What Is Aromatherapy?

Clary Sage in skincare

What Is Aromatherapy?

As it is Aromatherapy Awareness Week, we thought we would talk to you about this therapy and answer a few questions you may have. After all, Urban Veda is actually based on aromatherapy!

Aromatherapy is a type of complementary therapy which harnesses the natural and therapeutic properties of plants. It has been practised for millennia and is considered to relieve both physical and emotional complaints. It is essentially using fragrant essential oils for wellbeing.


What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic oils which have been extracted from flowers, leaves, bark, roots and fruits. They are very concentrated and powerful and have been used for thousands of years. Essential oils are volatile and can be used via inhalation and via skin absorption for wellbeing. If you’re keen to learn more about essential oils, we’ve talked about them in more detail here.


How are the essential oils used?

  • Aromatherapy massage is a beneficial way for using essential oils – try adding 4 drops of essential oil per 10ml of carrier oil
  • Essential oils can be used in the bath – try adding 4-6 drops of your chosen oil to a warm bath
  • Try using essential oils in a diffuser – try using 10-12 drops of your chosen essential oil(s) in a diffuser to inhale the aroma
  • Experience the benefits of essential oils through inhalation – add 4-8 drops into a bowl of steaming water and inhale slowly and deeply
  • Essential oils can also be used within skincare – try to use up to 4 drops within body products and 1 drop on the face


Remember: most essential oils (except lavender and tea tree) cannot be directly applied to the skin, as they can cause irritation! It’s also important to remember that they should not be taken internally.


Oranges in skincare

Different essential oils are considered to have very different benefits, and they also blend differently depending on whether they’re a base note, middle note or a top note. Aromatherapy is a real art and can take a while to master, but we’ve popped some of our favourite essential oils below.


Bergamot – emotionally uplifting, calming but not a sedative

Rose – de-stressing, soothing and nurturing

Geranium – lifts and balances moods

Black Pepper – soothes aching muscles and clarifies memory and concentration

Rosemary – brain stimulating and promotes confidence

Peppermint – promotes clarity and alertness, digestive

Basil – soothes headaches, supports memory and concentration

Lavender – analgesic (pain-relieving) and aids sleep

Ylang Ylang – calming, relaxing and eases stress

Eucalyptus – antibacterial

Sandalwood – calming

Patchouli – calming

Clary Sage – calming

Tea Tree – antiseptic and anti-inflammatory


Have you blended essential oils before or experienced an aromatherapy massage?