Aromatherapy has been a part of spiritual and medicinal practices from many centuries. It is a well grounded alternative health philosophy, grounded in science. Aromatherapy involves the use of natural oils extracted from bark, roots, flowers, herbs and other parts of aromatic plants mixed in carrier oil. The essential oils extracted from aromatic plants are used to stimulate olfactory system in order to treat symptoms of illness and create a harmonious balance between the body and the mind, which often becomes disrupted leading to a variety of ailments. There are innumerable uses of aromatherapy essential oils. Other than its use in treatment of certain medical conditions, it is also used to prevent diseases and to manage wellbeing. Because of its medicinal properties, aromatherapy essential oil is widely used in wellness products and spa products. Believe it or not, there exist more than hundred different types of aromatherapy oils, with each having unique benefits and properties.
Different cultures around the world including Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks and Indians have used aromatherapy oils since thousands of years to effectively treat different diseases. Chinese were most probably the first culture to promote and use aromatherapy to restore a balance between man and nature and bring harmony to the physical world. These oils are used as offerings to God as well as for medicinal purposes. During medieval age, these oils were used for different purposes like fighting off the plague.
Aromatherapy essential oils stimulate the sense of smell which in turn influences the brain helping it to send the right healing signals to the body. The type of oil that is used depends on the kind of result that is desired. Different essential oil's have different results and different effect on brain and body.
These oils are manufactured and sold in various different forms like absolutes, essential oils, hydrosols and CO2s. While some essential oils can be inhaled, others can be directly applied on skin or can also be added to bathing water. In fact, these oils are often burned to calm the environment or to disinfect the air. A good example of this is burning of incense sticks.
Aromatherapy oils have a number of positive effects on both mind and soul. However, the amount of benefit received depends on the way you use aromatherapy oil. Inhaling these oils can stimulate both the body and mind. Sleeping disorders, ENT (ear, nose, throat) disorders like congestions and breathing problems can be successfully treated using aromatherapy. Diluted essential oil's can also be applied on skin for pain relief, to calm body, to combat stress, to rejuvenate your-self or for any other health benefit.
Aromatherapy oils when not used correctly or as prescribed by the therapist can have certain side effects as well.. If essential oil has to be applied on skin, it is important that it is diluted in a carrier oil like grape seed oil or almond oil. Incorrect use of essential oils may cause hyper-sensitivity. Many people may also have allergic reactions that are painful, uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening.
However, when used correctly aromatherapy essential oils have powerful and indomitable effect on body and can be used for a number of purposes.