Using aromatherapy from nature's essential oils not only smells divine but also has very positive results.
Find out how the oils work, what oils to use and how to make your own remedies.
What Is Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the ancient practice of using essential oils extracted from plants to treat and heal imbalances of the body, mind, spirit, emotions, and to improve health.
Aromatherapy is actually a form of herbal medicine, but instead of using the entire herb, it uses the fragrance of the oils that are released when the fresh plant is compressed.
Inhaling the scent is said to interact with your brain and can cause a strong effect on your emotions, and how you feel and act.
Among the most popular scents are lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, chamomile, marjoram, jasmine, peppermint, lemon, ylang ylang, and geranium.
Aromatherapy is so effective because your sense of smell is so powerful. Your sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any of your other senses. And smell recognition is immediate.
Your other senses, like touch and taste, must travel through the body before reaching the brain to cause a response. But your nose exposes your brain and central nervous system directly and immediately to the scents and smells in your environment. Your brain is influenced by all of your senses, but your sense of smell has the most profound effect of them all.
In fact, the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians knew this 6,000 years ago. They all used aromatherapy oils for bathing, massages, perfumes, incenses and embalming.
How Does Aromatherapy Work
When you cut a lemon, peel an orange or walk through the garden, you become aware of the unique scent of various plants. But what is it that you actually become aware of?...
It is the essential oils that are giving the various plants their specific scent, and also giving the flavour of the fruits and the perfume of the flowers.
A good example is the orange. Due to its plentifulness,the essential oil in the fruit is easily identifiable. When you peel the orange it squirts out. What happens is that minute droplets of oil, contained in tiny pockets or glandular cells in the outer peel of the orange, are very volatile (they evaporate easily)and infuse the air with their characteristic aroma.
However, not all plants contain volatile oils in such abundance...
The aromatic content of the rose flower is so minute that it takes about 1 ton of petals to produce 300 grams of rose oil.
Although it is not fully understood why some plants contain an abundance of essential oils and some not, it is clear that the aromatic quality of the oils play an important part in attracting or repelling certain insects and animals. – Try a drop of lavender on your pillow to keep mosquitoes at bay.
The oils also have a role to play in the breathing and life processes of the plant itself, as well as protecting it against disease.
We expect to find essential oils in the flowers, but they can actually be found in all parts of the plant including the seeds, bark, roots, leaves, wood balsam and resin...
The bitter orange tree, for example, gives orange oil from the fruit peel, pettigrain from the leaves and twigs, and neroli from the orange blossom. Thanks orange tree!
The clove tree produces different types of essential oils from its buds, leaves and stalks; and the Scotch pine produces oil from its needles, wood and resin. Makes you want to hug a tree, doesn’t it?
The wide range of aromatic materials obtained from natural sources and the art of blending and extraction has been developed over the course of time, but its origins reach back to the very earliest of civilizations.
After all, what were the prized gifts traditionally thought to have been given by the Wise Men to the baby Christ?...
– Myrrh, which is a fragrant gum resin, and Frankincense which is also obtained from a gum resin and burned during religious services...And valued more highly than gold in ancient times!
The essential oil from the resin is added to perfume to give it a spicy fragrance.
The aroma of Frankincense is said to represent life and in Judaic, Christian and Islamic tradition, it is used to anoint babies or people considered to be moving from one phase of life to another.
This is interesting! Research done in 2008 at Johns Hopkins University showed that the aroma of frankincense relieves anxiety and depression. How appropriate that one should be anointed with a mood-enhancing balm when making transitions in life.
And maybe the gift from the Magi was meant to lift the mother’s spirits as well as honour the baby?
How To Get Started
Find a reputable supplier of Essential Oils and build up a basic stock of those that appeal to you...
You can do your shopping right here. No need to even leave your computer...
Just click here for my hand-picked selection just for you!
I also recommend a look at this site as a supplier for bulk oils - they are organic, fresh and consistently of a high standard!
Here’s a list of aromatherapy oils that are generally regarded as being uplifting and have been found to have a positive impact on relieving stress and depression...
* You can use a combination of oils especially suited to ease the effects of anxiety. Try it out and be surprised at the results!!
* Our aromatherapy essential oil reference guide has lists of oils used to treat specific stress-related conditions like depression, anger and jealousy.
Clinical trials on Essential Oils in Aromatherapy have produced interesting results...
More Useful Information
Many of the essential oils are potent and can be dangerous if swallowed or taken internally. So, keep them out of the reach of children.
If you have chronic illnesses or conditions, consult your doctor before using.
- Lung conditions - such as asthma, allergies, and chronic lung disease may become irritated by the oils.
- Allergies - some oils may cause skin irritation, especially to the membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Pregnant women - juniper, rosemary and sage may cause uterine contractions.
- Always do a skin test first. Dab a bit of oil on a soft part of skin. If no rash appears then go ahead. If a rash does appear then use a bit of almond oil to soothe the area and stop using that particular oil.
The use of essential oils will not cure depression or disease, but using the authentic oils can be emotionally uplifting and may help relieve tension, stress, anxiety, and promote a general sense of wellness.