When the summer heat strikes, it can be a bit of a reminder that many of us Brits aren’t built for hot weather. With a distinct lack of air conditioning and fans flying off of the shelves at supermarkets across the country, finding ways to stay cool at home and in the office can be tricky. Aromatherapy could be here to help.
Using essential oils from plants and flowers, aromatherapy assists our body’s natural abilities to rest, recover, and heal from stresses and illnesses. With an increase in heat, so too comes an increase in heat rashes and heat exhaustion, dry skin, inflammation, and skin irritation. Using essential oils can help boost our body’s natural healing abilities, soothe irritation and inflammation, and help us feel more relaxed.
One of the most popular forms of complementary therapy, aromatherapy uses essential oils to encourage rest and relaxation, as well as to treat and prevent some illnesses. Particularly affective for stress-related issues such as anxiety, insomnia and headaches, working with an aromatherapist can help you to discover the root cause of your discomfort and create a personalised plan that will work for you.
We share eight fragrances to help you beat the summer heat (and related discomforts), as well as different ways you can explore aromatherapy at home or with an experiencd aromatherapist.
Peppermint and spearmint essential oils can both help your body to feel cooler. With higher percentages of menthol than many other essential oils, this can have the ability to trick your brain into thinking that your body is cooler than it really is.
Peppermint offers both a cooling sensation and can help ease muscle aches, pains, and tension headaches. Just be careful not to use it before bedtime, as mint can be stimulating and may make falling asleep more tricky.
As well as providing a cooling sensation, eucalyptus can act as an anti-inflammatory. Helping reduce symptoms of summer coughs, colds and congestion, it can also relieve muscle and joint pain.
Lemon eucalyptus can also be an effective insect repellant to keep those pesky mosquitoes away whilst relaxing in the sun or sneaking in just one more bbq before the weather begins to turn.
A soothing, cooling essential oil, chamomile can help alleviate symptoms of allergies, combat irritated skin, and help you to get a better night’s sleep.
If heat rashes are making you feel uncomfortable, rose oil may be able to help. Not only is it cooling for heath rashes, rose oil is also perfect for highly sensative skin. If dry skin is causing more discomfort, cedarwood or sandalwood can help.
Aiding with healing summer colds, combating heat exhaustion and water retention, juniper can have a stimulating and soothing effect. If you have sensative skin, it coud be worth trying chamomile or eucalyptus instead.
Best known for its benefits in promoting sleep and relaxation, lavendar can also help aleviate bug bites, decrease anxiety, and reduce feaver.
What are the best ways to try aromatherapy to beat the summer heat?
Aromatherapy can be much more versatile than many people realise. Essential oils, scented candles, oil burners, diffuusers – there are many different ways you can benefit from a wide variety of soothing, natural fragrances.
Diffusing citronella or lemon eucalyptus in an oil burner can help keep mosquitos and other summer bugs at bay, as can scented candles or inscence sticks.
Mixing peppermint or spearmint essential oils with water or rosewater and spritzing yourself directly can help you to feel cool and refreshed. Keeping the mixture chilled can be even more soothing.
At the end of a long day, mixing peppermint oil or lemon essential oils to create a footbath can help sooth aching feet with a long, relaxing break in the evenings. Adding a few drops of essential oils to bath water can be another relaxing option.
Applying a few drops of essential oils on a damp towel or handkerchief and gently patting the back of your neck or behind your ears can be soothing and relaxing without being too oerwhelming.
Hydrosols, unlike essential oils, can be used without diluting them before application. Many are available in spritz bottles for easy use during the hotter months.
Aromatherapy massages use a diluted mixture of essential and carrier oil, typically as part of a 60-90 minute, tailored massage. Combining the benefits of aromatherapy and massage, these can provide a number of physical and psychological benefits.