Aromatherapy Benefits

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Interviewer: Back to aromatherapy, how long would it take for somebody to realize benefits, and what sort of benefits would they see?  I mean, if they have something in their house, would walking into the room after a few minutes, would they notice? Or, is it a cumulative effect over days?

Mindy Green, RA, RH (AHG): You know, it really does depend on what your goal is . . . 

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Mindy Green, RA, RH (AHG): . . . and who the person is. For instance, if a family member had an upper respiratory infection, and you were to diffuse the eucalyptus and bergamot or lavender blend into the room over night, they might notice a difference the next day.  They might also notice they are coughing up more phlegm because some of the oils are mucolytic and helps it move out of the body. If you are just trying to enhance the mood, you can get that instantaneously just be inhaling a single note depending on what you like, depending on fragrance preference. You might find lavender's very uplifting or bergamot's very uplifting, or rose. I've had students in my classes that love the smell of oregano and tea tree and thyme. So it really is very personal in terms of what a person might find useful, beneficial, uplifting, and positive in their response to a fragrance.

Interviewer: You mentioned, "When in doubt, use lavender."  I think a lot of us know that it can be used for calming and for sleep aid. What else can that be used for, and how is it used as a sleep aid?

Mindy Green, RA, RH (AHG): Lavender. One of my favorite ways to use lavender as a sleep aid is right before bed, to take a lavender bath. You can fill your tub, not too hot, to a nice temperature of warmth in the water and add about five to eight drops of lavender. Any more than that . . . and it's not going to irritate the skin; you can use 15 drops, but you're not going to get more benefit. It's better, again, back to the homeopathic dosing.  Five to eight drops of lavender and just lie there and enjoy the quiet, the warm water, alone. But with the influence of the lavender getting in through not only the inhalation and affecting the brain chemistry, but it gets into the body. It definitely has shown that it reduces stress. Another way that you could do it is to put a little bit on some places on your pajamas. This is great for kids. I would put it on their feet, probably, to keep it away from their face. It's a great way to calm kids down, also, at bed time.
What kind of benefits can you see with aromatherapy? Aromatherapist Mindy Green discusses the ways people might see benefits and how long it may take to see the benefits.

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