For centuries, traditional medical treatments have turned to products of nature to find modes of healing for various health conditions. Today, these traditional remedies are now classified under the realm of complementary and alternative medicine or CAM. Among the most widely used forms of CAM today is aromatherapy, where essential oils are used as part of healing treatments.
Essential oils are extracted from different parts of the plant, from the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. There are various methods employed in extraction, those which were being done by perfumers of ancient Egypt, Greece, China and now countries like France and Germany. Oils are obtained through maceration, grinding, distillation, and enfleurage, which makes use of animal fat to extract the scents and oils from plants.
For centuries, people have enjoyed the benefits brought by aromatherapy and essential oils. These have been used in perfumery, deodorizing linens, homes, and in massage and other medical applications. Also, essential oils have been widely used in skin care, particularly because of active compounds found in plant extracts.
To keep your pores clean and to detoxify your skin, you can add lemon oil, from the species Citrus limon, to your facial cream or rub it onto your face with a cotton ball. Lemon is said to be an effective astringent and skin tonic. At the same time, since lemon oil contains vitamin C, it is an ideal antioxidant that protects your skin against oxidative stress.
Patchouli is a spicy and woody essential oil that is known to be an antiseptic. Patchouli is known under the species name Pogostemon cabin, and is an herbaceous plant that is related to mint, sage, and basil. It can also be massaged onto the skin as an anti-cellulite agent and because of its relaxing and moisturizing properties. If your skin is cracked or is dry from over exposure to the sun, then patchouli is an essential oil you can add.
For acne-prone skin, the essential oil of choice is tea tree oil. Many critics claimed that this helped reduce inflammation and redness in pimples, and also worked well as a skin toner. Aside from clearing off pimples, tea tree oil contains antimicrobial compounds to prevent bacterial infection. Aside from tea tree oil, sandalwood oil, from the species Santalum, is also known to be an effective pimple fighter, because of anti-inflammatory properties. Sandalwood oil has been included in the manufacture of soaps and creams to help clear off blemishes and blackheads.
For women who want to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, clary-sage oil can be added to any moisturizing cream. Clary-sage comes from the plant species Salvia sclarea, also a member of the mint family, and the extracts have a spicy scent. On another note, geranium oils have also been found to work well against fine lines and wrinkles. Geranium, from the species Pelargonium, also has moisturizing effects, which is why it is great for dry or chapped skin. This oil may be added along with a toner and applied onto the skin.