aromatherapy is therapeutic. it’s in the name. using the essential oils from plants and flowers, it is used to positively affect one’s mood and health by soothing the psyche, healing the body, and softening the skin. though it dates as far back as 6,000 years ago, modern aromatherapy began in the 1920s when a french scientist named rene maurice gattefosse accidentally burned his hands and immediately put them in the nearest liquid, which happened to be lavender. realizing that it helped heal and prevent scarring on his hands has led us to aromatherapy in today’s world, used for both physiological and psychological benefits. these essential oils can either be topically applied (use with extreme caution when using directly on skin as most oils must be diluted with a base oil first) or by inhaling them. massages and warm, fragrant baths are two great examples of how they could be used.
the benefits to aromatherapy are numerous: relief of stress, headaches, and insomnia; an increased immune system; mood enhancement; calming properties; ability to relax muscles; regulation of hormones; and other holistic applications.
beware when buying essential oils that you are getting what you are looking for. make sure the bottle says “100%” or “pure” essential oil on the label. otherwise it most likely is a synthetic or watered down version of the product. consult with an aromatherapist before you make purchases you are unsure of. more often than not, it is beneficial to pay a little more for a quality oil. a few good recommended brands are aromatherapeutics, baudelaire, essentiel elements, jurlique, kniepp, l’occitane, and aroma vera. do your research and learn as much as you can about the oils themselves and what your likes are.
do you have a favorite essential oil? what sort of uses does it provide for you? what are your thoughts on aromatherapy? as always i would love to hear what you have to say!
here’s where i got my information from:
berg, rona. beauty. new york: workman publishing, 2001.