Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils from plants to treat health problems. These oils can help with pain, anxiety, sleep and other issues.
Essential oils come from flowers, herbs and tree parts. They can be breathed through your nose or rubbed into your skin.
For thousands of years, aromatic plants have been used for medicinal purposes throughout the world. From Egypt to Israel, China, India and the Mediterranean, every culture developed its own methods of using essential oils.
It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use aromatherapy. They used many different essential oils for embalming, healing preparations, massage and perfumes.
Another ancient civilisation, the Chinese, were also known to use aromatic oils and incense in order to keep a healthy balance. Their Yellow Book of Internal Medicine is a manuscript that discusses a number of plants and their uses.
During the 18th century, doctors in France began isolating the active principles of plants to use them in making prescription medications. These botanical extracts are now a common part of medical practices in Europe and the United States.
Aromatherapy is a health care practice that uses plant extracts called essential oils. They’re made from the cells that give flowers, fruits, herbs, and trees their fragrance.
When used correctly, essential oils can be helpful for improving both mental and physical health. They are often recommended to improve conditions such as stress, anxiety, and sleep.
A qualified aromatherapist will interview you about your symptoms, then help you choose a specific blend of oils for your treatment. You may be directed to breathe the oils into your nose, or they might be applied directly to your skin during a massage.
Some essential oils are able to reduce nausea and fatigue, while others can lower pain and side effects from chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. Peppermint, chamomile, and lavender are known to be effective in treating depression.
As any aromatherapist will tell you, using essential oils can be a fantastic way to support your health and well-being. However, if used improperly they can be toxic or harmful to your health.
There are a number of precautions you should take when using aromatherapy. These include ensuring that you follow all the safety guidelines and exercise extreme caution when using the oil.
For example, some essential oils should never be applied to the skin unless they have been diluted appropriately. This is especially true of lavender and tea tree.
Diluting oils before applying them to your skin ensures that they are not too strong and that you don’t get a negative reaction to them.
Another thing you should be aware of is that some essential oils are phototoxic, meaning they can be harmful if exposed to sunlight. This means you should avoid applying them to your skin 12 hours before exposing it to the sun.
Aromatherapy is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that uses essential oils from plants to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is also used with standard medical treatments to help manage symptoms like pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting.
Some research suggests that aromatherapy may ease some side effects of cancer and its treatment. These include pain, sleep, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and stress.
Researchers have found that smelling certain essential oils can increase the level of natural chemicals in the brain. This may be because smell receptors in the nose respond to the smells of essential oils by sending chemical messages along nerve pathways to the limbic system, which controls emotions and moods.
Some aromatherapy techniques include direct inhalation (patient breathes an essential oil through an individual inhaler), indirect inhalation (room diffuser, where the essential oil spreads through the air), or massage. In aromatherapy massage, one or more essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the skin.