Essential oils and their uses have their roots steeped in history with records of their use going back as far as biblical times, even being used by Cleopatra as part of her beauty routine.
Aromatherapy is unique in that it is both a holistic and complimentary therapy.
‘Holistic’ – meaning that it has an effect on the mind, body and emotions and ‘complimentary’ – meaning it can be used in conjunction with allopathic treatment.
Aromatherapy is not about the smell of the oils at all, although that is certainly one of its pleasurable qualities.
Essential oils are the odiferous molecules extracted from the plant.
Each essential oil has varying chemical components.
A liquid gas chromatograph measures the major and minor chemical constituents, showing its unique fingerprint.
It is this fingerprint that dictates its unique therapeutic value.
A single plant extract may contain as many as 150 naturally occurring chemicals and can be up to 60 times stronger than the plant itself.
The term ‘aromatherapy’ simply came about because of the unique aroma of each essential oil.
Inhalation is probably the most common and simple method of application.
These highly active and volatile liquids are the working tools of Aromatherapy.
Aromas are interpreted by the limbic part of our brain and within four seconds a physiological response will take place, directly affecting our mental and emotional state.
Essential oils should be used sparingly and with respect.
Correct drop dosage and application is essential and some oils do have contraindications so it is worthwhile consulting a practitioner before engaging in their use.
With knowledge they can be an adjunct to your first aid kit, they can be used to support family members during illness and injury and to enhance general well being.
With their many methods of application their use is widespread but remember, they are not a drug and their effect is often subtle, so more is not better.