Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic substances to treat and prevent disease, manage and reduce pain, alter mood, improve cognitive function and memory, and support overall health and well-being. Aromatherapy is generally delivered using three modes of application: aerial diffusion, direct inhalation, and topical application. The specific treatment or desired intent determines which of the three modes is used within an individual session. Many aromatherapy practitioners offer a holistic approach to the treatment of illness and chronic conditions that includes promoting relaxation and internal harmony and restoring balance.
People have believed that aromatic compounds have healing properties since ancient times. Aromatherapy recipes can be found in the Bible and have been uncovered in the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs. Infused oils were included in medical texts as far back as the first century and the use of essential oils as tools for healing can be found in the historical record of China, India, the Middle East, and ancient Rome. Advances in distillation opened new doors for the creation of essential oils and allowed for significant advancement in the art and science of aromatherapy.
Despite this long history, the practice remains an alternative option for treatment in much of the western world. Critics doubt the effectiveness of these treatments without acknowledging the rich history of plant compounds that have contributed to medical treatments and the role plants play in most of the modern medicines used today.
How it Can Help
Aromatherapy works with the body to activate critical systems for healing like the limbic and immune systems. When paired with complimentary techniques, aromatherapy treatments assist the body in finding natural healing paths and support the natural healing process. Some treatments rely on the part of the brain that responds to smell to trigger these healing responses. Other treatments use the pharmacological properties of the essential oils to produce the desired result through direct application to the skin.
Most Popular Oils
Peppermint oil, made from the plant menthe piperita, is used to treat both headaches and muscle aches and can be helpful in treating some problems with digestion.
Ylang Ylang oil, made from cananga odorata, promotes relaxation, eases tension, and can be used to aid with depression.
Lavender Oil, made from the plants lavandula angustifolia and lavandula vera, is also used to promote relaxation and ease depression in its inhaled form. Helpful for restoring hormonal balance in women, it can also be used to treat skin injuries including burns and wounds.
Eucalyptus oil, from eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiate, is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory problems like coughing and asthma and can alleviate tense muscles.
Lemon oil, made from citrus limon, is used as a disinfectant in a variety of circumstances ranging from wound care to household cleaning.
Rosemary oil, from the plant rosmarinus officinalis, is used to stimulate the mind and body. It is also helpful for engaging the immune system and the digestive system.
Tea Tree oil, from the melaleuca alternifolia, is known for its ability to boost the immune system and for its natural anti-fungal abilities.
How I use them
I have found that this is an especially helpful tool with children in cases where I don’t want to have them take herbs as they are to powerful. Applying them to the skin allows the oil to be absorbed as the body needs. Two companies that I see as very good at making pure oils are YoungLiving and BeYoung oils. Both companies are actually founded by a set of brothers and they go to great lengths to make sure the oil is so pure you can even ingest it! Ask me about it and I’ll be happy to tell you who I use to get the oils from. Then you can get them yourself!!! One of the best things about oils is anybody can learn how to use them and get them from a good source all by themselves. You can be the one to help your family!