After reading about essential oils, have you wondered “What exactly is Aromatherapy?” The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.” I find it to be a wonderfully smelling therapy that can help people achieve greater health.
The aromatic substances used in Aromatherapy to promote good health are called essential oils. They are the distilled or expressed liquid of the volatile components produced by plants. Essential oils can come from leaves, flowers, roots, bark, seeds, needles, peel, berries, bulb, or resin. They are used per drop because they are highly concentrated – 250 pounds of rosemary makes one pound of essential oil while 2000 pounds of rose petals makes one pound of oil.
Another key component to Aromatherapy is that the essences used must be volatile, i.e. they must be prone to evaporation. That is how the essential oils work. The volatile molecules travel up the nostrils, past conscience thought, and directly into the part of the brain which hosts primitive instincts. This explains how scent has such immediate emotional impact. It also allows for the oils to work on the body in a physical and emotional fashion.
Applications for essential oil use include the following:
Inhalation – 1-2 drops on a tissue, or inhale directly from the bottle
Diffusion – 1-3 drops in a diffuser, to refresh potpourri, or in a bowl of water
Full Body Bath – 5-10 drops per ounce of oil, shower gel or milk
Foot Bath – 2-4 drops in a basin of warm water
Massage – 10-15 drops per ounce of carrier oil or unscented lotion
Perfume – 5-10 drops per ounce of jojoba oil
Room Spray – 10-20 drops in a spray bottle with 2 ounces distilled water (shake prior to use)
This should explain the basics of Aromatherapy. Now open the door to the healing apothecary and use your essential oils with confidence.