Essential Oil Uses
There are over 150 essential oils, each of which has its own set of distinctive physical, psychological, and therapeutic properties – i.e. anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, elements for improving digestion and mood, as well as pain-relieving properties. Not only do many spas and resorts offer essential oil treatments, but as one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine, aromatherapy is increasingly used in hospitals and clinics for the rehabilitation of cardiac patients, treating the side effects of chemotherapy, helping women through labor pain, and more.
Common Essential Oils
Some of the most well-known and popular essential oils are:
- Tee Tree
Aromatherapy dates back over 6,000 years to the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians who used fragrant oils for bathing, massage, and embalming the dead. In 1930s, the modern age of aromatherapy began as scientists discovered the therapeutic uses of essential oils and began to include them as part of a holistic treatment for a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Aromatherapy is also used as a compliment to other medical treatments and prescription medicines and is thought to alleviate discomforts and to boost the immune, respiratory, and circulatory systems.
Essential Oil Absorption
Essential oils can be inhaled or are absorbed through the skin. Aromatherapy sessions are tailored specifically for each client, with modes of treatment ranging from a single session to multiple sessions and with uses ranging from general to specific.
Essential oil absorption can occur by:
- Direct inhalation: Breathing in via an inhaler
- Indirect inhalation: Placing drops nearby or via a room diffuser
- Direct skin application: Applied to the skin using lotions, dressings, compresses, soaks, or bath salts
When ingested by means of smell, essential oils activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied directly to the skin, essential oils activate thermal receptors and destroy bacteria. When applied internally, essential oils boost the immune system.
Who Can Use Essential Oils?
Administered by a trained aromatherapist, everyone from babies to the elderly can benefit from essential oils. If you are purchasing essential oils for home use, be sure check the label for the words “100% Pure Essential Oils” as some scents sold are man-made, artificial, or petroleum-based fragrances.