The history of the use of essential oils i.e. aromatherapy as we know it today, goes back to at least 2000BC. There is evidence in the Bible of oils being used for anointing. Ancient Indian and Chinese texts also detail their use.
Despite its Ancient origins, aromatherapy in England is relatively young although in recent years has become slowly more popular. Aromatherapy is a system of healing which involves the use of pure essential oils. These highly concentrated, volatile oils are distilled from various parts of flowers, plants, fruits, herbs and trees each of which have different therapeutic properties.
Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs offer both psychological and physical benefits. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but when inhaled into the lungs, the natural constituents can supply therapeutic benefit. Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil to help ease congestion is a prominent example.
Essential oils that are applied to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The constituents of essential oils can aid in health, beauty and hygiene conditions. Since essential oils are so powerful and concentrated, they should never be applied to the skin in their undiluted form. To apply essential oils to the skin, essential oils are typically diluted into a carrier such as a cold pressed vegetable oil, also known as a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and grapeseed oil.
In addition to therapeutic benefit at the emotional and physical level, essential oils are helpful in other applications. Essential oils can be used in household and laundry cleaners. Some oils act as a natural insect repellent and pesticide. You may recall using citronella candles during the summer to keep mosquitoes away. Citronella essential oil is the ingredient in the candles that is responsible for repelling the mosquitos. Visit the Essential Oil Uses page for additional information on ways that you can use essential oils.
Aromatherapy works on the principle that the most effective way to prevent illness is to strengthen the body’s immune system. Aromatherapy is truly holistic in that it aims to treat the whole person taking into account both their psychological and physiological well being. It works on the principle that the most effective way to prevent illness is to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Aromatherapy oils help to restore harmony/equilibrium between the mind and body. The chemical constituents of an essential oil are often closely related in their molecular structure to those of human cells, tissues and hormones therefore acting by stimulating and reinforcing the body’s own defence mechanism.