Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine obtained from plant materials, particularly essential oils, to enhance or affect a person’s overall mood or health.
Most people don’t realize the many benefits that aromatherapy can bring into your life. Aromatherapy is not just a way to taking a bath and smelling better or burning a candle in order to freshen up a room.
There is actually a science behind aromatherapy and several physical and mental benefits can be achieved by understanding a few basic aromatherapy principles.
The word “aromatherapy” was first used by a French chemist, in the 20s named Rene Maurice Gattefosse. He was devoted to researching the various properties of essential oils after an accident in his perfume laboratory. He accidentally set his arm on fire and he thrust the arm into the nearest pot of what he thought was cold water but was actually lavender oil. The result was immediate pain relief as well as no scarring and quick healing with minimal discomfort. Another French doctor continued the work of Gattefosse by utilizing essential oils in treating gangrene in wounded soldiers during World War II.
Several essential oils can be applied directly to your skin while others are diluted into massage oils, lotions and bath soap. Lavender, ylang ylang and sandalwood can all be applied directly to your skin. Some physicians have also found it to be beneficial for patients to place a few drops of one particular oil or a combination of oils on a handkerchief and fan themselves. Burning oils and incense is not typically recommended as it may produce unhealthy fumes.
5 Essential Oils that Reduce Stress
1. Lavender – The ancient Egyptians first utilized Lavender as a perfume over 2,500 years ago. Today, it is used to treat insomnia, provide stress relief and relief from migraine headaches.
2. Rosemary – Used for relief of muscle pain, cold feet and hands and low blood pressure.
3. Spearmint – Aids in digestion and soothes nausea and vomiting.
4. Masculine scents such as Bay Laurel and Ylang Ylang – These scents tend to appeal to men. They also assist in treating skin rashes, stomach ailments and rheumatism.
Essential Oil Buying Tips:
When you are purchasing essential oils for yourself, be sure to use these useful tips and guidelines:
• Always purchase essential oils from a specialty store, such as a health food store that has salespeople with knowledge or training in aromatherapy. Oils from a bath or grocery store may not be high quality.
• Always purchase high quality oils. These are light and heat sensitive so they should be packaged in blue or brown glass to protect the oils.
• The label on the oil bottle should provide you with both the common and botanical name of the oil. It should also have some useful information or guidelines on the bottle.
• Do not purchase oils that have rubber eyedroppers. These oils often react with rubber, which then breaks down and contaminates the oil.
Often referred to as alternative medicine, aromatherapy is fast becoming a non invasive way of reducing stress, beautifying your skin and bringing wonderful aroma’s into your kitchen.
Life Never Smelled So Sweet!