Aromatherapy, as the name suggests uses the sense of smell for therapeutic purposes. Aromatherapy essential oils derived from aromatic plants are used to ease ailments such as aches and pains and other severe health problems. The oils are found in different parts of the plant such as the flowers, twigs, leaves and bark or in the rind of fruit. Aromatherapy oils are the concentrated essences that seek to heal the body and mind. Essential oils are in fact the pure 'essence' of a plant. They have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely. There are more than 90 varieties of essential oils. Aromatherapy is a method of natural healing that dates back 6000 years. The Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Indians, Persians and ancient Egyptians used aromatherapy oils.
Aromatherapy oils work on our sense of smell. When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional center of the brain or 'limbic system'. This system is connected to areas of the brain linked to memory, breathing and blood circulation as well as the endocrine glands, which regulate hormone levels in the body. Oils used in aromatherapy are concentrated essences that are extracted from aromatic plants. Aromatherapy essential oils are used alone or in combination to achieve the desired effect.
Some of the better-known aromatherapy oils are extracted from nutmeg, lemon, lime, lavender, fir, sage, pine, sandalwood and basil. These essential aromatherapy oils soak through cell membranes and diffuse through the blood and tissues. The oils penetrate through the hair follicles and sweat glands. These oils are able to easily penetrate through the cells on account of their smaller molecular structure. Aromatherapy oils are known to possess anti bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Some oils possess hormone-like properties that help the body regain balance. The oils of clary sage and fennel are used for their estrogenic effect. Aromatherapy works upon the central nervous system thereby relieving feelings of anxiety and stress and depression. The beauty benefits gained from aromatherapy oils are also many.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 12, 2017