Aromatherapy — the name itself seems a luxury. Seemingly enough, the therapy offers plenty of benefits and makes you feel wellness physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yet, many of us have doubts about the therapy’s power. Some very basic, such as: What are essential oils? and some quite specific such as which method to use to increase concentration. Not to worry; Simmi, an aromatherapist, has got you covered.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is both art + science using aromatic volatile plant extracts that affect both the mind and body, helping to facilitate physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. When applied correctly and safely, it may provide holistic therapy to create physiological change, e.g. muscular aches, or psychological, e.g. anxiety.
The main plant extracts are referred to as essential oils. Other plant extracts used in Aromatherapy are vegetable oils to blend the essential oils, hydrosols, and CO₂ extracts, each with their own therapeutic benefits and applications.
What are essential oils and what are their properties?
Essential oils are derived from the plant kingdom that includes fruits, herbs, spices, roots, grasses, leaves, and trees. They are made up of chemical compounds that will indicate their individual properties, both the therapeutic benefits and contraindications.
Properties of Essential Oils
The essential oils exhibit various properties that include
- Immune stimulants
Things to Remember to Avoid Adverse Reactions When Using Essential Oils:
TIP #1 It is important to familiarize yourself with the 3 P’s: Profile + Personality + Precautions of essential oils before using them, to avoid any adverse reactions.
We need to keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and can be up to 70% stronger than the original plant source. For instance, 3 pounds/1 kilogram of Lavender flowers —> approx 15ml lavender oil. You can see how concentrated the lavender oil will be that is extracted from 1kg of flowers!
That’s why it’s important to use the correct dosages and dilutions to avoid skin sensitization. Yes, they are natural, but that doesn’t mean they are always safe to use with specific situations and different age groups.
How does your body absorb the oils?
Essential oils are absorbed into your body via the Olfactory System (Smell) within 7 secs and the Integumentary system (Skin) within up to 20 minutes, making them a powerful tool to:
- Create change
- Alter moods and behaviours
- Trigger the body’s own innate healing mechanisms of repairing, detoxing and regenerating
What are some of the benefits of essential oils?
There are plenty of benefits of integrating essential oils into your lifestyle. Some of them are:
- Improving sleep quality
- Balancing hormones
- Increasing energy levels
- Skin regeneration by stimulating healthy skin growth
- Relieve symptoms of stress + tension + anxiety by increasing the release of dopamine and by lowering cortisol levels
- Strengthen immune system by antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial activities
- Support your body’s own healing mechanisms
- Stimulate liver function in the process of detoxing
- Healthy cell growth for skincare
- Stimulating your brain function, so helpful with mood fluctuations and improves concentration and even memory
- Many are anti-inflammatories that may relieve muscular aches and pains, arthritis, and headaches
Next week we will be sharing the different methods of using essential oils and aromatherapy in your routine.
Editor’s Note: Research suggests that lavender and tea tree oils may be endocrine disrupters so speak to your doctor before adding these into your routine.
Simmi has over 30 years of experience as a qualified Aromatherapist and Educator. Her Aromatherapy Masterclasses are engaging and fun, offering an informative and practical way to learn more about using Aromatherapy safely in her own unique style. Her collaborations include working with some exclusive brands and health professionals to create Aromatherapy Toolkits for their clients. In addition, she has a private clinic and Organic Essential Oil Range. Her latest passion project is a digital online e-course presenting Aromatherapy tools + strategies to improve sleep, increase energy and experience relaxation techniques to support the balance of hormones. She also appears on The Today Show Extra as an Aromatherapy expert.