What is Aromatherapy?

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is not only about nice smells! Essential oils are derived from various parts of the plants – flowers, leaves, berries, bark and roots. They all have different chemical structures which determine their healing properties. Essential oils have been extracted through the ages and used for their medicinal properties. The ancient Egyptians used essential oils as part of their beauty routines as well as in the embalming process for mummification. Aromatherapy came back in to popularity again in the 20th Century when a French chemist Gattefosse discovered the healing properties of Lavender.

Essential oils are extracted from the plants by either steam distillation (the majority are extracted by this method), expression (citrus oils), or chemical extraction (expensive oils with a low yield). Some plants contain a lot of essential oil and are therefore cheap to produce but oils such as rose or jasmine has a small yield (1 drop of rose essential oil requires 5,000 petals). Care should be taken when purchasing oils to ensure that they are pure undiluted essential oils and not synthetic oils which have no therapeutic properties.

Essential oils work on physical, emotional and spiritual levels, to cleanse the body, release physical and mental tension, and balance the mind.

Benefits of Aromatherapy
Depending on the choice of oils aromatherapy has many benefits. A few of these are:
• Relaxation
• Stress relief
• Pain relief
• Invigorating
• Soothing
• Balancing
• An improved sense of well being
• Uplifting
• Anti-bacterial

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment which treats the whole body. Its aim is to reduce not only the symptoms but to address the underlying causes which result in illness and imbalances within the body. It can safely be used alongside medication. Aromatherapy is suitable for using with babies and children through to the elderly.

Look out for our Introduction to Aromatherapy online course coming soon!