Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and mental well-being. Aromatherapy offers diverse physical and mental advantages, based on the essential oil or blend of oils and the method of application used.
Some common medicinal properties of essential oils used in aromatherapy include: analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti inflammatory, astringent, sedative, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, and sedative. Essential oils are utilized to treat a wide assortment of symptoms and ailments, including, but not restricted to, gastrointestinal distress, skin conditions, menstrual pain and irregularities, stress-related conditions, mood disorders, circulatory problems, respiratory infections, and minor wounds.
A pleasing natural odor can have a positive psychological impact on the body. EO’s, which would be the “pure” essence of a plant, have been found to provide both physical and psychological benefits when used properly and safely. There are over 70 essential oils. Perfume oils, called fragrance oils or “scents” aren’t the same as essential oils. They contain unnatural chemicals and don’t offer the curative benefits of essential oils. EO’s which are drawn to the body by the sense of smell are thought to provide physical and psychological benefits. Not only does the fragance stimulate the brain to trigger a positive impact, the organic elements drawn into the lungs may also supply physical benefit also.
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Oils which are applied directly to the skin are thought to be absorbed into the blood. This absorption aids in many different health, beauty and hygiene conditions. Because essential oils are so concentrated and strong, they should not be placed on the skin in their undiluted form. To apply essential oils directly to the skin ,”carrier oils”, which can be pure vegetable oils, are used to dilute the essential oils and carry them to the skin. Common carrier oils include: sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, canola, avocado, jojoba, wheatgerm, and grape seed oil. EO’s also furnish other advantages also. Some oils, for example, act as a natural repellent and pesticide.
Citronella candles offer relief, with Citronella essential oil as the primary property of these candles. EO’s are mixed together to supply a particularly pleasing fragrance. A synergistic essential oil combination of the appropriate oils in proper proportions is considered to be greater in overall advantage, than each oil working independently. Allow mixes time to age, a week or longer, before adding into a carrier oil. Blends, like good wines, experience transformation as they age. Not all ready made aromatherapy products labeled with the term “aromatherapy” are natural and pure.
Products that contain artificial ingredients don’t provide true aromatherapy benefits. They may offer no benefit in any way. Check the ingredient deck of these products to be bought, to see whether they contain fragrance oils or impure chemicals. Be careful of these products. EO’s are extremely expensive to produce; some over others, because of the labour intensive process and the number of the plant needed to produce the oil. Approximately 800 pounds of Thyme would create two lbs of the essential oil, 4400 pounds of rose petals to make 2 pounds of oil. 6 tons of orange blossoms to create 2 pounds of Neroli and 4 million jasmine blossoms to produce 2 pounds of jasmine absolute.
These could be around 75 to 100 times more powerful than dried herbs. Aromatherapy is derived from two words. Aroma – meaning fragrance or smell and Therapy – meaning treatment. First used by the early civilizations, aromatherapy is reputed to be over 6000 years old. It’s thought that aromatherapy was first utilized in Egypt. A medical papyri, dated around 1555 BC included remedies for all kinds of illnesses and the methods of application are similar to ones used in Aromatherapy and Herbal medicine today. The Egyptians used a method called Infusion, to extract the oils from aromatic plants and incense was likely among the earliest approaches to use aromatics.
Frankincense was burned at sunlight as an offering to the god, Ra and Myrrh was offered to the moon. The Egyptians were experts at embalming using aromatics to help preserve the flesh. They’re still around for this date. The Egyptians were used to massage and the use of fragrant oils after bathing.
While synthetic fragrance oils aren’t acceptable for aromatherapy, they include an approximation of the natural odor to crafts, potpourri, soap and perfume in a fraction of the price tag.
- Essential oils are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties of plants.
- Some EO components are so small in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the cells of the skin.
- EO’s are lipid soluble and therefore are capable of penetrating cell walls, even if they’ve hardened due to an oxygen deficiency. In actuality, essential oils can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are then metabolized like other nutrients.
- EO’s contain oxygen molecules that help to transfer nutrients to the hungry human cells. Because a nutrient deficiency is an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when the cells lack the oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation. By providing the necessary oxygen, essential oils also work to stimulate the immune system.
- EO’s are very strong antioxidants. Antioxidants create an unfriendly environment for free radicals. They stop all mutations, work as free radical scavengers, prevent fungus, and protect against oxidation in cells.
- EO’s are antibacterial, anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and antiseptic. Essential oils have been proven to destroy all tested bacteria and viruses while restoring balance to the entire body.
- EO’s are aromatic. Removing metallic particles and toxins in the air.
- EO’s help promote emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery. To extract essential oils in the very best way while maintaining their therapeutic benefits, they’re Distilled or Expressed. Both of these approaches are covered below.
EO’s are commonly extracted from plants through the process of steam distillation. In this process, steam is introduced into a distillation chamber which comprises the plant material. The steam breaks down the plant tissue, causing it to discharge its essential oil in a vaporized form. The vaporized essences, together with the steam and other materials, pass to a pipe through cooling tanks. The vapors return to liquid form and are separated from the water and recorded as essential plant oil.
Expression, also known as cold pressing, is performed exclusively with citrus oils. In this technique, the oil-containing outer layer of the fruit is pressed and filtered to yield oil. It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus, 150 pounds of lavender, 500 lbs of rosemary, 1,000 pounds of jasmine and over 2,000 pounds of rose to create one pound of essential oil!