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What is aromatherapy?

People commonly think that "aromatherapy" refers to anything that smells good, like scented candles, potpourri, and perfumes. We use the term "aromatherapy" to refer to the therapeutic application of plant essential oils (usually diluted in some type of solution) by qualified individuals.

Why do I need to know about essential oils?

Essential oilsThere is a growing body of research from laboratory and clinical studies that points to the remarkable healing properties of essential oils. They are widely available in markets, co-ops, and pharmacies and are increasingly used in clinics and hospitals.

Scents can have a powerful influence on your well-being. When you inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the aroma penetrates your bloodstream via your lungs, and this is thought to be one of the mechanisms by which aromatherapy exerts its physiological effects.

What are common therapeutic uses?

Here are some common therapeutic uses for a few essential oils:

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) Hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue, and depression.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Headaches, fever, nausea, and fatigue
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Minor burns, insomnia, pain relief, and wound care
Lemon (Citrus limon oil) Fight respiratory infections  from colds, fevers, flu, and asthma.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Mild antidepressant and tonic
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) Relieve stress, exhaustion, and anxiety, or calm your mind
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus smithii) Respiratory infections
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, and diuretic properties.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Fungal infections
Rose (Rosmarinus officinalis) Has analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infection, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant properties.
Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) Stomach upset and restlessness, particularly in children

 

What is the difference between "aromatherapy" and "essential oil therapy"?

Basically, these terms mean the same thing. We think the term "aromatherapy" is a bit of a misnomer because it implies that all essential oils smell nice. On the contrary, there are many essential oils that do not have a pleasant odor. While smell is very subjective, German chamomile is an example of an essential oil that does not appeal to many people. Also, the name "aromatherapy" implies that smelling, or inhaling, essential oils is the only way to get therapeutic benefit, but there are actually a number of ways to use essential oils.

While we think the term "essential oil therapy" is a more descriptive name for this topic, we refer to it as "aromatherapy" because it currently has better name recognition.

What are essential oils?


An essential oil is a natural product extracted from a single plant species. Not all plants produce essential oils, and in the plants that do, the essential oil may be found in the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits.

It is important to note that essential oils do not feel oily; they are called "oils" because they contain the oil-soluble chemicals in the plant (usually 100 to 200 chemicals per essential oil). This complex chemistry gives essential oils their therapeutic properties and explains why different essential oils may have overlapping effects.

How to Use Essential Oils

Some of the most common ways to use essential oils include:

  • Massaging them (blended with a carrier oil) into your skin
  • Adding them to bathwater
  • Using them in a hot compress
  • Heating them in a diffuser
  • Rubbing a drop onto pulse points in lieu of perfume

But that's really just the beginning. There are many creative uses for essential oils.

Cleaning sprays and room deodorizers Making your own cleaning supplies and room deodorizers using essential oils is an excellent alternative to commercial products that may contain any number of hazardous chemicals. For example, for a homemade cleaning scrub with antibacterial activity, simply add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to baking soda.

Using a glass grated-cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it makes it easy to sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces. In lieu of commercial room deodorizers, you can either use an aromatherapy diffuser, or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to water in a spray bottle.
Freshen laundry Dryer sheets are notoriously toxic, emitting more than 600 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through your dryer vent. You can easily freshen your laundry without risking your family's health simply by spritzing your wet laundry with a mix of water and a few drops of essential oil before placing it in the dryer. Alternatively, add a dozen or so drops to an old wool sock, and put it in the dryer with your laundry.
Therapeutic steam baths To deep clean pores, add a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus to hot water in your sink, then lean over it with a towel draped over your head to capture the steam. This will also help unclog your sinuses if you have a cold. Alternatively, close the drain in your shower and add some eucalyptus essential oils to the pooled water on the floor of the tub to create a soothing steam.
Customized lotions and soap Synthetic fragrances are a source of allergies, but you can easily customize your own soaps and lotions by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to an unscented brand.
Combat pimples Some essential oils have potent antibacterial activity, can help dry out pimples.
Facial toner Make your own facial toner by adding a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to distilled water in a misting bottle.
Insect repellents Cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil is said to deter insects and rodents. 

                                            

                                                     

7 Advantages of Aroma Diffusers

Aroma diffusers spread the essential oil throughout the air. The advantages of using an aroma diffuser include:

1. Purifies the air. Aroma diffusers help purify the air. Furthermore, essential oils that are added to a diffuser increase the purifying effect because they can help kill bacteria and fungus that are present in the air. Research has shown that essential oils are designed to help purify and disinfect the air, kill germs and also stimulate the immune system.

2. Reduces dust in the air. Aroma diffusers have an ionizing effect. The air quality is improved because more negative ions are released into the air. These ions attach themselves to the positive ions, which causes dust to fall on the ground (so that it no longer pollutes the air). At the seashore and high in the mountains, lots of negative ions are naturally present.

3. Spreads scent quickly throughout a room. A special, built-in ultrasonic device divides the essential oil into millions of micro particles, creating a very fine water vapour that quickly spreads through a room. It will only take a few minutes until your entire room, be it at home or at the office, is scented with a delightful aroma!

4. Humidifies the air. The aroma diffusers atomize the water and the essential oil so that the air is immediately humidified. This is ideal, since dry air (<30% humidity) is linked to several respiratory tract issues, as well as irritated mucous membranes and dry skin. A healthy humidity level ranges between 40% and 60%.

5. Smells good! Since scent has a large impact on how we feel, it is essential that the environment we live in smells pleasant. By diffusing essential oils, odours can be eliminated and a nourishing atmosphere can be created.

6. Maintains the oils’ quality & effectiveness. The ultrasonic device creates a cold water vapour so that the oils are not heated. For example, by heating the oils in an aroma lamp, the therapeutic effect is strongly reduced. On top of that, it is a waste of the precious oils that have been carefully and lovingly extracted from Mother Nature’s flowers and trees. To illustrate, think of jasmine flowers that are hand picked at night to preserve their natural, optimal scent. An aroma diffuser ensures that the quality and effectiveness of the essential oils remains optimal.

7. Distributes the entire scent. If an aroma lamp is used, less volatile molecules will stay behind in the dish of the aroma lamp. Only the lighter molecules are spread through the air and able to be effective. Therefore, the same oil can smell differently in an aroma lamp because an aroma diffuser spreads the entire fragrance.