Therapy behind essential oils

From lavender to tea tree, essential oils are known to have numerous health benefits. JOY DUFFIELD explores in more detail

Eucalyptus became the buzzword during the COVID-19 pandemic and rightly so. The health benefits that comes with using essential oils is often underestimated. It is therapeutic, but very concentrated. So, it needs to be used with caution. Those who are pregnant or have medical conditions such as high blood pressure and epilepsy should contact a qualified aromatherapist for guidance with choice of oils.

Essential oils are traditionally and commonly used in the ancient art of aromatherapy massage treatments. Aromatherapists create a synergistic blend specifically for each client depending on individual physical and psychological health needs.

Introducing essential oils into our everyday life and can be therapeutically beneficial. These oils are absorbed into our bodies via the nasal passages or skin. There are several ways to absorb the oils.

Dry inhalation

Place one to two drops of Eucalyptus essential oil onto a tissue to hold near nose to inhale for any sinus congestion. If you’re needing some upliftment or stress relief try Frankincense.

Steam inhalation

Place two cups of boiling water into a bowl and add four drops of your choice of essential oil. Place the face about 30 cm away over the bowl and inhale the water and oil vapours. Steam inhalation with eucalyptus or peppermint can offer great relief for sinus congestion, colds, and flu.


An oil diffuser is a device that breaks essential oils down into smaller molecules, dispersing them into the air to inhale or create an ambience in the room. Freshen up your home with grapefruit and lemon tea tree oil.

It is important to note that if you have indoor pets, avoid diffusing cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melleuca), wintergreen and ylang ylang.

Freshening up the home

Place few drops of essential oil into a tissue and place it in your drawers. For a masculine fragrance, use sandalwood or vetiver. Feminine fragrance oils include geranium and rose. Add 10 drops of your favourite oil to rinse water to freshen up your laundry. Citronella, lavender, and peppermint act as a natural insect repellent.


Add five drops of essential oil per 10 ml of carrier oil such as olive oil or grapeseed oil to create a massage medium. Do not apply neat essential oils directly to the skin. Here are a couple of examples of oil combinations that work well.

  • Relaxing blend: Five millilitres of a base oil, one drop of Niaoli, two drops geranium and two drops of Jasmine mixed together.
  • Uplifting: Mix five millilitres of base oil with two drops of lemon, two drops of juniper and a drop of frankincense.
  • Sore muscles: Mix five millilitres of base oil with two drops of camomile, two drops of Jasmine and a drop of Clary Sage.


Essential oils do not mix with water, so remember to blend a few drops in carrier oil before adding it to the water. Remember to avoid direct skin contact.

If you only have one essential oil in your home, it should be lavender. It has so many important properties. For example, it can be used to treat burns with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. It is also a great treatment for insomnia. Two drops on your pillow each night have been known to improve sleep onset and quality of sleep.

contributorJoy Duffield has been a C4-C5 quadriplegic since 2005. She is the owner of Beauty Academy International, an international training Institute for the beauty industry and a distributor of hair and beauty products in South Africa.