The Emergence of Aromatherapy and its Benefits

The Emergence of Aromatherapy and its Benefits

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an alternative form of medicine that is widely used for its benefits, across different parts of the world, for the prevention and cure of various health-related conditions. It is a practice carried out by various practitioners through the help of different Natural Essential oil and its blends.

For the therapy, the aroma of Essential Oils or its blends are used, which are extracted from tree barks, plant stems, leaves or roots or from the petals of flower. The aroma is then inhaled by the patients to help stimulate their cognitive activity, relieve pain, enhance mood etc.

Although aromatherapy is not backed by heavy scientific facts or evidences to prove/ claim its effectiveness, yet it is widely used.

How does it work?

The Essential Oils used for aromatherapy may also get in contact with skin, and get absorbed through air, which then travels to the muscles and into the bloodstream promoting overall body health and healing.

The Essential oils for the aromatherapy are prepared by mixing carrier substances like oil, lotion or , alcohol to the proportionate amounts of Essential Oils and then sprayed into the air to be inhaled by the patient. The mixture can also be massage on the skin or mixed in bath water.

The practitioners believe that the fragrance of the Essential Oil blends benefit by boosting the activity in the nose at first, which then send signals to the brain stimulating the emotion and memory. It then interacts with the hormones of the body activating the enzymes that help in the normalization of pulse rate, blood sugar, as well as the blood pressure and other body functions. It also help strengthen immune system to cure various health conditions.

A Brief History

Aromatherapy originated long time ago, in the early 1900’s, in Europe.

  • The term “Aromatherapy” was coined by Rene-Maruice Gattefosse- a French chemist, in the year 1928. He took over his family’s business as a perfumer and discovered the use of Lavender as an Anti-inflammatory for healing burns on his hand without a scar.
  • Later, a French scientist- Dr. Jean Valnet observed the successful treatment of various medical and psychiatric disorders.
  • Madame Marguerite Maury is the lady behind the successful and most initial introduction of clinics for Aromatherapy in France, Britain and Switzerland.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is said to have effects on you psychologically as it boosts up your physical and well as mental activity by promoting a relaxed and stress-free environment. It is also being used to treat a lot of mental and physical illnesses e.g.:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Blood Sugar
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headache or Migraines
  • Hyper tension / High Blood Pressure.
  • Infections
  • Insomnia
  • Joint ache
  • Muscle ache
  • PMS
  • Regulating Digestive system
  • Respiratory or sinus infections
  • Skin disorders

Essential Oils used for Aromatherapy

A wide variety of Natural Essential Oils available in the market as well as naturally are used for their healing properties. The EO used for aromatherapy include:
  1. Herbs
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  1. Eucalyptus Leaves
  2. Grass:
  • Lemongrass
  1. Seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  1. Zest
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  1. Flowers
  • Rose
  • Geranium
  1. Tress Wood/ Bark
  • Cedar wood
  • Pines
  1. Roots
  • Ginger
  1. Resin
  • Frankincense

Choosing the Scent

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  • Vanilla
  • Rose
  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Ylang Yalng
  • Palmarosa
  • Jasmine
  • Bergamot
  • Citronella
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Melissa
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Petitgrain
  • Tangerine
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Fir
  • Frankincense
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper
  • Myrrh
  • Patchouli
  • Vetive
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Bergamot
  • Citronella
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Melissa
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Petitgrain
  • Tangerine

Methods used for Aromatherapy

  • Diffusion of Essential oil or Essential Oil blends in the air
  • Massage therapy
  • Inhalation of Essential oil and blends through nose using inhalers
  • Direct smelling from bottles or cloth
  • Using Essential oil/ blends for an oil-infused bath
  • Incandescent Candles

Precautions:

People with certain chronic illnesses or conditions should not use aromatherapy without first consulting a doctor. These illnesses and conditions include:

  • Lung problems; Asthma, Allergies of respiratory track, Spasms.
  • Skin Allergy problems; Irritation of skin and eyes, nose, mouth etc.
  • Not to be taken in pregnancy as it may trigger uterine contractions
  • Must not swallow the essential oils used in aromatherapy.
  • Children <5 years of age should not be used in aromatherapy.

With an academic background in Food Sciences, Klaire is interested to read about the latest news on nutrition, therapeutic benefits of foods and health. She is a practicing dietician with a focus on improving women’s health. Before joining the team, she has worked as a researcher and freelance writer.

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