Choosing the appropriate aromatherapy set typically depends on a number of factors. The key element to any aromatherapy kit is the collection of essential oils, although many have additional items, such as diffusers, candles, lotions, bath oils, and informational booklets. When deciding what kit to purchase, the quality of the essential oils and the types of benefits desired are usually considered most important. A secondary concern may be whether the aromatherapy set will be used primarily at home or for travel.
Aromatherapy is usually described as the therapeutic use of scents from the essential oils of plants. These essential oils are believed to have physical and psychological benefits. Since a large amount of plant material is required for distillation, pure essential oils can be costly. The price is somewhat offset by the small amount of oil that is believed necessary to achieve a therapeutic effect.
Scent is the primary way that essential oils are believed to work. One of the more popular ways of distributing the scent is through the use of an aromatherapy diffuser. A few drops of essential oil are placed in the diffuser and then low heat is applied. Aromatherapy diffusers can come in the form of shallow ceramic dishes heated by an unscented candle, rings that fit over standard light bulbs, and ones that can be plugged into electrical outlets. Diffusers have the added advantage of being suitable for travel usage.
There are a variety of already packaged aromatherapy sets commercially available. Different essential oils are associated with different physical or psychological responses and many aromatherapy kits are designed with one effect in mind. Most aromatherapy remedies focus on a single essential oil, although it is not uncommon to find blends of aromatherapy oils in commercial kits. An aromatherapy set may focus on essential oils that are believed to have medicinal uses, while others concentrate on oils associated with mood-changing properties.
It is possible to create a more personalized aromatherapy set by selecting individual essential oils. Some of the essential oils found most commonly in aromatherapy include lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint. An advantage to this approach is that it allows individuals to tailor the kit to personal tastes and needs.
While aromatherapy is generally considered safe to include in holistic care, caution and common sense should be exercised. Essential oils should not be applied undiluted either to the skin or ingested. People with skin sensitivities, allergies, or other serious medical issues should also consider seeking a physician’s advice before using essential oils.