Aromatherapy means simply - the study of scents used in a therapeutic manner. The more detailed definition is the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for emotional and physical health and well-being.
The practice of aromatherapy goes beyond smell, though. It involves "pure" essential oils and treatments many believe have a chemical effect on the body.
They can be applied with massage, in the bath, in the air, and in hair care.
In Europe and other parts of the world, not so much in the US, essential oils are taken internally.
Essential Oils are used as an Alternative Medicine (we prefer "Complimentary") Health modality. Various oils can be used in Meditation and Yoga and many are used as Preventative medicine, to prevent colds, flus and other ailments.
Essential oils are used for those wishing to practice Natural health for their own well being by using all natural products.What they are advertising are "scents" that undoubtedly will make you feel good but may not be made with 100% Pure Essential oils but with artificial, man-made petroleum based fragrances.They do not contain the Pure Plant Essence that has the true, natural, healing properties.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the subtle, volatile liquids that are distilled from plants, shrubs, flowers, trees, bushes and seeds. An ancient process, oil distillation is a delicate and precise art that had been almost forgotten. Science is just now re-discovering the incredible healing power of essential oils, which are the life blood of the plant kingdom, and beginning to acknowledge their value.
Immune stimulating, Anti viral, Anti infectious, Anti-bacterial, Anti microbial, Anti-septic, Anti tumoral, Anti fungal, and Anti parasitic properties.
HISTORY OF AROMATHERAPY
The history of aromatherapy goes back thousands of years. Although not called Aromatherapy until the early 1900's, Aromatic plants and essential oils were used in biblical times. (Think of the gifts brought to the new born.) Plant oils are mentioned several times in the Bible.
Cleopatra was also known to use essential oils in her perfumery. Ancient Greeks and Romans used the oils in their medical treatments. The Egyptians used aromatic plant essences to treat both physical and mental health problems. In the East, Chinese and India, doctors also knew the therapeutic benefits of plant essences.
Today's Aromatherapy and concepts began with a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. It is he that coined the term "aromatherapie". He was convinced that the oils had antiseptic properties - more powerful than the antiseptics that were used at that time (1920's). He also knew that they had other important healing abilities.
While conducting an experiment in distillation he burned his hand 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 blisters, scars or infections. Thereafter he continued his research of this incredible phenomenon and uses of essential oils for other possible medical uses.
WHAT CAN AROMATHERAPY DO FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
Aromatherapy can be used for treatments from acne (Rosemary and Geranium) and other skin problems such as eczema (Chamomile), dry, chapped (Rose, Lavender, neroli) , oily, insect bites, athletes' feet and other fungal infections (Tea Tree). Respiratory ailments such as sinusitis (Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme, Peppermint) , bronchitis, coughs, sore throats, the common cold, the 'flu', other types of nasal congestion - which may be due to allergies (some essential oils used may be Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint).
It can be used in mouth washes for bad breath (Myrrh) and toothaches (Cloves); for those suffering from head aches (Peppermint and Rosemary) and migranes, arthritis and joint pains (anise, black pepper, Marjoram, Ginger,) including backaches (massage with essential oils added to the massage oils), and everything in between.
Nursing homes and medical facilities are using Aromatherapy on Alzheimer's Disease (Bergamot ans Lavender) and other aging related health concerns - memory problems (Rosemary), agitation (Bergamot,Lavender, ylang ylang), nervous legs (Bergamot, Lavender).
Everyone benefits in the use of essential oils from babies to adults, even the family pet - great for deodorizing and disinfecting (pine oils and lemon).
The aroma has an emotional effect on everyone. From stress relief to being uplifting for fatigue relief (grapefruit), anti depression (basil, chamomile, grapefruit, rose, ylang ylang) and for grief (Rose, Marjoram), it can have a calming (Chamomiles) and relaxing effect especially for those troubled with insomnia (Lavender, Chamomile and Neroli); it is wonderful for meditation (Frankincense) and enhancing memory (Rosemary); some people feel it can be an aphrodisiac; it can give relief to those troubled with PMS (prementral syndrome), it can aid in digestion and many more far too numerous to list.