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Aromatherapy - Essential Oils Alternatives
Many people use pleasant aromas to make their environment more enjoyable. While certain types of essential oils can be quite expensive in their undiluted form, there are alternative ways of using aromatherapy which are very affordable. Aromatherapy techniques include long term additions, such as flowers or pot pourri, while vapourisers, aromatic candles, room sprays and incense (joss sticks), have always been a very popular way of infusing an environment with rich, potent scents.
The benefits of essential oils are commonly obtained by the process of evaporation, through the use of a candle or electronic vapouriser, or a homemade heater. This is where the essential oils are added to a solution of water and heated to create an aromatic environment. Although certain types of pure essential oils can be quite expensive to purchase, some are also available in a blended (diluted) form at a much cheaper cost. Keep in mind however, that as the purer forms of essential oils have a very high potency, only a few drops are needed at a time.
Fragrant plants will enhance any room. Depending upon your geographical area, season, and personal preference, fresh flowers such as Roses, Gardenia, Jasmine, Hyacinths, and Lilacs are examples of fresh flowers which will provide your environment with both colour and aroma. Cutting the ends of the stems of the flowers and changing the water daily, lengthens the life of most fresh flowers. I have also heard that sugar or aspirin also prolongs the life of fresh flowers, but I have not tried this method.
A bowl of dried flowers, dried herbs, pieces of aromatic wood, cloves and pine cones makes a great natural pot pourri. To make pot pourri with essential oils, a fixative such as orris root powder is used for preservation. Once the ingredients are mixed (the fixative, dried flowers or fruits), add some fragrant oils and seal in a glass container. Leave for two weeks in a cool dark place, mixing it daily for the first three days. After two weeks, bring it out and place in the desired container. Enjoy the aroma for months.
Incense or Joss sticks
Incense or Joss sticks infuse an environment with rich potent scents by releasing their fragrance when burned. The plants used to make incense are those whose fragrances tend to be strong. There are many forms of incense available, but they are all derived from dried aromatic herbs. Joss sticks are strips of incense which are usually held at an angle by a thin wooded strip. Incense is also moulded into cones or coils for easy use. Powdered incense can be sprinkled on hot charcoal blocks to release its scent.
Scented candles provide a subtle room fragrance and relaxing atmosphere. You can purchase scented candles from many different types of stores, or you can make an unscented candle into a scented candle with essential oils. To do this, light an unscented candle and leave it to burn until there is a small pool of melted wax around the wick. Ensure the volatile oil does not come into contact with a flame, by blowing out the candle before adding a few drops of essential oil to the melted wax. Leave the wax to completely harden before relighting.
Room sprays purchased from household stores are a quick fix for lingering odours and are very common in most households. However room sprays can also be made up to personal preference, and 100% naturally, by mixing 100ml of distilled water and 30ml of essential oil in a small pump spray bottle that has a nozzle. The 30ml of essential oil can be made up of one to three essential oil types together of your choice. Use10ml of each essential oil if you choose to combine three.
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