Aromatherapy popularly known as the essential oil treatment is an ancient method of promoting holistic health and well being. Some consider it as pseudosciences and others refer to it as a placebo effect.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy, as the name suggests is a methodology of healing the mind, body, and soul through fragrances of essential oils. In literal terms, it means smelling and inhaling essential oils. It is believed to not only cure aches and other ailments but to be a natural remedy for stress relief, rejuvenation of mood and rekindling of the soul.
The International Standards Organization defines Essential Oils as “Products obtained from vegetable raw material, either by distillation with water or steam or from the epicarp citrus fruits.” They have concentrated plant extracts that are derived from the roots, leaves, and blossoms of herbs. Being very powerful, it is recommended by aromatherapists to never apply or inhale them directly.
Essential Oils are always mixed with carrier oils, these oils are lightly scented and do not affect the therapeutic properties of the essential oils. Sweet almond oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are a few carrier oils used with the essential oils.
How is Aromatherapy done?
The most popular ways of using Aromatherapy are:
Aromatherapy allows the essential oils to stimulate the olfactory system. The oils are evaporated in the air through sprays or diffusers to fill the air with a fragrance that can enter the body through breathing finally resting in the lungs.
The smell is one of the strongest senses of the human body and they respond to it in a very emotional manner. Slightest of the smell that has been experienced before has the power to bring out old memories relieving people of the emotional stress that harms them different levels psychologically.
Massages are another way of letting the healing oils absorb through your skin and enter into the body. These oils have then circulated the body through the bloodstream. Make sure to do an allergy test before applying the essential oil.
What are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?
- Strengthens the muscles
- Stimulates Immune System
- Natural remedy for cramps and headaches
- Aids in blood circulation
- Reduces Nausea
- Helps to reduce hair loss
- Aids menstrual problems
- Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
- Healing Properties
- Energizes And Rejuvenates mind and soul
- Natural Remedy For Stress Relief
- Helps in emotional release
- Calms and relaxes
- Cures fatigue and insomnia
What are the risks in Aromatherapy?
Essential oils are highly reactive and can prove to be detrimental for the ones with a prolonged medical history. Some oils might not be the best fit for people diagnosed with high blood pressure, epilepsy and other ailments. Hence, it is very important to take this therapy from a trained and certified therapist only.
Apart from the above, an allergy test before the application or inhalation of any diluted essential oil is a must to ensure that no side effect takes place.
Pregnant women or the ones who are feeding the newborn must refrain from using a few oils such as peppermint as that can have negative impacts.
CONSUMING THESE OILS ARE DANGEROUS
Most Common Essential Oils
- Lavender Oil
Used for over 2,500 years, lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils extracted from the flower spikes of the plant. It supports brain health by reducing anxiety and headaches. It also helps in fighting infections due to its anti-microbial properties.
Coconut Oil can be used as one of the carrier oils with Lavender Oil.
Lemon apart from being a cleansing agent, lemon is also famous for being an antioxidant. Extracted from the peel of the lemon fruit, this oil works wonder during nausea and also helps in detoxification.
Coconut oil and almond oil are both considered to go well with the lemon oil.
An oil recommended for boosting energy the peppermint oil does wonders for relief from joint and muscle pain. It also cleans mucus and reduces congestion.
Diluted with oils like almond and jojoba, peppermint oil should be avoided by people with sensitive skin.
- Rosemary Oil
Perfect essential oil to fight lethargy and tackle memory loss, it is obtained from the flowering tops and leaves of the plant. When mixed with jojoba oil or coconut oil this essential oil can be used for treating dandruff and hair loss.
Rosemary Oil is known for its anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
- Ylang Ylang Oil
Made from the flowers of the Cananga tree, Ylang Ylang oil has diverse benefits. While its fragrance can improve thinking and memory, the extract is also used as a medication for hair lice.
It is used as both an aphrodisiac and sedative. It is probably an oil that is oxymoronic.
The oil is also used in cosmetic treatments and works in harmony with carrier oils such as sweet almond, jojoba, and olive oil.
Most Common Carrier Oils
- Almond Oil
Rich in Vitamin E and K, Omega 9 and Fatty Acids, almond oil is a great carrier if you are looking to cure skin ailments as it nourishes and moisturizes the body and face skin. It is also an anti-inflammatory. Almond oil acts as a great carrier with essential oils such as lavender and lemon oil.
- Coconut Oil
Edible oil has anti-microbial properties and is considered to be a natural remedy for many skin related problems. It can do wonders when mixed appropriately with lavender oil. But remember where essential oils last for about 4-5 years, coconut oil has a life of any 2 years.
- Grape Seed Oil
A rich in nutrient oil, the grapeseed oil can be used for treating skin, hair and boosting the immunity. It contains Vitamin E, Beta- Carotene, Palmitic Acid, and Oleic Acid. When mixed with lemon or tea tree oil it can provide a great result.
- Olive Oil
Passed from the olive fruit, Olive Oil also known as liquid gold is light natured oil. It is anti-inflammatory and is also a great oil for those diagnosed with heart diseases. Ylang Ylang and Rosemary essential oils can be mixed with Olive Oil.
- Argan Oil
Derived from the fruit of the Argan tree, this oil is used all over for cosmetic, medical and culinary purposes. It contains Fatty Acids, Omega 6 and is rich in Vitamin E. It can reap great benefits for those suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, and skin aging. Argan oil is generally mixed with Rosehip and tea tree oil. It is great for moisturizing the skin.
Aromatherapy At Use
Dr. Blossom Kochhar, Founder & Chairperson of the Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies institutionalized recommends the following for putting to use Aromatherapy-
- Basil oil
This oil is ideal to fight the effects of negativity, burn-out and intellectual fatigue. Regular use ensures better concentration, clarity of thoughts and a bounce of enthusiasm to keep you going at work.
∙ How to use: Take a bowl of water and put less than a drop of Basil oil in it. Now, soak a towel in it and then use it to wipe off your body, especially the exposed parts of your body before going to sleep.
∙ Alternatively, you can also put one-tenth of a drop of this oil behind your ear and feel the fragrance giving you a relaxing effect.
- Rosemary oil
Loss of memory, lethargy, and strain can be treated with rosemary oil. It gives you energy and gives a boost to the immune system.
∙ How to use: It can be used in a bath or a diffuser.
- Lemon Oil: When seasonal cold and flu make their rounds sure to diffuse an anti-viral oil such as Lemon essential oil.
∙ How to use: It can be used in a diffuser.
While Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy to ailing diseases, ailments and stress it is most recommended to be very sure of using it after taking proper guidance. The Essential oils and Carrier oils must be obtained from trusted sources and should be mixed or used in proper proportions too.