight onto your pillow. If you want to relax before going to bed, add a few drops of lavender oil into your hot or warm bath.

Tea Tree

If you had to choose, just one essential oil from the numerous available, tea tree oil would be a great choice. Even though lavender is historically important, the tea tree is equally popular and important. It is best known for fighting infections and boosting the immune system.

However, it’s worth noting that there are numerous other healing properties of the tea tree. It heals skin conditions, cuts (avoid using it for serious cuts), and burns, it boosts the immune system, and treats cold sores, and muscle aches.

On top of that, it can also treat respiratory conditions. Even though this essential oil isn’t toxic, it shouldn’t be used around the nose and eyes, or internally. Tea Tree oil can be applied directly to the skin when blended with a carrier oil, added to bathwater, and/or inhaled.


Ylang-Ylang has a strong scent and is used for reducing stress, and also serves as an aphrodisiac. This essential oil can be blended with carrier oils and used for massages or added to a diffuser. If you’re planning a romantic bath with your significant other, you can also add a few drops into the bath.

Even though it is mostly used for calming purposes, this oil is also known for reducing high blood pressure, stimulating hair growth, fighting intestinal problems, reducing nausea, soothing headaches, and reducing the effects of certain skin conditions.


It may not surprise you that lemon oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market, considering the clean smell this fruit is known for.

This essential oil aids in digestion improves concentration and eases the symptoms of arthritis and acne. On top of that, it is also a natural immunity booster.

If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, you can simply add a few drops of lemon oil to your diffuser or vaporizer. If you want to boost your immune system, then you should include a few drops in your bathwater. Note that it’s not that wise to use lemon oil in the sun.


Due to its particularly woody fragrance, it’s incredibly easy to recognize the smell of sandalwood. This is one of the more expensive essential oils because it is extracted only when a tree reaches maturity. However, if you can afford it, then you should purchase it, as it offers numerous health benefits.

Sandalwood is best known for alleviating chest pain. It can also be used to relieve tension. It’s worth noting that sandalwood also has anti-inflammatory properties and that it hydrates the skin.


Considering how beautiful jasmine smells, it comes as no surprise that this essential oil is best known for its relaxing properties. It isn’t easy to make jasmine oil, which is the main reason why it’s one of the most expensive oils available.

Jasmine is used for everything from a home air freshener to helping ease mild depression. It can also be used to help with addiction issues and respiratory problems. Pregnant women should avoid using this essential oil.


If you’re feeling stressed out and you can’t seem to focus properly, then you should add a few drops of rosemary oil to your bathwater or diffuser to relax. This essential oil can enhance memory and improve overall brain performance. You can also use rosemary oil to soothe cramping muscles, migraines, and headaches. If you’re suffering from certain skin issues, you can benefit from using this essential oil.

Rosemary oil is noted for being one of the strongest essential oils, which is why pregnant women, as well as individuals with high blood pressure or epilepsy, should avoid using it.


Whenever you feel that you’re starting to lose focus, know that just a whiff of peppermint can get you back on track. There’s a good reason why most chewing gums have a peppermint flavor. Once you smell this essential oil, you will instantly be refreshed.

It is mostly used to enhance mental alertness, although it can also combat redness and irritation, and even aid in digestion. Be cautious when applying peppermint oil; you should keep it away from your eyes!


Drinking a cup of chamomile tea on a cold winter’s day is always relaxing. However, if you want to truly take some time to unwind, then you need to start using chamomile essential oil. This essential oil is used as an antidepressant, antiseptic, antibiotic, and mood lifter.

It can be used in a diffuser, steam therapy, or a few drops in a bath, on a pillow, or on a handkerchief placed in a purse or pocket. You can blend it with massage oils or mix it with certain creams and lotions. You shouldn’t use chamomile oil if you’re allergic to ragweed or in the first trimester of pregnancy, ask your doctor.


Cedarwood is an essential oil made from the Juniperus Virginiana tree that’s been around since the time of ancient Egyptians. This is believed to be one of the first essential oils ever extracted. You can mix Cedarwood oil with facial creams or massage oil, but you can also add a few drops to your diffuser or vaporizer.

Cedarwood is best known for helping alleviate anxiety and stress. However, it can also aid respiratory problems and ease urinary tract infections. Note that this oil is a skin irritant and so much be diluted with a carrier oil, like almond, jojoba, or avocado oil.


If you’re suffering from anxiety problems or dealing with hyperactivity issues, then you should add a few drops of marjoram oil to your vaporizer or diffuser. On top of reducing anxiety, this essential oil also helps combat depression and fatigue. Not to mention that it alleviates circulatory and respiratory issues as well.

How To Use And Apply Essential Oils

There are numerous methods of application when it comes to essential oils. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Mixing Essential Oils With Massage Oil: Massages are always relaxing and offer you numerous health benefits by helping you reduce stress. However, when you mix essential oils with massage oil, you will experience even more benefits. Massages with essential oils will help enhance your immune system, relax your nervous system, treat headaches and migraines, and offer pain relief.

Steam Inhalation: Steam inhalation is a really simple way to use aromatherapy. You place 3 to 7 drops of essential oil into boiling water, cover your head with a towel, close your eyes, and breathe through the nose. Steam inhalation will help enhance respiratory function.

Inhalation Methods: There are different ways to inhale essential oils. You can inhale directly from your palm, from the bottle, place a few drops on your pillow and inhale deeply before you fall asleep. You can also place a few drops on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale, take it with you in your purse or pocket. Inhalation will not only help improve respiratory function, but it will also help you relax and improve your mood.

Diffuser Inhalation: Diffusers are special machines that diffuse essential oils into the air for inhalation, there are different models available, and each uses a specific delivery method. Using diffusers will help improve your energy levels, increase alertness, improve your mood, boost sleep quality, and fill your home, office, or car with healing air-freshening aromas.

Add To Showers: Plug your drain, add a few drops of oil to the floor of your shower and create therapeutic steam that will envelop your whole body.

Facial Creams And Lotions: If you want to rejuvenate your skin, you can simply buy unscented body lotions and facial creams and mix them with essential oils. Mixing them will improve your skin tone, slow down the aging of the skin, reduce the visibility of scars, increase local circulation, and encourage hydration of the skin.

Baths: Adding 5 to 12 drops of essential oils into your bath can provide you with several health benefits. Most importantly, it will help reduce stress and anxiety, while also alleviating muscular tension and pain. Other health benefits of adding essential oils to your bath include increased local circulation, detoxification, and improved skin health.

Different Types Of Aromatherapy Diffusers

Nebulizing Diffusers

Nebulizing diffusers put out large quantities of essential oils into the air. Usually in this model, a bottle of oil is attached to the unit and so unfiltered and undiluted oil streams into the air. Because this type of diffusion allows whole oil to diffuse into the air, it is the best method of getting therapeutic use out of essential oils.

If you’re doing aromatherapy for therapeutic reasons, then you should probably go with this type of diffusion because it uses no water and no filtration and therefore puts the highest number of essential oils into the air.

Although these kinds of diffusers are generally considered the best choice, they do have a somewhat big downside. Namely, since they are so powerful and do a good job of saturating the air with essential oils, they are sometimes a bit on the noisy side and some models use up oil at a high rate. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be viewed as a problem. Nebulizers typically have built-in times so that the unit only runs for a set number of minutes per hour, which helps save oil without sacrificing its therapeutic value.

Ultrasonic or Humidifying Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers come with a tank that requires water and essential oil is then added to this tank of water. While the scent is still evident, the use of water means that much less therapeutic oil reaches the air and your nose and body. Typically, these models are less expensive than nebulizing diffusers.

Evaporative Diffusers

Evaporative diffusers use a filter pad where drops of oil are placed, and a built-in fan blows onto the pad causing the oil to evaporate and blow into the air.

Even though evaporative diffusers are generally considered to be a good and somewhat quiet way to get essential oils into the air in your home, they do have a downside. Namely, when an essential oil begins to evaporate, the lighter components of it will evaporate first, only to be followed by the heavier components later. Therefore, the air in your home will be filled with lighter components in the beginning and with heavier components later on. This means that you may lose some of the therapeutic properties the whole oil possesses.

These models typically require the use of more oil to get a similar effect as compared to nebulizing diffusers and also cost more in maintenance since the filters need to be replaced.

Heat Diffusers

These models use heat instead of air to diffuse oils into the air. Heat diffusers are popular because they are very economical and they’re completely silent when working.

However, they share the same downside as evaporative diffusers, namely lighter components of essential oils evaporate before the heavier ones. Nevertheless, if the noise a diffuser makes is something that bothers you, and you want a completely silent and very economical unit, then these models are with looking into.

Key Tips For Essential Oils

Blending Essential Oils

Blending oils is a great way to gain various therapeutic benefits from a single oil. You can make your blends or buy ready-made blends that target specific needs.

Use High Quality Oils

Use only 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils, from reputable brands. Therapeutic grade oils are your best option, unlike lower quality products that use fillers that diminish the therapeutic value that is in pure oils. As far as quality goes, due diligence and careful research pay off.


Essential oils come in many flavors and are incredibly strong substances, so they must be mixed with a carrier oil (in most cases coconut, almond, or jojoba oil) before they are applied to the skin to avoid irritation.

The safety of ingesting essential oils depends on the flavor of the oil, again due diligence and careful research pays off in this case, so always check before using any oil internally.

The same goes if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before using essential oils. Cinnamon, rosemary, clove, and clary sage should be avoided by pregnant women as they can cause contractions.

10 Dangerous Oils To Avoid

Some oils are not appropriate for consumption or topical use and can be dangerous in these instances because they can be poisonous and cause skin irritations.

  • Bitter Almond
  • Calamus
  • Yellow Camphor
  • Savin
  • Southernwood
  • Tansy
  • Mugwort
  • Mustard
  • Rue
  • Horseradish

Final Thoughts

People have been using essential oils for more than 6,000 years, and aromatherapy is only getting more popular, so it’s safe to say that it’s a proven way to increase the quality of life and promote healing and general wellness.

Some of the most notable health benefits you can experience by using essential oils include improved sleep quality, positive mood, happiness, improved memory, pain relief, improved skin health, increased energy levels, and a general feeling of wellness and wellbeing.

Even if you’re only looking for a way to relax after a stressful day, then aromatherapy will certainly do the trick!

Get started today!