Aromas at home

An entire system of healing has been built up around scents - aromatherapy. Today, utilisation of natural products including essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic and aromatic benefits is drawing attention, despite scepticism in scientific circles about its efficacy. Essential oils are extracts from roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits of a single plant species used for better physical, mental, emotional or spiritual balance.

Body creams, shampoos, bath salts, shower gels, room fresheners and candles are all part of aromatherapy. Essential oils can also be used around the house. Leave cotton balls dabbed with geranium, lemon or tea tree oil in shoes overnight to freshen them. Adding a drop of oil to the pool of melted wax around the wick creates your own scented candle. Add a few drops of your favourite oil to a spray bottle filled with water for an air freshener.

Employ essential oils to keep insects away. Use a proper blend of lavender, citronella and peppermint oils as a spray to rid the rooms of mosquitoes, ants and cockroaches. Dab lavender on doors and window sills to repel flies. Disinfect sinks, counters and other cleaned surfaces by wiping them with a blend of rosemary drops and water.

Cleaning the surface of the icebox, freezer or oven with a mix of water and some orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and mandarin oil helps dispel musty food odours. Place cotton balls dabbed with peppermint oil in crevices and holes to repel mice and bugs. Prepare your own carpet deodorisers using essential oils of sweet orange, cinnamon and lavender or eucalyptus, clove, patchouli and lime. Sage and clove oils' combo acts as a fine pest-repellent in the garden.

Dabbing your pet’s collar with a few drops of a solution made of citronella oil, cedar wood oil and garlic to drive away troublesome fleas. A carpet sprinkle prepared by mixing essential oils of eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass and cedar wood also repels fleas.

Sprinkle bedclothes and towels with your favourite oil. Add drops of lavender, tea tree and/or eucalyptus oils to your laundry soap to disinfect clothes. Make a fabric spray from essential oils of lavender, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus with rubbing alcohol. Dilute the spray and use on curtains carpets and upholstery, avoiding open flames.

However, essential oils can cause sensitisation or allergic reactions in some people. Pregnant women and people with asthma, epilepsy or other health problems should avoid certain oils. Use these products only after you are sure about not being allergic to them.

Recent research also claims that burning aromatic candles could sully the air! The candles reportedly emit pollutants like acetone, benzene, lead, soot and particulate matter. Low-quality waxes, aromatic oils and wick-types have been identified as the culprits. Environmentalists also bemoan the large-scale exploitation of some rare trees for extraction of essential oils.

Comments (+)