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An Introduction to Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be considered as one of the alternative therapies. This particular therapy would make use of the aromatic compounds from the plants in order to alter the mind of an individual. In recent times, this type of therapy is becoming more popular due to its wide applications and it is important for us to know about it for the purpose of getting benefitted out of the therapy.

Theory Involved in Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy is one of the treatment/prevention methods which is working based on two mechanisms as follows:

  • Influence of aroma on your brain – especially on your limbic system.

  • Direct pharmacological effects of essential oils that are used in aromatherapy.

It is to be noted that this therapy will not cure the conditions. However, it is strongly suggested that this therapy is helping our body to seek a natural way in order to cure itself. In addition, it would improve your body’s immune responses. Though the efficacy of this therapy remains unproven, few of the preliminary clinical studies on aromatherapy combined with few other techniques produced with positive results.

Know about the History:

History of aromatherapy dates back to first century when Dioscorides described the oils along with the beliefs about their healing properties in his ‘De Materia Medica’. The essential oils that are distilled have been used as medicines soon after the invention of distillation process during the 11th century. This therapy concept was first suggested by a small group of European scientists/doctors during the year 1907. It was during the year 1937; the term ‘aromatherapy’ appeared for the first time in a printed book. During the World War II, a French surgeon pioneered the uses of essential oils by using them as antiseptics for treating the wounded soldiers.

Various Methods of Application:

The aromatherapy can be applied in three different ways as follows:

  • Aerial Diffusion: This method will be employed for the purposes of:

- Environmental fragrance

- Aerial disinfection

  • Direct Inhalation: This method will be employed for the purposes of:

- Respiratory disinfection

- Decongestion

- Expectoration

- Psychological effects

  • Topical Applications: This method will be employed for:

- General massage

- Baths

- Compresses

- Therapeutic skin care

Materials Used in Aromatherapy:

Following are some of the materials that are used in the aromatherapy:

  • Essential oils

  • Absolutes

  • Carrier oils

  • Herbal distillates

  • Infusions

  • Phytoncides

  • Vaporizer raw herbs

Most Stated Uses of Aromatherapy:

Here are some of the most stated uses of your aromatherapy:

  • Pain/anxiety reduction

  • Enhancement of energy

  • Enhancement of short-term memory

  • Relaxation

  • Hair loss prevention

  • Decreased eczema-induced itching

  • Anti-depressant

What you should look for?

When you are about to about to buy an essential oil, you must remember the fact that US does not regulate the use of the term ‘aromatherapy’ on the product packaging/labeling/advertising. And hence, there is a chance that any product be marketed as the product that is suitable for aromatherapy. There are few products in the current market which contain unnatural ingredients and claim to be therapeutic. I would suggest you to look at the product label when seeking genuine aromatherapy products.