Aromatherapy is the queen of alternative medicine. And you know what? Our sense of smell is so fascinating!
Our sense of smell is associated with the part of your brain that stores, not just your long-term memories, but more.
Aromatherapy is used for all-around wellness, healing, and relaxation.
Are you currently enjoying the sweet smell of Sisterhood Agenda’s SEA Ocean Dream Incense? Do you remember how soothing it feels to smell the aroma of a scented candle while you take a nice relaxing bath? Or the smell of a spa or massage center which makes you drift to sleep during a massage session?
Aromatherapy rose to popularity in the ’70s and ’80s as a form of natural medicine but its history dates back to ancient human civilization, specifically for more than 3,500 years BC. Since these times, aromatherapy was used in healing ointments and perfumes to help cure diseases and uplift the mood, manage anxiety, sleep, the immune system, colds, allergies, and many more.
Young Living is the oldest essential oil company in the world, selling all kinds of essential oils that cater to different needs. Doterra is also a great essential oil company that sells top quality oils.
What is aromatherapy? And what are essential oils?
Aromatherapy is the process of healing with the use of essential oils derived from medicinal plants, flowers, herbs, peels, petals, barks, and roots of trees.
Authentic or unadulterated essential oils are pure essential oils without the use of chemicals.
However, it takes a lot of plant parts to make just a minuscule amount of essential oil. Hence, that’s why good quality oils aren’t affordable.
How does it work?
As mentioned above, aromatherapy activates some areas of our brain. That’s why smelling an old perfume takes you back to a certain time of your life. It brings back memories.
Not only that, experts believe that scents activate the smell receptors in your brain. This sends signals through your nervous system to your limbic system (emotional part of the brain) and hypothalamus (part of the brain that produces serotonin). This is why aromatherapy uplifts the spirit and helps with anxiety.
Essential oil companies sell aromatherapy kits with oils, and sometimes include a diffuser. You mix the essential oil with water in the diffuser, turn it on, and just let the scent of the essential oil surround your home.
You can also apply it on your skin, wrists, joints, temples – diluted with the use of a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil.
Doing so will cause a reaction in your skin and other parts of your body. For example, there is evidence that lemon balm derived from pure lemon oil calms agitated patients with dementia.
Benefits of aromatherapy oil
1. It’s a great mood enhancer when you’re feeling stressed
Because it sends a signal to the part of your brain that produces serotonin, the happy hormone, aromatherapy can change your mood from worried, agitated, or irritated to relaxed, calm, and peaceful.
2. It helps with anxiety and depression
According to a study, essential oils may help reduce the symptoms of anxiety which can be experienced alongside depression.
Having anxiety myself, I always have a lavander oil in my purse in case of a panic attack. It really helps put me back to a state of stillness when I’m having an episode.
There’s also one study on mice that reduces the behaviors of depression.
3. Helps with sleep deprivation
According to a study in 2016 ,ge students who inhaled lavander oil had fewer sleep disturbances.
4. Helps improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis.
Aromatherapy helps with the pain brought on by the inflammation and swelling.
There are several studies showing that inhaling, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, ginger, turmeric, basil can help with pain and inflammation. Some oils may be applied directly to the swelling joint. (Source: Arthritis Foundation )
5. Helps reduce the symptoms of dementia
According to healthline.com, there are several conditions that it has the potential to treat, namely: asthma, insomnia, fatigue, inflammation, alopecia, cancer, arthritis, erectile dysfunction. However, some of the research/studies are still inconclusive.
Allergy warning: If you have any of the following you first have to ask your doctor to do an allergy test before getting into aromatherapy.
- Allergic rhinitis
- Plant allergy
Yyou should first consult your doctor before trying aromatherapy oils on your skin, especially if you have any of the illnesses above. And remember, aromatherapy is not to be used as a sole treatment for the disease but rather to help with the symptoms associated with it.
What oils should you get for starters?
This actually depends on your goal, what is your concern? What issues do you want to be addressed?
A gentle reminder to get only the best quality essential oils. Remember, you and your family are going to inhale these scents. It’s also better if you do thorough research before getting any herbal products, especially if you have pets and children.
Note: some oils can be lethal for animals and some oils can be too strong for babies.