5 Hep C-Friendly Essential Oils for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day means something different for everyone, but most agree that this winter holiday is all about love. Celebrating love is frequently expressed with sentimental cards, flowers and chocolates – but rarely stops there. Whether for yourself or someone else, tapping into the power of scents is a popular way to make Valentine’s Day memorable. In addition to improving mood, many essential oils also benefit the physical health of those with Hepatitis C – a combo that demonstrates how much you really care.
Essential oils contain the true essence of the plant it was derived from. An essential oil is a liquid distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, root or other elements of a plant. These highly concentrated aromatic liquids can provide valuable therapeutic benefits.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for psychological and physical well-being. Although essential oil-based therapy dates back to about 4500 BC, modern aromatherapy originated in Europe in the early 1900s. The oils are typically diluted in a carrier such as a neutral oil, alcohol or lotion, and may be:
- applied topically to the skin
- diffused or sprayed into the air
- added to bath water
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some essential oil benefits include:
- increasing relaxation
- improving concentration
- boosting mood
- strengthening the immune system
- opening respiratory passageways
- aiding digestion
- improving liver function
Caring for Hepatitis C
Flowers and chocolates are the traditionally exchanged items on February 14; however, flowers die in a few days and chocolate candies may prompt blood sugar levels to spike. For a more thoughtful present, essential oils are an ideal Valentine’s Day gift for someone with Hepatitis C.
Your plan can be bold, such as mixing a few drops of a carefully chosen essential oil into a neutral carrier oil for a sensual massage or added to a candlelit bath. Or you might choose subtlety, such as diffusing the scent into a room you intend on celebrating in. Either way, your efforts are likely to be highly appreciated.
Depending on the issues someone with Hepatitis C might have, the following five essential oils and their corresponding health benefits are described below:
- Roman Chamomile – A notoriously calming scent, chamomile is a cleanser of the blood and also helps the liver process toxins. It may also aid gastritis, gallbladder and liver problems.
- Bergamot – Recommended for depression due to unrelenting chronic stress and repressed emotions, bergamot is a musky smelling oil that harmonizes liver energy and promotes relaxation.
- Sweet Orange – Sweet orange is recommended for those who tend to strive for perfection and in the process become tense and irritable. It is also used for digestive problems that arise from stress. Because living with Hepatitis C can be stressful, sweet orange may be a good choice to relive tension.
- Geranium – Geranium essential oil is believed to help with hormonal balance and liver detoxification. Thus, geranium might be a great essential oil for someone wanting to support their liver who is also having hormonal issues.
- Lavender – One of the most popular essential oils, lavender is known for its sedative properties and ability to help calm stress, relieve anxiety and promote sleep. For helping fight Hepatitis C, easing anxiety and getting restful slumber are crucial for staying strong.
Essential oils are potent substances and need to be handled carefully to assure a safe, pleasant experience. These seven tips will help you proceed with aromatherapy:
- Only use high quality, 100 percent pure essential oils.
- Each scent has its own therapeutic properties; nonetheless, smell is a highly individualized sense. Sniff first to find a scent that you are drawn to. With an Aromatherapy Sampler, you can be sure to find the right oil.
- If you like several essential oils, experiment with creating a signature blend.
- Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil; do not apply undiluted essential oils to the skin without consulting a trained aromatherapist.
- Essential oils are strong; just a few drops in an ounce of carrier oil are sufficient.
- Despite some claims of taking an oil internally, never ingest an essential oil unless under the guidance of a trained aromatherapist.
- Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful crossover tool, capable of inspiring feelings of relaxation while simultaneously benefiting the physical body. Because there is no better way to express love on Valentine’s Day, show your loved one that you care about their physical and emotional well-being. If you are celebrating solo, take the opportunity to shower yourself with love by using aromatherapy to simultaneously lift your spirits and support your liver.
Steelsmith, Laurie Dr., Natural Choices for Women’s Health, Random House Inc., New York, NY, 2005; 120-121.
https://lahey.org/Departments_and_Locations/Departments/Cancer_Center/Liver_Cancer_Center/Ebsco_Content/Hepatitis_C.aspx?chunkiid=650332, Aromatherapy: Healing with Scents, Rebecca J. Stahl, MA, Retrieved February 3, 2014, EBSCO Publishing, Inc., 2014.
https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy, Aromatherapy, Retrieved February 5, 2014, University of Maryland Medical Center, 2014.
http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/whatare.asp, What Are Essential Oils?, Retrieved February 5, 2014, AromaWeb, LLC, 2014.
http://www.healthyhepper.com/liveressentialoils.htm, Essential Oils for Your Liver Health, Retrieved February 3, 2014, healthyhepper.com, 2014.
http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/pdf/brochure-141.pdf, Coping with Hepatitis C: Alternative Treatments, Retrieved February 3, 2014, Department of Veteran Affairs, 2014.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/332689-essential-oils-for-liver-health/, Essential Oils for Liver Health, Noreen Kassem, Retrieved February 3, 2014, Demand Media, Inc., 2014.
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/tc/aromatherapy-essential-oils-therapy-topic-overview, Aromatherapy (Essential Oil Therapy), Retrieved February 5, 2014, WebMD, LLC, 2014.