Aromatherapy – Essential Oils

Concentrated plant oils which are called essential oils, are the basis for aromatherapy, they are usually offered in one of three ways Inhalation, massage, or in the bath. The oils are taken from the plants not as a whole but generally by steam distillation from various parts of the plants depending on the plant in question.

Oils may come from the flower part, leaves, roots and even the bark. Aromatherapy can be used alongside conventional treatments and is thought to improve many different conditions; it is particularly useful in the relief of tension and stress and giving the user a sense of well being.

What Symptoms Does Aromatherapy Alleviate?

Besides providing relief for stress and promoting relaxation aromatherapy can be used to help alleviate several minor medical conditions, aromatherapy is not used as a cure for illness but it has been proven to alleviate symptoms of minor illnesses.

There are about 150 different types of oils used by the professional therapist and a great deal of these share the same antiseptic properties. Others are known for there expectorant, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant qualities.

Some of the More Common Oils and There Uses

Bergamot- FCF is derived from the rind of the orange and as such has the smell of Citrus; bergamot is thought to be helpful for skincare due to its antiseptic properties.

Cedar wood– is taken from the sawdust, stump and wood of the tree and has a sweet woody aroma and is beneficial in coping with every day stresses and strains. Cedar wood is also thought to be an aphrodisiac.

Chamomile Roman– oils are distilled from the flowers heads and have a fruity apple like scent it is helpful in comforting and soothing skin problems.

Eucalyptus– the oils are taken from very young leaves they have a fresh sweet smell and are said to greatly ease congestion when used as an inhalant. It is also a natural antiseptic and aids in muscular fatigue when used in massage.

Jasmine– extracted from the flowers oil from jasmine has a flowery exotic smell and is generally used as a tonic with its uplifting qualities. It is also thought to act as an aphrodisiac.

Lavender– the oils are extracted from the tops of the flowers and have a floral scent it is used in the aid of sleeping disorders and has powerful antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

Marjoram– is taken from the dried flowers and is beneficial in its ability to relax and comfort it is also used for muscular aches and pains and to ease stress.

Patchouli– the oil is derived from the dried leaves and is said to relax when taken in large amounts and have uplifting properties when taken in small. It can also be used in the treatment of problem skin and is said to be an aphrodisiac.

Rosemary– Rosemary is taken from chipped bark and is said to be excellent for rubbing directly onto muscles both after and before exercise it is also said to strengthen the hair and make it shine.

Tea tree– is extracted from the leaves and twigs and is known for its anti bacterial and antiseptic properties it is also good in helping with problem skin and is effective in treating ailments with respiratory problems.

Are They Safe?

Most essential oils can cause skin irritation so great care should always be taken if using them at home. Registered therapists will often perform a skin patch test first by applying a small amount of the oil to just one area of the skin, usually the inner arm.

Pregnant women are generally advised to seek there doctors advice before having aromatherapy and there are several oils which the pregnant women should not use. The oils should never be taken internally and only a couple of drops are needed when using them for steam inhalation and in the bath.

People suffering from skin allergies and those recovering from any type of surgery should not use aromatherapy without advice from there doctor. Aromatherapy is also not suitable for people suffering from epilepsy, thrombosis or high blood pressure.