- by Avyang Health Care
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- Dec 27 2017
What is Aromatherapy?
It is a type of alternative medicine practice that utilizes aromatic essential oils that are derived from a wide variety of healing plants. It has been shown to help people overcome various health problems without the need for medications. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.
For over 5,000 years, aromatherapy has been a trusted practice among cultures spanning the globe. Today, there are more than 40 different therapeutic-grade aromatherapy oils available in health food stores and online. It was used by ancient Egyptian priests during religious ceremonies and as antiseptic agents.
In the late 1800s researchers began using botanical extracts in studies, publishing their reports in respected medical journals. French and German medical professors started using aromatherapy to fight diseases like tuberculosis and infected wounds.
In the early 19th century essential oils began being used in Western medicine practices. It was used to heal wounds, treat anxiety and lower depression of French soldiers returning home from World War I.
Plants contain certain beneficial chemicals as a means of protecting themselves from bacteria or viruses. The active ingredients within the oils are taken directly from high yields of medicinal plants or herbs through a process known as distillation, then mixed with alcohol to preserve their strength. The finished result is a very concentrated oily formula that can be mixed with other substances.
As they are very strong, essential oils so they are usually combined with a carrier oil, such as almond, jojoba or coconut oil, before being applied directly to the skin. Always do an allergy test before trying a new essential oil. To do an allergy test, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil at twice the concentration you plan to use. Rub the mixture into an area the size of a quarter on the inside of the forearm. If there is no allergic response within 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.
It can be performed in several different ways:
- Diffusing a combination of essential oils into the air
- Inhaling oils through the nostrils directly off a cloth or from the bottle
- Receiving massage therapy utilizing oils
- Soaking in an oil-infused bath
- Rubbing oils directly onto the skin
Plants which produce popular essential oils are:
- Rosemary, thyme, oregano or peppermint
- Leaves from eucalyptus plants
- Fennel seeds
- Zest from fruits such as oranges, grapefruit o lemon
- Flowers, including rose or geranium
- Wood or bark from these including cedar or pine
- Roots from ginger
- Resin from frankincense trees
It may promote relaxation and help relieve stress. It has also been used to help treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions, including burns, infections, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
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