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Aromatherapy benefits range from disinfecting surfaces and air to balancing menopausal hormones. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to help depression, encourage relaxation, and keep you well, along with other benefits.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils of the plant for healing. Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, has been used for many years.
Aromatherapy evolved from the perfume industry. Aromatherapy has been used around the world, including Egypt, China, India and Europe. In France, it has become accepted by mainstream medicine. It is even a legitimate treatment under insurance rules in France.
Essential oils are made by putting plants in water, heating them up, and distilling them with water or steam. This separates the oils from the water. The oils are then extracted. There are vastly different qualities of oils, and as in the herbal industry, more expensive plants or rare plants may not actually be found in bottles labeled with it.
Aromatherapy works in a couple of different ways. One is through our sense of smell. Inhaling certain fragrances can alter brain waves. This can change your emotional states and create behavioral changes.
Aromatherapy also works by penetrating human tissue through topical application. Many essential oils are used through smelling them or dispersing their smell throughout a room, or through applying them to the skin and having them absorbed. Essential oils are very potent, and not to be ingested without expert advice.
Essential oils contain components such as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and phenylpropanes. These components are broken down into molecule types, such as phenols, ketones and oxides. These are not all of the components, just an example of some of them.
Different molecule types have different effects on your body. The monoterpenes can be stimulating, calming, antispasmodic, or have tonic effects. The sesquiterpenes have anti-inflammatory effects. Phenylpropanes can be antispasmodic or sensitizing.
Essential oils can also have antibacterial and antiviral effects.
Aromatherapy is highly effective with infections. Essential oils can be used to reduce bacteria or viruses in the air or on counter tops or other surfaces. Some cleaning products contain antibacterial, antiviral or antimicrobial essential oils . If everyone around you is getting sick, using an oil with one or more of these properties can be diffused in your home. You can use aromatherapy for sprains, sports injuries, burns, even shingles.
Oils can be calming, sedative, or stimulating. Other types of aromatherapy benefits include use with stress, anxiety, tension, headaches, fatigue, insomnia and digestive issues.
Aromatherapy can also help with menopause depression and menopause insomnia. For specific uses of essential oils, see Aromatherapy for Depression
Motion sickness can be prevented with the use of peppermint oil.
Sage and Melissa may help reduce menopausal hot flashes.
Essential oils are excellent in massage treatments. The impact of the oils along with the massage is an experience that I find hard to describe. If you want to give yourself a treat, try to find a massage therapist who uses essential oils.
Essential oils can be used in many ways. In a carrier oil, they can be applied directly to the skin. They can be used in poultices and compresses. They can be inhaled directly, by using an essential oil diffuser, or by putting a few drops on a washcloth or tissue. They can be used in the dryer, or in a steam bath. They can be used in massage.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. Dosages in most cases of topical use are a few drops. Always test a drop on your skin before using, to prevent any potential allergic reactions. Children and pregnant women need to be extra cautious, and there are many oils that should not be used by these groups.
Floracopeia, one of my favorite sources for essential oils.
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