Aromatherapy: proven solution or mind over matter? It can be classified as both an art and a science, using naturally extracted essences from plants to promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Aromatherapy seeks to explore an individual’s response to their extracts, from three points of view: the physiological, psychological and spiritual. From a holistic point of view, it is both a preventative and active method to assist with helping disease.
What is aromatherapy, exactly?Aromatherapy is an all-natural, non-invasive therapy designed to help the patient as a whole–not just cure or help the symptoms and disease.
What are essential oils?Essential oils are super-concentrated aromatic extracts distilled from aromatic plant material. These include leaves, flowers, grasses, twigs, fruit peels, woods, and roots. The distillation occurs with either water, steam, mechanical processing or by dry distillation of natural materials. Then, the essential oil is physically removed. For an essential oil to be a true essential oil, it must be only isolated by physical means . They are not an CO2 extract, a halohydrocarbon extract or an empyreumatic distillate.
How are they used?These oils can be used on their own, or in combinations to create blends and fragrances. They are diluted when used for massage oils, bath products, body care, or fragrances.
Inhalation of the oils has psychological effects which can stimulate the body and organs. This is beneficial for respiratory symptoms. Direct application on the skin (often in the form of massage) is effective also, providing relaxation.
Ways to dilute essential oilsWater: 5-10 drops of oil to 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle
Alcohol: Use rubbing alcohol or vodka. 5 drops of oil to 5mL alcohol.
Salts: Use equal parts Epsom salts and natural sea salt, dissolve in a bath with 5 drops.
Making your own productsMassage oil: 15 drops oil to cream, oil, or lotion.
Bath: 5 drops to warm bath water.
Inhalation: drop on pulse points, hands, cotton ball, or in an electric diffuser.
Environmental spray: add it to water in a fine mist container
The top picksSure, there are loads to choose from, but when you start exploring all of the different options, there are top choices that tend to help the masses.
Peppermint: useful for treating headaches, muscle pains, digestive and stomach disorders
Eucalyptus: useful for helping respiratory troubles, such as colds, coughs, and asthma, along with boosting the immune system.
Ylang Ylang: helps with relaxation, and reduces muscle tension.
Geranium: helps balance hormones and can be uplifting
Lavender: helps with relaxation, and useful for wounds, burns, and minor skin care.