Sunday, August 25, 2019

Aromatherapy

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What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is derived from two words. aroma – meaning fragrance or smell and therapy – meaning treatment. it is the practice of using essential oils to maintain and promote physical and emotional well-being. essential oils have been around for centuries, used by many different cultures, in a variety of ways and as a form of holistic therapy. Research has shown essential oils to be some of the strongest metabolite agents; ridding the body of toxins and fighting infections. Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in holistic medicine.

The current interest in the practice of aromatherapy seems to emphasize the fact that nature is continuing to offer us ways to heal ourselves while allowing us to enjoy the beauty that is before us. Classed as a holistic therapy, aromatherapy is now offered by many hospitals that employ aromatherapist to enhance their patient’s general well-being and optimize their quality of life. The aim of aromatherapy is centered on the healing of the body, mind and spirit.

The history of aromatherapy goes back thousands of years. Plant oils are mentioned several times in the Bible. Aromatic plants and essential oils were used in biblical times. Cleopatra was also known to use essential oils in her perfumery. The Egyptians used aromatic plant essences to treat both physical and mental health problems. In the East, Chinese doctors also knew the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

The science and practice of modern aromatherapy and concepts began with a French chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. Around the year 1910, Gattefosse discovered the healing properties of lavender oil after severely burning his hand in a laboratory explosion, and needing to cool it down, put his entire hand into a vat of pure lavender essential oil. The pain was gone almost instantly. Over the next few days his burn healed with no scars or infections. This led him into a lifetime of research and discovery on the subject of essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are found in different parts of the plant:

  • flowering tops lavender.chamomile
  • grass lemongrass.palmarosa.
  • leaves peppermint.cinnamon
  • peel lemon.bergamot.orange
  • seed cardamon.fennel
  • twig cypress.tea tree.eucalyptus
  • wood rosewood.cedarwood
  • gum frankincense

Because of their properties, essential oils are widely used in perfumes, flavorings and medicines. The main methods are steam distillation, by compression, dissolving the oils out (extraction) or absorbing them, and by pressure and maceration (to separate into constituents by soaking). The methods used to extract the essential oil are time consuming and expensive and require a high degree of expertise. To maintain all of the therapeutic qualities, it must be extracted by steam distillation using extremely low pressure and low heat as not to defile the quality of the oil. The name “essential” is derived from the Latin “quintessential”, meaning the fifth element. The fifth element was the vital element the alchemist sought to change base metals into gold.

Each oil renders valuable health benefits when properly used in aromatherapy. Essential oils do not need to pass through the digestive system and can enter through the skin by massage oils, by various methods of inhalation, compressesor vaporizers.

Essential oils interact with the body in three distinct ways: pharmacologically chemical change (through the blood stream), physiologically (effects the systems of the body) and psychologically (inhaled and a response is generated by the aroma). Given that it takes in excess of 220 pounds of rose petals to produce only 4 or 5 teaspoonfuls of oil, the chemical complexity and high concentration of essential oils makes every drop valuable and powerful. Once you understand the principles of essential oils, you will want them in your life forever.

Out top 7 Essential Oils

Lavender

Lavender for everyday use is simply the most widely recommended oil for therapeutic benefits and for personal enjoyment. After a demanding day reach for the floral sweet smell that calms the nerves and relaxes the mind. This wonderful balancing oil will treat skin burns, soothe menstrual cramps and add to your overall sense of facing new challenges with anticipation and sensitivity. Can be used throughout the day to relieve stress and headaches.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is commonly used in remedies to treat coughs and the common cold. Because it helps loosen phlegm many herbal practitioners recommend inhaling eucalyptus vapors to help treat bronchitis. Eucalyptus oil is rich in cineole (a potent antiseptic that kills bacteria responsible for bad breath). Also, its camphoraceous smell in combination with lemon is often used as
an insect repellent.

Rosemary

If you’re needing to feel a little more energetic and purposeful certainly try rosemary oil in your morning bath or shower. It is a warming and invigorating oil that improves circulation and enhances concentration and is recommended for use during exercise classes to prevent soreness. Also, many aromatherapist find it excellent for scalp and hair treatments. It is antiseptic and unfriendly to colds and flu, as well as a detoxifying oil.

Many world-class chefs find it indispensable as a culinary herb.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree essential oil more than any other antiseptic oil is expected to do the therapeutic heavy lifting in aromatherapy. It is the most used first-aid oil in the practice of alternative medicine. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and used in the treatment of poor oral hygiene. Every home medicine cabinet should have a bottle. Tea tree tends to be extroverted and concentrated so be a little shy and careful with its application.

Orange

The scent of orange reduces anxiety and lightly lowers high blood pressure. Diffuse orange to help ease symptoms of bronchitis, colds, the flu, and to soothe stress and depression. A clockwise abdominal massage of orange may ease constipation and water retention. Orange makes an excellent body moisturizer, and when added to the bath has a calming effect. Orange has excellent de-greasing and cleaning properties.

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil, as a massage oil over the abdomen relaxes the muscles to help in the digestion of heavy meals and relieves flatulence, cramping, nausea and specific disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil relieves the itching of ringworm, blisters, poison oak and ivy and stimulates oil production in dry skin and hair. Many bacterial and viral infections are destroyed by it.

Ylang Ylang

Sounds exotic, mischievous and playful and scientific research on this unique flower native to Indonesia bears this out. Being produced in Madagascar this romantic mood setting oil is known to be a powerful aphrodisiac and sedates the nerves to give one a sense of well-being.
Restless nights are no longer tolerated as ylang ylang is now recognized as an alternative to lavender in helping to prevent insomnia.

Below, we’ve listed the essential oils that are most problematic for certain conditions.

Pregnancy: cedarwood, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, rose and rosemary

Photosensitizing: (reacts with sunlight) angelica, bergamot, lemon, orange, grapefruit and mandarin

Epilepsy: fennel (sweet), hyssop, rosemary and sage (all types)

Note:The information provided on this site is provided for
educational purposes only. Aromatherapy Thymes magazine and aromatherapythymes.com or the sponsor Erbaviva, cannot be
responsible for misuse of essential oils/alternative health remedies
or methods discussed.

Aromatherapy Glossary

Absolute not considered a pure essential oil because a solvent is used to extract the fragrance from the flower, but many perfumers prefer this method.

Aromatherapy the practice of using essential oils to maintain and promote physiological and psychological
well-being.

Adulteration a misleading practice that manufacturers may use to increase their profits by diluting concentrated essential oils.

Base notes indicates essential oils that evaporate extremely slow when applied to the skin, less volatile than their “top” or “middle” note counterparts.

Botanical names a name given in “latin” to distinguish species of similar origins.

Carrier oils natural based oils, such as in olive or avocado that enhance the absorption of essential oils.

Cold pressed the pressing of seeds, fruit peels and vegetables to release vital oils.

Diffuser aromatherapy accessory used to disperse essential oils into the air for olfactory benefit.

Enfleurage a process of extracting essential oil compounds from plant leaves and flowers.

Essential oils vital therapeutic materials found in plants, flowers, seeds or bark.

Extraction method by which essential oils are separated from the plant; methods include distillation, expression and solvent extraction.

Floral water better known as hydrosols, the true aroma essence of the flower faintly dissolved in water by distillation.

Infusion procedure of soaking plants in carrier oils to release their properties.

Photosensitizing any substance that increase the sensitivity to the sun.

Perfume oil synthetic substances made in the laboratory to approximate natural aromas, but have no therapeutic value.

Synergy a “wholeness of parts” concept that suggests that blended oils have a greater
therapeutic effect together than when applied apart.

Toxicity essentials oils that may cause serious injury or harm if used in large amounts or at all. 

Volatile the degree of ease in which an essential oil will evaporate.

Essential Oil Safety Guide

Essential Oils Can Be Harmful If Not Used Carefully     
Never use essential oils as a substitute for necessary medical care. Always consult a qualified health professional. Only the finest quality pure essential oils should be used in aromatherapy. Read and follow label instructions and warnings.

Do Not Use Essential Oils Directly On The Skin        
Essential oils may cause skin irritation. Always use carrier oil such as jojoba oil. Undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritation and/or a systemic reaction. If skin irritation or an allergic reaction occurs from using any oil, stop using it.

Health Related Issues   
People with asthma, epilepsy, and high blood pressure should avoid using essential oils. Please read the label for essential oil use during pregnancy or consult your physician.

Keep Essential Oils Out Of The Reach Of Infants and Children   
If accidental ingestion takes place, seek immediate medical attention.  Prevention is better than cure. Never allow children access to essential oils.

Do Not Take Essential Oils Internally    
Several essential oils that are safe to use externally are toxic if taken internally.

Essential Oils Are Flammable    
Keep essential oils clear of fire hazards.

Some Essential Oils Are Photosensitive          
Citrus oils such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, mandarin, bergamot, angelica, etc., are photosensitive and may cause a rash or pigmentation problems. Avoid prolonged sun exposure after applying pure citrus oils to the skin.

Essential Oils to Avoid
The following essential oils can be harmful and toxic if used: Many are not available and some are on a government list of “Poison Oils.” Bitter almond, arnica, birch, sweet, camphor (brown and yellow), cassia  cinnamon bark, costus, exotic basil, fig leaf, hyssop, mugwort, pennyroyal, sage, dalmation, sassafras, tansy, tarragon, thuja, verbena, wintergreen, wormseed, wormwood.

Note: The information provided on this site is provided for educational purposes only. Aromatherapy Thymes magazine and aromatherapythymes.com cannot be responsible for misuse of essential oils/alternative health remedies or methods discussed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professionals.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professionals.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Jung

    It can’t be too hard to say that aroma therapy can be broadly applied to both physical and mental therapies. The usages are also versatile like drinking, smelling, massaging, bathing, etc. The essential oil or perfumed oil takes effects mainly in three ways: (1) it makes people happy and pleasant – this atmosphere multiplies the curing effect. In fact, many physical diseases are, in some ways, related to the stress; (2) essential oil is one of the most effective and widely known antibiotics, therefore it sure will be the alternative of existing antibiotics; (3) moreover, like the acupuncture treatment, it can facilitate the streaming of energy in the body.

    The essential oil has been used for these: foods, cosmetics and medicines. For foods, it has been used for natural spice like lemon, orange and lime; for medicinal purpose, it has been used as aromatic or as exclusive treatment material. The parts of the plants that make up the essential oil are root(sweet flag), leaf(rosemary), flower(lavender), skin(cinnamon), branch(myrrh) and the skin of young fruits.

    At the time of between the late 19th century and early 20th century, the essential oil was considered to be a medical substance. The oil from dried clove buds, lavender, rosemary and peppermint was used for digestive system; the aroma from these plants activates salivation and is effective on constipation and abdominal distention.

    The oil from cinnamon, eucalyptus does stethocatharsis and sterilization and is good for the diseases in blood vessel, lymph and pulmonary system. For headache, that from clover is helpful; for urinary diseases like kidney stone, chamomile and geranium are fine.

    And especially, the essential oil can control our mind. Worrying, nervous state, tension, depression, hysteria can be cured by the oil made of lavender, rose, mint.

  2. Wang T.

    The sense of smell is more sensitive than any other human sensory organs. The speed of cell’s reaction is really fast and the effect on human body is also great. The good smell of food stimulates the appetite thereby watering the mouth and even reminds one of his or her good old days. The particle of smell conveys the feeling to brain and it affects the limbic system that controls the emotions and retentive faculties. This is what the aromatic therapy is based on. Aroma therapy is one of the natural therapies. Therefore, its main principle is in the same line with acupuncture, herbal medical science and homeopathy. Aroma therapy is the natural therapy that cures the physical and mental diseases by inhalation, massage and bathing with essential oil.
    The thought that aroma can cure some kinds of diseases has been doubted, but many old Chinese medical books like San-hye-kyung or Choong-jang-kyung have also regarded it as highly effective and supportive.
    There are three traditional ways to use it: (1) put the dried herb in the bag and hang it around the neck, (2) boil the herb and smell it, (3) put the herb in the bathtub and take a bath in it. However, these are not very common nowadays.
    In the west, its use has developed more specifically: distill the aromatic herb and extract essential oil from it, and then make some medical products. This is very common in England, the leading country of aromatic therapy.
    The essential oil in the aromatic therapy can be paralleled with the human blood in that it exist as a perfect organic matter, therefore its activities are very sensitive and specified.

  3. pauline

    Succulent, crimson and delicious, held in the hand like an orbiting moon, cherries are enjoyed by the eyes before being tasted for their sweetness. Although some cherries are sour, we are more familiar with the variety of juicy sweet ones called Bing (deep-purplish, sweet) or Rainier (yellow, with specks of red, extra sweet) cherries. Amazingly, cherries’ good taste is also outmatched by the abundant nutritional value packed inside each one. Researchers have identified many beneficial vitamins, minerals and fibers inside cherries. Pound for pound they are one of the best fruits that we can eat.
    They contain vitamin C, well known to fight against sinus congestion, colds and boost immunity. Packed with Beta-carotene, a light absorbing pigment that gives fruit and vegetables their magnificent colors. Carotenes protect cells against toxics and protects the mucus membrane of the mouth and nose, also carotenes are the precursor to vitamin-A (called retinol, and plays a role is vision, healthy skin and hair). Another benefit is the mineral abundance of potassium that is found in cherries. Potassium maintains electrolyte balance within cells, improves the metabolism rate and helps strengthen heart muscle functions. Our digestive system will also find cherries to be a helpful companion. By containing the natural fiber known as pectin, cherries work to lower the cholesterol, keep arteries elastic, lower blood sugar levels, decrease constipation and without emphasizing the chemical functions of pectin it does eliminate harmful metals such as lead from the body.
    Cherries were grown and cultivated by the Native Americans and also brought to American by early settlers. Centuries before that, China and Turkey had also cultivated cherries and integrated their benefit into everyday use. Cherries may have a high price tag during peak growing season, but the nutritional benefit far outweighs most cost considerations. Make the most of your day by sharing a few clean and cooled, dripping wet cherries with some friends or simply enjoy solo while reading a good book.

  4. Helen M.

    Throughout the world, the extravagant mild aroma and satisfying taste of chamomile has endured to become a classic tea and healing oil enjoyed by people from nearly every culture and walk of life.
    Chamomile is a bashful companion and only genuinely appreciated during down-time rather than when one is rushed. It’s unique royal honey fragrance is unmistakable and sends an invitation for you to return to a cozy rendezvous. It is an essential oil for contemplation and relaxation, for bringing serenity to weary nerves and pleasure to over-worked muscles.
    The aromatic charm of chamomile seduces one to infatuation while it delivers tranquility. It is not surprising, that the sedating effects of chamomile is excellent for those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.
    Some of the nutritional rewards are still being discovered, but most of the therapeutic benefits are well documented and researched. Chamomile acts to soothe the irritability of tired eyes and promotes the healing of conjunctivitis (pink eye, viral infection). Also, aggravated muscles of the stomach and intestine and other gastrointestinal tract lining conditions are reduced by chamomile. It is recommended for use in fighting against gum disease and mouth sores. In addition, because of its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties the discomfort of menstrual cramps are diminished. Other ailments or conditions, such as gout, rashes, abrasions, gingivitis and digestive problems can be gently mitigated by using chamomile as a lotion or oil.

    Considered the Plant’s Physician, it is said that if you have a plant that is drooping or sick, planting chamomile beside it will help it to recover.
    You’ll remain protected and happy with chamomile as a member of your aromatherapy basket.
    Precautions: As with all aromatherapy products, be sure to read directions for use or consult a licensed aromatherapist or health professional. Check dilution instructions and be careful not to over use. Avoid during pregnancy.

  5. Jen

    It is said that the eucalyptus tree is one of the most useful trees in the world. Belonging to the Myrtacae family (the same family as tea tree), the name eucalyptus means ‘well-covered’ which refers to the little cap that covers the flower before budding. A tall, water-loving tree, eucalyptus is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, reaching heights of between 300-480 feet. Growing in damp marshy areas on moist land and clays eucalyptus is often found on hillsides or moist valleys in deep rich soils.

    Native of Australia, where it was regarded as a general ‘cure-all’ by the Aborigines, there are over 300 species and 700 varieties of eucalyptus.
    The trees have been used for everything including mulch, shade, fuel and hardwoods. It is also wind breaking and malaria fighting. Its extensive root system absorbs vast amounts of water. It is due to this phenomenon that it has been intentionally planted in marshy, malaria infested areas in an attempt to dry up and purify the soil and air. The German botanist and explorer, Baron Ferdin and Von Muller suggested that the fragrance of the trees might prove antiseptic. It was in 1855 that the French government sent seeds to Algeria and consequently many of the disease ridden areas were converted to healthy dry ones.

    Eucalyptus oil was in huge demand during World War I, as it was used to control a meningitis outbreak and for the influenza of 1919. Today the major eucalyptus producing countries include China, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Russia, and Chile. With over 50 pounds of plant material needed for one pound of oil, eucalyptus was first distilled in 1788, when doctors John White and Dennis Cossiden used its oil in treating problems of the chest. The first works of the antiseptic and bacterial properties of the oil were published in Germany. Eucalyptus is also known to help with asthma and bronchitis. Extracted from eucalyptus peperita, the original oil introduced to Europe was called ‘Sydney peppermint’ and quickly became popular.

    Historically used for its powerful natural medicinal qualities, eucalyptus globulus (also known as Tasmanian blue) is both an antiseptic and an analgesic. Interestingly, when seen from an aerial view the blue gum forest emits an ethereal blue haze. A refreshing scent with rich cineole and slightly camphoraceous, with a typical eucalyptus smell. Blue gum blends well with other essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass, melissa, pine, tea tree and juniper. Eucalyptus is one of the most universal and versatile of essential oils. Some of its many properties include analgesic, antiseptic, deodorant, expectorant and vermifuge (anti-parasitic).

    Today, eucalyptus oil continues to be a familiar ingredient in chest rubs, general antiseptics, decongestants, cough remedies, muscle and joint ointments. When used externally, eucalyptus is both non-toxic and non-irritating and is a must for every natural first aid kit and home medicine chest.

Gloria Brown
Women's health and wellness retreat leader providing vacations and trips for women to get in shape -- and stay that way! On CleansePlan.com you can find my articles about weight loss, health and women's issues. Please feel free to contact me on gloria@cleanseplan.com

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