What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to treat physical and mental ailments. It is a natural and safe treatment that can be used by massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals.

These oils are highly concentrated extracts distilled from plants, including leaves, seeds, and citrus peels. They can be inhaled, diffused, or applied to the skin.

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine

Aromatherapy uses a combination of different oils to treat illnesses. These oils can be inhaled or applied directly to the skin. The oil’s scent stimulates the smell receptors in the nose, which send messages to the limbic system of the brain. These messages control emotions and can influence behavior.

The PDQ cancer information summary on aromatherapy explains how this practice may help ease some symptoms of cancer and other health conditions. It also discusses some safety issues. Aromatherapy is not recommended for pregnant women, because certain essential oils can cause uterine contractions. In addition, some essential oils can interact with medications.

Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality for people with heart disease. It can also make needle sticks less painful for people receiving dialysis and reduce pain in children undergoing tonsillectomy. However, there is limited evidence that it prevents headaches, improves mood, or relieves stress. Aromatherapy may be helpful in reducing the severity of some side effects of chemotherapy.

It uses essential oils

Aromatherapy uses essential oils (from aromatic, volatile plant extracts) to promote physical and mental wellness. It has been used for thousands of years, with ancient cultures in Egypt, India and China incorporating botanical oils in cosmetics and ointments. Aromatherapy is based on the theory that essential oils contain the highest amount of herbal energy and can have a profound effect when inhaled or applied to the skin.

The most commonly used technique in aromatherapy is dry evaporation, which involves placing a few drops of oil on an absorbent material, such as terra cotta, or on an aroma stick. The oil then evaporates, leaving behind a pleasant fragrance. The oils can also be inhaled using a portable plastic device called an aroma diffuser.

It is important to purchase essential oils from a reliable source. Avoid oils that say “fragrance” on the label and choose dark-colored glass bottles to protect their quality from light and heat. Ensure that the label includes the Latin name for the plant and the country of origin. Look for a company that sells holistic aromatherapy blends, which are mixed by a qualified practitioner to treat specific conditions.

It is safe

Unlike some other alternative therapies, aromatherapy has a strong scientific base. A growing body of research has shown that the scents of certain essential oils can affect the brain and body, lowering stress levels and anxiety, for example.

Whether aromatherapy works is based on how it is used and the desired effect. It can be administered through inhalation (aromatherapy), topical application, or massage. Most essential oils are safe, but they can irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction in some people. Some oils, such as citrus oil, increase phototoxicity when applied to the skin before sun exposure.

The PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the use of aromatherapy with essential oils in the treatment of people with cancer. It is produced by the PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board, which is independent of the National Cancer Institute. This publication does not endorse any specific product, service or provider.

It is effective

Aromatherapy is an effective treatment for depression, as it helps the mind, soul and body to function well. This is because it relaxes you and makes you feel better. It also gives you energy and improves your sleep. In addition, it is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

Ancient civilizations incorporated the use of aromatic plants into traditional medicine, rituals and everyday life long before distillation and essential oils were developed. In the early 20th century, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse introduced a scientific approach to the practice of aromatherapy. This practice is now known as phytoaromatherapy or clinical aromatherapy and is used by massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, and physiotherapists.

Although some studies have found that aromatherapy may help to reduce anxiety in cancer patients, many of these studies were small and inconsistent. This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the use of aromatherapy with essential oils in the treatment of people with cancer.