Aromatherapy is an ancient method of healing the body, the mind and the emotions through the use of essential oils. Essential oils are volatile natural plant oils that have the characteristic scent of the leaves, petals, roots or bark of the plants from which they are extracted. The purest essential oils are very powerful and they have improved lives for thousands of years offering cosmetic, medicinal, dietary and spiritual benefits.
Aromatherapy can be in the form of diffusion (inhaling), the bath, massage, topical application and consumption. Whatever method you use the essential oil molecules find their way into the bloodstream and the brain, affecting certain areas of the body depending on which oils are used. The following are some of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits of aromatherapy.
- It Speeds Up Healing
Some essential oils are stimulating and they increase the speed of healing in the body either by increasing blood flow to wounds or through their anti-microbial properties. Examples of such essential oils are calendula, lavender, rosehip, helichrysum and buckthorn. Some of them also work by reducing the harshness and discomfort of skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
- Reduces Severity of Headaches
Serious headaches can basically stop you from doing anything. Taking pharmaceutical medicine helps but these do not go to the root of the problem: they work by blocking certain processes in the brain which is why you must continue to take them. Try aromatherapy instead. The essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream and into the brain and they correct the source of your pain, and they reduce stress and anxiety. Effectively they stop the current headache and prevent future headaches. The oils that are popular for headaches and migraines are rosemary, sandalwood, eucalyptus and peppermint.
- Enhances the Mood and Reduces Depression
Use essential oils to improve your emotional wellbeing in various ways. They are particularly wonderful for relieving depression. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and lime essential oils trigger emotions and memories which can bring joy, peace, tranquility and balance. If you are specifically depressed then try using jasmine, lavender, chamomile and peppermint.
- Pain Relief
Some oils are known for relieving pain when ingested, inhaled or applied to the skin. For example:
- If you apply a blend of black pepper and ginger essential oils to the joints, you can reduce joint pain and improve joint flexibility.
- Lavender essential oil is analgesic, antimicrobial and relaxing. If you diffuse it or inhale it directly from the bottle it reduces muscle tension and relieves stress and anxiety and the pain fades away.
- Chamomile oil is an effective anti-inflammatory agent which you can use for muscular pain, lower back pain, headaches, and neuralgia. Use it alone or blended with lavender.
- Relieves Stress
Aromatherapy is popular for stress relief. There are essential oils that relax the body, soothe the mind and eliminate anxiety, for example ylang ylang, vetiver, lemon, bergamot, lavender, and peppermint.
- Boosts Memory
Aromatherapy can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia which affect the lives of many elderly people. It is also useful for boosting the memory capacity of younger people. Improving the memory improves the quality of life, enhances ability to work helps to build stronger social connections and to maintain healthy family relationships. If you or a loved one is having problems with memory, try:
- Sage oil which is good for enhancing short term memory.
- Rosemary which improves memory and increases alertness.
- A combination of rosemary and peppermint which improve memory and brain function in people of any age but particularly for the elderly.
- Boosts Energy Levels
Aromatherapy can safely increase energy levels when your day is long or hectic. Do not rely on coffee, cigarettes, energy drinks or energy pills which affect your health in the long term. Use essential oils which work by increasing circulation, raising energy levels and stimulating the body and mind without side effects. To boost your energy try pepper, sage, cardamom, rosemary, cinnamon, tea tree, clove, jasmine or angelica essential oils.
- Fortifies the Immune System
Aromatherapy can improve the function of the immune system which protects your body from infections, foreign bodies and the development of cancers and autoimmune diseases. For example:
- Cinnamon essential oil is anti-microbial and supports immune activity.
- Lemon essential oil is a strong anti-microbial and it promotes health, healing and energy if you diffuse it.
- Eucalyptus oil boosts the immune activity if you add it to your bath water.
- Improves Skin Health
Aromatherapy relieves skin conditions and improves your health. If you have acne, you need the anti-microbial qualities of tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, and ylang ylang oils. Use lavender oil for cleansing cuts and scrapes. To balance oil production in your skin, add geranium oil to your moisturizer. Basil is wonderful for soothing insect bites. For hyperpigmentation use carrot seed essential oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil, sandalwood essential oil, and many others. These are just a few examples but if you have a particular problem, you will find the right essential oil for it.
- Improves Aging Skin
Aromatherapy can help to reverse the signs of aging in the skin. You can add one essential oil or a blend of essential oils to a carrier oil like jojoba oil and use that as your anti-aging moisturizer. For example:
- Frankincense essential oil reduces the appearance of large pores, wrinkles, acne blemishes, sunspots and age spots.
- Lavender improves the condition of the skin by acting as an antioxidant which prevents free radical damage to the skin. It has been found by research to assist the body to produce glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase, the body’s most powerful antioxidants. As an antioxidant it prevents premature aging.
- Geranium oil is a powerful antioxidant as well which prevents damage by free radicals.
- Try also carrot seed oil, argan oil, sandalwood oil and myrrh oil.
- Enhances Spiritual Development
When breathed in or ingested, some essential oils help you to rise above trivial issues and to connect to higher vibrations. For example, sandalwood, cypress, frankincense, rosemary have been used for a long time by those striving for enlightenment. For those who want to open the third eye there is myrrh, Roman chamomile and sandalwood.
It is not easy to exhaust all the benefits of aromatherapy which are definitely holistic. As you can see aromatherapy is useful for spiritual development, for healing the emotions, for calming the mind and for improving physical health and for healing existing conditions.
If you have never worked with essential oils please learn how to work with them first by consulting a fully qualified Aromatherapist.. Essential oils are very powerful and can cause a lot of harm to your health if not handled well. For example if apply a pure essential oil to your skin without diluting first it will either burn you or it will cause sensitivity. Then there are solar sensitive oils that should be applied to the skin only at night. Learn first then use. You will enjoy the benefits.
Stay Healthy and Happy