New year's Resolutions tips and ideas

New year's Resolutions tips and ideas

Aromatherapy: introduction to aromatherapy essential oils history and effects

Written By: admin - Dec• 21•09

Aromatherapy is a form of holistic medicine, which improves health and wellness using essential oils (that is volatile plant materials) and other aromatic compounds from plants. Aromatherapy covers a wide spectrum of practices: personal care, wellness and hygiene products; massage therapists, chiropractors, nurses and doctors. Over-the-counter products that make use of essential oils (or their constituents, such as menthol and methyl salicylate) include mouthwashes, liniments and “rubbing ointments”, such as Listerine, Mentholatum Deep Heat and Vicks VapoRub. However, aromatherapy purists insist that neither essential oil constituents as such, nor synthetic fragrant chemicals, should ever be used.

According to eHow Contributing writer Jamie Robertson, the Chinese were probably the first to use aromatherapy. This ancient practice involved burning incense to restore harmony and balance to their lives. Later, cultures in Egypt, India, and Persia created methods of distillation that allowed them to extract the essential oils from plants, including cedarwood, cinnamon, and myrrh. These oils were used for medicinal purposes and as donations to the gods. Throughout the Medieval age, new essential oils were developed and use for a range of purposes, including fighting off the plague.

The use of aromatherapy can have a number of positive effects on the individual. Inhaled essential oils can stimulate both the mind and the body, such as easing congestion by inhaling eucalyptus and relieving insomnia with lavender. Applying diluted essential oils to the body can help to rejuvenate the skin, provide relief for common dermatological conditions and provide general health benefits. But also be aware that essential oils needs to be properly used. If you apply them to the skin, you should always dilute them using a carrier oil, such as almond or grapeseed oil. Undiluted essential oils can cause a permanent sensitivity. Many people are allergic to certain essential oils and may have an uncomfortable, painful or even life-threatening reaction to its use. Before applying a new essential oil to your skin, always do a patch test on a small area of skin.

Aromatherapy oils come in many forms, including essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and hydrosols. While these are all slightly different, they are often referred to as essential oils. Technically, essential oils are distilled from plants, herbs and roots using only water and heat. Absolutes, like essential oils, are distilled from plants; however, they are distilled using a much more complicated process that involves the use of chemical solvents, which are later removed. CO2s are created when essential oils are extracted using pressurized carbon dioxide. Hydrosols are simply the aromatic water that is left behind after essential oils have been distilled.

Because many essential oils in aromatherapy are potent antimicrobials, they can be useful in the treatment of infectious disease. They are used as medicines, often in combination with other herbal preparations, by a small group of doctors in France. In nursing, essential oils are increasingly used in pain management, anxiety/depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Aromatherapy may be used in combination with other forms of alternative medicine. Terms such as ‘essential oil therapy’ ‘clinical aromatherapy’ and ‘medical aromatherapy’ have been used by some journals, educational institutions and practitioners, in order to distance themselves from association with the commercial aspects.

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