For thousands of years, different types of essential oils have been used to treat a number of different disorders and conditions. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the term aromatherapy was officially adopted, but the use of essential oils was common during the time of Ancient Egypt and even civilizations prior. Essential oils are extracted from plants, flowers, leaves, bark, and even the roots of plants and are often times combined with oil or lotion for easy application.
Aromatherapy promotes physical, mental and spiritual health, and can be administered in several different ways, including direct application to the skin, directly inhaling the scent of essential oils, or using the essential oils as fragrance for a room.
The real health benefits of Aromatherapy
The reason essential oils are believed to have health benefits is because studies show that the properties in essential oils actually activate nerve cells in the nose, which sends impulses to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is a crucial part of the brain because it is the part that deals with emotions and memory. A number of mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can be helped using essential oils because of this connection with the limbic system. Essential oils can help to calm the mind and body and relieve stress.
However, the healing properties of essential oils don’t end there. There are a number of physical conditions essential oils can treat as well because they stimulate the immune system, circulatory system and nervous system. Each essential oil has its own properties and can be used in different ways.
Lavender oil is an extremely popular essential oil and is frequently used in aromatherapy because of its sleep inducing properties. A study done in 2005 showed that lavender oil helped to induce a deeper sleep than those who tried to sleep without it. It also increased stage 2 sleep and decreased rapid eye movement, which can often times cause fitful sleeping. The participants of this study also reported feeling more invigorated in the morning after using lavender oil.
When it comes to physically healing the body, eucalyptus oil is another popular essential oil used in aromatherapy. Because eucalyptus oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiflammatory properties, it is often times used to help alleviate respiratory problems that are associated with coughs, colds, sore throats, asthma, nasal congestion and sinusitis. It can also be used to heal wounds, such as those caused by wounds, burns, cuts and insect bites. It can also help to alleviate pain associated with aching muscles and joints. The smell of eucalyptus oil can also help to relieve stress.
Aromatherapy has been used to naturally heal the mind and body for centuries. Each essential oil affects the body differently and has its own healing properties. Because of the natural compounds found in essential oils, they are often safer for the body and have few, if any, side effects.
Jeremy Thorne wrote this interesting article for BulkApothecary.com