Aromatherapy is the use of plant oils for physical and psychological health and wellness. Aromatherapy has been around for centuries and has recently come out of alternative medicine to the mainstream. Most commonly they are now purchased from a specialty store or online. Basically a substance is extracted from a plant to give us an extremely potent essential oil. The oils can be used in massage, burned, inhaled, bathed in, or used in a compress. The oils are not to be eaten because of the potency. For massage or another skin application the oil must be diluted. Some common substances used to dilute the oils are apricot, cocoa butter, primrose, jojoba, olive, avocado, sunflower, and pecan. Each essential oil is said to be used for a certain ailment or disease.

Here is a list of some of the most common essential oils and what they can be used for.

Almond - base oil
Basilbronchitis, colds, cough, flu, insect repellant, aches
Cedar wood – acne, arthritis, cough, dandruff, stress
Chamomile – allergies, cuts, earache, PMS, stress, insomnia, headache
clary sage - relaxation, narcotic like effects
Dill – pains, headache
Eucalyptusarthritis, cold sores, colds, fever, flu
Fir Needle – muscle aches
Frankincense – stretch marks, anxiety, scars, stress
Grapefruit - stress, PMS, headache
Ginger – nausea, poor circulation
Jasminedepression, dry skin, exhaustion
Lavender – depression, aches, anxiety, bruises, migraines, stress, wounds
Lemon – warts, flu, colds, corns
Lime – acne, flu, colds
Nutmeg – slow digestion, fatigue, nausea
Oregano – cough, digestion
Patchouli – chapped skin, hair care, stress, athlete’s foot, fatigue
Peppermintasthma, fever, headache
Pine oil -- Aches and pains
Rose - stress, depression
Rosewood – skin, headache, stretch marks, stress
Sage - headaches, infection, stimulate mind
Sandalwood – laryngitis, chapped skin, bronchitis
Tea Tree – chicken pox, insect bites, migraine, sores, colds, cuts
Violet Leaf – insomnia, sore throats
Yarrow – hair care, wounds, scars, insomnia
Ylang-Ylang – anxiety, stress

Stay away from aromatherapy that the essential oil is 100%:

Mustard
Onion
Birch
Wintergreen
Sassafras
Boldo Leaf
Garlic

Aromatherapy is a general term for alternative medicine therapies that use various types of essential oils, which may be stimulating or sedative, to improve physical and mental health. One absorbs these oils into his or her body through either massage or inhalation. The main difference between aromatherapy and herbal medicine is that the latter involves the distillation of plant oils through a vaporizer or diffuser to produce an aroma while the former normally such oils in their "raw" form.

How Aromatherapy Works

The mixing and vaporizing process of carefully selected types of essential oils is not only the first but also the most important step in any aromatherapy program. Before starting therapy, aroma therapists first establish if their clients are allergic to both nuts and seeds since they are the main sources of essential oils.

During an aromatherapy session, aroma therapists guide clients through a process of inhaling vaporized essential oils that stimulate the parts of the brain that control emotions and memories. As a result, the brain releases chemicals that calm and relax the body. When used to massage various parts of the body, aromatic oils are likely to promote physical relaxation, stimulate mental relaxation, and improve the health of the skin by destroying harmful microbes. The premise of aromatherapy is that the sense of smell can stimulate the brain's limbic system that controls emotions that hinder or promote physical and psychological healing.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

• Many of the oils that aromatherapists use have healing properties that promote the healing of bacterial skin disorders.

• Since aromatherapy massages enhance blood circulation, they ultimately improve the ability of the body to get rid of harmful toxins.

• The use of essential oils in aromatherapy massages generally relieves pressure and discomfort in lymph nodes. This can be highly beneficial for arthritis patients and individuals who suffer from various joint-pain related illnesses.

• According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, some studies have shown that some of the oils used in aromatherapy have sedative properties. As such, they can help patients deal with certain medical conditions such as fatigue and insomnia. Aromatherapy can also treat stress-related disorders such as depression, migraines, and anxiety.

• Some studies have shown that aromatherapy massages can significantly reduce physical discomfort in some medical situations such as childbirth labor due to the calming effects of inhaling aromatic oils.

• Due to the anti-bacterial and antifungal properties of aromatic oils, aromatherapy improves the tone and appearance of skin.

• Aromatherapy is effective in fighting viral infections such as colds. This is because certain plant extracts, such as menthol have properties that can treat clogged sinuses and alleviate some symptoms of common colds.

Overall, aromatherapy takes a holistic physical and a psychological treatment approach. For it to work, professional aromatherapists select a blend of essential oils with properties that suit the needs of different clients. It is important to consult a doctor before starting aromatherapy since some essential oils may be harmful to people who have some medical conditions such as diabetes.

It’s the way the air is washed clean after an afternoon thunderstorm
or it’s your lover’s favorite perfume and their freshly washed hair.
It’s the infant or toddler as you carry them to bed or blow kisses on their belly
or the newly washed clothes that come straight from the dryer after doing laundry.

It’s the new coat of paint or brand new leather furniture and jacket
or warm cookies and brownies baking in the oven.
It’s the bacon frying in the morning and the first cup of coffee to jump start your day
or the ocean as the tide rises and falls during sunrise and sunset.

It’s the fresh fruit or vegetable picked straight off the vine or dug from the earth
or the bakery down the block when it first opens its doors in the morning.
It’s the candle that brings light to an otherwise darkened room
or the newly opened book which you read near the fireplace.

It’s whatever’s been stewing away in the crock pot for eight to ten hours
or whatever has been cooked by barbecue or over an open flame.
It’s the campfire and the morning dew as you climb out of your sleeping bag
or when you drive away in a new car just to take in the scenery with no destination in mind.

It’s brand new carpeting throughout the house and freshly installed woodwork
or whatever three ingredients used in the kitchen to create the holy trinity of cooking.
It’s fresh baked bread right after it comes of the oven and hasn't had a chance to cool
or warm pancakes smothered in fresh maple syrup and covered in butter.

It’s the simple things in life we take for granted on a daily basis
but mostly, it’s the smell that reminds you how it feels to be safe at home.

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