The ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptians all used aromatherapy and essential oils to improve health. So if you thought aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is new you are way off. There is evidence that scents have been used to improve health and improve mood for 6000 years.
What exactly is aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is the use of selected fragrant substances in lotions and inhalants used in an effort to affect mood and promote health. Smell receptors in the nose use the nervous system to connect to the part of the brain that controls emotions.
We have 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Of those 5 senses smell is the most rapid. Consider how different smells can trigger a response from you be the good smells or bad stinky smells very quickly. Scents can influence us in many ways. Scents can affect our mood, emotions and appetite.
Smells can be tied to experiences. The smell of a fresh cut lawn can take you back to childhood. Or the smell of the ocean can transport you back to a favorite beach vacation. The smell of chocolate can cause you to crave a candy bar. Just ask the Hershey company. The used to scent their theme park with the smell of chocolate.
Many of us have been using aromatherapy for years without realizing it. Think about your favorite candle fragrance, the smell in the products that we use to clean our homes and even the perfume you wear is in essence a type of aromatherapy.
What are essential oils? Essential oils are liquids that are obtained by distilling leaves, stems, flower, bark or roots of plants. Many essential oils have antimicrobial , antiviral, antifungal and antioxidants properties.
How do you use essential oils? You can use essential oils by diluting the oil and rubbing it on the skin or by inhaling the oil. You can inhale fragrance by putting it on a cloth and breathing it in or by using a diffuser, or by putting some oil in boiling water and letting the fragrance be distributed in the air. You do need to be aware that you can have an allergic reaction to oil put directly on the skin.
How do essential oils improve health? Studies have shown that essential oils can relieve headaches, improve mood, kill bacteria and viruses, reduce anxiety, relieve headaches and improve sleep.
Health Benefits Of Specific Scents
- Bergamot – relieves anxiety
- Eucalyptus – relieves cold and flue symptoms
- Frankincense – helps ease asthma and coughing
- Ginger – sharpens the senses, helps you concentrate
- Jasmine – soothing, relieves depression, boosts beta waves linked to alertness
- Lavender – improves sleep, calms, balances nerves, increases alpha brain waves associated with relaxation
- Lemon – aids memory and concentration, uplifts
- Peppermint – improves digestion, decreases nausea, eases menstrual cramps, lessens anxiety
- Rosemary – eases muscle aches, improves arthritis, enhances memory
- Sandalwood – improves relaxation and sleep
- Ylang Ylang – eases stress
Aromatherapy can not cure disease but it can be used to calm a patient or ease nausea. Patients undergoing a MRI at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York report feeling less claustrophobic when exposed to the smell of vanilla. Aromatherapy and essential oils can help lighten stress, reduce anxiety, prevent panic attacks, promote relaxation, keep you alert, increase your energy level and aid in restful sleep.
Read More: Benefits Of Lavender Oil