21. Aromatherapy has been around for over 6,000 years. Experts pass their knowledge from one generation to the next.
Humans have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. Many ancient cultures, such as those in China, Egypt, and India, have incorporated aromatic plants into resins, balms, and oils. The substances were used for religious and medical purposes and were known to have psychological and physical benefits. Essential oil distillation was traced back to the Persians in the 10th century. However, it is unclear if anyone used the practice before this period. A publication regarding essential oil distillation dates back to 16th century Germany. A little while later, in the 19th century, French physicians recognized the potential essential oils had in treating diseases. I the 19th century, doctors cared about using chemical drugs to treat illnesses.
However, French and German doctors still focused on natural botanicals in treating disease. In fact, people have used essential oils for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. People used them for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes. Before being used for medicinal purposes, you could find essential oils in cosmetics and perfumes. That French chemist who discovered the healing properties of lavender oil applied it to a burn on his hand. The burn came from an explosion in his laboratory. He then began to analyze the chemical properties of essential oils. Furthermore, how he could use them to treat health issues. Although aromatherapy has been around for an extremely long time, it did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s.
20. Each essential oil offers different benefits and can either be stimulating or calming to your mind and body.
Now that we have at least a basic understanding of what aromatherapy is and how long it has been around, you may be wondering how exactly it works to heal and treat illnesses. There are still some questions about how aromatherapy works exactly. Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using a variety of products. Many people purchase diffusers or facial steamers for partaking in aromatherapy. Other times, people will utilize body oils, creams, or lotions for either massage or topical application. Makers also incorporate oils into bath salts. Using them is an easy way to add oils to your daily routine. They offer some relaxation and healing at the end of a long day.
You can use any of these alone or in any combination. Some scientists believe that our sense of smell plays a role. The smell receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain, such as the amygdala and hippocampus. These two areas serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. Therefore, researchers suggest that when you breathe in essential oil molecules, they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. For instance, it can stimulate brain cells’ activity in your amygdala when you breathe in lavender. This action is similar to the way sedative medications work, so you may find yourself feeling tired. Other researchers suggest that the molecules in essential oils might interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.
19. Aromatherapy has a variety of uses, including healing and treating illnesses.
Aromatherapy has many different uses. In addition to healing and treating properties, aromatherapy can help promote relaxation and relieve stress. People commonly use it to help treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions, including burns, infections, depression, insomnia, and even high blood pressure. Aromatherapy has been used in various settings, from health spas to hospitals, and supports multiple conditions. Overall, it helps relieve pain, improve your mood, and promote an overall sense of relaxation. Even mixing certain oils such as lavender, rose, orange, lemon, and sandalwood have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.
Several studies support that when midwives utilized essential oils, pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear. Also, they had a stronger sense of wellbeing and the need for fewer medications during delivery. Many pregnant women also reported that peppermint oil helped to relieve their nausea. Massage therapy with essential oils may benefit people with depression. Doctors think the scents help stimulate some positive emotions in the brain area that are responsible for memories and emotions. An individual’s belief that the treatment will help also influences whether or not it works. In another study, the compounds from essential oils have shown antibacterial and antifungal properties. Oils such as citrus may strengthen the immune system, and peppermint oil can also help with digestion.
18. Essential oils are a vital part of aromatherapy, but what exactly are they?
Essential oils are the concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its mix of active ingredients, which then determines the use of each oil. People use them to promote physical healing, while others use oils to treat swelling or fungal infections. On the other hand, some oils have emotional value and can help enhance relaxation or make an environment smell pleasant. For instance, orange blossom contains a large amount of an ingredient that is said to be extremely calming.
Once the oils are taken from the plant’s flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, or roots, experts mix them with another substance. That may be oil, alcohol, or lotion. Once mixed, the oils are put on the skin, sprayed in the air, or inhaled. The oils can also be massaged into the skin or poured into bathwater. Depending on the oil or combination of the oils, the result on the body may be calming or stimulating. When the oils interact with the body’s hormones and enzymes, there are changes in blood pressure and pulse. Moreover, people argue that certain oils’ fragrance may stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.
17. Aromatherapy sessions are top-rated. They involve trained professionals that can provide specific treatment regimens tailored to your needs.
Professional aromatherapists, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and massage therapists can provide topical treatment. They can also offer inhaled aromatherapy treatment during a session. Only specially trained professionals can provide treatment that involves taking essential oils by mouth. At an aromatherapy session, the practitioner will ask you about your medical history and symptoms and any scents you may like so that they can understand the best regimen for your treatment. That is when you would want to disclose if you have any health issues.
Your doctor might direct you to breathe in essential oils directly from a piece of cloth or indirectly through steam inhalations, vaporizers, or sprays. You may also receive a massage where the practitioner or massage therapist may apply diluted essential oils into your skin through the massage. In most cases, the practitioner will also tell you how to use aromatherapy at home. For instance, they may recommend specific essential oil scents or combinations into your bath so you can enjoy the benefits while in the comfort of your own home. Each essential oil has an array of unique healing properties, uses, and effects. Combining essential oils to create a synergistic blend can create even more benefits.
16. When you choose aromatherapy, it is crucial to understand each oil and its impact to get the proper treatment you need.
When choosing a provider for aromatherapy, you may want to meet with a certified aromatherapist. That can be even more important when you first start with aromatherapy or have specific issues that you would like to address. During a consultation with an aromatherapist, you will likely answer some questions and talk about your lifestyle and health. Together, you will develop an individual treatment plan that works to meet your goals and manage your symptoms. You may choose to have a few sessions with your aromatherapist, or you could decide to have multiple ongoing sessions over a more extended period. Since aromatherapy is a complementary therapy, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any sessions. You can customize your essential oil therapy to work together with any medical care or treatment you are already receiving by having these discussions prior.
There is plenty of information available online, but when you are first starting, it might be beneficial to meet with a professional aromatherapist first. Consultations with aromatherapists can vary depending on several factors, including where you live. There are currently no boards that certify or license aromatherapists; however, many professionals are professional organizations. You can locate aromatherapy by doing online research, talking to friends and family, or asking around at a spa or yoga studio. You can also contact the National Association of Holistic Therapy.
15. There are many essential oils, but some of the most popular include lavender, lemon, and peppermint.
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, there are quite a few popular essential oils. These include lavender, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and eucalyptus. They all have different benefits. Lavender is used to producing a calming effect, which then helps to reduce anxiety. It can aid in wound healing, burns, and general skincare.
On the other hand, lemon has many benefits that include anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Lemon works to enhance your immune system and can be used to uplift your spirit and mood. Peppermint is also one of the most popular essential oils. Historically, people use it to relieve nausea, reduce migraines, and be an analgesic for muscular aches and pains. However, avoid peppermint with children under 30 months of age.
People also utilize ginger to aid in digestion, eliminate gas, and act as an anti-inflammatory. It can be used to help in constipation relief and has an emotional and physical warming effect. Eucalyptus is a decongestant that is even more beneficial during cold and flu season. It can help by increasing your energy and can also help to clear your mind. Experts have indicated explicitly that eucalyptus is ideal for children with respiratory complaints. Each of these popular essential oils offers different benefits. Essential oils can be used in several ways, whether alone or combined.
14. Since practitioners of aromatherapy do not have a license in the United States, some may question if aromatherapy is genuinely safe.
Although there are no designated licensing boards in the United States, many licensed health professionals may have experience and aromatherapy training. It is vital to talk to your medical doctor to see whether aromatherapy may be helpful and safe for your specific health conditions. Although there are many benefits associated with aromatherapy, individuals should carefully determine if the method is right for them. For instance, pregnant women, people with severe asthma, and those with a history of allergies should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained professional and their doctors’ full knowledge and support.
Since each essential oil has either a calming or stimulating impact, it is critical to know how each of them might interact with your specific needs. People with high blood pressure should avoid using essential oils such as rosemary and spike lavender. Those with cancer or estrogen-dependent tumors such as breast or ovarian cancer should not use oils with estrogen-like compounds such as fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage. As with any new therapy, people receiving medical care for any illness should talk to their doctors about any aromatherapy they plan to use.
13. It is crucial to know and understand how each oil interacts with your specific needs.
Most topical and inhaled essential oils are considered safe. However, you should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under a trained professional’s supervision. Some oils can be toxic, and consuming them by mouth can be fatal. Although extremely rare, aromatherapy does occasionally induce some side effects. These may include a rash, asthma, health, and liver and nerve damage. If you find yourself experiencing any side effects after doing aromatherapy, you should talk to an aromatherapist or doctor.
Essential oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can be irritating to your skin. You will want to add water or a base massage oil such as almond or coconut to the essential oil before applying it to your skin. You should avoid using the oils near your eyes. Essential oils are also highly volatile and flammable, so you should never use near an open flame. Some animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. However, it is unclear if they have the same effect on humans. Eucalyptus, for instance, may cause certain drugs to be less effective. For example, studies show that eucalyptus can alter pentobarbital for seizures. Likewise, amphetamines for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may become less effective.
12. People usually use aromatherapy through inhalation or as a topical application.
Inhalation is breathing the air when the essential oils evaporate into the air using a diffuser container, spray, or oil droplets. Apart from providing a pleasant smell, aromatherapy oils can provide respiratory disinfection, decongestant, and psychological benefits. Inhaling essential oils works to stimulate the olfactory system, which is the part of the brain connected to smell, including the nose and the mind. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth then pass to the lungs; from there, these particles travel to other parts of the body. As the molecules then reach the brain, they impact the limbic system, linked to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. Inhaled essential oils can offer a subtle, holistic effect on the body.
On the other hand, some do aromatherapy through topical applications. That includes massage oils or bath and skincare products soaked in oils and absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is going to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some people have argued that more affluent regions in sweat glands and hair follicles such as the head of palms of the hand can more effectively absorb the oils.
11. Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly recognized by both the scientific and mainstream medical communities for its physical and mental health benefits.
As a complementary therapy, it does not provide a cure for diseases, rashes, or illnesses. Instead, it can work to support the conventional treatment of various conditions. Experts have found that many essential oils have varying degrees of anti-microbial activity. They believe that the oils have antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. Aromatherapy applications include massage, topical applications, and inhalation. However, any user should be aware that some perceived natural products also contain chemicals and can be hazardous if misused. It is important to follow the advice of a trained professional when using essential oils.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils have a variety of healing benefits. Studies show that essential oils reduce nausea, body aches, fatigue, headaches, and circulatory problems. Aromatherapy has been around for nearly 6,000 years, intending to improve a person’s health or mood. People incorporated essential oils into resins and balms to treat various ailments. Ancient scientists understood through experience and passed-down knowledge that individual plants and their extracts were useful for treating a range of conditions from respiratory infections to menstrual cramps. In addition to the traditional methods of use, people add oils to hair care products, liquid soap, and bathwater.
10. One of the most appealing benefits of aromatherapy is its ability to boost energy.
We have all experienced that mid-afternoon slump where our energy has become wholly depleted. While some of us may reach for more coffee or an energy drink, essential oils offer a natural alternative. A study was conducted and concluded that aromatherapy significantly benefited cognitive performance, physiological responses and reduced subjective stress. Certain essential oils can help combat that afternoon slump and can revitalize your senses. In turn, you will feel re-energized to finish out the rest of your day. Most all citrus essential oils are full of antioxidant terpenes such as limonene. That is primarily found in the lemon essential oil and contains naturally energizing effects.
Lemon oil also works to promote concentration and has calming properties that will decrease anger and anxiety. Next to lemon, peppermint is the best option to help give that second boost of energy. Peppermint can improve exercise performance, reduce exhaustion feelings, and increase brain oxygen concentration. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of tiredness during the day, try incorporating some peppermint or lemon essential oils throughout your office space to give you that extra pep in your step.
9. There are a variety of essential oils, including basil, that can help improve digestion.
Smelling the aromas from the food jump-starts our digestive system by stimulating the release of digestive fluids in our mouths, stomach, and small intestine. A few of the common essential oils used to aid in digestion include ginger oil, peppermint oil, lemon, and rosemary. People use ginger to improve digestion and reduce nausea. It can also help treat constipation. It has digestive stimulatory effects that can increase gastric motility. Peppermint oil contains antispasmodic properties, which can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract. That can help ensure that any consumed food moves smoothly and efficiently through the digestive system.
Lemon essential oils are highly concentrated and contain many healthy antioxidants that can improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Both factors allow the digestion process to run more smoothly. Rosemary essential oil has a spasmolytic effect, which means that it relaxes muscles and suppresses muscle spasms. Like peppermint oil, rosemary essential oils can help jump-start the digestive system and get things moving as needed. You can mix these essential oils into a massage lotion or add a few drops to an air diffuser to get the full benefits.
8. Sore muscles and pains do not have to last all day due to essential oils that can reduce your physical pain.
Several essential oils can help to alleviate chronic or acute inflammatory pain. Peppermint, helichrysum, and marjoram all have benefits that can treat acute pain, tension, and swelling. These can be used individually or in combination with each other. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on sore, achy muscles. It also contains analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Helichrysum oil works to relieve muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain. Marjoram oil also relaxes muscle spasms and tension and is known for easing pain and inflammation. Lavender oil offers calming and soothing properties.
Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus has a similar cooling effect of reducing pain and inflammation. For more chronic pain, users should try nutmeg oil, which contains anti-inflammatory qualities and reduced joint swelling. Externally, it can be used to relieve rheumatic pain. If you are experiencing a toothache, try using some clove oil as an emergency treatment. Lastly, for any skin ailments like a rash or minor cut, try using tea tree and coconut oil. No matter what your physical pain stems from, there is likely to be an essential oil or combination of essential oils to relieve pain and inflammation.
7. If you live with chronic stress, you may want to incorporate some essential oils into your life to reduce those stressors.
One of the best-known essential oils in aromatherapy is lavender oil. People rave over lavender oil for its calming effects on the body and mind. Studies show that spraying lavender oil on clothing is extremely effective in reducing work-related stress for multiple days. You can find lavender oil in various aromatherapy products that range from bath salts to massage oil. Another way to take advantage of the soothing scent of lavender is by sipping on lavender-infused herbal tea. You can typically find them in many natural-food stores.
Overall, lavender has a calming effect on the body and is extremely useful in reducing stress. Another essential oil that can be used in aromatherapy to reduce stress levels is neroli essential oils. Doctors say that breathing in the scent of this essential oil can help promote calmness and limit or reduce excessive worrying. A third essential oil you can take advantage of if you are feeling stressed is frankincense essential oil. Did you know that the sweet, woody scent from frankincense aids in relaxation and easing stress? Any of these essential oils can help reduce stress in day-to-day lives, but a combination of them would offer you a greater benefit.
6. Essential oils are a powerful tool to have for natural and healthy living. Many oils, including lemon, peppermint, lavender, and oregano, offer great, natural health benefits.
One of the most popular essential oils is lemon, which has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antihistamine properties that make it a great natural cleaner. Lemon essential oil is excellent for making your own cleaning products that will kill bacteria and leave your home with a great lemon scent. You can add a few drops to your shampoo to invigorate your senses in the morning and stimulate hair growth. Another useful essential oil to be used daily is peppermint oil. Merely sniffing the oil can increase your concentration and focus. That would be a great option to have while working since we might need a little extra brain boost during the day.
Thirdly, diffusing lavender oil can help reduce stress and promote calmness and better sleep habits. While other benefits include better digestion, lavender can help boost both hair growth and skin health. Not to mention that the smell of lavender is pleasant to have in your home. Oregano oil is a familiar ingredient when cooking Italian food, but it also has other health benefits. It is a powerful oil, so you should always dilute it with either water or coconut oil before applying it to the skin. Diluting the oil with coconut oil and rubbing the mixture on sore muscles helps to speed up the recovery of those muscles.
5. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, try incorporating some essential oils such as lavender and bergamot.
Essential oils are beneficial if you are experiencing difficulty sleeping. Many essential oils are popular for their natural sedative properties and can help you fall asleep and ensure that you are getting quality sleep. Some of the more common essential oils used to induce sleep include lavender, valerian root, frankincense, and bergamot. As discussed earlier, lavender provides the body with an overall calming impact that can help when it is time to unwind and relax at night. Experts widely use bergamot in aromatherapy. It come from the peel of a citrus fruit and can help lessen stress and induce sleep by promoting relaxation.
Bergamot essential oil may also improve negative emotions and fatigue and lower saliva cortisol levels, which are the body’s stress hormone. Bergamot is a potent oil that you should always combine with a carrier oil before applying it. However, it can also be irritating to the skin, so it’s vital to be cautious of that. Rather than applying directly to the skin, you could sprinkle a drop or two into an aromatherapy diffuser. People have used valerian root for hundreds of years. Why? The valerenic acid has sedative and calming effects. Frankincense can alleviate anxiety and help promote the calmness that is needed to induce quality sleep.
4. Essential oils used in aromatherapy can help relieve anxiety that many people feel day-to-day.
Many essential oils can work to reduce anxiety. These include frankincense, rose, lavender, and bergamot, among others, as they all have calming aromas. Lemon essential oils come from the lemon plant leaves. Experts know they have sedative and anxiety-reducing properties. Rich in linalool, a compound found in lemons, oranges, and lavender, practitioners often recommend lemon essential oils to relieve stress, improve your mood, and reduce signs of anxiety. Like lemon essential oil, orange essential oil contains an aroma suggested to alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil did not increase anxiety during an anxiety-inducing situation.
Another type of orange essential oil known as bitter orange, was reduced anxiety during a simulated public speaking event. Another commonly used essential oil to reduce anxiety is neroli. Proponents claim that breathing in the scent of this essential oil can help promote calmness and reduce excessive worrying resulting from anxiety. Those who inhaled neroli oil had lower systolic blood pressure. Lastly, lemongrass has been a natural relief for anxiety. By inhaling the scent of lemongrass or applying it sparingly to the skin, promotes relaxation, and reduces anxiety symptoms.
3. There are many essential oils, including oregano, tea tree, and eucalyptus, that work to strengthen your immune system.
Your immune system health is one of the most critical factors in determining our overall well being. A properly functioning immune system helps your body fight off disease and keeps you happy and healthy. Now more than ever, we should be doing everything we can to keep our bodies’ natural defense systems running at peak performance. Tea tree oil is melaleuca. It is one of the most efficient and useful essential oils for immune system support. Experts highly regard tea tree for its outstanding anti-microbial properties and its ability to stimulate the immune system, fighting off infections. Being one of the more gentle essential oils, it is easier to incorporate tea tree oils into your daily routine.
Eucalyptus essential oils are often used in natural cold and flu remedies and are a fantastic decongestant that can help clear your respiratory tract and prevent infection. Multiple studies have shown that merely inhaling eucalyptus oil helps to fight bacteria that can cause infections. We’re all familiar with oregano as the herb that compliments many Mediterranean food dishes. Were you also aware that as an essential oil, oregano also has powerful healing properties? Similar to some other essential oils, oregano is antibacterial, antiviral, and has immune-promoting properties. These properties make oregano an excellent oil for fighting infection, which is an integral part of maintaining a healthy immune system.
2. You can use essential oil aromatherapy to improve focus, concentration, and alertness by stimulating certain parts of the brain.
Stimulate the brain areas that control emotions, motivation, and regulation of memories and hormones. This brain structure is the limbic system. It is directly connected to the olfactory system. As the aromas of essential oils travel through the olfactory system to the limbic system, they influence your emotions. The limbic system contains the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. These brain structures are responsible for forming emotional responses and memories, indexing and storing memories, and regulating emotional responses. Inhaling essential oils for aromatherapy can influence emotions and memories.
Certain essential oils directly impact improving focus and concentration by stimulating the limbic system that controls memory, learning, and alertness. One of rosemary essential oil’s primary benefits is to improve brain focus. People specifically use it to improve concentration and information recall. Research shows that inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil can help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that is critical for thinking, concentration, and memory. Lavender promotes a calm and relaxing mindset, which can indirectly improve focus and concentration. By calming nervousness and reducing stress, lavender essential oil can help promote clearer thinking and improved focus. For those that have an overactive mind, lavender can be beneficial.
1. Essential oils can help with restoring hormonal balance and good health.
Hormonal imbalance is when the ratio of some hormones to others is out of whack. Each hormone has a specific task to carry out, and if the levels are too high or too low, it can lead to some uncomfortable symptoms. Hormones are sensitive, and many factors can impact your levels, so it’s crucial to look at the whole picture when assessing your health. One of the best essential oils for restoring and maintaining hormonal balance is clary sage. Studies have shown that clary sage can improve thyroid hormone levels and aid in balancing estrogen levels. Aromatherapy has also shown to be an effective relief for menstrual cramps.
When it comes to balancing hormones, frankincense essential oil is an excellent option for balancing the function of T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones. Frankincense oil can reduce inflammation and decrease cortisol, which significantly impacts proper thyroid functioning. Since inflammation is a sign of autoimmune diseases, frankincense can help reduce these symptoms as well. Experts research lavender essential oil. Studies show it has a beneficial effect on hormonal balance, pain relief, and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Lavender lowers the amount of cortisol released by the adrenal glands. Since it is an adaptive oil, lavender can be beneficial in hormonal balance because it can adapt to your body’s specific needs. If one hormone is too low and another too high, lavender can help level out both without adverse side effects.