Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy which uses aromas of different essential oils extracted from plant materials to relieve patients from stress, anxiety, pain, and depression. Aromas of different oils are used to improve mood, boost cognition and enhance energy levels, induce sleep and strengthen the immune system. Aromatherapy effectively helps in improving digestion, circulation and thus speeding up the healing process of patients.
Aromatherapy is being used by the human kind in some or the other forms for thousands of years. Since the 11th century, when steam distillation was used to extract essential oils from plant materials, different cultures have used this supplement therapy for different functions. India, France, Egypt, England and many other countries have practiced this therapy as a supplement to medicines.
Essential oils are liquids which steam distilled from flowers, stems, leaves, bark or even roots of a plant. The patients benefit from aromatherapy by using their sense of smell. By inhaling certain essential oils, which are different for different conditions, an individual receives relief. It can become quite complex also as it involves carrier oils, vaporizer oils, absolutes and herbal distillates. To get effective results, a perfect synergy is prepared by combining various essential oils. An expert aromatherapist knows right mix for different conditions.
Health benefits of Aromatherapy
In today's fast pace life, stress takes the major toll on our body and mind and reduces our body's natural resistance. Stress management allows us to cope with our daily routines effectively. Aromatherapy helps a lot to alleviate stress as certain aromatic compounds are known as relaxants are released which eliminates anxiety and soothes your mind.
Many people use aromatherapy for stress management as a lot of research has been done on the right mix of essential oils required to de-stress. Lemon Oil, Bergamot, Lavender, Orange, Vanilla, Peppermint, Patchouli, Chamomile and Ylang-ylang oils are best for stress relief. Lemon oil helps greatly in reducing outburst of anger and refreshes mood.
Aromatherapy is very commonly used as an anti-depressant and helps in eliminating the feelings of depression. Aromatherapy is a much safer option as compared to the complicated side effects of antidepressant pills. Aromatherapy should be used to treat depression as a complementary treatment and counseling or psychological help should be also taken.
Specialists suggest best essential oils to reduce depression are lavender, jasmine, peppermint and chamomile.
With the growing age, the worst fear for seniors is the loss of memory and the inability to create memories. Alzheimer's and dementia are two most widespread diseases affecting older people. Aromatherapy can be used as supplement treatment to slow down or reduce the effects of the disease.
Sage oil is the most recommended for memory enhancement. It can help younger people also by boosting their brain and which could be helpful in many ways. Basil, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Cypress oils are also great memory boosters.
Today's hectic life demands large reserves of energy. We use caffeine, cigarettes, energy drinks and sometimes drugs as stimulants to go around with our work. All these stimulants have negative effects on our body in long run. Healthy diet and exercise go a long way to enhance our energy but aromatherapy using the right mix of essential oils also peps up our stimulating our mind and body and increases blood circulation and thus rejuvenates us.
The best essential oils for rejuvenating yourself are rosemary, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, jasmine, sage, angelica and tea tree.
Certain essential oils have antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties which protect and helps in the quick healing of our body. Essential oils act as stimulants and increase the rate of circulation and thus due to increased oxygen levels, affected body parts heal faster. These oils even reduce the discomfort and severity of certain skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
Essential oils of rosehip, lavender, calendula, buckthorn, and everlasting are the most popular ones used for speeding up the recovery.
Aromatherapy is an effective tool to treat headaches by reducing stress, anxiety or curing any other cause of headaches. This therapy is much better as compared to popping up pills. Peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood and eucalyptus oils are most recommended oils to get relief from migraines and headaches. When the above essential oils are mixed with carrier oils like coconut, almond, avocado or sesame oil, they can be spread onto your scalp and temples for quick relief.
Sleeplessness or Insomnia can cause many medical issues besides leaving us feeling drowsy, exhausted and unproductive. Aromatherapy is very effective as certain oils have the calming effect and are sedative. It can also bring our circadian rhythms in proper rhythm so our body naturally feels tired and rests peacefully during sleep and makes us feel fresh and energetic in mornings.
Essential oils which are great sedatives are jasmine, lavender, chamomile, rose, sweet marjoram, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang essential oils.
Aromatherapy builds our resistance against foreign bodies and microbes as certain essential oils have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. These properties make aromatherapy great physical healer and its mood uplifting properties makes it as psychological healers. Prevention is always better than cure so when essential oils and their properties are used effectively then they act as great boosters for our immune system and negate bad influences and protect our body from the damage of various diseases and infections.
Lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, oregano, peppermint, and frankincense essential oils are widely used as boosters for our immune systems.
Aromatherapy's most useful application is as a pain reliever. It can reduce many different types of pain without the negative side effects of painkillers or analgesics. Most effective essential oils for pain relief are eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, and rosemary essential oils.
Recent studies show that aromatherapy can be also used for the treatment of digestive system related issues. It can bring comfort by speeding up metabolism and thus ease constipation, bloating and indigestion.
Most effective oils are citrus based oils like lemon, orange but fennel, ginger, dill, chamomile, lavender and clary sage essential oils also help.