Introduction To Essential Oils - What is Aromatherapy?
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using 100% pure plant essences for healing body, mind and spirit. It is the treatment of ailments (therapy) with aromas (essences or essential oils of aromatic plants).
- Aromatherapy is one of the techniques of holistic, complementary, or natural medicine. It treats the whole body – mind, body, and spirit.
- Aroma-therapists, armed with technical understanding, artfully blend essential oils to produce new aromas.
- While there is general agreement about the actions of certain oils, aromatherapy texts vary in their descriptions of the properties and characteristics of an essential oil.
- Aromatherapy can be as much preventative as curative.
- Results of aromatherapy are very individual. No two persons are affected by the same essential oil in exactly the same way. Even the same person can be affected differently by the same oil depending on surroundings, time of day or mood.
What are Essential Oils?
- Essential oils do not exist in plants as free-moving substances, but are stored in microscopic cellular containers. They are then extracted from varied parts of the plant: the root, seed, trunk, and leaf, fruit and/or flower.
- They are approximately 100 times more concentrated than a dried herb, which is why they can irritate the skin.
- Each essential oil has a unique chemical composition, which then react with chemicals in the body and mind when applied, inhaled, or ingested.
Treat a Wide Range of Conditions
- By learning about the properties of the many oils, you can use them to effectively treat a wide range of conditions. From headaches and muscular pains to depression, insomnia and stress, essential oils provide us with very effective solutions to many different physical and emotional ailments.
- Essential oils contain the odor, taste and medicinal properties of the plant itself, but in very concentrated form, with no base oil, alcohol, water or diluting agent added.
- Are not actually “oily”, and can range in consistency from watery to thick and gummy.
- When an essential oil is volatile- this means that their molecular size is small enough to evaporate if left uncovered. These molecules are considerably smaller than water and oil molecules. Each essential oil has its own volatility rate, measured on a scale of 1 (very quickly) – 100 (very slowly). Citrus oils have the fastest evaporation rate.
- Are easily absorbed into the bloodstream via inhalation and topical application due to their small molecular size.
- Are anti-septic to varying degrees; some have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties
- Come in many different colors, viscosities, and scent strengths.
Essential Oils Are Like Wine
- Come from all over the globe; like wine, some regions grow superior crops. Weather, soil, environmental pollution and the oil production method all affect scent and quality.
- It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus, 150 pounds of lavender, 500 pounds of rosemary, and 1,000 pounds of jasmine and over 2,000 pounds of rose to make a single pound of essential oil. The price of each essential oil is directly related to the amount of plant material needed for distillation.
- Each has their own specific safety data and contraindications