What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. (1)
What Is an Essential Oil?
The International Organization for Standardization defines “an essential oil as a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase.” (2)
Essential oils differ in price and quality. For example, Rose oil is very expensive. Why? There is an excellent reason. Take a guess how many petals it takes to make one 5 ml bottle of Rose essential oil. “It’s 60,000 roses per 1 ounce of oil. That would calculate to be 10,000 roses that go into 5mL.” (3) Amazing!
Be aware that there are a lot of false advertisements as to the quality of essential oils.
Roberta Wilson says in her book The Essential Guide to Essential Oils, The Secret to Vibrant Health and Beauty “Anyone can sell anything and call it aromatherapy, and plenty of companies are doing exactly that. The result is that about 95 percent of the products sold as aromatherapy are counterfeits-pseudo-aromatherapy. True aromatherapy never uses synthetic aromatic substances.” (4) She recommends to always ask before buying, “How likely is this product to be true aromatherapy?”
Consider where you are purchasing it. How much are you paying for it? Is it properly labeled? If you are in doubt as to the authenticity of the product, you could contact a certified aroma-therapist and inquire where they purchase their products. At the bottom of the article, I will include some of the organizations who have certified aroma-therapists listed. Written below are some benefits of ten different essential oils. They are not all-inclusive. (5)
Here are 10 Essential Oils and Some of Their Benefits:
It can relieve sinus congestion, reduce cellulite, control acne and improve the blood flow to the scalp.
Used at bedtime it helps insomnia and relaxes the mind. It assists in reducing hyperactivity in children.
It calms anxiety, encourages clarity and concentration. It is uplifting.
It reduces inflammation and soothes skin disorders. It is gentle enough to be used on babies and young children. It strengthens the digestive system and helps with menstrual cramps and (PMS) premenstrual syndrome.
It improves mental clarity and concentration. Helps to relieve tiredness.
It promotes alertness and can reduce jet lag. It reduces the inflammation of dermatitis, and itchiness of eczema.
It promotes happiness and aids meditation. It relieves the pain of arthritis, rheumatism, and headaches. It soothes skin disorders.
There are too many uses for this oil to list here. It is used in the treatment of acne, burns, dandruff, cuts, fungal infections, cold sores, itchiness, gingivitis, toothaches, and bites.
It has been known to enhance memory and concentration and reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue.
It improves circulation by stimulating the production of red blood cells. It relieves muscle aches from sprains and stiff joints. It helps to normalize oily skin and clear acne. It is a natural tranquilizer and helps with sleep.
Stepping sideways, I wanted to take a moment to mention chemotypes. The word chemotype is used to indicate oils of different chemical composition, even though they are extracted from plants which are the same botanically. Thyme, rosemary, and basil are three essential oils that have different [ct.] chemotypes. Elevation, soil type, temperature, and amount of rainfall can influence a plant’s chemotype. This means that where a plant grows affects its chemical composition.
Read the labels carefully.
Thyme ct. thymol differs from Thyme ct. linalool. Both have pain relieving properties, reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, have immune support and are antimicrobial. Thyme ct. thymol is used in acute infection, is warming but can cause dermatitis. Thyme ct. linalool is used for chronic infection, is cooling, and is gentle on the skin so it can be used on children. (Notes were taken from a free webinar given by the Aromahead Institute)
Here is a recipe for “Memory Enhancement Blend 2,” taken from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worword. (6)
- Rosemary – 10 drops
- Basil Linalool – 5 drops
- Thyme Linalool – 7 drops
- Grapefruit – 8 drops
You can either simply sniff from a tissue when needed, or you can use in one of the room methods; A diffuser or water spray would be simple and effective. Mix the essential oils together using these proportions, then store in a small, dark, glass bottle. Use 2 drops for the tissue method and 8 drops in your chosen room method.
Another person you may want to look up is Robert Tisserand. He is a world expert in the field of aromatherapy. He has a short mini-course you can take for free on his website. Check out this online training with Robert Tisserand.
Here are some aromatherapy organizations where you can find more information:
- The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy – https://naha.org/
- Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists (CFA) – https://www.cfacanada.com/
- International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA) – https://ifparoma.org/
Wishing you and your family health, prosperity and happiness with aromatherapy!
- Wilson, Roberta, The Essential Guide to Essential Oils, The Secret to Vibrant Health and Beauty, Copyright © 2002 by Roberta Wilson, ISBN: 978-0-7352-1468-2, Page 50
- Wilson, Roberta, The Essential Guide to Essential Oils, The Secret to Vibrant Health and Beauty, Copyright © 2002 by Roberta Wilson, ISBN: 978-0-7352-1468-2, Page 50, 89, 90,112,115,113, 123, 125, 127, 131
- Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments, 25th Anniversary Edition, Copyright © 1991, 2016 by Valerie Ann Worwood, ISBN: 978-57731-139-3, page 276