Do you want to improve your general sense of wellbeing?

Aromatherapy may offer a solution for you.

We Know: All About Aromatherapy

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants and other sources to create scents that are believed to have healing properties and that can be used to change a person's state of mind or health.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are liquids that are distilled from plants by steam. They are not generally oily to the touch and are highly concentrated as they contain the essence of the plants from which they were derived.

What other ingredients are involved in aromatherapy?

Many different types of plant derivatives are used in aromatherapy besides essential oils. They include:

  • Absolutes: These aromatic liquids are much like essential oils, but are extracted from plants by the use of solvents rather than steam. They are also much more concentrated than essential oils.
  • Carrier Oils: These oils are not as fragrant as absolutes or essential oils and are used to help dilute them when mixed together. They also help the primary ingredients absorb into the skin. Examples include sweet almond oil and avocado oil.
  • Hydrosols: Often referred to as floral waters, hydrosols are the water that is left behind after essential oils are extracted from a plant.

How is aromatherapy used?

Aromatherapy is used by many people for healing purposes. The essential oils are believed to have certain therapeutic benefits and are rubbed on the skin or mixed into tea in a diluted form. Some treatments involve the inhalation of the actual vapors put off by the oils, although that is not the primary or only aromatherapy practice. The essential oils are often added to diffusers and steamers so the afflicted can breathe in the steam.

Is aromatherapy safe?

In general, yes. But some people with certain conditions should take extreme caution when experimenting with essential oils. Also, it is never wise to put undiluted oils directly on the skin or to ingest them. Such people who should take extra precautions include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People who suffer from epilepsy or seizures
  • People with asthma
  • People with cancer

Where can I find out more about aromatherapy?

There are several books on the market that offer wonderful how-to guides and beginner's information on aromatherapy.

  • Aromatherapy by Roberta Wilson
  • Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and How to Use Them by Charla Devereux
  • The World of Aromatherapy by Jeanne Rose and Susan Earle

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