The Fragrance Pharmacy
The Ancient Power Of Essential Oils And Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils derived from plants to promote emotional, psychological and physical health and well-being. It is a form of natural healing that has been practiced for thousands of years beginning with the Chinese.
In China, individuals used incense containing the organic essential oils of various plant leaves, flowers, roots, fruit seeds and bark to enhance meditation, promote tranquility and improve the mood. The Egyptians also used a variety of essential oils in aromatherapy bath and body products such as massage oils, cosmetics and skin lotions.
Although many individuals understood the power of natural, organic plant oils in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t until the Abbess Hildegard Van Bingen began creating healing balms from the essential oil of lavender and other plants that aromatherapy became mainstream in Europe. In the 1920’s a French chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse put together the first comprehensive book on using essential oils for medicinal and emotional health. He coined the term “Aromatherapy” for the various treatments he put in his book, which is still used by holistic healthcare practitioners around the world.
Today mainstream doctors acknowledge the powerful effect various essential oils can have on us when we inhale their scent or absorb their ingredients through our skin. Doctors are increasingly suggesting that patients try essential oils and scented candles for a wide range of conditions.
It Is More Than Just A Scent
Almost any gift shop or department store you visit these days offers aromatherapy candles, wax tarts and bath products. It seems that many people want to take advantage of the many benefits of aromatherapy, but some don’t realize that to be truly effective, you need rely only on aromatherapy products that are pure and natural. Just because a candle has a pleasant fragrance doesn’t mean is provides you the rejuvenating or soothing effects of true aromatherapy. True aromatherapy products are made of completely natural ingredients.
The plants are usually organically grown, then harvested and immediately distilled to capture the essential oils in order to preserve the freshness and volatility of the plant compounds. If you read the label on an aromatherapy product and it lists “fragrance”, then it probably has artificial ingredients that smell good, but have no beneficial use.
Natural Healing Through Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can either stimulate or calm, sharpen your senses or lull you into a meditative state. It can also be used to treat a variety of discomforts such as minor joint and muscle pain, and digestive problems. Below is a list of some of the natural healing properties found in aromatherapy products:
- Relaxation: Lavender is one of the most effective aromatherapy scents to encourage relaxation and stress reduction. Also popular are chamomile, jasmine, myrrh, neroli, orange and ylang ylang.
- Rejuvenation: If you’re tired or stressed, you can get a quick pick-me-up from aromatherapy oils such as lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, vanilla, rosemary and juniper.
- Stimulation: If you need to stimulate your senses or get your blood flowing a bit, try inhalation of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils. These are also wonderful as decongestants.
- Antiseptic: Minor cuts and blemishes can be treated with salves or balms that contain the essential oils of lavender, tea tree, juniper, sage and thyme.
- Anti-Inflammatory: For minor inflammation and pain, you can use preparations made with the essential oils of chamomile, tansy and yarrow as well as lemongrass and citronella.
- General Health: Many essential oils invigorate the body and produce general good health by stimulating the immune system and increasing circulation. Among these are thyme, cinnamon, oregano and cumin.
- Healing: To encourage the healing of wounds, you can use salves, balms or creams that contain hyssop, rosemary, camphor or sage.
- Improved Digestion: Rather than take an antacid next time you have indigestion, try an aromatherapy infusion of peppermint, basil, lemongrass or clove to calm the digestive tract and improve nutrient absorption. You’ll be amazed at how effective a bit of chamomile or peppermint tea is at settling an upset stomach.
Here at Herbal Forest we offer an assortment of high quality, therapeutic grade natural essential oils that are some of the best on the market.