Aromatherapy in a nutshell

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the holistic practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit and to promote health and well-being. These natural plan extracts called as essential oils are used to improve the health of the body, mind and spirit. Sometimes it’s also called as essential oil therapy.

Aromatherapy has been used for centuries. Ancient cultures in China, India, Egypt, and some other places incorporated aromatic plant components in resins, balms, and oils. These natural substances were used for medical and religious purposes. They were known to have both physical and psychological benefits.

Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Since most of the ingredients used in Aromatherapy are natural, they have no or less side effects on human body. Aromatherapy has an array of benefits. It’s believed that essential oils help in the following ways:

  • managing pain

  • improving sleep quality

  • reducing stress, agitation, depression and anxiety

  • soothing sore joints

  • treating headaches and migraines

  • alleviating side effects of chemotherapy

  • easing labor and menstrual discomforts

  • fighting bacteria, virus, or fungus

  • improving digestion

  • boosting immunity

  • improving mood in general.

 

Side effects

Most essential oils are safe to use. But there are some precautions you should take when using them, as well as side effects you should be aware of, especially if you take any prescription medications.

Don’t apply essential oils directly to your skin. Always use a carrier oil to dilute the oils. Remember to do a skin patch test before using essential oils. Since citrus essential oils may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, these oils should be avoided if you’ll be exposed to sunlight.

Children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should use essential oils with caution and under the supervision of a doctor. You should avoid some oils and never swallow essential oils.

What are some of the methods of Aromatherapy?

There are a few different methods for incorporating the benefits of essential oils in your daily life. When making your decision on which options to purchase, look for products made with pure essential oils.

Avoid products made with artificial or synthetic fragrances. Artificial scents may not offer the same benefits as pure essential oils.

The various ways you can enjoy the scent of essential oils include:

  • Diffusion

You can use an electric machine called diffuser to spread the scent of essential oils throughout a room or your entire home. You can also use a blend of 2 or more essential oils to get added benefit. However, it’s better not to mix any 2 oils without proper research and knowledge. Instead, it’s better to use various blends available.

  • Room sprays

You can quickly add the scent of essential oils to an area of your home using a room spray. Buy premixed room spray or make your own by mixing essential oils and water.

  • Massage

Essential oils are a popular addition to massage oil. Combining aromatherapy with massage is a great way to relax and ease stress. Reflexology is an area that is increasingly using essential oils to help with different problems.

However, it’s important not to apply essential oils directly to the skin. Instead, make sure to mix them with massage oil.

  • Baths

Scented bath oils and salts are also available to help turn your bath or shower into a relaxing experience.

  • Skin and hair products

Scented soaps, lotions, and hair products can help you carry the scent of essential oils with you, wherever you go.

  • Roll-on Blends

There are many essential oil blends that come in a roll-on packaging that you can carry with you at all times. So, whether you have to attend a meeting or taking an exam, want to beat the stress - just use the roll-on and get an immediate effect.

 

Which essential oils are the best?

There are dozens of essential oils, all with different fragrances and chemical makeups. Which essential oils are best depends on what symptoms you're looking to ease or fragrances you prefer. Some of the most popular essential oils include:

Lavender oil: Many people find the lavender fragrance relaxing. It's often used to help relieve stress and anxiety and promote good sleep and general well-being.

Tea tree oil: This essential oil was used by Australia's aboriginal people for wound healing. Today, it's commonly used for acne, athlete's foot and insect bites.

Peppermint oil: There's some evidence that peppermint essential oil relieves tension headaches and sore muscles when applied topically (diluted with a carrier oil). This is an ingredient you will find in many muscle pain relief ointments.

Lemon oil: Many people find the citrusy scent of lemon oil a mood booster. It's also often used in homemade cleaning products.

Eucalyptus oil: This oil is used to treat a variety of common diseases and conditions including nasal congestion, asthma, and as a tick repellent.

Ylang Ylang oil: This oil helps to promote relaxation, kill bacteria, lower blood pressure, and increase sexual desire.

Rosemary Oil: Rosemary essential oil is a common variety you can use as a home remedy. The oil's health uses range from antioxidant benefits and anti-inflammation to memory enhancement and more. In recent years, there have been claims that the oil may be great for hair growth.

Frankincense oil: Its soothing and beautifying properties are used to rejuvenate skin and help reduce the appearance of imperfections when applied topically. Combine Frankincense essential oil with essential oils like Bergamot or Lavender and inhale or diffuse to create an experience of peace and satisfaction.

Bergamot oil: Commonly used in aromatherapy to elevate mood and alleviate stress, bergamot oil is also said to have characteristics similar to grapefruit essential oil in that it is antiseptic, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving), possibly offering some benefit for health issues like skin infections.

Sandalwood oil: This oil has been historically used for many purposes like increasing mental clarity, its healing and calming properties. It is great for skin also as it helps in hydrating, rejuvenating and soothing all skin types.

Clary Sage oil: When used in aromatherapy, clary sage oil can help alleviate stress by inducing a sense of well-being. One small study done on women undergoing a stressful medical test indicated that when inhaled, clary sage essential oil elicited feelings of relaxation and helped to reduce blood pressure.

Patchouli oil: This oil helps in treating skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, or dry, cracked skin; easing symptoms of conditions like colds, headaches, and stomach upset. Relieving depression. providing feelings of relaxation and helping to ease stress or anxiety.

Basil oil: This oil helps to stimulate, clarify, calm, fortify, energize and uplift the mind. It is also said to repel insects, eliminate odor-causing bacteria, soothe headaches, and relieve respiratory as well as digestive discomforts. When used on the skin, this oil is reputed to nourish, repair, balance, calm, smoothe, exfoliate, and brighten the complexion.

Disclaimer: Any or all the benefits outlined here are not medical advice. The information provided above is based on research done through various websites on the internet and do not constitute the opinion of the author. If you have any specific medical conditions, please consult your doctor before consuming this. This is in no way a substitute to any medication prescribed by your doctor.

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