Aromatherapy is a healing technique that uses natural plant oils to treat the body, mind, and soul. The application of these extracts promotes general well-being when applied topically or inhaled. It is a gentle and holistic therapy to promote relaxation, enhance energy, minimize the effects of stress, and restore the body’s equilibrium.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the practice of treating ailments with essential oils extracted by different plants and herbs. Essential oils have been collected from plants for ages for use in food, medicine, and cosmetics. The oils derived from herbs and plants are combined with alcohol or lotion before being applied to the skin, sprayed, inhaled, or added to bathwater.

What conditions and health issues can it treat?

Aromatherapy benefits include helping with relaxation, stress relief, depression, insomnia, and many other physical and mental ailments. Changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other physiological processes are caused by the oils interacting with hormones and enzymes in the body. The scent of particular oils may also trigger pain-relieving chemicals.

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory characteristics are present in most essential oils and can have a favorable effect on the skin. Because essential oils are powerful and very concentrated, they should always be diluted before being used with aromatherapy products.

How does Aromatherapy work?

The aromas produced by the oils trigger nerves in the nose. The effect on the body may be relaxing or stimulating, depending on the type of oil. When applied topically, the molecules of essential oils pass through the skin layers and into the blood vessels. There are dozens of essential oils, each with its own scent and chemical composition.

Reducing stress and anxiety

Scents can help to raise your mood and make you feel calmer if you’re anxious or exhausted. The oil’s smells have an effect on the hypothalamus, which regulates emotional responses. Odors can alter your mood and stress levels so specific essential oils like Lavender, Sandalwood, and Clary sage have been shown to positively influence feelings and reduce anxiety.

Improving the quality of sleep

A good sleep routine is vital for good health. Incorporating Chamomile, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, or Frankincense into your bedtime ritual can aid sleep and improve the quality of rest through their sedative properties. Mix the oil with distilled water and spray a small amount on your pillow.

Pain management

Rose oil, Bergamot, Cinnamon, and Clove have analgesic effects. The aromas can help reduce pain by altering brain activity. The sensory activity also influences physiological actions such as lowering the pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Diluted oils can also be used for massage to relieve painful symptoms.

Reducing fatigue and boosting good mood

Certain aromatherapy oils, such as Lemon, Rosemary, and Spearmint can energize you. If you’re feeling tired, and low in mood, try one of the citrus oils like Grapefruit or Orange. Using a diffuser, the moment you wake up or adding a drop of diluted oil to your wrists can be great for lifting your mood and leaving you invigorated.

Balance hormones

Essential oils are fat-soluble and can easily penetrate the skin and cell membranes. Clary sage, Thyme, and Sandalwood oils can help with maintaining estrogen levels and stabilizing cortisol levels. They also increase blood circulation by opening blood vessels and calming the brain and arteries.

Improving focus and energy

Some essential oils’ scents can help you create an environment that motivates you to get things done. The aromatic molecules cause an electrical impulse in our brain to promote learning, concentration, and alertness. Vetiver or Basil can provide a great sense of clarity and energy.

Aids digestion

Plants have been used for medical purposes for thousands of years to help the body heal. Peppermint and Coriander oil have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can help alleviate nausea, vomiting, and other digestive issues. Mix the essential oil with a carrier oil and massage on the abdomen or use a diffuser to inhale the aromas.

Boosting overall immunity

Our bodies can benefit from extra TLC during winter. Compounds with pharmacological characteristics can be found in Black Pepper, Tea Tree, Lemon, and Rosemary oil. They have the ability to fortify the immune system as well as eradicate hazardous bacteria and viruses. Blends of immunity oils can be used in an essential oil inhaler, in the bath, or in a diffuser.

Improves hair health

Rosemary, Peppermint, and Tea Tree oils help promote new hair growth, stimulate blood flow, and have soothing and cooling properties. These essential oils can be blended with a carrier oil before massaging into the hair and scalp. They can also treat dandruff and reduce hair loss from decreased blood flow to the hair follicles.

Reduces circulatory problems

Essential oils can increase circulation by dilating the blood vessels. Oils like Ginger, Cinnamon, Cypress, and Clove provide an intensely warming effect to promote good circulation. These oils can also help with muscle and menstrual cramps. Blended and diluted oils can be massaged onto the skin or inhaled.

Aromatherapy Products

Aromatherapy uses diffusers, oil burners, aromatic spritzers, inhalers, bathing salts, lotions, candles, and infused jewelry accessories to work through the sense of smell and skin absorption. Essential oils can be found on the internet, in health food stores, and even in certain mainstream supermarkets.

Home Aromatherapy

To get started with home aromatherapy, you need a few basic items. Essential oils, reed diffusers, oil burners, candles, and carrier oils are must-haves.  Carrier oils reduce the concentration of the essential oil without affecting its natural properties. Coconut, Avocado, hemp seed oil, and castor seed oil are great options that also work on nourishing the skin.

What to consider when choosing aromatherapy products?

Because essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, it is critical to purchase these products from a trustworthy manufacturer for your home aromatherapy kit. This assures you’re getting a high-quality, all-natural product. Stay away from fragrance oils because they are synthetic, and do not have any beneficial natural compounds. They are also cheaper than pure essential oils. Always check customer reviews when purchasing online. When buying from a store, do the smell test. Avoid products if you detect the presence of alcohol.

What to consider before starting aromatherapy?

Depending on your goal, start with a few essential oils. Before starting your home aromatherapy routine, learn how to utilize essential oils safely by conducting thorough research from a trusted source. Essential oils should never be ingested – only inhaled or applied topically.  There are special considerations if you are pregnant or have a chronic underlying health condition, and care should be taken when using aromatherapy products and oils around children.