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Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils from plants for treating medical conditions is one of the most soothing, relaxing, and beneficial forms of alternative therapy. Whether inhaled or applied through a massage, these oils are an alternative therapy for curing infections, stress, and medical conditions.
Essential Oils: Know More
These are concentrated extracts taken from seeds, leaves or blossoms of the plant. Each uses its unique mix of active ingredients and the mix is the determining factor regarding the use of the oil. Certain oils promote physical healing. Others have emotional value.
History of Aromatherapy
Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for close to six thousand years. Ancient people such as the Greeks, Indians, Chinese, Egyptians, and Romans have used them for cosmetics, drugs, and perfumes. Essential oils have been used for rituals, spiritual purpose, and therapies too. As early as 2,500 years back, Hippocrates recommended baths using scented essential oils for health disease prevention and overall well-being. In 100 AD, well-known philosopher Dioscorides indicated the importance of aromatic oils in many writings.
He mentioned essential oils of herbs like rosemary, thyme, and basil. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptian also used aromatherapy oils for embalming and as antiseptic agents. Since the late 1800s, botanical extracts have been used in studies publishing the report in medical journals. Aromatherapy was also used by French and German medical professors to fight diseases like TB and infected wounds. Essential oils have also been used in western medicine. Active ingredients in plants have been used to make prescription medications.
French soldiers from WW1 were treated with essential oils for curing wounds, combating anxiety, and depression. This form made its way to the west in the eighties. Sale of aromatherapy lotions, candles, oils, and fragrances are higher than before.
René-Maurice Gattefossé was a French chemistry expert who discovered the fascinating healing powers of lavender oil and in doing so, founded the therapeutic technique in the 1920s. Towards the 1950s, therapists, massage experts, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, and other healthcare providers progressed with aromatherapy. It did not gain popularity until the 1980s. Many lotions, candles, and beauty products are currently sold as aromatherapy.
How It Works
There is not enough clarity abut how this form of therapy will work. Some hold that the sense of smell is the critical factor. Smell receptors in the nose communicate with the brain serving as a storehouse for emotions and memories. While essential oil molecules are breathed in, researchers believe parts of the brain influence mental, physical, and emotional welfare. Scientists also believe that lavender stimulates brain cell activities in the region of the brain known as the amygdala. This process is how molecules from essential oils interact with enzymes or hormones in the blood. An aromatherapy massage is a useful way of opting for essential oils as it works in different directions simultaneously. Not only does the skin absorb essential oils, but these are also breathed inward. The experience of the massage itself amounts to physiotherapy.
Professional nurses, aromatherapists, nurses, physical therapists, and massage therapists can provide topically or internally appropriate aromatherapy treatment. Specially trained professionals can provide internal essential oil treatment as well. Aromatherapy is used across different settings, from spas to hospitals to treat numerous conditions. Relieving pain, improving the mood and healing the mind, aromatherapy has a multitude of applications which reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative mood states.
Clinical studies indicate that when herbs were used for their therapeutic properties by midwives, deliveries are smoother. Massage therapy with essential oils benefits those with depression. Scents stimulate positive emotions in the brain area needed for memories and emotions. Benefits seem to be induced by relaxation as a result of the odors and massage. Studies have found aromatherapy to be of great interest while combating a vast array of diseases from hypertension to blood pressure. Chemical compounds from some essential oils also fight bacteria and fungal infections. Citrus oil is vital to strengthening the immune system. Fennel, aniseed, clary sage and sage contain compounds mimicking estrogen that help relieve symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome.
There are a vast array of conditions for which aromatherapy is vastly beneficial, which includes alopecia aerate, agitation, constipation, anxiety, and insomnia. Other research found that pain can be warded off whether associated with rheumatoid arthritis or headaches using aromatherapy. Itching, psoriasis, and other conditions can also be cured using aromatherapy.
Benefits of This Therapy
The health benefits of aromatherapy include the ability to reduce depression and anxiety, boost energy levels, and speed up the healing process, eliminating headaches and increasing cognitive performance. This induces better sleep too and strengthens the immune system, lowering pain and aiding in digestion by boosting circulation.
It can improve the mood, change cognitive states, and be utilized as a supplemental medication. Steam distillation has made it possible to remove the essential oils from plant-based materials properly. Cultures around the world have used aromatherapy for numerous functions. However, aromatherapy is not limited to eastern nations such as India and China. France, England, and the US are some of the western countries also practicing aromatherapy. A critical element of aromatherapy is synergy whereby many essential oils can create a powerful impact than fats on their own. Consulting a trained aromatherapist has its benefits. The effects are less potent otherwise. Numerous combinations have been tested and used around the world, and several of these serve as a therapeutic solution for medical conditions.
#1 Relief From Stress
The most important and widespread use of aromatherapy is for releasing stress. The aromatic compounds from different essential oils are relaxing and can soothe the mind, eliminating anxiety. Most people who perform aromatherapy at home use it for mixtures, and its use is well known and widely studied. Some of the top essential oils for stress relief include lemon oil, lavender, peppermint, ylang-ylang, and vetiver. Lemon oil can also improve and reduce angry outbursts.
#2 Ward Off Depression
In addition to stress relief, aromatherapy is used to decrease feelings of depression and help in counseling if recession continues or intensifies. The best essential oils for reducing depression include lavender, jasmine, and chamomile.
#3 Memory Problems
A most frightening and widespread disease helping people is memory loss and the
Incapacity to form STM. Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease, but the way out is to slow down the progression of the condition. Aromatherapy is an alternative or supplemental treatment for neurodegenerative conditions. Boost memory using aromatherapy. This burst for the brain can be useful in all walks of life. Sage oil is commonly recommended for memory-enhancing effects.
#4 Stimulate Energy Levels
Boost your energy levels using daily pep from aromatherapy sessions. Essential oils improve circulation, raising energy levels, and stimulating the body and mind. Best essential oils for giving an energy boost include clove, jasmine, tea tree, sage, and rosemary.
#5 Healing and Recovery
Many essential oils improve the rate at which healing takes place throughout the body. This is because of the oxygenation and improvement of the blood flow as well as advanced healing processes. Anti-microbial properties of essential oils also keep the body protected during the crucial stages of healing.
This therapy soothes the mind and heals tensions. Best essential oils associated with the reduction of headaches and migraines are sandalwood, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils. These oils can be mixed in the carrier oil and spread onto the skin, scalp, temples, and neck. Best oils for warding off a headache involve aromatherapy.
A vast range of medical conditions can result from lack of sleep. This therapy provides a more balanced rest and realigns the circadian rhythms. This ensures that the body gets tired and opts for sleep at an appropriate time, energized to face the day. Best essential oils for soothing sleep include lavender, chamomile, and benzoin.
#7 Immune System
Most medical professionals indicate aromatherapy can boost the immune system if adequately used. Anti-microbial effects and anti-fungal, as well as antibacterial qualities, serve to enhance the strength of the immune system. This is an area of aromatherapy widely studied. Use of aromatherapy for improving sleep includes cinnamon, peppermint, and lemon.
Though not the most commonly researched aromatherapy area, digestive issues can also be treated through aromatherapy. It eases constipation, indigestion and can speed up metabolism, so food is digested faster. Citrus essential oils are the best for treating digestive conditions such as GI disturbances and IBS. This includes lemon and orange. You need to consult the doctor before using a different source. Mixing and using oils also requires knowledge.
#9 A Relaxation Technique
This therapeutic method can be used to improve health or gain a new way to relax. There is science backing it up. Lavender scents have been shown to lower stress. Participants who use aromatherapy feel less pain and experience reduced stress levels on account of a difficult situation. This is as against those not using aromatherapy. Stress levels diminish rapidly in patients and a healthy population that has undergone treatment.
#10 Hypertension Reduction
Aromatherapy also lowers blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. If there is high BP, aromatherapy can serve as the perfect relaxant to get your pulse regular, and blood pressure levels closest to the healthy range.
#11 Better Sleep
As aromatherapy oils enable people to feel less stress, they can make you feel sleepy and have a good quality of rest. Insomnia, anxiety. Restless leg syndrome or hot flashes are only some of the sleep disturbances that aromatherapy can soothe away.
#12 Respiratory System
Specific aromatherapy oils have properties that are antiseptic cleansing the air of bacteria, fungi, and mold contributing to difficulty in breathing. This can include congestion, sneezing, or coughing. Using citrus oils for aromatherapy improves immune functioning. Citrus oils in aromatherapy practice can reduce fatigue and restore the homeostasis. Citrus oils show normalized-neuroendocrine hormone levels and enhanced immunity. This is akin to antidepressants.
Other than the diffusion of oils in the home, aromatic oils can be directly rubbed on the chest or even the neck so particles can be breathed inward. Effective essential oils allergy oils can be helpful for conditions such as a sore throat and even respiratory problems.
#13 Improve Skin and Complexion
Diluted essential oils are extremely effective, when sprayed onto the skin or scalp for reduction of acne, toe fungus, dandruff, inflammation from insect bites, allergic rashes, or wound cures. Tea tree oil, also called Melaleuca alternifolia, is a popular oil for treating skin related problems. Remaining aromatherapy oils for skins (including essential acne oils) include lavender, juniper berry, clary sage, orange, lemon, and frankincense. Create home-based aromatherapy oil spritzer, and spray this on the troubled area of the skin, adding between 10 and 20 drops of oil containing 4 ounces of water.
Using sprays, the same types of oils can be used on the skin or scalp in a direct way.
#14 Can Manage Cancer Side Effects
Those with cancer use aromatherapy as a supportive treatment. It is perfect for stress reduction or even general pain management and welfare. Including meditation, acupuncture, or massage therapy. Numerous essential oils were used for lowering symptoms linked to cancer treatment or hospice care. This includes nausea, fatigue, pains and aches, depression, and sleeplessness. Numerous aromatherapy oils can also ward off cancer treatment side effects.
A study published in the US Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care found this therapy helped to decrease pain, worrying, and depression. This can promote an enhanced well-being and health outcomes. Based on aromatherapy sessions, there is a positive change in BP and pulse. This follows reduced symptoms of emotional upset and pain.
#15 Soothe Inflammation and Pain
Soothe tense or tight muscles, aching joints, swollen tissue injuries, or headache pain using diverse aromatherapy oils for application to the concerned area. Popular, well-known essential oils for arthritic pain include turmeric, orange, myrrh, and ginger. Aromatherapy oils can be used for headaches.
#16 Help Raise Alertness and Lower Fatigue
A global study found that patients with low moods and psychological fatigue positively recovered following the use of aromatherapy. Surveys regarding the atmosphere and feelings before and following the therapy found a noticeable difference. Those experiencing lavender aromatherapy showed increased beta activity and decreased in depression, inducing feelings of relaxation. Increased alertness and lower state-anxiety scoring on inventories for assessing mental states were the twin benefits of aromatherapy.
With so many benefits, it is not surprising that aromatherapy is considered a potent and beneficial therapy. It can impact the process of recovery and hasten the healing in a wide variety of medical conditions.