Most of us became aware at a very young age of how we instinctively respond to smells, whether they are unpleasant odors or especially pleasing smells such as the fragrance of fresh flowers that brightens our mood, the scent of our mother that reinforces a strong bond, or the aroma of our favorite food that creates the excitement of anticipation.
Aromatherapy uses what are called essential oils to harness those instinctive responses and channel them to improve our mood and outlook. Aromatherapy has been in use for thousands of years and was first documented by the Egyptians.
Essential oils--or more accurately, essence oils--come from plants, trees and herbs, such as lavender flowers, eucalyptus leaves, cumin seeds and sandalwood. It is believed the oils cleanse, relax and help control pain. At the very least, they improve general well-being.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has received many requests for beads that can be used for aromatherapy using a method called aerial diffusion. Typically, lava, clay or wood beads are strung on a necklace and a drop or two of essential oil is then applied to a few (1 to 3) beads.
Another method is to apply essential oil to absorbent fabric or other material and place the material inside a drop that exposes it to the air. Here are some bead cages and pendant cages which can be used for this method of aerial diffusion aromatherapy.
Most of the lava beads and components sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads are waxed. The lava beads that we offer can be used in aromatherapy jewelry once the wax has been removed. Here are instructions on removing the wax from the beads:
Bring water to a boil then turn off the heat. Dip the bead in the hot water then immediately remove. Repeat a few times. The wax will melt and rinse off in the water.
Warning: Do not leave the bead to cook in the boiling water.
While still warm, run the beads through an absorbent and clean towel to remove a bit more wax
Tip: After this process, one way to infuse the beads with essential oils is to soak a towel in the oil and draw the strand of beads through a few times--the oil will be better absorbed while the bead is warm.
Clay beads and components made from clay minerals can also be used to absorb and diffuse essential oil. Make sure the beads are unpainted and uncoated, or the oil will not be absorbed. Polymer clay is not considered ideal for aromatherapy diffusion because polymer is not very porous and would not absorb the oils.
Unpainted and uncoated wood beads and components are an acceptable material for aerial diffusion of essential oils. However, they generally do not retain the oils as well as lava beads.
Feel free to experiment with new and different materials for diffusing essential oils. Just remember, when working with a new material, be sure to conduct a small test to make sure it can absorb the essential oils for satisfactory aromatherapy performance.
Locket Inserts and Aromatherapy Lockets
Add drops of your favorite essential oils to terra cotta, plaster or felt locket inserts, then place them inside aromatherapy lockets for beautiful looking (and smelling) jewelry creations.
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