Aromatherapy is significant in the way our bodies react due to smells and the association of memories. Some memories are triggered because the nerves in our nose store memories next to the part of the brain where memories are stored. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for their medicinal healing properties. The Egyptians concocted mixtures of oils in which the dripped strips of linen cloth which they used to wrap the bodies of the dead for burial. Essential oil was used for the prevention of decay and for preserving the skin to make it possible to mummify it. Essential oils can delay decay and heal live bodies.
How It Works
Plants from which essential oils are derived have been used as medicine for centuries. For example, n Asia the leaves of the Guava tree are boiled until the produce a deep brown liquid. This liquid contains iodine, which is heavily depended on as an antimicrobial wash for wounds. Ginger tea calms the stomach, as the oils in the ginger steep they help indigestion. Ginger water is something that the first known settlers used to drink for restoring electrolyte levels when they were working in the warm sun. The same principles are present when drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed, as the essential oils in chamomile promote relaxation. Same kind of principles are applied when incense are burned in temples because the aroma offers a pleasant, calming effect that soothes the mind to make it possible to meditate and worship.
Essential oils are also used as active ingredients in perfumes and cologne because they stimulate moods. In food preparations essential oils are used in baked goods such as cookies and pies as they often include cinnamon, which doesn’t only smell good but it aids in digestion. Essential oils are obtained by extracting the oils from the plant roots, berries, leaves or bark. Essential oils are extracted from the plant in a process called distillation. The plant is heated by steam and the heat breaks down and releases the oils. The steam is cooled then turned into water and then the oils and the water are separated from each other. The oil is also filtered to ensure its purity.
As oil cannot mix with water, the essential oils raise to the surface of the water. As in aromatherapy, essential oils are mixed and applied as lotions or balm to the skin or they can be used in heated water to release the molecules which are inhaled.
Essential oils are used in a variety of ways, but not all can be used in the same manner. For instance oils are very popular in massage and aromatherapy, but only some can be applied directly to the skin. Lavender and tea tree oil are often safe where as other oils need a carrier oils to dilute them. Reading labels are extremely important in this context, and it’s always best to test a small area of skin to ensure it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.
Another way that aromatic oils can be used is through inhalation. Done with care, essential oils can provide therapeutic as oil molecules enter the lungs and are absorbed into the bloodstream. There are also certain oils that can be taken in pill form, but this should be done under supervision of a medical professional. These pills can be taken orally or as a suppository, but like all medications, they do have side effects and should never be taken with out the consent of a doctor.
Aromatherapy Used To Treat Conditions Such As:
Anxiety – Essential oils such as lavender, myrrh, bergamot, chamomile, cypress, rose, pine, vanilla, marjoram, neroli, orange and lime.
Depression – Essential oils can treat symptoms of depression using, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, angelica, marjoram, neroli, peppermint, bergamot, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage and others.
Headaches – Effective for headaches essential oils such as basil, eucalyptus, chamomile, ginger, lemon grass, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, ylang ylang.
Hypertension – Lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.
Fatigue – Jasmine, frankincense, lemon, basil, angelica, cedarwood, clove, eucalyptus, marjoram, vanilla, peppermint and others.
Indigestion – Rosemary, sandalwood, lavender, juniper, patchouli and several others.
Lung and sinus conditions – Fennel, ginger, hyssop, juniper, tea tree, basil, cedarwood, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, marjoram, and others.
Menstrual cramps – Angelica, caraway, chamomile, ginger, lavender, rose, rosemary, sage, and others.
Important: The biggest mistake someone can do is to use too much or consume them too often. It is important to treat essential oils as antibiotics or over-the-counter medication. There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry. No governmental agency or generally accepted organization “grades” or “certifies” essential oils as “therapeutic grade,” “medicinal grade,” or “aromatherapy grade” in the U.S. Be cautious of the oils made using alcohol as they are not always 100% pure. Also when looking for food grade essential oils read the bottle and make sure they are properly labeled for ingesting.