If you walk into any Boots or pharmacy you are struck by a wide range of pharmaceutical medicines to help with various ailments from a headache to an upset stomach. Most people can reel off a number of different medicines and what they can be used for, but less people can so the same with essential and aromatherapy oils. There is evidence to suggest that the ancient Chinese and Egyptians had medical uses for plants - this is as early as 3,000 BC, long before paracetamol and ibuprofen were available, indigenous cultures such as African and Native American use herbs in healing rituals and Traditional Chinese medicine has fully taken on the use of plants to heal.
The change from using plants to using manufactured medicine started when technology began developing in the early 19th Century and scientists could study the active ingredients in plants and later began replicating the compounds and making their own versions. Whilst modern day medicine is brilliant, it is important to remember that plants can offer a lot to us, a lot of modern medicine is still derived from plants.
So what is the best way to use herbal remedies? There is a vast range of essential oils available that provide health benefits, so it is important to do your research and ensure that you know which oils are best for you. Once you have chosen your essential oils, you then can choose a barrier or base oil which you can use to create massage oil, bath wash or even shampoo and conditioner. Some essential oils are best mixed and stored with carrier oil as it can increase their shelf life. Remember to store your essential oils in specific aromatherapy glass bottles which are designed to not be eradicated by the oil and are a dark shade to filter out damaging UV rays. Follow instructions on shelf life and storage to ensure you get the most out of your oils. You can even buy specialist bottles and pumps so you can transfer ready mixes into the appropriate bottle and store it ready. As well as missing oils with carriers to create massage oils and bath products, you can also use the oils on their own in diffusers and directly into baths (just a few drops, and always read instructions first).
More and more people are now looking towards herbal remedies as they are looking to be more organic and reply less on processed things. Using herbal medicine may seem like a new idea to some but really it is just going back to our roots and rediscovering all that our ancestors learnt.