Aromatherapy: The Basics I

February 23, 2018 0 Comments

Aromatherapy: The Basics I

Aromatherapy and other holistic health & wellness practices are becoming more and more popular. As Malachite + Elephant has grown, my interest & knowledge in essential oils has grown. I thought I'd start a new Blog series on Aromatherapy to share my love and constant learning of what my aromatherapy teacher simply calls 'Plants'. Hope you follow along on this journey with me.

So let's start with some of the basics.

Aromatherapy as it is practiced today began with the Egyptians, who used aromatic plants for medicinal and cosmetic purposes as well as for embalming. 

According to the Canadian Federation fo Aromatherapists

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils for improving and maintaining health and beauty. Several ancient civilizations (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese and Indian) have used Aromatherapy for their physical and mental well-being. (...) Today there is growing interest in this gentle but effective method to balance body, mind and spirit. 

Essential oils are non-oily aromatic liquids occurring naturally in various parts of plants, herbs, flowers, fruits, woods and spices. They contain the life force of the plant and have the ability to strengthen our immune system and to stimulate our body’s natural healing abilities. 

Essential Oils are very complex and can be categorized in many ways but usually  by:

  • Botanical family or origin 
  • Parts of the plant used
  • How the oil is extracted 
  • Characteristics (colour, odour, undertone, ...)
  • Uses: antiseptic, aphrodisiac, decongestant, emollient, tonic, deodorant and so many others
  • Effects: Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic

For example, the very well known and versatile lavender essential oil originates from the Mediterranean, there are approximately 30 species of lavender,  it's extracted by distillation of the buds and stalks, it has a sweet, floral refreshing odour,  its commonly used as an antiseptic and skin healer and well known calm inducing stress reliever but what most people don't know is that it can also be very uplifting and keep you up all night.

Essential Oils are very concentrated, it takes a huge quantity to produce a small drop of oil, they are therefore very powerful. They should never be used directly on the skin - you should always dilute them in a carrier oil and always find out the safety issues/contraindications of each oils.

One of the reasons Essential Oils are so popular is in great part because of their concentrated scent. As the Green Beauty market grows and more of us demand cleaner beauty products, brands are increasingly using essential oils in their products instead of harmful fragrances. This is great news for all of us and the labelling of such products is usually very clear.

You will find that most of the brands offered by Malachite + Elephant use essential oils in their formulations not only because they smell so good but for the added aromatherapy benefits. Here are a few of them:

Birchrose & Co. - Algae & Grapefruit Body Polish - with certified organic grapefruit, lime and ylang ylang essential oils


Wake Up Bodywash - Plant Apothecary

Plant Apothecary - Wake Up Bodywash - with lemongrass and rosemary essential oils

Kreyol Essence - Haitian Hand & Body Creme

Kreyol Essence - Haitian Vetiver Hand & Body Crème - with vetiver essential oil


Lavender Rose Clean Deodorant - Mabrook & Co

Mabrook & Co. - Lavender & Rose Clean Deodorant - with lavender and rose essential oils


So now that we've gone over the basics, I'd love to hear what else you would like to know about Aromatherapy? What are your favorite essential oils?


À bientôt!



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