Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy – something that’s used alongside medical treatment. Plant oils have been used as therapy for thousands of years. Essential oils are made from essences found in the flowers, leaves, roots, peel, resin, seeds and bark of some plants. Essences release a unique fragrance when plants are crushed. Examples include lavender oil and rosemary oil.
You can absorb some essential oils through your skin, or they can have an effect on you through your sense of smell. Here are just some of the ways essential oils are used.
Oils can be diluted with a carrier oil (such as almond or black seed oil) and massaged into your skin.
You can add a few drops of oil to warm bath water.
You can add oils to unperfumed creams, such as moisturiser.
You can breathe in (inhale) some oils.
You can add oils to an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporiser.
When you smell essential oils, it stimulates your olfactory system. This is the part of your brain that’s connected to smell. Research suggests that certain essential oils have an effect on your mood, which can make you feel relaxed or stimulated.
Aromatherapy is used to help a variety of symptoms and conditions. It’s sometimes used by people with long-lasting pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Other things aromatherapy is used for include feeling sick after surgery, cancer, dementia, and pain during labour.
It’s a beautiful treatment, and very indulgent as well as having huge health benefits.