Interview with Rose Cox
Rose Cox has been practicing Aromatherapy since 1992 both in London and Sydney. She is the author of ‘Aromatherapy for Beautiful Hair’. Rose received her Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy in London and is a member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists.
Q. Briefly what is Holistic Aromatherapy?
A. Holistic Aromatherapy is a subtle, sensitive therapy with a powerful side, incorporating the use of 100% pure essential oils.
Q. Why is it called holistic?
A. Holistic comes from the Greek word ‘holos’ meaning whole.
A holistic aromatherapy treatment works on the whole person, taking into account factors such as their lifestyle, diet, medical history, emotional and mental state, as well as their physical side.
Q. What are your own favourite essential oils and why?
A. It’s a hard choice as I love them all but I would have to say Rose and Jasmine are my absolute favourites (excuse the pun!) I love their delicateness and femininity yet they are both powerfully amazing healers, warming to the emotions and both induce extremely positive states of mind.
Q. Can you give examples of a couple of oils and how these are used for common ailments and situations:
Stress Geranium is great for the nervous system and puts everything back in balance reducing stress.
Cold Eucalyptus has wonderful anti-viral properties which can ease symptoms of colds, coughs and throat infections.
Scattiness Rosemary is very strengthening to the mind and can help to clear the head.
Jetlag To help you sleep on a long flight, put a couple of drops of Lavender onto a tissue and gently breathe in the aroma. Alternatively to pick you up and alleviate tiredness, use Peppermint oil in the same way.
Q. How can the essential oils be extracted from a plant? Are all plants suitable as an essential oil?
A. There are various methods of extraction including distillation, expression, enfleurage, maceration and solvent extraction. There are hundreds of aromatic plants however only a portion of these are suitable for essential oil extraction due to their therapeutic properties.
Q. Aromatherapy isn’t just about using aromatherapy burners. What other uses are there for essential oils?
A. There are many methods of application, the most popular being therapeutic massage. An essential oil blend is mixed in a vegetable based oil such as grapeseed.
Other methods of aromatherapy application include vaporization, inhalations, compresses and aromatic baths.
What is it? Example of use:
Vaporization Using an aromatherapy burner or vaporizer to distil the essential oils into the air. While working you may wish to add a concentration blend to an aromatherapy burner by your desk or at a dinner party you can infuse the air with a festive spirit.
Inhalations Used for clearing sinuses due to colds or respiratory infections. Add 2-3 drops of Eucalyptus to a bowl of hot water. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head so none of the vapours escape. Breathe deeply through your nose for about 3 minutes.
Compresses A valuable way to treat muscular aches and pains. Can be used warm or cold; cold for a recent injury and warm for an old one. For a warm compress, add 6-8 drops of essential oil to a bowl of very hot water. Put in a small towel or flannel, swish around then wring out the excess. Place on the area to be treated and leave until it reaches body temperature.
Aromatic baths Used to relax, uplift, relieve muscular aches and pains or simply for pleasure. Add 6-8 drops of either a single essential oil or a blend to a warm bath. Lie back and relax for 15-20 minutes.
Q. What constitutes an aromatherapy massage?
A. When a therapist uses 100% pure, good quality essential oils and carrier oil it is called a ‘treatment’. This implies that the choice of oils has been determined on an individual basis, according to the physical and emotional needs of the client at the time of a visit.
Q. Can you give some examples of commonly used base oils in aromatherapy?
A. Base oils should be of good quality, preferably unrefined or cold-pressed. The best choices are Grapeseed, Almond or Apricot kernel oils.
Q. Some Essential Oils can be expensive. For someone who wants to try aromatherapy at home what oils make up a core essential buy list?
A. A good start would be Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Orange and Rosemary. Build up your collection over time and chose oils that you are particularly drawn to.
Q. Are there any oils that conflict?
A. There are many but these are often up to personal taste! One that comes to mind for me is Basil and Marjoram.
Q. When buying essential oils how do you know / recognise quality oils rather than blended or diluted ones?
A. Always ensure the label says 100% pure essential oil and only purchase from a reputable supplier. Price is always a good indication too, if you find a supplier that is very cheap be wary that these are not of high quality as these will have little or no therapeutic value.
Q. Are there any oils that can be ingested?
Q. Which oils are suitable for application on the skin? Is there a rule of thumb on oil application on the skin directly?
A. Never apply neat essential oils directly to your skin, they must always be diluted.
Q. What are the overall benefits of aromatherapy?
A. Holistic aromatherapy treatments, on a regular basis, can keep the body stress free and in harmony which is the first step to good health. Rather than turning to it when you are run-down and drained, it is better to incorporate massage and the use of essential oils into your regular routine, discouraging ill-health in the first place.
Q. You have written an ebook with shampoo recipes. Can you share your favourite recipe?
A. I’ll share one of the special treatments which is one of my favourites as I spend a lot of time outdoors so I use it regularly on my dry and sun-damaged hair.
Hot oil treatment
This luxurious hot oil treatment is excellent for dry and damaged hair. The heat helps the oils to penetrate more effectively. The measurements below for Jojoba oil depend on the length of your hair, for longer hair use 2 teaspoons and for shorter hair use 1 teaspoon (use more or less as appropriate for your hair thickness)
• 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) Jojoba oil
• 5 drops Lavender oil
• 5 drops Rosemary oil
1. Using the Bain-marie method, add the Jojoba oil to your heat-proof container. Bring the water to the boil and simmer until the mixture reaches 150° F (65° C).
2. Remove from the heat and cool to 115° F (46° C).
3. Add the essential oils and mix well.
4. Apply to your hair and scalp while still warm, massaging in well.
5. Comb through your hair until evenly dispersed.
6. Cover with a plastic shower cap or cling film then wrap in a warm towel or woollen hat.
7. Leave on for 1 hour or overnight if your hair is particularly dry and/or damaged.
8. Shampoo out then rinse well.
Q. Do you recommend any books about essential oils?
A. I have many favourites including “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood and “Aromatherapy Scent and Psyche” by Peter & Kate Damian.